A friend of mine from Japan bought this beautiful doll for my daughter.
For those of you who may not know, I named my daughter Akira which is Japanese for intelligent.
Akira is generally used for a man's name, but I fell in love with it.
There were many reasons for picking the name. First, I always liked the Spanish name Shakira, but didn't want to use it. I did notice, however, the word Akira (sh"akira") in it, but never looked it up to see what it meant.
Second, I met a wonderful man one day from Japan whose name was Akira. Every time I said his name, I loved it more and more. I finally told him, if I ever have a daughter, I think I'd like to name her Akira. My decision still wasn't entirely concrete yet, at that time.
Third, my daughter was born on the Balinese holiday, Saraswati. Saraswati is a Hindu goddess who represents intelligence, creativity, music and power, just to name a few. "Saras" means flow/essence and "wati" means woman/self. Essentially, the essence of the self. The Balinese highly respect Saraswati and claim the special day to give thanks for the gift of knowledge and celebrate by making offerings to books. All of my Balinese friends kept telling me what good luck it was to have her on the day of Saraswati. In Bali, those children born on this special day usually are given a name that coincides with it, such as Saras for a girl. Again, since Akira means intelligent, it goes well with Saraswati. You can read more information on Saraswati HERE and HERE.
Finally, I still was struggling between Akira and a Southern name I had picked out. That night, I decided to ask her. As I held her in my arms, I asked her which name she liked. I said each name twice and both times I said Akira, she smiled at me.
SO, Akira it is....