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What are the good ways of making a male japanese name that "sounds" nice in english and japanese?

crocket

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I'm trying to create a nice unique male japanese name that sounds cool in both english and japanese.
I don't have strong opinions about what meaning the name should have as long as the meaning doesn't give a bad impression to me and people. Rather, I care about the sound of the name.

The name is going to be a pen name, but I am considering making it an official alias or even a real name later.

After days of research, I started composing japanese names from "sound" fragments. I want to start with the first name and then make the family name later. However, since my japanese knowledge is not deep or extensive, most fragments turned out to be fragments of family names. Below are the fragments I gathered.
  • Ano-, Aki-
  • -da-
  • Hiro-, Hana-, -haku, hako
  • Ishi-, -inu-, Ino-
  • -jima
  • -ka, -kami-(-gami), kawa, Kita-, Kura-, Kuro-, -ko-, Kono-, Komi-, -kichi, Kiyo-, Kumi-
  • mada, Mako-, Masa-, Mi-, -michi, moe, -mori-, -mura-
  • -Naga-, -nari, nori, Naka-, Negi-, -neko-, nichi
  • Oka-
  • Sono-, Sato, -shima
  • -tachi, -tama-, -taro, Tada-, Taka-, Take-, Taku-, Tomo-, Toki-
  • Usa-
  • -ya-, -yama-, yaki, -yako, -yuka-, yuki, Yo-, Yoko-, Yoshi-
  • -zaki
Using the fragments, I generated names, most of which are usually used as family names.
  • -yama
    • Kayama, Miyama, Mitayama, Kuroyama
    • Konoyama, Kitayama, Kamiyama, Kuniyama
    • Nakayama, Hiroyama, Ishiyama, Inuyama
    • Hanayama, Usayama, Kuniyama, Kumiyama
    • Moriyama, Murayama, Negiyama, Oyama
    • Takayama, Yukiyama, Toyama, Kiriyama, Akiyama
  • -michi
    • Komichi, Kuromichi, Anomich, Inumichi, Sonomich, Kitamichi
    • Nekomichi, Nakamich(中道), Kunomich, Yomichi
    • Kunimichi, Yoshimichi
  • -mura
    • Nakamura, Kitamura, Negimura, Yukimura
    • Tamamura, Yoshimura, Takamura, Kiyomura
    • Hanamura, Makomura, Sakamura, Nekomura
    • Kawamura, Tamura
  • -saki
    • Murasaki, Tamasaki, Kiyosaki
  • Tama-
    • Tamako, Tamaya, Tamaneko
  • Konaka(子中)
  • -neko
    • Yamaneko, Morineko, Yukineko, Kiyoneko
  • Kita-
    • Kitagami, Kitanori, Kitamori
  • -gami
    • Nekogami, Inugami, Yamagami, Morigami
    • Takagami, Yukigami, Kiyogami, Makogami
    • Yakigami, Yakogami, Tamagami, Tokigami
    • Kitagami, Togami, Kogami
  • Tomiya
  • -yuki
    • Moriyuki, Sonoyuki, Kuroyuki, Tamayuki
    • Takayuki, koyuki
  • -yoshi
    • Takayoshi, Tamayoshi
  • Takami(chi)
  • Takanori
  • -tama
    • Mitama, Kitama
  • -zaki
    • Takazaki, Yamazaki, Tanozaki, Sonozaki
  • -kawa
    • Hirokawa, Murakawa, Yoshikawa, Yamakawa
  • -gawa
    • Kurogawa, Yamagawa
  • -jima
    • Ushijima, Takajima, Kitajima, Kunijima
    • Nagajima, Nakajima, Kumijima
Some people suggested making names from the meanings that I want my name to have, and I'll try that soon, too since I'm already running out of ideas.

Other than composing names from sound fragments or making a name from the meanings that I want it to have, what would be the good ways to make the kind of japanese name I want?
I could try to learn from how japanese people make their own names, too.
 
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crocket

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Since I can't somehow edit my original post, let me rephrase the questions so that it is easier for you guys to answer my questions.
  1. How do japanese usually or commonly make given names and surnames for their male members?
  2. How can I improve the method of making a name by composing sound fragments? Note that I want to make a given name first and then make a surname later.
  3. Are there other better ways of making male japanese names that sound cool in english and japanese?
 

nekojita

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People don't make up names, they use (generally speaking) existing names. They might just pick a name out of a book or name their kid after a celebrity. They might pick a name they like the sound of, then decide which kanji to put with it (there will be a few obvious possibilities). They might pick a kanji they want to use and then look for names that use that.

Look at a list of Japanese baby names and pick something, then look into what kanji to use. Perhaps you can make it more 'unique' by using unusual kanji but then you're into DQN territory...
 

crocket

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People don't make up names, they use (generally speaking) existing names. They might just pick a name out of a book or name their kid after a celebrity. They might pick a name they like the sound of, then decide which kanji to put with it (there will be a few obvious possibilities). They might pick a kanji they want to use and then look for names that use that.

Look at a list of Japanese baby names and pick something, then look into what kanji to use. Perhaps you can make it more 'unique' by using unusual kanji but then you're into DQN territory...
Do japanese people have a separate list each for given names and surnames?
 

Mike Cash

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Do japanese people have a separate list each for given names and surnames?
How do surnames work where you live? Do Mr. and Mrs. Smith typically name their child Jones or Johnson or something? Or do they go with Smith? Do you understand that "surname" means "family name"?
 

mdchachi

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Easiest thing to do is go to Jim Breen's dictionary site. Change the dictionary in the drop-down to the names dictionary, click the "search in romaji" box and then type in your various ideas to see what names come up. Note the little marks within an entry tell you if it's a surname, given name, female, male, etc.
 
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crocket

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How do surnames work where you live? Do Mr. and Mrs. Smith typically name their child Jones or Johnson or something? Or do they go with Smith? Do you understand that "surname" means "family name"?
Yes, I'm aware that surname means family name.
Since I'm trying to make a pen name that sounds like a japanese name, I want my new name to be decoupled from my government/national identity. Also, I am careful about revealing my personal information, including my location, on the internet just as I am also careful about it in the physical world. That said, I don't know how people make surnames where I live. Mostly, they just inherited surnames from their ancestors. I never had a reason to investigate how early ancestors made surnames. Maybe, I could investigate how japanese ancestors made surnames.

Easiest thing to do is go to Jim Breen's dictionary site. Change the dictionary in the drop-down to the names dictionary, click the "search in romaji" box and then type in your various ideas to see what it says. Note the little marks within an entry tell you if it's a surname, given name, female, male, etc.
Thanks for the tip. I'll try that.
 
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Majestic

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I could try to learn from how japanese people make their own names, too.
I think that would be your best bet. You will not be able to make a plausible name unless you first figure out how Japanese names are composed, and I suspect wikipedia is as good a place as any to start.
If you are just trying to toss Japanese-ish sounds into a basket and randomly connect them to create a Japanese name, you will end up with nonsense; like taking the last two letters of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and hoping the name Ewrkkehn sounds like a plausible western name.
I think wikipedia will be a very good sensei for you.
 

BillMad

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I think you should ask a Japanese person, they'll answer best with all their symbolisms and metaphors. Or you could try one of the many online Katakana converters if you're looking for a quick fix, i.e. of a name in Japanese sounding like your name in english. For eg. this.

Or simply decide on an English variant, get it in Katakana, then use google translate to get its symbolic meaning (what the japanese people would infer from that name the moment they hear it), you could also get a spoken pronunciation while you're at it.

EDIT:

Just tried it, results for BillMad: ビル・マッド ("Billo Matto")
 
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WonkoTheSane

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I think you should ask a Japanese person, they'll answer best with all their symbolisms and metaphors. Or you could try one of the many online Katakana converters if you're looking for a quick fix, i.e. of a name in Japanese sounding like your name in english. For eg. this.

Or simply decide on an English variant, get it in Katakana, then use google translate to get its symbolic meaning (what the japanese people would infer from that name the moment they hear it), you could also get a spoken pronunciation while you're at it.

EDIT:

Just tried it, results for BillMad: ビル・マッド ("Billo Matto")
That's biru mado, not billo matto.

OP, just pick a name. That's what people do the world over when they want to name kids. Which is basically what you're doing.

Toshihiko Yamada sounds typical to me (I've met several Toshihikos and several Yamadas), and shorten the first name to Toshi and it sounds fine in English. Maybe not native, but "Hi, I'm Toshi." will be completely understandable to the vast majority of English speakers.

Good luck .
 

crocket

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What are you entering for translation and what are you getting out?
While the idea of translating english names to japanese is interesting, that would defeat my purpose which is to make a name that sounds like a japanese name.
 

WonkoTheSane

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While the idea of translating english names to japanese is interesting, that would defeat my purpose which is to make a name that sounds like a japanese name.
If you read the post I wrote along with the quoted text, you'll see that I was responding to someone else.
 

Glenski

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Why are you throwing out surnames instead of given names? Nobody chooses their surname, you know, and it couples to a given name no matter the gender.

example: Oyama
You could have a man Takashi Oyama, or a woman Akiko Oyama.

By the way, if you want a "cool" Japanese sounding male given name that is "understandable" in English (for some reason), just go with "Ken". Simplest and most easily understood for its gender.
 

Glenski

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Yes, yes, yes. We understand that. But your original post said:

I'm trying to create a nice unique male japanese name that sounds cool in both english and japanese.
Surnames are pointless. Go ahead and choose anything you like. But if you want a male name, obviously you have to go with the given name, hence my suggestion. You didn't seem to have many there. You even admitted it!
Using the fragments, I generated names, most of which are usually used as family names.
 

crocket

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When I first made a list of names, I didn't know the rules of making japanese names. I just gathered fragments that I heard before and composed them into names. I posted the list on websites, and people pointed out that most of them were surnames. That's when I realized I created lots of surnames without recognizing them as such.

I'm beginning to learn the rules of making surnames and given names on the internet. I just read Japanese name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and I am going to read the list of kanji characters permitted for names. Where can I learn the rules for making surnames and given names straightforwardly?
 

Mike Cash

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People really aren't creating surnames anymore; that's over with. Do your friends and neighbors make up brand-new family names for their babies? Well, neither do people in Japan. I can't understand why you can't seem to grasp that very simple idea. You don't have to invent some new Japanese surname based on some set of rules or something. There are literally tens of thousands of Japanese surnames. Pick one you like the sound of and be done with it.

May I ask why someone with such an obviously under-abundant familiarity with the language/culture is so set upon having a Japanese fake name to append to his writings?
 

WonkoTheSane

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Think of me as Ellis Island. Your new last name is 田中. I always liked 田中, feels solid. A good salt of the earth name for a man about to do an honest days work.

Now pick a first name and you're set.

Seriously, the rules are simple. If you're naming someone (presumably your child) you give them your last name and pick a first name you like. So go look at a list of last names and first names and pick the ones you like.

Like if I were Joe Smith, I could name my kid Tom Smith, or Gertrude Smith, or any first name I like plus Smith.

Japanese people aren't elves, man, they're just people and they name their kids like the vast majority of people. They pick the first name they like and add it to their last name. I know a girl named Lisa やすだ. Her mom liked the name Lisa. The first time I she told me her kid's name it was a weird conversation :

Me: りさ?
Mom: no, Risa.
Me: so... Risa?
Mom: NO, Risa, eru ai ess ei, Risa!
Me: OH! Lisa!

Confusing. But she liked the name so she named her kid Lisa. That's what people do.
 

crocket

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May I ask why someone with such an obviously under-abundant familiarity with the language/culture is so set upon having a Japanese fake name to append to his writings?
To make long story short, I'm looking for a unique long-lasting identity that I can use to communicate with japanese people and other groups. It probably wouldn't be easy for most people to empathize with my motivation.

Sorry if I asked too much. I recognize that I am delving deep into the naming business without gaining much. I'm kind of a research guy. I can't ask others to follow through with my small research. I'm currently looking for the point where it's time to stop exploring and start delivering.

In any case, many people seem to recommend choosing a surname from the list of surnames. I'll definitely start with the list of japanese surnames. I don't know what exactly I'll do with a given name, but I'll probably have to research a little bit on google.
 

WonkoTheSane

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It's seriously a pick one you like situation.

It's like you're saying "I like John, and I like Tim, and I like Felix, so I'll name myself Jimlix!"

It just doesn't work. You can HAVE the name Jimlix, no one will stop you, but people will definitely wonder what drugs your parents were on when they named you.
 

Mike Cash

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To make long story short, I'm looking for a unique long-lasting identity that I can use to communicate with japanese people and other groups.
To try to deceive them that you're Japanese? You think they won't talk to you unless they think you're Japanese? Or that they can't deal with non-Japanese names?

I have a unique long-lasting identity that I have been using to communicate with Japanese people for decades....the name my mother had put on my birth certificate.
 

mdchachi

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To try to deceive them that you're Japanese? You think they won't talk to you unless they think you're Japanese? Or that they can't deal with non-Japanese names?
Maybe he wants to invent some new electronic currency outside of the government-controlled financial system.
 
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