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Kanji names

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RE: Kanji names

Postby richvh » Sun 06.10.2007 9:40 am

Well, baby name books commonly list the meanings alongside the names.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 06.10.2007 9:48 am

I'm not sure if that's always true. I've talked to multiple Japanese parents who chose their child's name before they chose the kanji. This idea seems to me a lot like the "Japanese people think in kanji" misconception that underlies a lot of things people say about Japan, but I could be wrong.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Tspoonami » Sun 06.10.2007 9:54 am

In Japanese, my name would be 日... That would be fun.

Doink. 白波 (あきは) is a name , according to the Name Dictionary. But, I think Japanese people expect gaijin to have gaijin names.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Kashin » Mon 06.11.2007 5:30 am

I'd rather have a gaijin name. I like using katakana, almost everybody (here in America) would recognise it as Japanese and they wouldn't confuse it with Chinese!

Now think of this (hypothetically, of course): If I, a 100% gaijin, were to name my child (someday) a Japanese name, giving him/her a real kanji name (and the necessary romaji), then would they be allowed to use the kanji in Japan? I wonder if America would allow it, for that matter.

Do American/outside of Japan-born Japanese still get Kanji names? I'm sure their parents would give them one but would it be official?

Thinking about where people's names come from alot of westerners name their children after somebody famous, or close to them, or someone else in the family. (I for one was named partly after my cousin) Do eastern cultures ever to that too? Or are most of the names unique, at least to the family (i know some names are more popular than others.)

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RE: Kanji names

Postby shiohigari » Mon 06.11.2007 6:21 am

I have several Japanese friends living here (Australia) who have had kids here, so I'll tell you of their stories. One had a boy while still in Japan. He has a Kanji name. They then came to Oz and had 2 daughters. They gave them Japanese names, but no Kanji. On their Japanese birth registration at the Embassy, and on their Japanese passports, they put the names in Hiragana. Another family, whose Dad is Aussie and mother is Japanese gave their kids English names, but the mother made Kanji for them. Another family gave their kids Japanese names, but names which are well known by foreigners. In their case, as they are never planning to return to Japan to live, they haven't any Kanji, but write their names in Hiragana ~ when writing to relatives and friends in Japan that is. Of course, they don't use Hiragana here!?!

So I guess it depends on the individual family what they choose to do.

Some of my Japanese friends have named their kids after uncles, aunt, grandparents etc. But I've been told that this is not actually very common in Japan.
Last edited by shiohigari on Mon 06.11.2007 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Mike Cash » Mon 06.11.2007 10:58 am

shiohigari wrote:
Another family, whose Dad is Aussie and mother is Japanese gave their kids English names, but the mother made Kanji for them.


Let me guess.....they have a son named Ken.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby shiohigari » Tue 06.12.2007 12:08 am

No! They don't have a son called Ken. In fact, it's nothing like it. It's rather presumptuous of you to think that all Japanese living in a foreign country are called Ken.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Teh_Freak » Tue 06.12.2007 3:01 am

I have a feeling that Mike had a dose of sarcasm in that statement.
Anyway, the only kanji I could get for my name would be 鍛冶屋, seeing as how the name "Smith" is derived from "Blacksmith".
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Infidel » Tue 06.12.2007 3:50 am

shiohigari wrote:
No! They don't have a son called Ken. In fact, it's nothing like it. It's rather presumptuous of you to think that all Japanese living in a foreign country are called Ken.


Isn't it a bit presumptuous to presume to know what others are thinking?
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Mike Cash » Tue 06.12.2007 9:56 am

shiohigari wrote:
No! They don't have a son called Ken. In fact, it's nothing like it. It's rather presumptuous of you to think that all Japanese living in a foreign country are called Ken.


If you're going to use big words like "presumptuous", please learn what they mean first and/or use them correctly. Either that or work on your deductive reasoning skills.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 06.12.2007 10:32 am

Kashin wrote:
Now think of this (hypothetically, of course): If I, a 100% gaijin, were to name my child (someday) a Japanese name, giving him/her a real kanji name (and the necessary romaji), then would they be allowed to use the kanji in Japan? I wonder if America would allow it, for that matter.

Do American/outside of Japan-born Japanese still get Kanji names? I'm sure their parents would give them one but would it be official?


As far as I know, no. I knew a guy in Japan who was born in Canada to two native Japanese parents. His last name was Kaneda but it seemed like it was always written カネダ on official documents and the like. When I taught in the schools, the banners at the back of the classes that had the names of all the students in the class wrote the names of the "foreign children" (i.e. children who had lived in Japan all their lives but were born to non-citizens) in katakana.
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RE: Kanji names

Postby SourceC0d3 » Thu 12.06.2007 2:17 pm

So, if you wanted to scrap your foreign name all together and replace it with an actual japanese name, written in Kanji, you're best bet would to go through the naturalization process and choose one from the provided list of names.

Is that correct, or would one be able to get a new name sooner than the 5yrs + for citizenship?
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RE: Kanji names

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 12.06.2007 4:19 pm

Why would you ever want to do that?
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RE: Kanji names

Postby SourceC0d3 » Thu 12.06.2007 6:09 pm

I'm curious
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RE: Kanji names

Postby ryuubu » Fri 12.14.2007 1:13 am

Back in High School I had a Japanese friend who shared my class (he used it for the English practice... go figure), and after the semester finished he came up to me and asked:

"Why is your name a Japanese name?"

My name's Israel, but and the whole year (I hadn't noticed, I attributed it to poor pronunciation) he had been calling me Isurou (伊寿郎), which I've discovered is "psudeo-Japanese" for Israel (thank you, edict).

I've used this little concoction from time to time as a joke, but for the most part I stick with イスラエル, though people from work keep trying to give me crazy Kanji names 胃須羅絵瑠 for example lol.

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