Baby Name: Tenkara

On January 19, 2013
Comments (9)

No, Margaret and I are not about to have a baby. And, no, we’re not talking about baby names yet either. Jason Klass of just shared this post of someone thinking of naming their kid “tenkara” via twitter. After tenkara license plates, and tenkara tattoos, I think naming a baby after tenkara is a logical next thing to happen.
I personally think it is a pretty cool name (keep in mind that I am biased, of course). If you look at it, it does have a cool ring to it and can be well pronounced in just about any language, which is one criteria I told Margaret we should use in naming our kids. It also means “from heaven”, so no bad meaning in Japanese or other languages I am familiar with. And, when someone asked the parents or the kid how they arrived at that name, there would be a pretty cool story to tell too plus a lot of free marketing . Who knows, the kid may even grow up to love tenkara fishing.
They are wondering if it could be a good boy’s name. I think if you live in Japan it could certainly be a good boy’s name. Based on some of the comments, and for an American family with no Japanese background, I can see how tenkara could be used as a girl’s name. I suppose it’s just one of those good unisex names if. One of my close friends who is from Japan is named Chikara, which means power; it sounds kind of similar and it is a nice name.
Jason’s wife put a good comment in the thread, saying, “I’m amazed he hasn’t asked me if he could name our next child Tenkara yet :)”. To be honest I can’t say I haven’t thought of naming a future kid tenkara, though I probably haven’t said it out loud. Since for me tenkara is also a business, I may have to separate it from something so personal. For anyone else, I’d say why not?
What do you all think?

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9 Responses to Baby Name: Tenkara

  1. No no no no no no no.

    Tenkara on license plates, cool.
    Tenkara tattoos, cool.
    Kids named Tenkara…ugh.

    Would be a good name for a dog though.

  2. Lynn David says:

    About 50-50 on the baby names website. Seems those who who are against it are adamantly so. I am not so certain that I agree with their reasonings though. Having a name like Tenkara wouldn’t be much different than my German “Fischer” ancestors – except that the name is associated with my own heritage. And that has always has something to do with names.

    Most of those for, prefer it as a girl’s name and I have to agree. Without the ten-, then -kara is a girl’s name.

  3. Jeremy says:

    What if Tenkara meant from the sky from the Trout’s point of veiw?

  4. It wouldn’t be my first choice of name but given the meaning, it’s kind of cool. And I like names that end in “a”. But I think it’s a feminine sounding name and should only be for a girl. And “Kara” would be a good nickname. I can kind of see it. But I prefer two-syllable names.

  5. David says:

    I would think about it from the child’s point of view. What will playground kids do with the name? How’s it going to look on a resume? Google 25 rules of baby naming. It’s on the thestir.cafemom web site. Good advice, I think.

    Here in the USA we don’t, yet, have a government telling us what we can’t name our children. I did not know that such a thing exist till a couple of weeks ago when I read an on-line post about a law suit in Iceland or Norway to be permitted to name their child with a name not on the approved list. Eight or 10 countries do have a list. And yes Japan is one of those countries with a list.

    otoh – In Japan there are of course several people with Tenkara-some-thing as a nick name. Tenkara king, Tenkara demon, Tenkara raider and so on. And we have our own TenkaraBum here. But not as a proper name. I would avoid the Frank Zappa school of baby names. ; – )

  6. Jim Lionberger says:

    Certainly beats naming a child ” High Stick Nymphing” or “Drag Free Drift”. Maybe you should go with “Kebari?

  7. Jeremy says:

    When I think of the ancient fisherman describing Tenkara I think in a very simple practical way. With a straight forward to the point style. Fly first making a very natural presentation just like the bug touching the water for a drink or to drop off some eggs, and maybe getting trapped in the surface tension and struggling to escape. Mimicking this with the long rod and short line, so effectively. Kebari manipulated to trick fish into thinking the bug dropped onto the water from the sky. Could be wrong, I probably am. But the mechanics of how Tenkara works makes me think fish’s point of veiw.
    What rhymes with Tenkara is a good way to look at it. I say it sounds like a girls name too. I like Kara better. Hope the kid likes fishing in the Mountain Stream way.

  8. JDSmith says:

    I say no. Not for an American kid. I don’t think a name should have to be explained to others over and over and over throughout ones life. I think Tenkara would be one of those names. I would have to agree with Mike on this one that it would be a good name for a dog. I can see it now “This is our daughter Tenkara and our son Level Line”.


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