Do サトシ (Satoshi) and ナカモト (Nakamoto) have any special meaning in Japanese?

For example, the last name "Smith" or "Miller" refers to a blacksmith or grain miller, respectively.

  • 2
    language-nerd quibble: when asking "does X mean something in Japanese", probably better to just use the Latin alphabet ("satoshi") rather than katakana, or maybe use hiragana if you want the multilingual flair. Katakana is used a lot (though not exclusively) for things, such as loanwords, that don't have a clear etymology within Japanese.
    – Soron
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 5:33

5 Answers 5


Without knowing the intended kanji, it's unclear exactly what meaning "Satoshi" and "Nakamoto" have, because there are sometimes many homophones in Japanese (including homophonous names). The Japanese Wikipedia article on Satoshi Nakamoto does not give kanji (and also treats it, typographically, as a Western name), suggesting that the exact intended meaning is unknown. But, we can make educated guesses.

For "Satoshi", there are over a dozen possibilities listed on a Japanese name site, but many of them relate to virtue, wisdom, intelligence, and other intellectual traits.

For "Nakamoto", it's much easier to provide a solid guess. 中本 is a common family name, roughly meaning "middle-origin". 仲本 might also be plausible, with this "naka" meaning "relation, relationship". And, even if "moto" were written as 元, this still roughly means "origin".

  • If the "moto" in Nakamoto was written as 元 wouldn't that be the same character China uses for their money? In chinese it's pronounced "yuan". That is interesting and I wonder if it could be intentional. Or would it be like writing satoshi as "$ato$hi" Commented May 4, 2020 at 22:23

Yes, サトシ ("Satoshi" in Katakana) or 覚 ("Satoshi" in Kanji)

Means "wisdom" or "sense" in Japanese.


ナカモト ("Nakamoto" in Katakana) or 中本 ("Nakamoto" in Kanji) is

From Japanese 中 (naka) meaning "middle" and 本 (moto) meaning "base, root, origin".


  • 2
    I don't think that kanji for "satoshi" is correct. I'm getting "satori", a mythical creature that can read minds; along with several different words (like "oboeru") that relate to memory.
    – Soron
    Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 5:42

I don't understand japanese, but FWIW in chinese I've always seen it written 中本聪, as far as I can tell 中本 is indeed a very common last name in Japan, as accepted response already pointed out.

中 is the "middle", 本 the "root".

聪 means "cleverness", as in 聪明 in chinese, but I don't know if it has different meanings in japanese.

But overall I never felt it has any particular meaning or hidden signification. My personal guess is that Satoshi chose it because it was related to his personal experience, maybe someone he knew or some character in a japanese story he liked. Or maybe he just picked a random, common and very generic japanese name that has no connection whatsoever with him, it would make so much sense since he took so much pain to not leave any hint of who he really was.


Satoshi = enlightenment, wisdom, or intelligence.

Nakamoto = root hit, center / origin.

Satoshi Nakamoto could be "Central Intelligence". Hahaha


From my research, beside from the individual meaning of the phrase "Satoshi" and "Nakamoto", the two together mean "Intelligent History".

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