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Hello everyone!

I’ve been writing a story that takes place in Japan, the main character is called “Mira” which means “stubborn” and her grandma is called “Hanako” which means “flower child” (please correct me if I’m wrong in any way). 

I’ve been struggling with the honorifics I should use. 

I think I’ve figured out that the grandma should call her granddaughter “Mira-chan” but I still can’t figure out how the girl should call her grandma. Is it “ōbasan”? Only “Bā”? “Hanako Bā”? I’d like the name “ Hanako” to be present when the girl is calling her grandma, is it possible without being too formal? 

Thank you!!

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21 hours ago, Liljay said:

the main character is called “Mira” which means “stubborn”

Mira actually means "mirror", not "stubborn".

21 hours ago, Liljay said:

her grandma is called “Hanako” which means “flower child”


21 hours ago, Liljay said:

I still can’t figure out how the girl should call her grandma. Is it “ōbasan”? Only “Bā”? “Hanako Bā”?

Own grandchildren call their grandmothers "baa-chan"(ばあちゃん).
If people are describing somebody elses grandma, "obaa-san"(おばあさん)is used, or simply "Hanako-san"(花子さん or 華子さん).
In general, おばあさん is used by friends (insiders), or by people who don't know her name.
And 花子さん or 華子さん is used by strangers (outsiders) in formal setting (hospital, university, wedding, etc.).
In business situations, 花子様 or 華子様(Hanako-sama)is used.

Just "baa" alone is never used at all.
And "oobasan" and "Hanako baa" simply don't exist.

21 hours ago, Liljay said:

I’d like the name “ Hanako” to be present when the girl is calling her grandma, is it possible without being too formal? 

In that case, simply "Hanako" without suffix is OK.
However, keep in mind that it's very rare for children to say the name of their own grandmothers.


Also, if the story isn't in Japanese, it's perfectly find to just say "grandma".
This is what localisation of all sorts of stories are doing too.

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Thank you so much!! I didn't find any clear informations online about that and your explanation couldn't be any clearer!!!

I should definitly change the name of Mira then hehe I really don't want to call her mirror.

Thanks again! You were a big help!

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1 hour ago, Liljay said:

I should definitly change the name

"Mira" is quite a common name for fictional characters.
In fiction (comics, anime, drama, novels, games, etc.) you have more freedoms in giving names than in real life.

There are real life Japanese people with a hiragana or katakana name, but society might think that you're a foreigner if you don't use kanji, and in some occations it might cause problems.
And there's a list of forbidden names which I had the link to, but apparenly can't find it back now.
This ban of course doesn't apply to fictional characters.

Like when I had to sign up at the gas and electricity company, despite allowing all nationalities in, their application form only accepted names in kanji.
And since a west European foreigner doesn't have a kanji name, I had to make up a typical Japanese name for myself, which I ended up liking so much that I registered it as my official alias at the city hall (so now I can use it to officially identify myself throughout Japan).

The reason I'm saying that is because "Mira" is always spelled in katakana.
For example Mira Tanaka → 田中ミラ

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