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Maciamo
Sep 15, 2004, 11:02
What unusual Japanese family names do you know ?

The following are quite rare I think :

Aso 阿蘇
Doi 土井
Doihara 土居原 土肥原 土井原
Eto 江藤
Iko ?
Konoe 近衛
Kido 木戸
Mesuda 召田
Mizota 溝田
Nukaga 額賀
Obata 小幡
Okudaira 奥平
Osumi 大隈
Yanaihara 矢内原

Ewok85
Sep 15, 2004, 19:12
My girlfriend is Manai, I cant remember the kanji so I'll repost it later :P

Apollo
Sep 15, 2004, 19:27
Doi 


I agree that Doi is quite rare - but normal, it is my mother's maiden name. :cool:

kirei_na_me
Sep 15, 2004, 19:39
My husband has a cousin who's also a Doi.

nekosasori
Sep 16, 2004, 22:22
Wasn't there a famous woman politician whose surname was Doi?

I know a Mano-san (眞野)

My mother's maiden name isn't too common, either though not exactly "rare" - Oyamada (小山田)

-Yu-
Sep 16, 2004, 22:40
I think those names that Maciamo wrote aren't that unusual.
The one that I think is rare is Dairaku 大楽, this is my friend's name, it sounds like a restaurant name.

One more, 西別府 ni shi be ppu.

Ewok85
Sep 16, 2004, 23:44
真名井 - as promised, Manai

Apollo
Sep 17, 2004, 00:00
Wasn't there a famous woman politician whose surname was Doi?


You are absolutely right!!! :confetti:
TAKAKO DOI was the leader of Social Democratic Party from 1986 (the first woman) and speaker of the House of Representatives during the Social Democratic Government.

She is a kind of a role model for female politicians in Japan.

:confetti:

Lina Inverse
Sep 17, 2004, 03:04
Then there's also Hitoshi Doi, whose anime page is quite popular among fans :haihai:
Hitoshi Doi's homepage (http://www.tcp.com/~doi/doi.html)

Seems that "Doi" isn't that seldom...

Glenn
Sep 17, 2004, 09:34
真名井 - as promised, Manai

That isn't a given name?

rakuten
Sep 17, 2004, 10:08
This family name is absolutely rare: ういえ (uie)

Sorry, I forgot the kanji for 'uie'. That's the name of a friend, but I can't ask her right now...
Actually most Japanese don't know how to write her name.

Maciamo
Sep 17, 2004, 10:18
Alright, it seems that Doi is not so rare after all. Let's concentrate on finding others.

Apollo
Sep 17, 2004, 21:59
A good friend of ours has a rare Japanese surname: Komatsuzaki.
I don't know the kanji, but I can ask.

Has anyone heard of this name before? I only know his family with this name.

Maciamo
Sep 17, 2004, 22:42
A good friend of ours has a rare Japanese surname: Komatsuzaki.
I don't know the kanji, but I can ask.

Has anyone heard of this name before? I only know his family with this name.

I am not sure I have heard it, but the kanji used are quite common : 小松崎

Japanese family names usually use geographical locations (山, 岡, 原, 田, 野, 沼, 沢, 津, 崎, 浜, 川, 島, 橋, 井, 平...) and/or descriptive adjectives (大, 小, 上, 下, 中, 本, 北, 西, 南, 東, 富, 芝, 永, 長, 高, 平, 美, 福, 白, 黒, 赤, 青...), or plant names (藤, 松, 杉, 桜, 梅, 梨...). Combinations of these kanji make about 90% the most common family and place names in Japan.

However, some names use quite rare kanji in names like 阿蘇 (Aso), 額賀 (Nukaga) or 西別府 (Nishi-Beppu).

I have also found 稲峰 (Inamine) and 珍田 (Chinda).

Ewok85
Sep 17, 2004, 23:15
That isn't a given name?

Definitly a surname.

Glenn
Sep 18, 2004, 05:03
Interesting. It just looked like a given name to me, I guess because it's similar to 真那伽 (まなか). But hey, what do I know about Japanese names? I think they are the most troublesome part of the language, what with all the different readings and all. :?:clueless::D

blade_bltz
Sep 18, 2004, 06:56
I'm a Suda 諏田. Seems pretty rare....although the other side of my family is 中田, which seems sooo common.

sky888
Sep 18, 2004, 14:02
very interesting! :D

-Yu-
Sep 19, 2004, 00:01
Well, I expected everyone to say, wow! that name is so rare or something like that, but you don't think Nishibeppu 西別府 is unusual?

I learned something today, when people were classified into 3 classes in Meiji period, such as nobility(華族), ex-samurai (士族), commonality (平民), people were given a right to have a family name.
The was they chose their names was mostly to use a part of a famous person's name, for example, Fuji of Fujiwara (藤, 藤原) and a part of an area's name where they are from.
e.g If one was from 佐賀 and liked Fujiwara, the one makes up one's name of them, that is Satou 佐藤, you got it?

I also read some of them didn't know how to make their sur name, so they just asked a clerk to make up instead by themselves, therefore, a lot of unmeaningful names were born, for instance, Akai 赤井 Yamanaka 山中,
If you had lived on a mountain at the time and had asked a clerk to name you, you would've been called Yamanaka.
If you face always had been in red, you would've been called Akai.

Sorry, I have made any mistake, there isn't much time for me to correct it.

Maciamo
Sep 19, 2004, 11:46
I learned something today, when people were classified into 3 classes in Meiji period, such as nobility(華族), ex-samurai (士族), commonality (平民), people were given a right to have a family name.
The was they chose their names was mostly to use a part of a famous person's name, for example, Fuji of Fujiwara (藤, 藤原) and a part of an area's name where they are from.
e.g If one was from 佐賀 and liked Fujiwara, the one makes up one's name of them, that is Satou 佐藤, you got it?

Very interesting. Is there a way of knowing which names are from the nobility and which one are from samaurai families ? Is there some kind of list ?

I was also wondering about the 佐藤, 伊藤, 武藤, 後藤, etc. I guess that 武藤 were people from the Musashi area in West Tokyo. But why are Satou and Itou so popular nationwide ?

Maciamo
Oct 7, 2004, 11:36
Here are some more :

Abo 阿保
Obinata 小日向 
Komoto 河本 or 甲本 (?)
Kuhara 久原
Nagakage 長陰 (?)

neko_girl22
Oct 7, 2004, 16:48
I know of a Kusai-san.. from Okinawa heheh Mr Smelly! of course I'm sure it doesn't mean that :p Sorry I don't know the kanji though.
Here in Kagoshima my husband is surprised at some unusual names (he's from Kansai). Kisshoan is one unique name that comes to mind. I forget the kanji, but I remember they told me it means "happy house" or something similar.

Apollo
Oct 7, 2004, 19:47
I know of a Kusai-san.. from Okinawa heheh Mr Smelly! of course I'm sure it doesn't mean that :p Sorry I don't know the kanji though.


HAHA!! :D Poor kusai-san!! Especially when shouting for him : "Kusai-san, kite kudasai!!!" :D
I have never heard of the name, but I am sure that it has a different meaning when WRITING the name in kanji...hehe..but poor guy anyway...

It is like my friend from Japan is called Tetsuya, but it doesn't mean "metal-shop," but has a different meaning in kanji - and it is a common first name in Japan. :relief:

Maciamo
Oct 7, 2004, 21:43
I guess that Kusai is written like that : 草井 but it could also be something like that : 九祭

Elizabeth
Feb 28, 2007, 20:06
Another one that is rather peculiar is the family name Bushida. (武士田)

Quite auspicious, though, if it was born from a soldier's life 武士道。:cool:

Iron Chef
Mar 1, 2007, 00:59
Some uncommon first names of students i've met...

Kirika
Ramu (like ramune... how cute)
Sea (pronounced like "seiya")
Kanon
Koki (the only boy in this list)
Saiko (her keitai addy is "[email protected]", heh)

KirinMan
Mar 1, 2007, 05:13
Not sure of the kanji, but the most unusual name that I have come across here while living in Japan was なまえ, the guys last/family name was namae.

Namae-san. Can you image the trouble he had as a kid?

GaijinPunch
Mar 1, 2007, 11:20
I don't know the characters, but ages ago when I was working in the office of a Business English school, there was a client w/ the last name of Kakusaka, which always generated an interesting giggle amongst the English teachers.