Pure Hanja names are a rarity now in South Korea, given that many are simply using the simplified Hangeul characters, even for names of their children. Hanja was the writing system used previously and is based off Chinese characters but pronounced and incorporated into Korean. It was used in the Gojoseon dynasty, until King Se Jong decided to devise the Hangeul system.
A little bit confusing for non-Korean or Mandarin speakers even, Hanja characters may have the same pronunciation but can differ in meaning according to the character. For example, the word myung, can mean bright (明) and dark (冥) depending on how it is written in Hanja. This would be why when idols explain their Hanja name, they will also explain the meaning of the character.
An example would be NCT‘s Jaehyun. His birth name was Jung Jaehyun, but he later legally changed his name to Jung Yoonoh, because his grandmother wanted him to have a Hanja name. He confirmed the meaning of his Hanja name at a fan meet when a fan presented him a string of characters for the same word. The character for Jaehyun’s “Yoon” is written literally as prince at the precipice of a door, and can be used to mean the moon that appears in the lunar calendar once every 4-5 years. “Oh” on the other hand simply means 5 people.
Now that we’ve covered Hanja briefly, here are 8 idols that have beautiful, pure Hanja names!
1. ITZY’s Ryujin
留眞 – her name means “lingering” and “truth” or “realness”.
2. Ha Sungwoon
His name 成雲, means “success” and “cloud”! Perhaps that’s where his fan name, Cloud or Gureum, came from!
3. Lovelyz’s Ryu Sujeong and Yoo Jiae
Sujeong’s name, 洙正, means “water” and “righteousness”, while Jiae’s name, 智愛 means “wiseness” and “love”.
4. SEVENTEEN’s Wonwoo
Wonwoo’s name, 圓佑, means “round” and “a helpful person”
5. Red Velvet’s Wendy and Irene
Wendy’s real name, Son Seungwan, has a Hanja base, 承完, and it means “braveness” and “completeness”, while Irene’s name, Bae Joohyun means “to persevere or to bear” and “toappear”.
6. TXT’s Subin
秀彬 means to be “outstanding” and to “shine”, perfect for the bunnylike member!
7. EXO’s D.O and Baekhyun
D.O’s real name, Kyungsoo (敬秀), means to “respect” and to be “outstanding”, while Baekhyun’s name in Hanja (伯賢) means “pure white” and “benevolence”.
8. BTS’s Suga and Jungkook
Suga’s real name, Min Yoongi, has a very complicated meaning to it. However, fans have deduced that his name in Hanja contains a simile or analogy of sorts, and it generally means to grow up safely. Even his name is so thoughtful!
Jungkook on the other hand, means “upright” and “country”.
How’s that for some trivia on your idols? Did you know of these meanings? Of course, there are many more idols with Hanja names that we couldn’t include in this list!