Sadako

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Gender Feminine
Usage Japanese
Scripts 定子, 貞子, 禎子, 節子(Japanese Kanji) さだこ(Japanese Hiragana) サダコ(Japanese Katakana)
Pronounced Pron. SA-DA-KO
  [key·IPA]

Meaning & History

From Japanese (sada) "chastity; virtue, faithfulness, uprighteousness" or "chaste; virtuous, faithful, uprighteous", (sada) "season", (sada) "determined", or (sada) "lucky, auspicious" or "blessed, good fortune" combined with Japanese (ko) "child".
貞子 "chaste child" or "child of chastity" was by far the most common combination.

A famous bearer of the name was Sadako Sasaki (Japanese: 佐々木 禎子 Sasaki Sadako) (1943-1955), a child who died from leukemia after the Hiroshima bomb. Her endeavour to fold 1,000 paper cranes in order to have her wish granted has become a symbol of peace.

The name was also borne by Sadako Yamamura (Japanese: 山村 貞子 Yamamura Sadako), the fictional antagonist of the Japanese horror franchise "Ringu" (also known and adapted as "The Ring" in Western countries), which began as a book first published in 1991. Although malevolent and considered very frightening, the character also has a tragic and sympathetic backstory, a combination that has made her very popular within the horror community. This may have influenced the popularity of her name's kanji combination, at least during the 1990s and afterward. (Prior to the franchise, the literal meaning of this combination was probably its chief attraction, especially to conservative parents.)
(See also Kayako, the name borne by the main fictional antagonist of the Japanese horror franchise "Ju-On", also known and adapted as "The Grudge" in the West. Indeed, these two characters - Sadako and Kayako - eventually became so popular that they starred in a crossover film together: 2016's "Sadako vs. Kayako".)

The name, regardless of kanji, is written as さだこ (Sadako) in hiragana and as サダコ (Sadako) in katakana.
Added 6/15/2007 by nafer1
Edited 10/26/2021 by Randee15, Destry, m4yb3_daijirou and more