Prince of Tennis Character Names

I got a bit annoyed at westernisation of Japanese names in Prince of Tennis. I’ve always prefered the Romaji as pronounciation guide to haphazard approximation of their English spellings, like adding unnecessary ‘h’, dropping ‘u’, to contracting ‘oo’ to ‘o’, etc.

So, to save myself some future searching around, I’ve decided to list character names by kanji, hiragana (which I can read and translate to romaji) and romaji, and maybe meanings of the kanji too. From the Kanji names, you could pretty much figure out how the names can be contracted to give them ‘nicknames’. Such as Momoshiro, consists of two characters, momo and shiro. Momo translates to peach. Shiro, some have translated to city. I need to check the kanji, but I remembered Tsukishiro (CCS’s Yukito’s surname) was translated as tsuki-moon and shiro-castle.

I’ll be updating this as and when available. If you find any error or have anything information to add to this page, please leave a comment. Thank you.

Prince of Tennis Characters List

Kanji: 青春 学園
Romaji: Seishun Gakuen


Kanji: 越前 リョーマ
Hiragana: えちぜん リョーマ
Romaji: Echizen Ryouma
越前 – together is read is “echizen”. But individual kanji is read as koshi-mae. Hence, Shitenhouji’s Kintarou calling him Koshimae.
越 – koshi means “surpass” or “exceed”
前 – mae / zen / sen means “in front” or “before”
リョーマ – is written in katakana, which is usually used for foreign words.  Four characters are ri-yo-(dash)-ma. Ri with yo subscript changes to ryo. The long dash (ー) is used to elongate vowel in katakana. It has no meaning.


Kanji: 手塚 国光
Hiragana: てづか くにみつ
Romaji: Tezuka Kunimitsu
手 te means “hand”
塚 zuka means “a small hill”. Sometimes, you see it romaji as “duka” because the hiragana づ is in the “d” row. It’s pronounced with “z” sound.
国光 kuni-mitsu means “national glory”. Individually, the kanji have different pronounciation and meaning.
国- kuni or koku means “country”
光-hikari or kou means “light”

Kanji: 二 周助
Hiragana: ふじ しゅうすけ
Romaji: Fuji Syuusuke
This name is one with multiple acceptable spellings. I think it’s mostly due to the modifiers and the difference between anime, manga and translated texts.
不二 – means peerless or unparalleled.
不 – fu means not.
二 – ji or ni means two or second.
周- syuu means circuit, circumference (しゅshi-yu contracts to syu)
助 – suke or jo means help, rescue

Kanji: 大石 秀一郎
Hiragana: おおいし しゅういちろう
Romaji: Ooishi Syuuichirou
This name is one with multiple acceptable spellings. I think it’s mostly due to the modifiers and the difference between anime, manga and translated texts.
大石 – means big stone. Hence, the codename Kaidou called Ooishi in the episode where Seigaku planned a surprised welcome back party for Ryuzaki-sensei.
大 – oo or dai (same as Rikkai Dai) means big.
石 – ishi or seki means stone.
秀一郎 – can be translated as good eldest son.
秀 – syuu means excel, beauty, surpass
一 – ichi means one
郎 – rou means son, counter for son which can be used as figurative son

Kanji: 菊丸 英二
Romaji: Kikumaru Eiji
二 – ji or ni means two or second. (Same as Fuji)

Kanji: 河村 隆
Romaji: Kawamura Takashi

Kanji: 乾 貞治
Romaji: Inui Sadaharu

Kanji: 桃城 武
Romaji: Momoshiro Takeshi

Kanji: 海堂 薫
Romaji: Kaidou Kaoru

Kanji: 私立立海 大 附属 中 学校
Romaji: Rikkai Dai Fuzoku Chuu Gakkou
Literally translated as Rikkai University Affiliated Middle School.
Now I understand why some places refer to them as Rikkaidai rather than Rikkai.
大dai, means big, it is used in Asian school system to mean tertiary education institution. Just as 小shou ( small) refers to primary school and 中chuu (middle, medium) refers to secondary school.
Rikkai is the secondary school affiliated to the Rikkai University.

Kanji: 真田 弦一郎
Hiragana: さなだ げんいちろう
Romaji: Sanada Genichirou
Yes! The vice-captains Sanada and Ooishi’s given names have only one character difference.
真田- sanada means braid.
真- shin or sa means truth, reality. (Same as shin in shinto religion)
田- den or ta means rice paddy field.
弦 – gen or tsuru means chord, bow string, string of musical instruments.
一 – ichi means one.
郎 – rou means son, counter for son which can be used as figurative son.
ichirou combined means eldest son.
Note that Sanada’s given name is pronounced ge-n-i-chi-ro-u, not ge-ni-chi-ro. That’s why sometimes, his name is spelt Gen’ichirou.

Kanji: 幸村 精市
Hiragana: ゆきむら せいいち
Romaji: Yukimura Seiichi
幸 – kou/yuki means happiness, blessings, fortune
村 – mura/son means town, village
精 – sei/shou means spirit, purity, skill, vitality
市 – ichi/shi means market, town, city

Trivia – Sanada Yukimura is a famous historical figure, a samurai called “A Hero who may appear once in hundred years” and “crimson demon of war”.

Kanji: 柳 蓮二
Hiragana: やなぎ れんじ
Romaji: Yanagi Renji

Kanji: 切原 赤也
Romaji: Kirihara Akaya

Kanji: 柳生 比呂士
Hiragana: やぎゅう ひろし
Romaji: Yagyuu Hiroshi

Kanji: 仁王 雅治
Romaji: Niou Masaharu

Kanji: 丸井 ブン太
Romaji: Marui Bunta

Kanji: ジャッカル 桑原
Romaji: Jakkaru Kuwahara

Kanji: 氷帝 学園 中等 部
Romaji: Hyoutei Gakuen Chuutou Bu

Kanji: 跡部 景吾
Hiragana: あとべ けいご
Romaji: Atobe Keigo
Atobe’s name is one of the most interesting name in PoT.
跡 – ato – means sign or mark
部 – bu – category / part / counter for copies
跡部 – atobe – like many of PoT characters, Atobe is also a samurai clan name,
景 – jing – can’t find any meaning for this word in Japanese, but the Chinese meaning is King
吾 – ware – means ego or oneself. My Chinese-literate colleague told me in Chinese, it’s an archaic form of ‘I’.
景吾 put together is pronounced Keigo, and meaning something like ‘I am King’, which is Atobe’s usual self-declaration.
Keigo is also a pun on 敬語 (keigo), which literally means honorifics, and is generally used to mean respectful/polite mode of speech. One can find many forms of keigo used around Atobe, mostly used on him. Atobe refers to himself as ore-sama, which expresses extreme arrogance. Other than the usual -san, -kun and -buchou (no -sempai), he was also addressed as Atobe-sama and obocchama. Bocchan is what a servant calls the son of the head of the house, ie the young master. -chama is baby talk form of sama. Cracks me up to have such a cutesy respectful title for Atobe. Another source mentioned that -chama = chan+sama. It is used to show both affection and respect.



  1. Katakana – long dash ー s used to elongate vowel. Here is how it should look like.
    • To elongate A, write out AA.
    • To elongate I, write out II.
    • To elongate U, write out UU.
    • To elongate E, write out EI.
    • To elongate O, write out OU.
  2. Kanakana and Hiragana TSU is used for doubling the consonant of the next character when it is written as subscript (smaller character attached to a larger character). E.g. Gakkou – Ga(tsu)-ko-u. It is meant as a slight pause before pronouncing the next syllable.
  3. Kanakana and Hiragana YA, YO, and YU subscript changes the vowel of the previous character. E.g. Syu in Fuji and Ooishi’s name is written as Shi(yu)=Syu. Ryo in Ryouma is Ri(yo)=Ryo.
  4. I will be using the following resources as references:

12 Oct 2009: Editted Notes section and change table to list because WordPress can’t handle table properly.

21 Nov 2009: Added Atobe. Maybe I should break this into a few pages, one for each school. It’s getting rather long and cumbersome. And WordPress + ancient PC makes slow edits.

To be updated….



  1. saliviabaker said

    Tsu is only used as doubling the consonant (or read as ) when it’s a bit smaller then the other kana. Same goes for ya/yu/yo which are a bit smaller when you form things like ryo (ri+yo).
    I am sure you know this, I just though as you already do this much work you want to have it complete 🙂

    Do you use firefox? if you need help with the kanji you can use the rikaichan plugin to read them 🙂

    This is a lot of work you do here with all the information gathering. Sugoi!

    • cohlinn said

      Oo … I do use Firefox. I didn’t know about the plug-in. Arigatou!

  2. domo arigatou. i now know my fave characters’ kanjis and meanings!

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