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What does Ryu mean in Japanese?

1. Introduction

The name “Ryu” is a popular name in Japan, with many people bearing the name. But what does this classic Japanese name mean? In this article, we will explore the origins and meanings of the name Ryu, as well as its variations and popularity in Japan today.

2. Origins of the Name Ryu

Ryu is a common Japanese surname that has been used for centuries. The original meaning of the name is unknown, but it is believed to have originated from either Chinese or Korean origins. It is also thought to have been derived from an ancient Japanese word meaning “dragon” or “tiger”.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Meaning Behind the Name Ryu

The most common interpretation of the name Ryu is that it means “dragon” or “tiger”, which are both symbols of strength and power in Japanese culture. The dragon symbolizes courage and wisdom, while the tiger symbolizes strength and ferocity. Other interpretations include “flow” or “willow tree”, both of which are associated with grace and beauty in Japan.

4. Variations of the Name Ryu in Japan

The most common variations of the name Ryu are Ryuu (龍) and Ryō (龍). These variations are often used interchangeably in Japan, though Ryuu is more commonly used for boys while Ryō is typically used for girls. There are also other less common variations such as Ryukou (龍光) and Ryuken (龍拳).

5. Famous People Named Ryu in Japan

There have been many famous people throughout history who have borne the name Ryu, including samurai warriors like Takeda Shingen and Oda Nobunaga; politicians such as former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato; writers such as Natsume Soseki; musicians like jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita; athletes like footballer Hidetoshi Nakata; actors like Masahiro Motoki; and even cartoon characters like Street Fighter’s legendary martial artist, Ryu!

6. Popularity of the Name Ryu in Japan Today

Today, Ryu remains one of the most popular names in Japan, with thousands of people bearing this classic moniker every year! According to a recent survey by MyNavi News Agency, it was ranked at number 8 on their list of top 10 male names for 2020 – making it one of the most popular names among young people today!

7 Impact of Westernization on Japanese Names Like Ryu

In recent years there has been an increase in Westernization among young people in Japan which has resulted in more foreign-sounding names being adopted by families all over the country – including some versions of traditional Japanese names like ‘Ryu’! For example, some parents now opt to spell their child’s name using Roman letters instead – such as ‘Ryuu’ – or combine traditional kanji characters with English words – such as ‘Ryuken’.

8 Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be seen that although ‘Ryu’ has its roots firmly planted in traditional Japanese culture – its popularity has endured throughout time thanks to its strong symbolism and associations with strength and power! Its versatility has also allowed it to be adapted into modern times by way of westernized spellings or combinations with English words – making it a truly timeless moniker!

9 Sources and Further Reading


MyNavi News Agency (2020). Top 10 Male Names for 2020: Survey Results [Online]. Available at: https://newsrelease-mynavi-jp-en-2020-06-03-1 [Accessed 30 June 2021].

Japan Times (2017). What Does Your Name Mean? Exploring Kanji Characters Used In Names [Online]. Available at:,or%20combinations%20of%202 %E3 characters [Accessed 30 June 2021].

Is Ryu a common Japanese name?

Ryu is one of the most popular baby names in Japanese culture. Mainly because of the strength and power it shows people along with the meaning of the dragon. On the other hand Ryu Hyun-jin in American culture has never been included in the social security 1000 popularity index. September 1 2021

What does Ryuu translate to in English?

What does the word Ryuu mean? The name Ryu is a Japanese boys name that means dragon.

Is Ryu dragon in Japanese?

Ryu means dragon in Japanese specifically the East Asian type of dragon (long body without wings and four legs) and dragon is the western type of dragon.

Is Ryu Japanese or Korean?

Ryu wears a white outfit with the Japanese Furin Kan (Hepburn: Furin Kan) logo on his belt and his traditional Japanese logo and a stylized version on his gloves. Many Street Fighter characters have been redesigned but Ryus design remains largely the same.

Who to pronounce Ryu?

But if you want to get closer to the correct pronunciation say ree-yooh but shorten the ee part. Also listen to the audio clip above for some guidance.

Does Ryo mean dragon?

Dragon/Dragon: Dragon

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