Noriko

Noriko Awaya

Origin: Japanese
Gender: Female
Meaning: Several, including "Ceremonial Child" and "Benevolent Child"
Pronunciation: NO-REE-KO
Other Forms: Nori

Does anyone else just love names of certain origins better than the rest? For me, those names are Japanese (and Irish and French!). Today's name is the lovely Noriko.

Like with most Asian names, Noriko can have many meanings depending on what characters you use to write it. Most commonly it is written using 典 (nori), meaning "rule, ceremony" or 紀 (nori), "chronicle", combined with 子 (ko), which means "child". To put it in a more poetic fashion would be to say it means "ceremonial child" or "benevolent child" or "noble child". In Japan, it entered the top ten twice, once in 1928 and the other in 1956.

In the 1930's, Noriko Awaya, born Nori, was a famous singer of ryūkōka (popular music), and was called the "Queen of Blues". In Japan, blues are different to ours, which originated in the Deep South; instead it used to refer to slow sad songs, called kayōkyoku. 

Other namesakes include Noriko Arai, a Paralympic athlete from Japan who won gold and silver in her first two games in 1996 and 2000, actress and singer Noriko Watanabe, and one of the protagonists of the manga/novel/film Battle Royale. Today, Noriko seems to be considered old-fashioned in Japan.

What do you think of Noriko?

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