Top Japanese baby names of 2005 has a cool feature on the top baby names in Japan for 2005. Here’s the list of the top ten, and here’s a discussion of things that affect name popularity.

I find it interesting that “Hinata” and “Sakura” are so popular. They are Naruto characters. Do you think that had any effect? :>

I also think the changes in name selection are interesting. For example:

In the past, it was very common and traditional to use the kanji character “ko (a child)” at the end of female names. Empress Michiko, Crown princess Masako, princess Kiko, and Yoko Ono, all end with “ko (子)”. If you have a few female Japanese friends, you will probably notice this pattern. In fact, more than 80% of my female relatives and girlfriends have “ko” at the end of their names (including me!).

However, this might not be true for the next generation. There are only three names including “ko” in the recent 100 popular names for girls. They are Nanako (菜々子)and Riko (莉子, 理子).

Instead of “ko” at the end, using “ka” or “na” is the recent trend. Haruka, Hina, Honoka, Momoka, Ayaka, Yuuna and Haruna for example.

Here is a huge list of Japanese baby names.