Interesting article. As a long time student of Japanese I am often asked by those of Japanese ancestry about the meanings of their first or middle names given to them by their parents or grandparents. In many cases the parents or grandparents were not literate in kanji, so had family elders, Buddhist priests, teachers, etc name their children. While katakana and hiragana are phonetic and don't have meanings per se as kanji do, there are trends in names (fewer girls' names ending in "ko" over that past few years) so I am able to provide some context on that. Kanji, literally Chinese characters, pack a lot of meaning so I have spent many an hour discussing the meaning of a person's name.
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