I am hoping that there may be some particular kanji and/or sounds used in determining if a persons given name is male or female.

  • For a particular name, namegen.jp/yomikata can give you statistics on whether the name is more probably male or female. Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 15:03

4 Answers 4


There are a number of common suffixes you can use to try to guess. Here is an incomplete list of common suffixes which are a pretty safe bet:


  • ko
  • mi
  • ka 花・華
  • e 江・恵
  • na 奈・菜
  • no
  • ri


  • ta
  • suke 介・助・祐
  • o 男・夫・雄・生
  • ya 哉・也
  • kichi
  • hiko
  • nobu

Also, "girly" kanji—like 愛 "love", 幸 "happiness", 華 "flower", 美 "beauty" etc.—or hiragana will usually indicate a girl's name.

Similarly, "boyish" kanji—like 正 "righteous", 健 "health/strength", 勝 "win", 信 "honesty", etc., will usually indicate a boy's name.

  • 7
    It should be added that girls names among the elderly today, born before the war, often is written with katakana, whereas men of that age usually used kanji. The reason for this is that katakana was the default kana in that time, whereas now hiragana has the default role and katakana special uses.
    – a20
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 8:07
  • 6
    @bjorn Right, there are many more hints I haven't mentioned. However, if you see an all-katakana name, "probably a woman born before the war" is maybe not a good rule of thumb.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Earthliŋ Is it okay to guess that many fiction names will trascend these patterns? For instance, I remember character named 忍(shinobu) which was a girl Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 15:57
  • 4
    @l'électeur I really think it's ridiculous to downvote this answer, because you found exceptions to a rule of thumb ("a pretty safe bet") from people living in the 8th century or earlier... (Of course everyone's free to vote however they like.)
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 10:09
  • 3
    @FelipeOliveira 'Shinobu' 忍 does not have the -nobu ending 信.
    – Angelos
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 10:18

There are many examples where it can be absolutely impossible.

Here are two examples:

雅 - Masa (male name) or Miyabi (female name)

幸 - Kou (male name) or Miyuki (female name)

  • 3
    Makoto is an androgynous name not just in writing but in speech.
    – Casey
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 18:11

Outside of the name indicating itself whether it's male or female, I find the easiest way to work it out is doing a Google Image search for that name.

However, I'd advise caution about doing this at work. I have a recollection that sometimes the top results for female names involve women who aren't naked, but aren't wearing much more than their underwear. For an example, try doing "Hitomi" in romaji, even with safe search on.

Some online dictionaries indicate whether a name is male or female, such as jisho.org, though you have to tell it you're specifically after names.


There is a webservice for determine the gender of a name.



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