Genji is a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • gen 元 “beginning; origin” + ji  “two” (元二);
  • gen  “beginning; origin” + ji  “newborn babe; child; young of animals” (元児);
  • gen  “beginning; origin” + ji  “mercy” (元慈);
  • gen 元 “beginning; origin” + ji 翔 “soar; fly” (元翔);
  • gen  “beginning; origin” + ji 治 “govern; regulate; administer” (元治);
  • gen  “source; origin” + ji  “two” (源二);
  • gen 源 “source; origin” + ji  “next; second; following; sequence” (源次);
  • gen  “mysterious; occultness” + ji  “two” (玄二);
  • gen  “mysterious; occultness” + ji  “next; second; following; sequence” (玄次);

Written in hiragana it’s げんじ. Genji is also a Japanese surname written with the kanji gen 源 “source; origin” + ji 氏 “family; clan; family name; surname”or Genji 元治 “beginning; origin + govern; regulate; administer”

Genji is also the name of an era in Japanese history which only spanned a year (1864-65) as well as another name for the Minamoto clan, given to members of the imperial family who were removed from the line of succession. Probably the most famous association with the name is the protaganist of The Tale of Genji, written in the 11th century by Murasaki Shikibu (aka Lady Murasaki), the penname of a Japanese court lady. Genji is the protaganist’s last name while Hikaru (meaning “shining”) is a nickname in reference to his handsome appearance; his real name is never given.

Origin: Japanese



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