Personal rebranding: What would you do if your parents named you “His Royal Highness the Prince”?

Some parents are weird.

I know someone whose hippie parents named her Sunflower. When Sunflower turned adult, she promptly changed her name to Alex. I bet she was bullied and teased all along.

This past week, a teenager in Japan went to court and changed his name from Ojisama Akaike to Hajime Akaike.

Ojisama literally means “His Royal Highness the Prince,” not just “Prince.” His mother (despite opposition from the father) named him that because she thought her baby would be “her prince.”

Not surprisingly, he was subjected to years of bullying and inconveniences.

Now 18 years old, the Young Man Formerly Known As Prince became Hajime.

He chose this name after Professor Hajime Kawakami (1879-1946), a Marxist economist who was known for translating Karl Marx’s treatise Das Kapital into Japanese, and for authoring books that shed light on poverty and economic inequality in the 1920s Japan.

In Japanese, “Hajime” literally means “beginning” and he indeed had a new beginning in life as he emerged from the courthouse!

His former name was one of the worst examples of the Japanese popular trend at the turn of the 21st century (and still persists to this day to a lesser extent) known as kirakira names,” or bling names. Some parents would even name their babies Pikachu, Amazon, or Full Monty.

In the state of Sonora in Mexico, just south of Arizona, its legislature had to ban bizarre baby names such as Burger King, U.S. Navy, and Hitler.

Fortunately, it is possible to change names in most parts of the world, and the United States (along with other countries with the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition) is one of those countries where the name change is a fairly simple process.

From time to time, many people modify or change their names for a variety of reasons.

While there appears to be no statistics of how many name changes are approved each year in the United States, 850,000 people in the United Kingdom filed for name changes during the year of 2015 alone, setting the all-time record in that country. As culture shifts and becomes more dynamic and fluid, people’s sense of identity also is constantly evolving.

  • Some immigrants change their names to better fit into their new home country, avoid xenophobic prejudice when looking for jobs or housing (Admittedly, this is sad but it remains a serious problem in America), or because their original names are too difficult for most Westerners to pronounce or remember.
  • Conversely, some people change their names to better reflect their ethnic or cultural heritage.
  • Some name changes are for religious reasons, for example, converting to Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism; conversely, some may want to change their names to leave behind negative experiences in their former faith communities, especially if they are cults or implicated in abusive practices.
  • They may be simply looking for a new beginning following divorce, career change, or other major personal events.
  • To distance oneself from abusive parents or families of origin.
  • To avoid harassment, stalking, or to protect one’s privacy.
  • Gender transitions, retransitions, and detransitions.
  • Some believe that changing their names according to numerology or astrology can help improve their outlooks on life.

Power of self-naming is an ultimate expression of one’s personal sovereignty. There is a destiny-altering power in your name and how it looks and sounds. 

In Judaic and Chinese traditions, it is believed since ancient times that sounds and numerological values of one’s name determines one’s destiny in a profound way. Modern scientific studies seem to agree: Professor James Bruning at Ohio University studied (2000) the effects of one’s name may have on career success and concluded that one’s “expectations of job success are related to the degree of match between the masculinity or femininity of [a job applicant’s] name and the stereotypic masculinity or femininity of planned occupations.” In an older study by Frank K. Willis, et al. (1982), also suggests that individuals with unusual and unique names are less likely to occupy the professional class, and are likely to be poor.

Beyond the surface meanings of a name, how it is perceived also matters in advancing yourself toward a successful life. Yet, not a lot of professional support is available today to those who are undertaking this very important and deeply personal journey.

Like businesses and products, the rebranding of yourself deserves careful consideration and expert advice.

Limeadestand MediaWorks helped many businesses in the Pacific Northwest to brand their companies and services. Now the same brain power, best practice, and expertise are available to you.

Introducing Limeadestand MediaWorks’ “Personal Name Change Boutique” consultation package

We use the same kind of brand technique and best practices that we’ve done for businesses to create a perfect new name for you!

Many people do not think through very well when changing their names, leading to regrets down the road. Doing it “right” before formalizing your name change is a must, as subsequent changes will cost you money and time, as well as creating confusions and paperwork nightmares.

We research deeply into the meanings of every letter and word, to ensure that they do not have negative connotations in other cultures or in slangs.

We don’t just dish out a name and stuff it down your throat. Instead, we co-create with our clients the best names that honor our clients and encapsulate their values and visions; this is more than just a new name, but rather a process of self-discovery and clarification.

Some people will evolve and outgrow their new names, while for others, their new names will grow on them as the years pass. Establishing a sense of clarity as for your personal journey will help avoid costly regrets and mistakes.

Who is this service for?

  • any person who is contemplating a name change for any reason.
  • anyone who is undergoing gender transition, either to another gender or to no gender at all.
  • as well as those who are looking for a great stage name, noms-de-plume, etc.
  • and also parents who are expecting a baby who are at a loss while trying to make up their minds.

Price: $250 per person, per instance

This is an outreach product. It is available to non-members, and available worldwide.

More information is available at: 

The fees do not include legal and filing fees, such as court fees, notary fees, and DMV fees. This is not a law firm and we do not advise on legal matters related to the judicial and/or administrative change of names, though we can point you out to appropriate resources such as self-help court forms and community law clinics. We do not handle court forms, SSA forms, DMV forms, etc., on your behalf; you are solely responsible for those.