75 Samurai Names Inspired by Samurai Warriors
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The term Samurai refers to the hereditary, military title of the nobility caste in Japan. The title samurai was conferred in Japanese culture from the 12th century to its abolition in 1876. While the term initially applied to only those of aristocratic birth, it eventually meant all members of the warrior class.
The samurai were the ruling social caste of the Edo period (1603-1867) and were overseen by individual daimyos, or feudal, lords. They were known for their ability to use swords, bows and arrows, and spears.
Related: A Complete List of Japanese Last Names and Meanings
A samurai was supposed to live his life according to the ethical code of bushido which was strongly influenced by Confucian concepts. These concepts included loyalty, self-discipline, respect, and ethical behavior.
Many of the concepts held by the samurai are also present in martial arts, and many practiced Zen Buddhism.
History of Japanese Samurai Warriors
Because of the samurai’s rich presence in Japanese history, it is no wonder there is a strong interest in famous samurai and samurai names. Of course, many of these are Japanese names, but you will see a few boy names and girl names on the list inspired by other cultures and languages.
There are many noble samurai warrior names to choose from if you wish to honor this vital period of Japanese history. Since samurai were symbols of loyalty and honor, what better way to honor your little one than by presenting them with a solid and symbolic name?
Below are 75 samurai baby names to provide some inspiration!
Boy Samurai Names and Origins
These male samurai names are noble and fierce. Choose a samurai name fit for your baby boy.
Boy Samurai Names from A-M
- Adam - Hebrew. The ground. Earth. William Adams was an English shipbuilder for the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century. He became the first English Samurai.
- Akechi - Japanese. Shining exceptional. A samurai and general in the 16th c.
- Asakura - Japanese. Yoshikage Asakura was a noble leader in the 16th c. Known for being politically adept.
- Ashikaga - Japanese. The Ashikaga was a dominant samurai clan.
- Date - Japanese. A family name. Pronounced (dah-taye). Date Masamune was an influential samurai leader in the 17th century and has been featured widely in literature and film.
- Edward - English. Wealth. Fortune. Edward Schnell was a Dutch arms dealer who married a Japanese woman and became a Japanese landowner in Yokohama.
- Esumi - Japanese. Creek, inlet, bay.
- Eto - Japanese. River wisteria. Descendants of the Taira clan.
- Fujii - Japanese. Wisteria well. The Fujiwara clan was a mighty warrior clan.
- Henry - German. Ruler of the home. Henry Schnell and his brother were Dutch arms dealers who adopted Japanese culture and became unofficial samurai.
- Imagawa - Japanese. Imagawa Hojo is an anime character from the popular series Naruto. His name means ‘Stream of Honorable Mentions.’ The Naruto series is the story of a young ninja who seeks to become his village leader.
- Ken - Japanese. Strong. Healthy. Ken Watanabe is a Japanese actor who portrayed the character Katsumoto in the film The Last Samurai.
- Kenji - Japanese. Intelligent second son. Strong and vigorous.
- Kobe - Japanese. Literal translation “god” “door” Kobe is also found in Swahili, meaning tortoise or turtle. Kobe is a region in Japan.
- Kusunoki - Japanese. Camphor Tree. A Japanese surname. Kusunoki Masashige was a samurai in the Kamakura period known to be the ideal of samurai loyalty.
- Minamoto - Japanese. Minamoto Yoritomo was the first shogun or leader of the Kamakura region in the 12th c.
- Miyamoto - Japanese. Miyamoto Musashi was a samurai who lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. He was also known as a philosopher and writer.
- Moriyama - Japanese. Forest mountain. Protecting mountain.
Boy Samurai Names from N-Z
- Nagahide - Japanese. One tree. Nagahide Nawa was a senior retainer for the Oda clan and was considered one of the Four Guardian Kings.
- Naru - Japanese. Someone charming and wholesome.
- Nobunari - Japanese. Nobunari Oda is the grandson of Oda Nobunaga. He is a famous figure skater.
- Nobuhisa- Japanese. Outside warrior. Civilian warrior. Nobuhisa Shimazu is the current head of the Shimazu family and is now the head of a tourism company.
- Oda - Japanese. Oda Nobunaga was considered one of the first great unifiers of Japan. He was a daimyo in the 16th c.
- Rinoie - Korean. Rinoie Motohiro was a Korean-born child who was taken to Japan at a very young and raised there. He became a shogun and a Buddhist monk.
- Saigo - Japanese. Saigo Takamori is known as the “last samurai” He lived from 1828 to 1877.
- Samurai - Japanese. Warrior. Noble.
- Sanada - Japanese. Genuine. Sanada Yukimura was a member of the samurai class who lived during the Sengoku period and is revered as a hero.
- Shimazu - Japanese. A samurai clan. Shimazu Yoshihiro helped with the unification of Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest island.
- Tokugawa - Japanese. Family peace or ease. Tokugawa Ieyasu was a shogun, a commander in chief, in the 16th c.
- Toyotomi - Japanese. Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a famous warrior from the 16th c. He ruled during the late Sengoku period. He is considered the second great unifier of Japan.
- Tsunenari- Japanese. The head of the Tokugawa family, Tsunenari Tokugawa, works for a logistics company.
- Uesugi - Japanese. Uesugi Kenshin was a daimyo who ruled the Echigo Province. He was known as the “Dragon of Echigo.”
- William - German. Resolute protector. Strong. William Adams was the first Englishman to visit Japan. Adams became a shipbuilder for Tokugawa Ieyasu in the early 17th c. and subsequently was made a samurai.
- Yasuke - Japanese. Yasuke was one of the first Africans to come to Japan and the first non-Japanese person to become a samurai. He was originally brought to Japan as a slave in 1579 by Italian missionaries and eventually became Oda Nobunaga’s bodyguard.
- Yasumi - Japanese. Yasumi Naomasa was a military commander in the 16th century.
- Yoshitsune - Japanese. Righteous. To pass through. The surname of the famous warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
Girl Samurai Names and Origins
Samurai warriors were not only men. Onna-musha were a powerful group of female Japanese warriors and female samurai who fought in battle alongside samurai men. One of the first female samurai warriors was Empress Jingu who led a famous conquest attempt of Korea all the way back in 200 AD.
Honor the tradition of women warriors in Japan and female samurai by choosing a samurai name for your little girl.
Girl Samurai Names A-M
- Akai - Japanese. (a) meaning "love, affection" and (kai) meaning "sea; ocean." Akai Teruko was a female warrior who was still commanding soldiers at the age of 70 in the late 16th century.
- Beatrix - Latin/Dutch. She who brings happiness. Beatrix is the first name of Uma Thurman’s iconic samurai-style character in Kill Bill.
- Elektra - Greek. Amber. Shining. Incandescent. Elektra Natchios is a Marvel character who studied martial arts in Japan.
- Hikaru - Japanese. Light. Radiance. She is the sister of Raiko in the series Otogi Zoshi. She is skilled with a bow and arrow.
- Ito - Japanese. Duke Ito Hirobumi was the first Prime Minister of Japan. A samurai by birth even though the Japanese no longer practiced the order.
- Jingu - Chinese. Cute. Smart. Empress Jingu lived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD and became empress of Japan in 200 AD when her husband died. She was known as a fierce warrior.
- Jinx - American. Jinx is a female Ninja from the American franchise G. I. Joe.
- Jiyu - Japanese. Freedom. Jiyu Nanohana is an anime character who is a descendant of the samurai Jubei Yagyu.
- Kaihime - Japanese. Lady, princess. A Japanese onna-mushu in the 16th century.
- Komatsuhime - Japanese. She was a warrior during the late Sengoku period and is known as having been very beautiful.
- Machi - Japanese. True happiness. Machi is a character from the manga Blade of the Immortal. She was born into a samurai family and was deft with a sword.
- Masako - Japanese. Truth, Elegant, Prosper, Child. This was the name of Minamoto Yoritomo’s wife, who ruled as a regent after his death in 1199. Her clan, the Hojo, held power from 1199 to 1333.
- Megohime - Japanese. (mego) meaning "love, affection" combined with (hime) meaning "princess". First name of Date Masamune’s wife. Believed to have been a female diplomat at the time.
- Miho - Japanese. Beautiful, Keep, Hold. A character from the graphic novel series Sin City. She’s a ninja, assassin, and overall tough girl.
Girl Samurai Names N-Z
- Nakano - Japanese. Central field. Nakano Takeko was a female warrior who lived during the Edo period.
- Oichi - Japanese. A heroine from the anime video game series Samurai Warriors.
- Oishi - Japanese name meaning "large rock." The Oishi shrine is dedicated to forty-seven samurai of the Asano feudal lord.
- Onna - Japanese. Onna-musha is a term that applies to female warriors in Japan who fought alongside samurai.
- O-ren - Japanese. Ren can mean lotus, love, or romance. O-ren is the fictional character that Lucy Liu plays in Kill Bill.
- Oyuki - Japanese. Big snow. Oyuki is a character from the series Urusei Yatsura.
- Raiko - Japanese. Raiko is an alternate spelling of Reiko which means beautiful, lovely child. Raiko is a character from the series Utawarerumono.
- Ran - Japanese. Orchid. Ran is an anime character in Carried by the Wind, who is fierce with a sword.
- Taira - Japanese. Peace. A prominent clan in Japanese history. The name stems from Taira no Miyako, meaning Capital of Peace, and is an old name for the city of Kyoto.
- Takeda - Japanese. Bamboo rice paddy. The Takeda clan are descendants of Minamoto Yoshimitsu. Takeda Shingen was a powerful daimyo in the 16th century.
- Tsunade - Japanese. Tsunade is a character from the series Naruto. She is a warrior and extremely strong.
- Tomoe - Japanese. Earth. Death. Blessing. Tomoe Gozen was a female Japanese samurai who fought during the Genpei War in the 14th c. She was considered a powerful fighter.
- Torii - Japanese. A Torii is a gate to Japanese Shinto shrines. It literally translates to bird perch or bird abode.
- Vernita - Latin. Spring. Green. Vernita is Vivica A. Fox’s character in the samurai-ninja-Esque classic Kill Bill.
- Yamakawa - Japanese. Mountain river. Yamakawa Futuba was a Japanese educator trained as a fighter and took part in defending Tsuruga Castle during the Boshin War.
Gender-Neutral Samurai Names and Origins
- Akira - bright, clear, ideal. Akira is a character from the anime Samurai Deeper Kyo.
- Hayate - Japanese. The sudden sound of the wind. Hayate is a character from the anime video game series Street Fighter EX2.
- Hiro- Japanese. Generosity. Hiro Ando is a Japanese anime artist who creates samurai-inspired artwork.
- Ibuki - Japanese. Breath.
- Izumi - Japanese. Fountain. Spring. Truth. Izumi Samurai is a character from the game Valiant Force.
- Katsumi - Japanese. To excel or succeed.
- Mayumi - Japanese. (ma) meaning "real, genuine" combined with (yumi) meaning "archery bow" or (yu) meaning "reason, cause" and (mi) meaning "beautiful".
- Midori - Japanese. Green. Midori is an original anime story about war and magic.
- Tsukasa - Japanese. Chief or manager. Ibaraki Tsukasa was a samurai in the Edo period.
- Seiko - Japanese. Force and truth. Seiko Samurai watches are a brand from Japan. Kintaro Hattori started the Seiko brand and was the first Japanese watchmaker.
For more baby name inspiration check out these popular baby name lists:
- Top 1000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names in the U.S.
- Top 1000 Most Popular Baby Boy Names in the U.S.
- The 100 Coolest Baby Names in the World
Considering one of these samurai names? Pin it to save it for later:
- Culture Tour. (2022). Imagawa - Culture Tour. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://culturetour.net/japanese-last-names/imagawa1010
- Japanese Names. (2021). Nobunari - Japanese Names. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://japanese-names.info/first-name/nobunari/
- Mai-ko.com. (2021, February 10). Famous Samurais of Japan - The Path of the Warrior. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://mai-ko.com/travel/japanese-history/samurai/famous-samurais-of-japan/
- Names.org. (2022). Naru - Name's Meaning of Naru. Retrieved May 7, 2023, from https://www.names.org/n/naru/about
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About L. Elizabeth Forry
L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with 15 years of classroom experience.