Name of Nintendo characters in Japanese - Mario and Smash

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I think everyone knows that games change from one region to another. In Japan the original names of characters and places can be totally different from the American version we know. In this article, we are going to talk about the names of Nintendo characters in Japanese.

The idea for this article started when I saw the video of my friend Rodrigo Coelho who have a YouTube channel about Nintendo. If you want to see the video, I'll leave it below, he's really nice!

YouTube video

What does the name "Nintendo" mean?

In Japanese, “Nintendo” is written with the following characters [任天堂] which can be literally translated as “Leave your fate in the hands of Heaven or Heaven".

This is because the character [天] means heaven and paradise, while [堂] means sanctuary or temple, together [天堂] convey a total sense of paradise. The first ideogram [任] conveys the idea of responsibility and obligation, making us see how Sonic [任せる] which means, I leave it in your hands or leave something for someone else to do.

Some claim that the name Nintendo was chosen because of the proverb Unwoten'nimakaseru [運を天に任せる] which means leaving luck to the heavens or accepting the fate that has been imposed on you.

Others claim that Kanji [任] was chosen because of the Hanafuda that was initially played by mobsters. Words like responsibility are part of the Yakuza ideas. Not to mention that the word paradise has everything to do with the engravings of the game Hanafuda that gave rise to Nintendo.

Names of Nintendo characters in Japanese - mario and smash
Nintendo Switch in hands 2017!

Nintendo games name in Japanese

The names of Nintendo games are also often changed. For example, The legend of Zelda in Japanese becomes Zeruda no Densetsu [ゼルダの伝説]. The classic Pokemon in Japan is called Poketto monsutaa [ポケットモンスター] or literally Pocket Monster.

The Mundo da Luz, story mode Super Smash Bros Ultimate in the Japanese language it is called Tomoshibi no Hoshi (灯火の星) which, if written backwards using the Chinese reading, becomes the name of the kirby game in Japanese: Hoshi no kaabyi [星のカービィ].

Name of Nintendo characters in Japan in Japanese

The NES and SNES consoles in Japan are called Famikon [ファミコン] an abbreviation for Family Computer or Super Family Computer. The names of characters in the Zelda and Metroid series are usually just a transliteration of English.

Most of the time Japanese names are written as a transliteration of English into katakana, but there are exceptions. Franchises such as Fire Emblem, Mother, and other characters that appear in Smash Bros. will be listed in the article.

We wrote an article speaking the names of Pokemons in Japanese. If you want to read just click here. 

Name of Nintendo characters in Japanese - SUPER MARIO

If you don't remember the names of the American characters on the list, just watch Rodrigo Coelho's video at the beginning of the article.

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
JapaneseRomanizationAmerican
ルイージRuījiLuigi
チコboyLuma
マリオMarioMario
バトラーBatorāPolari
ピーチ姫Pīchi HimePrincess Peach
マンタロウMantarōRay
ロゼッタRozettaRosalina
ボムテレサBomu TeresaBomb Boo
ジュゲムJugemuLakitu
キラーKirāBullet Bill
ポイハナPoihanaCataquack
プクプクPukupukuCheep Cheep
タコボーTakobōElectrogoomba
アナゴンAnagonGringil
カメックKamekkuKamek
ノコノコNokonokoKoopa Troopa
パタパタpawKoopa Paratroopa
クワカブトKuwakabutoMandibug
ミニメカクッパMini Meka KuppaMecha-Bowser
パックンフラワーPakkun FurawāPiranha Plant
トゲトゲパックンTogetoge PakkunPiranha Plant
ココサンボKoko SanboPokey
カボクリボーKabo KuribōPumpkinhead Goomba
ドッスンDossunThwomp
トゲベーゴマンToge BēgomanTopman
オニマスドンOnimasudonTox Box
砂風くんSuna Kaze-kuntweeter
ウニゾーUnizōUrchin
ハナチャンHana-chanWiggler
カチコチキングKachikochi KingBaron Brrr
ポルタPorutaBouldergeist
クッパKuppaBowser
クッパJr.Kuppa Jr.Bowser Jr.
クワカブトキングKuwakabuto KinguBugaboom

The article is still halfway through, but we recommend also reading:

Nintendo Character Name – Super SMASH BROS in Japanese

Nothing better than using the character names Super Smash Bros to see the differences in Nintendo's character names in Japanese.

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
AmericanJapaneseRomanization
Marioマリオmario
Nintendo Switchドンキーコングdonkiikongu
Linkリンクrinku
Samusサムスsamusu
Yoshiヨッシーyosshii
Kirbyカービィkaabixi
Foxフォックスfokkusu
Pikachuピカチュウpikachuu
Luigiルイージriiiji
Nessネスnesu
Captain Falconキャプテン・ファルコンkyaputen・farukon
Jigglypuffプリンpurin
Peachピーチpiichi
Bowserクッパcup
Ice Climbersアイスクライマーaisukuraimaa
Sheikシークshiiku
Zeldaゼルダzeruda
Dr. Marioドクターマリオdokutaa mario
Pichuピチューpee
falconファルコfaruko
Marthマルスmarusu
Young Linkこどもリンクkodomo rinku
Ganondorfガノンドロフganondorofu
Mewtwoミュウツーmyuutsuu
Mr. Game & WatchMr.ゲームウォッチgeemuwocchi
Meta Knightメタナイトmeta naito
Pitピットpitto
Zero Suit Samusゼロスーツサムスzero suit samus
Warioワリオwario
Snakeスネークsuneeku
Ikeアイクaiku
Diddy Kongディディーコングdidiikongu
Lucasリュカryuka
Sonicソニックsonikku
King Dededeデデデdedede
Olimarピクミンオリマーpikuminorimaa
Lucarioルカリオrukario
ROBロボットrobotto
Toon Linkトゥーンリンクtuunrinku
Wolfウルフurufu
Villagerむらびとmurabito
Mega Manロックマンrokkuman
Wii Fit TrainerWiiFitトレーナーWiifit toreena
Rosalina & Lumaロゼッタチコrozettachiko
Little Macリトル・マックritoru makku
Greninjaゲッコウガgekkouga
Palutenaパルテナparutena
Robinルフレrumble
Shulkシュルクshuruku
Bowser Jr.クッパkuppa Jr.
Duck Huntダックハントdakkuhanto
Corrinカムイkamui
Inklingインクリングinkingu
Ridleyリドリーridorii
King K. Rollキングクルールkingukuruuru
Isabelleしずえshizue
incinerateガオガエンgaogaen

What do you think of Nintendo's Japanese character names? Did you expect these radical changes? Hope you enjoyed the article. If you liked it share and leave your comments.

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