As far as I know, there are (at least) three types of non-standard kanji usage now in existence in Japan: ateji, jukujikun, and gikun. There are also nanori, the readings used for personal and geographical names

My question is: does reading 月 as ライト in 夜神月, for example, fall into one of these categories? Aren't nanori, for example, also more or less fixed, as of now, in the range of their readings? Or are nanori only limited by one's imagination and are just a convention that remains open for additions?

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    I don't think there's a special name for it (キラキラネーム is related but not exactly what you're talking about here). I have heard, at least, though, that Death Note specifically uses names that nobody would have to avoid association with real people.
    – Angelos
    Dec 7, 2022 at 13:37
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    Yes, I'm talking about a term on the level of ateji etc. themselves. Thank you for the comment nonetheless, I haven't heard of キラキラネーム before. 勉強になりました
    – Vladimir
    Dec 7, 2022 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Maybe a boring answer: for name reading, there are no rules and legally speaking, they are completely arbitrary (on condition that they sound like names). That is, as long as you use kanjis in the list of allowed ones for names, you can 'set' the reading of your own choosing. In this sense, concepts of ateji etc. do not exactly apply to names. Most キラキラネーム's are mostly considered as ateji, in the sense that it is made by some sort of associations: From the link below: 男 = あだむ(Adam), 本気 = りある(real).


  • That was not boring at all! Also, you confirmed my guess about them being arbitrary. Thank you for you answer
    – Vladimir
    Dec 8, 2022 at 12:56

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