Hibiki

Origin: Japanese

響 (Japanese kanji) Hibiki “sound, echo”

Meaning: Hibiki is a Japanese unisex name (as well as a word) which means “sound, echo” though it’s likely to have other meanings depending on the kanji used. It’s also a surname though whether it has the same meaning as the given I don’t know.

Japanese names are fascinating to me because a name can have a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. In Japan there are three types of characters used. The first is kanji, which are characters originally adopted from Chinese characters but which have a Japanese pronounciation. A single kanjii character can stand for a whole word or concept and some names can be made up of 1, 2, 3, or 4 kanji characters. Because kanji characters can have several different meanings depending on what character is used, a name can have more then one meaning.

But more than just meaning, kanji names also have different pronunciations, so if you read a name written in kanji on paper, you can’t be sure how it’s pronounced; ditto on hearing it, since it can have several possible kanji characters. That’s where hiragana comes in, since it can be used to write out the syllables. Katakana is used for foreign names or words of foreign origin.

 

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