Last update: March 20, 2024

100+ Best Japanese Fish Names – The Ultimate List

The practice of naming fish in Japan is more than just identification; it reflects customs, culture, and a deep respect for the abundance of the ocean. Every fish, from those found in peaceful coastline towns to those at Tokyo’s busy fish markets, has a name loaded with meaning.

Embracing Japanese fish names gives a whimsical touch and a splash of cultural richness to your aquatic companionship, regardless of your experience with aquariums. We’ve compiled a helpful guide to help you with this process. Let’s dig in and explore! 

Check out these other fascinating names for your aquatic companions:

Japanese Fish Names For Girls

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Koi carp

These lovely Japanese names are perfect for your aquatic female friends. With them, you can explore a world of grace and elegance.

1. Akari (明かり) – Light, brightness

2. Hana (花) – Flower

3. Yuki (雪) – Snow

4. Sakura (桜) – Cherry blossom

5. Aoi (葵) – Hollyhock, blue

6. Kiko (希子) – Hope, child

7. Mai (舞) – Dance

8. Rin (凛) – Dignified

9. Sora (空) – Sky

10. Tsubaki (椿) – Camellia flower

11. Umeko (梅子) – Plum child

12. Yuri (百合) – Lily

13. Asuka (明日香) – Tomorrow fragrance

14. Chou (蝶) – Butterfly

15. Eiko (栄子) – Prosperous child

16. Fumi (文) – History, literature

17. Haru (春) – Spring

18. Izumi (泉) – Spring, fountain

19. Jun (純) – Pure

20. Kaiya (海矢) – Ocean arrow

21. Mana (真奈) – Love, affection

22. Naomi (直美) – Straight beauty

23. Rei (麗) – Lovely

24. Shinju (真珠) – Pearl

25. Tsuki (月) – Moon

26. Wakana (若菜) – Young greens

27. Yasu (保) – Peace

28. Akemi (明美) – Bright beauty

29. Botan (牡丹) – Peony

30. Chiyo (千代) – Thousand generations

31. Emi (恵美) – Blessed beauty

32. Fuji (藤) – Wisteria

33. Hikari (光) – Light

34. Kaori (香) – Fragrance

35. Mariko (真理子) – True child

36. Natsuki (夏希) – Summer hope

37. Rika (理香) – Fragrance of truth

38. Sayuri (小百合) – Little lily

39. Sumiko (澄子) – Clear child

40. Yumi (弓) – Bow (as in archery)

41. Ami (亜美) – Asia, beauty

42. Ayame (菖蒲) – Iris

43. Kiyomi (清見) – Pure beauty

44. Megumi (恵) – Blessing

45. Nozomi (望) – Hope, wish

46. Suzu (鈴) – Bell

47. Yoko (陽子) – Sun child

48. Hotaru (蛍) – Firefly

49. Misaki (美咲) – Beautiful bloom

50. Ran (蘭) – Orchid

Japanese Fish Names for Boys

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fish barbus bream

Check out these regal and powerful Japanese names for your charismatic and charming fish to enhance their appearance in your tank.

1. Akio (昭夫) – Bright man

2. Daiki (大輝) – Great brightness

3. Eiji (英治) – Great peace

4. Fumihiro (文博) – Scholarly wisdom

5. Haruto (陽翔) – Flying sun

6. Isamu (勇) – Courage

7. Kaito (海斗) – Ocean, big dipper

8. Makoto (誠) – Sincerity

9. Nobu (信) – Trust

10. Ryo (亮) – Brightness

11. Sora (宇宙) – Universe

12. Taiki (大輝) – Big radiance

13. Yasu (康) – Peace

14. Zen (善) – Good

15. Haru (晴) – Clear weather

16. Kyo (杏) – Apricot

17. Manabu (学) – Study

18. Nori (典) – Ceremony

19. Ren (蓮) – Lotus

20. Sho (翔) – Soar

21. Takashi (貴) – Noble

22. Yoshi (良) – Good

23. Atsushi (敦) – Kindness

24. Hiroshi (寛) – Generous

25. Junichi (純一) – Pure first

26. Ken (健) – Healthy

27. Masato (雅人) – Elegant person

28. Naoki (直樹) – Honest tree

29. Osamu (修) – Discipline

30. Ryu (龍) – Dragon

31. Shin (真) – Truth

32. Takumi (匠) – Artisan

33. Yuji (勇二) – Courageous second

34. Asahi (朝日) – Morning sun

35. Hikaru (光) – Light

36. Jin (仁) – Benevolence

37. Kazu (和) – Harmony

38. Minato (港) – Harbor

39. Noboru (登) – Ascend

40. Seiji (正治) – Correct governance

41. Taro (太郎) – First son

42. Yuki (幸) – Happiness

43. Arata (新) – Fresh

44. Hideki (英樹) – Excellent tree

45. Kaito (怪盗) – Mysterious thief

46. Masaru (勝) – Victory

47. Norio (則夫) – Law man

48. Satoshi (聡) – Wise

49. Takeo (武雄) – Warrior hero

50. Yoshiaki (良明) – Good brightness

Popular Japanese Fish Names

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Discover the timeless classics and beloved favorites in Japanese fish naming, perfect for adding a touch of familiarity and cultural richness to your aquatic family.

1. Kai (海) – Sea

2. Yumi (弓) – Bow

3. Sora (空) – Sky

4. Ren (蓮) – Lotus

5. Mai (舞) – Dance

6. Haru (春) – Spring

7. Aoi (葵) – Hollyhock

8. Kiko (希子) – Hope child

9. Akira (晃) – Bright

10. Hana (花) – Flower

11. Ryu (龍) – Dragon

12. Nori (典) – Ceremony

13. Asahi (朝日) – Morning sun

14. Minato (港) – Harbor

15. Yuji (勇二) – Courageous second

16. Shin (真) – Truth

17. Takumi (匠) – Artisan

18. Ken (健) – Healthy

19. Eiji (英治) – Great peace

20. Hotaru (蛍) – Firefly

Funny Japanese Fish Names

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Japanese golden fish

These whimsical and surprising Japanese names will make you smile, so add a little fun and whimsy to your aquarium.

1. Pochi (ポチ) – Common pet name akin to “Spot” in English.

2. Tako (タコ) – Octopus, for a fish with a quirky personality.

3. Wasabi (わさび) – Perfect for a fish with a spicy attitude.

4. Sushi (寿司) – A humorous, albeit ironic, name for a fish.

5. Mochi (餅) – For a fish that’s round and cute.

6. Kappa (河童) – After the mythical water creature.

7. Sumo (相撲) – For a larger, more robust fish.

8. Ramen (ラーメン) – For a fish that brings comfort and warmth.

9. Tempura (天ぷら) – For a fish with a ‘crispy’ personality.

10. Samurai (侍) – Ironically funny for a tiny, peaceful fish.

11. Ninja (忍者) – For a stealthy and elusive fish.

12. Bonsai (盆栽) – For a small or slow-growing fish.

13. Fuji (富士) – After the iconic Mount Fuji, for a fish with a majestic presence.

14. Kabuki (歌舞伎) – For a fish with dramatic colors or movements.

15. Saké (酒) – For a fish that’s particularly relaxing to watch.

16. Manga (漫画) – For a fish with a colorful personality.

17. Karaoke (カラオケ) – For a fish that loves to be the center of attention.

18. Geisha (芸者) – For a fish with elegant and refined movements.

19. Zen (禅) – For a particularly peaceful and meditative fish.

20. Haiku (俳句) – For a fish that inspires creativity and reflection.

Unique Japanese Fish Names

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The colorful lionhead goldfish

These unique Japanese names will help you find hidden treasures and unusual options to make your fish stand out.

1. Asato (麻人) – Hemp person

2. Benjiro (弁治郎) – Advocate son

3. Chiaki (千秋) – Thousand autumns

4. Daisuke (大輔) – Large help

5. Eiko (永子) – Eternal child

6. Fuyuki (冬希) – Winter hope

7. Gin (銀) – Silver

8. Hiro (広) – Wide

9. Ichiro (一郎) – First son

10. Juro (十郎) – Tenth son

11. Kaede (楓) – Maple

12. Kazuki (和希) – Harmony hope

13. Maiko (舞子) – Dancing child

14. Nao (直) – Honest

15. Oki (沖) – Open sea

16. Rikuto (陸斗) – Land dipper

17. Seiichi (誠一) – Sincere one

18. Tatsuo (竜雄) – Dragon man

19. Ume (梅) – Plum

20. Yamato (大和) – Great harmony

Fictional Japanese Fish Names

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 beautiful oranda goldfish

These charming Japanese names, based on imaginary places and mythological animals, will take you on an imaginative and fantastical journey.

1. Akihiro (明宏) – Bright greatness

2. Botan (牡丹) – Peony, a common name in folklore

3. Chikara (力) – Power, strength

4. Daichi (大地) – Great land

5. Emiko (恵美子) – Blessed beautiful child

6. Fujiko (藤子) – Wisteria child

7. Goro (五郎) – Fifth son

8. Hiroko (寛子) – Generous child

9. Ichika (一花) – One flower

10. Jinsei (人生) – Life

11. Kanji (感じ) – Feeling, sense

12. Keiko (恵子) – Blessed child

13. Maru (丸) – Round, a common suffix in folk tales

14. Nanami (七海) – Seven seas

15. Osamu (治) – Govern

16. Reiko (麗子) – Lovely child

17. Satoshi (聡) – Wise

18. Tamiko (民子) – People’s child

19. Umeko (梅子) – Plum child

20. Yasuhiro (康裕) – Peaceful abundance

Famous Japanese Fish Names

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Gold Doubloon Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

These renowned Japanese names pay tribute to famous breeds and iconic animals, celebrating the beauty and legacy of aquatic life.

1. Koi (鯉) – The famous ornamental fish

2. Arowana (アロワナ) – Known for its majestic appearance

3. Betta (ベタ) – Popular aquarium fish

4. Guppy (グッピー) – Widely recognized and kept

5. Maru (丸) – Common in Japanese ship names, applicable to fish

6. Nishiki (錦) – Means “brocade,” often used in naming Koi

7. Ryukin (龍錦) – A type of goldfish

8. Shubunkin (朱文金) – A calico variety of goldfish

9. Tancho (丹頂) – Koi variety with a distinctive red mark

10. Hikari (光) – Light, often used in fish names for their shimmer

11. Sakura (桜) – Cherry blossom, used in Koi and goldfish names

12. Yamabuki (山吹) – A type of Koi, meaning “mountain breath”

13. Oranda (オランダ) – A popular goldfish breed

14. Tamasaba (玉鯖) – A variety of goldfish

15. Utsurimono (写り者) – A type of Koi

16. Kinran (金蘭) – Gold orchid, used in Koi naming

17. Habotan (羽毛短) – A breed of goldfish

18. Ikebana (生け花) – The art of Japanese flower arrangement, reflecting the beauty of aquatic life

19. Sumi (墨) – Ink, used for Koi with dark markings

20. Fuguruma (風車) – Windmill, a poetic name for elegant fish

Creative Japanese Fish Names

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Guppy, Poecilia reticulata

Enjoy your imagination and inventiveness with these creative Japanese names that capture nature’s beauties and the sky’s splendor.

1. Amanogawa (天の川) – Milky Way

2. Chiyoda (千代田) – A thousand generations field

3. Himawari (向日葵) – Sunflower

4. Kirameki (煌めき) – Sparkle

5. Murasaki (紫) – Purple

6. Nebula (星雲) – Star cloud

7. Orochi (大蛇) – Giant snake, mythological creature

8. Sazanami (さざ波) – Ripple

9. Tsukuyomi (月読) – Moon god

10. Uchuu (宇宙) – Universe

11. Yozora (夜空) – Night sky

12. Zephyr (西風) – West wind

13. Arashi (嵐) – Storm

14. Bijin (美人) – Beautiful person

15. Cosmos (秋桜) – Cosmos flower

16. Hakumei (白明) – Twilight

17. Ikigai (生き甲斐) – Reason for being

18. Komorebi (木漏れ日) – Sunlight filtering through trees

19. Nagareboshi (流れ星) – Shooting star

20. Seiryu (青龍) – Azure dragon

This guide to Japanese fish names offers a range of options from traditional and popular to unique and creative, ensuring that every fish enthusiast can find the perfect name for their aquatic companion. Remember, the name you choose can reflect the personality and beauty of your beloved pet fish.

How To Name Your Fish 

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A sick koi

Choosing the perfect name for your blue companion from the aquatic world can be fun and daunting. If you’re seeking a splash of inspiration, consider names derived from their physical attributes, such as Gill or Finn, reflecting parts of fish anatomy. Look to the specific species of your fish for a name that speaks to its unique identity.

Selecting a name for your fish that captures its spirit might be aided by learning a great deal about its preferences and behavior from watching it in its natural environment.

Expand your horizon by considering your fish’s color, patterns, and unique characteristics. Names that highlight these aspects can add a personal touch and make your fish’s name truly special. 

Navigating the Sea of Names

Embarking on the journey of pet ownership brings joy and the exciting challenge of naming. A large ocean of options is ready to be explored, ranging from traditional names to more quirky ones. Here are some buoys to help you navigate through:

1. Simplicity is Key:

Giving your fish a simple name would help you pronounce it very easily and make it popular amongst fish because everyone would remember its name. Opt for a name that flows off the tongue, preferably with one or two syllables. It should be memorable and easy for you to use comfortably.

2. Seek Far and Wide for Inspiration: 

Your inspiration can come from anywhere – from baby name books to the unique personality traits of your fish. You can search through a number of inspiration sources to find a name that truly captures the distinctiveness and charm of your fish.

Is your fish an eager eater, or does it have a quirky swimming pattern? Naming them after these traits can be both meaningful and fun.

3. Unique Stories Lead to Unique Names: 

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Nemo, the famous clown fish

Think about giving each of your fish a name that reflects its unique personality and experiences. Every fish is more distinctive because of its past.

Has your fish’s arrival into your life been nothing short of a storybook tale? Consider names that reflect this special journey. Names inspired by favorite movies or books, such as Dora, meaning “God’s gift,” or the beloved Nemo, can add a touch of narrative to your fish’s identity.

4. The Charm Factor: 

Let the name reflect the Funniness and playfulness of your aquatic friend. However, don’t feel pressured to follow trends. A name with positive associations in literature or with a personal connection can be just as delightful. By naming your fish something that resonates with you, you can build a closer bond with them and give their name greater significance.

5. The Name Trial: 

Test out your favorite names to see how they feel when called out loud. Feedback from friends and family can be invaluable in gauging the fit of a name. To make sure the name is appropriate, you should also consider how it makes you feel in various situations. 

6. A Collective Brainstorm: 

If you’re stuck in a naming whirlpool, turn to your social circle or dive into online communities and forums for a sea of ideas. Seeking feedback from others might give you great naming solutions and new insights. Collaboration can spark the perfect name.

7. Revitalize Common Names: 

Give a twist to a common name by adding a title or modifying it slightly to refresh its appeal. “Ms. Nemo” can offer a new take on a classic name. A common name could attract personality by taking a distinctive turn, giving your fish a special identity.

8. For the School of Fish:

When naming multiple fish, consider themes, pairings, or group names that reflect their collective identity. Naming your fish after each other or after a common topic can establish a harmonic group dynamic in your aquarium. Drawing inspiration from previous pets can also connect generations of your aquatic family.

Frequently Asked Questions

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koi carps fish

You may find the following frequently asked questions useful when naming your Japanese fish.

What is the best way to name my fish in Japanese?

When choosing a Japanese name for your fish, consider its appearance, personality, and any cultural or personal meaning you would like to share. Take your time to consider your selections and choose a name that best captures the distinct qualities of your fish.

When naming my Japanese fish, are there any particular rules I should go by? 

Although there are no hard and fast guidelines for naming your Japanese fish, you can get ideas from various places, including articles like this one, mythology, literature, nature, and personal encounters. 

Can I give my Japanese fish a name of my own? 

Of course! You can add your individuality and creativity to your Japanese fish’s identity by giving it a distinctive name. The options are unlimited when combining Japanese words, changing already-existing names, or creating brand-new ones. Just make sure the name fits the uniqueness of your fish and speaks to you.

Final Thoughts 

Giving your Japanese fish a name is a chance to honor its grace, elegance, and rich cultural history. Whether you choose a conventional Japanese name rich in meaning or create a creative moniker that expresses your individuality, naming gives your aquatic friend more personality and a deeper sense of connection.

Accept the rich custom of naming fish in Japan, and allow the name you give it to express how much you value both the distinctiveness of your fish and the depth of Japanese culture.

Ian Sterling

Ian Sterling, founder of, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website,, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.

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