The Japanese name

In many countries, people’s name is written the first name first and the last name at last.
In many cases, Japanese also follow the order when they spell in alphabet. But infact, Japanese name never comes that way.

Japanese name starts from the last name then first name.
Japanese name is consisted of only those two unlike some people in other culture have middle name or any other kind.


When they get married, they have to share one family name either husband’s or wife’s. Whichever is fine as the law stipulates equality of both sex. However, most of the case wife gives up her name and takes husband’s name.


This is very usual thing but doesn't mean it’s simple

The name shown on every aspect of the life has to be changed -- from any kind of registration and documents. Anyway, that’s how it is.

In her profession it can cause a bit of confusion along with the change. To avoid that, some women choose to use their maiden name for the sake of the convenience.


Japanese names have numerous variation as many as there is even a dictionary; the collection of family names



Most of the name has unique origin; for instance, relating with the ancestor’s occupation, social status or place of origin etc.

Some of them are so rare and extremely unfamiliar even to Japanese. So getting acquainted with people with such peculiar names is fun.


Meanwhile, the first names can go even more diverse

Traditionally, they were quite confined within some range of typical names for male and for female. But now people prefer to be open and keen for new creation as much as some of them are too elaborative to be readable!


Additional notes

Recently there are many parents who name strange names as people's names.
Manga characters or English names converted to Kanji are seen many times.But there are cases where the meaning of English and kanji are wrong.
Such names are called ”Kira kira nemes”or”DQN names".

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Tamaki SAITO(西東たまき)

Born in Tokyo and raised in Chiba prefecture. I'm excited to reveal the Japan's life behind the scenes that you can hardly learn from the regular sources. Let me hear how far it worked from your side!