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"Ume" does not mean "plum". It refers to the Prunus mume tree, which only resembles a plum. The Prunus mume is often referred to as a plum, or plum blossom, in English, but belongs to the apricot section or subgenus of the Prunus family, not the plum, of which the common Japanese variety is known in Japanese as "sumomo" (スモモ, 李, 酢桃 or 学名), not "Ume". [noted -ed]
It's the name of a character from Crayon Shin-Chan: Ume Matsuzaka, a stylish kindergarten teacher who is full of herself and is always trying to seduce men. She has quite a temper.
Ume Aoki is a Japanese manga artist from Hyōgo Prefecture, though she officially romanizes her name as Aokiume. She illustrates under the pen-names apricot+ for many of her doujinshi, and Apply Fujimiya (藤宮 アプリ Fujimiya Apuri?) for the visual novel Sanarara. Aoki provided the voice for her Metapod persona in the Shaft anime adaptation of her four-panel comic strip Hidamari Sketch. She later created the original character designs for Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a Shaft anime production.
There is a character named Ume in the anime Kimi Ni Todoke. She complains that she does not like her name because it is a "grandma name" and that her grandmother chose it for her. Everyone calls her Kurumi-chan for her surname Kurumizawa and she keeps a list of people she dislikes for calling her by her first name.
It's interesting the meaning can be devotion, as in the series she has an obsessive crush on a boy and very cunningly keeps the other girls from dating him for years.
I think it's very cute, it has a soft sound but apparently would be old-fashioned in Japan.
I've never met anyone named just "Ume" and just a few named "Umeko" and those I've met by that name are kind of on the older side (senior citizens or close to it). I guess it would give the same image as someone in North America named Mildred or Phyllis or something.
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