Now have you ever been curious what Tomo, Jun or Satoshi's name means? If you've ever been curious, and I know you've been at one point, then you need to check this blog post specially made by Amanda to discuss what's in the names of the characters in this amazing series!
Also, there's a giveaway at the bottom of the post!
There are many different ways writers choose their character’s names. Sometimes they’re symbolic, and other times they aren’t. The fun thing about having an almost entirely Japanese cast in The Paper Gods series is that I can choose kanji, Japanese characters, with meanings that reflect who that character is and their role in the story. I hope you enjoy this peek into how and why I chose the character names I did for The Paper Gods. ^_^
Katie Greene: Katie popped into my mind several years ago, evolving and changing over time until she found her place in The Paper Gods. I liked the name Katie because it was a pretty but common western name, while sounding different enough in Japan that she couldn’t blend in.
Her last name, Greene, came about because of the first story she appeared in in my head—actually, she started out as a spaceship ensign. *laugh* She wound up with the last name of another character from that story, Jonathan Greene. I also choose Greene because Katie is new at everything—living without her mom, learning how to fit in in Japan, and adapting to a totally new family with her Aunt Diane. At the same time, Katie breathes life into Tomo’s ability to the control the ink. She introduces a sense of newness into his world, and growth.
Yuu Tomohiro (勇智宏): Tomo’s last name isn’t a typical Japanese last name, but Yuu uses the kanji for “courage,” something that Tomo has to draw on to fight the ink and live on his own terms. His first name combines “wisdom” with “vastness.” Not that Tomo is vastly wise, although he’s at the top of his class and shows promise for his entrance exams, but that he strives for his own path through life. He fights the darkness of the ink, not believing the bleak future his nightmares set out for him.
Takahashi Jun (高橋潤): I chose Takahashi for a number of reasons, one being that it’s a very common last name and thought it contradicted Jun’s celebrity kendo status in a nice way. Literally, though, Takahashi means “tall bridge,” and I chose it because he’s an almost unsurpassable rival for Tomo. It will take everything Tomo has to fight against him, to conquer this unsurmountable bridge to the truth. The name “Jun” can mean “benefit,” which is exactly what Jun believes in—that the world will benefit from his abilities as a Kami. It also means “moist,” which makes me thing of a single teardrop, reflected in one of Jun’s last lines in RAIN (on p. 285).
Ishikawa Satoshi (石川智): Ishikawa’s last name was chosen because it’s a very common surname, literally a combination of “stone” and “river,” but I liked that idea that he was at once changing (river) and immovable (stone). His first name means “wisdom,” which makes me chuckle because of all the bad choices he tends to make. But his friendship is vehemently loyal, and in the end he always tends to make decisions from the heart. I also chose a first name kanji that is embedded in Tomo’s name to show the deep connection these best friends have. They need each other.
Tanaka Ichirou (田中一郎): Mainly chosen because Tanaka (lit “middle of the rice field”) is a really common last name. Ichirou means “first son,” and Tan-kun is the first son in his family, since he only has his older sister Keiko. I wanted a really straight forward Japanese name because in many ways, Tanaka is a typical Japanese teen. He has his own interests and quirks, but he’s moving through life pretty steadily and the lack of drama is a nice change for Katie. ^_^
Watabe Yuki (渡部雪): While Yuki’s last name is chosen because of its common usage, her first name was chosen carefully. Yuki literally means “snow,” and it reflects Yuki’s genuine spirit. She’s a true friend to Katie, trustworthy and loyal until the end. She has a way of calming a situation down for Katie, blanketing over her worries with the care of a best friend’s heart.
Now how is that? Personally I love Yuki's name! Whose name is your favorite and why?
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June 24 - Ohana Reads
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June 28 - Platypire
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