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I know that some Japanese words made of two kanjis can contain both on'yomi and kun'yomi, however, is that was also true for someone's first name?

For example, I have seen the name 雪花 or 雪華 read as 「Setsuka」, with both kanjis being on'yomi. However, would it be possible to read 雪花 or 雪華 as 「Yukika」 with 雪 being kun'yomi and 花 being on'yomi to mean "Snow flower"?

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@ishikun's answer is not completely correct. The name does not have to be a valid reading of the kanji.

As I talk about here, names and kanji are allowed to go together basically in any way you want. So yes, 雪花・雪華 could be read as either 「Setsuka」or 「Yukika」. Or it could be something completely random like 「Megumi」 or 「Ai」. That's why I never assume I can read someone's name.

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Strictly speaking, you can choose any reading for any kanji. (The only rule is that the reading has to be in hiragana. Well, and the rule that there are certain names or kanji that are off limits, like あくま.)

Typically, there is a loose connection between the kanji and the reading, usually (part of) an on'yomi or a kun'yomi.

For example,

  • 東海子【とみこ】
    と from 東
    み from 海 う

  • 都壬子【とみこ】
    み from 壬 ずのえ

I think this is more true for female than for male names, though. Male given names with more than one kanji are often read with the full on'yomi, e.g. 勇太郎【ゆうたろう】, 昭吉【しょうきち】, 快【かい】. There are also names with kun'yomi, e.g. 理【さとし】, 正明【まさあき】.

But, there are certainly names containing kanji with both on'yomi and kun'yomi, e.g. 秀輝【ひでき】, 亮介【りょうすけ】. (すけ is a common suffix for names, derived from kun'yomi たすける with quite a broad range of common possible kanji: 介・助・輔・佑・亮.)

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Apparently you aren't the first one to come up with this name! :)

You can use whatever reading of the kanji that you want, as long as it is a valid reading of the kanji itself, that's why we have キラキラネームs like 光中{ぴかちゅう}。

If it is someone's name though, you should probably read it in the way that they read it though...

  • Thank you for your answer! I wasn't referring to anyone in particular, I just wanted to make sure that "Yukika" would be a valid way to spell those two kanjis together. – user18927 Dec 2 '16 at 19:55
  • I added a link! Apparently other people have used this name before, so you're good to go :). – ishikun Dec 2 '16 at 20:20
  • That's great! Thank you so much for your help! :) – user18927 Dec 2 '16 at 20:35
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    "as long as it is a valid reading of the kanji itself" - Not true. Japanese civil laws allow any kanji used in a name to be read ANY way you want. – l'électeur Dec 3 '16 at 1:23
  • @l'électeur 力{スーパーマン}とかもアリですか?! – ishikun Dec 4 '16 at 4:34

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