Adopting a dog is no easy feat. There's a lot of planning and preparation that occurs. From picking out a collar, to researching food brands and ingredients, to finding out about breed origins and contacting breeders and shelters, it's all a big process.
But perhaps most importantly, there's the name. This is a name you're going to be saying multiple times a day for what is hopefully a long time to come, at least fifteen years. The good news is that all it takes is a little poking around and making a list of names that capture your attention. Here are 60 names that are popular in Tokyo to get you started!
Tokyo Dog Names in Pop Culture
Hachiko is famous all over Japan, with movies and books being made about him even to this day. There's a statue next to Shibuya Train Station in Tokyo too, and hundreds of people have their photograph taken with him each and every day. Even Hollywood has made a movie about Hachiko, starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen. But why the fandom? When did this dog become so beloved?
It all began with Eizaburo Ueno, an agriculture science professor at Tokyo University. He had always wanted a pure-bred Akita dog, so he spent a long time looking for just the right one. After some time, his students urged him to adopt Hachiko.
Well, Ueno and Hachi, as the students called him, quickly became inseparable. They were best friends, companions, and some even describe Ueno treating Hachi as his own son. And every morning, Hachiko would see his owner off to work in the morning at the train station in central Tokyo, and went to pick him up in the afternoon when he returned from work. That is, until Ueno didn't come back home. In 1925, only two years after Hachi was born, Ueno suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage and died suddenly and unexpectedly while at work.
Poor, heartbroken Hachiko moved in with Ueno's former gardener, but throughout the rest of his ten-year long life, he kept going to the Shibuya Train Station every morning and afternoon, precisely when the train was due to enter the station. He'd sit there, in the spot he'd always sat, and waited in vain for Ueno to return home.
It wasn't until a major Japanese newspaper picked up the story about Hachi in 1932 that he became a major celebrity all over Japan. The Japanese were overwhelmed by the sheer sadness of the story, but also moved by the fact that a dog could love his owner so much.
They all came up with a name for him: "Chuken-Hachiko," or "Hachiko, the faithful dog." And eventually, people from all over the world would visit the dog at the train station, and offer him treats, or sit with him until he left for the day once again, in vain.
He was so beloved, that a statue went up in 1934, with Hachi himself as the guest of honor. He got to see the legacy of faithfulness that he left behind. The following year, Hachi passed away peacefully and alone on the street. He was near the Shibuya train station, having left after Ueno failed to show up for the hundredth time.
Tokyo Dog Name Considerations
When you name a dog, there are a few things to draw inspiration from. There's breed, appearance, personality, preferences, favorite toys, quirks, origin of the breed, and favorite games (frisbee, fetch), to name a few. All of these things can help you think of some witty, charming names. But sometimes, you still need some more inspiration.
And that's when you need to look at yourself, rather than the dog. You're the person that's adopting the dog, perhaps doing the training, and certainly spending time with them. So, ultimately, if for one reason or another thinking about the dog when selecting a name isn't working, think about yourself.
What do you enjoy doing and why? What's your personality like? Will this dog be your sidekick, the Robin to your Batman? Think of the answers to these questions and more, to get an idea of what life with the dog will be like moving forward.
Also, consider things you enjoy, like pop culture, music, and of course, travel. You are reading the Tokyo names guide after all. Read through the name meanings, and jot down anything that captures your attention. You never know, you could find the ideal name right here, right now.