Japanese names

Why are Japanese naming conventions so different from the main Sinsophere (Korea, China, Vietnam). Mainland Sinsophere usually has Single-character single-syllable surnames but Japanese tend to have long surnames with geographic names. Also in mainland Sinsophere, women keep thier surname of birth even after marriage, but in Japan they take on the husband's surname like the West

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Radiochan

    because japan is not china and was not directly ruled by china at any point in her history

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Not a useful post, kys tripgay

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I would presume it's because Japan was doing its own thing until Korean and Chinks started making their way into the archipelago. This happened so late the naming convention remained as they were.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Western style surnames were adopted and made mandatory during the Meiji restoration. I don't know the exact reason but I'd imagine a lot of people simply took on the name of the village they came from.
    Chinese surnames on the other hand go back a lot longer, to a period of time when the language was a lot more monosyllabic.
    There's an extensive wikipedia article on the topic of Chinese surnames which seems to answer your question.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Western style surnames adopted in the Meiji period
      moron. Every historical figure has a surname

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        because Chinese is an analytic language while Japanese is an agglutinate language
        also Japanese had much less contact and influence from china than the rest of the sinosphere, never being ruled by it

        only nobles used to have surnames prior to the Meiji restoration, and that was usually just the name of the clan they were affiliated with

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >because Chinese is an analytic language while Japanese is an agglutinate language
          Korean is also an agglutinative language yet their name format is identical to Chinese names, just with a different set of common surnames.
          Isolating languages are usually also analytic languages but they're not synonymous.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Normal people had surnames too. Do you think modern Japanese just randomly invented a bunch of names in the Meiji period? Any Japanese can go to a temple where they have ancestral grave with family name, Mon and ancestry chart. It's just that family names were not "official", which was a status thing kept by samurais etc.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Do you think modern Japanese just randomly invented a bunch of names in the Meiji period?
            Yes. Not unusual at all, this has happened all over the world when commoners have been forced to adopt family names for purposes of bureaucracy.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      because Chinese is an analytic language while Japanese is an agglutinate language
      also Japanese had much less contact and influence from china than the rest of the sinosphere, never being ruled by it

      only nobles used to have surnames prior to the Meiji restoration, and that was usually just the name of the clan they were affiliated with

      >only nobles used to have surnames prior to the Meiji restoration
      Nonsense, anyone of some standing had surnames. Peasants didn't but that's because they were undocumented in the first place.

      For example, the early life of the tea master Sen no Rikyuu, born Tanaka Yoshirou of a minor merchant family in the 16th century:
      >Rikyū was born in Sakai in present-day Osaka Prefecture. His father was a warehouse owner named Tanaka Yohei (田中與兵衛), who later in life also used the family name Sen, and his mother was Gesshin Myōchin (月岑妙珎). His childhood name was Yoshiro (與四郎).
      >As a young man, Rikyū studied tea under the townsman of Sakai named Kitamuki Dōchin (1504–62), and at nineteen, through Dōchin's introduction, he began to study tea under Takeno Jōō, who is also associated with the development of the wabi aesthetic in tea ceremony. He is believed to have received the Buddhist name Sōeki (宗易) from the Rinzai Zen priest Dairin Sōtō (1480–1568) of Nanshūji temple in Sakai. He married a woman known as Hōshin Myōju (d. 1577) around when he was twenty-one.
      Literally all the people mentioned have names in the modern format (the priest adopted a Buddhist name, but it still follows the same format), none of them were nobles/samurai.
      (Takeno Jouou claimed descent from the Takeda clan, but his father was a merchant and a newcomer in the region who probably took the opportunity to embellish his family history. They didn't have samurai status either way.)

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        What's true however is that the Meiji period saw the adoption of FIXED surnames. Before that people commonly changed names to reflect a change in their status.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          People often changed their given names, but it was pretty rare to change your surname. A famous example of a surname change is from Matsudaira to Tokugawa

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >it was pretty rare to change your surname
            The main example for

            [...]
            >only nobles used to have surnames prior to the Meiji restoration
            Nonsense, anyone of some standing had surnames. Peasants didn't but that's because they were undocumented in the first place.

            For example, the early life of the tea master Sen no Rikyuu, born Tanaka Yoshirou of a minor merchant family in the 16th century:
            >Rikyū was born in Sakai in present-day Osaka Prefecture. His father was a warehouse owner named Tanaka Yohei (田中與兵衛), who later in life also used the family name Sen, and his mother was Gesshin Myōchin (月岑妙珎). His childhood name was Yoshiro (與四郎).
            >As a young man, Rikyū studied tea under the townsman of Sakai named Kitamuki Dōchin (1504–62), and at nineteen, through Dōchin's introduction, he began to study tea under Takeno Jōō, who is also associated with the development of the wabi aesthetic in tea ceremony. He is believed to have received the Buddhist name Sōeki (宗易) from the Rinzai Zen priest Dairin Sōtō (1480–1568) of Nanshūji temple in Sakai. He married a woman known as Hōshin Myōju (d. 1577) around when he was twenty-one.
            Literally all the people mentioned have names in the modern format (the priest adopted a Buddhist name, but it still follows the same format), none of them were nobles/samurai.
            (Takeno Jouou claimed descent from the Takeda clan, but his father was a merchant and a newcomer in the region who probably took the opportunity to embellish his family history. They didn't have samurai status either way.)

            changed his surname to Sen. It's also interesting that it claims Sen was born with the surname Tanaka despite this not being explicitly stated in the Wikipedia article that was quoted.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I derived it from the fact that his father was Tanaka Yohei, but it's explicitly mentioned on jp wiki:
            >幼名は田中与四郎(たなか よしろう、與四郎とも)
            >his birth name was Tanaka Yoshirou [two spellings for Yoshirou provided)

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I derived it
            In other words, you made it up to help your argument.
            >it's explicitly mentioned on jp wiki
            It's explicitly mentioned without a citation. At least the English version cited what his father's surname was, but even that source didn't state what his surname at birth was.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >In other words, you made it up to help your argument.
            >It says "His father was Tanaka Yohei and his childhood name was Yoshirou", therefore his birth name must have been Tanaka Yoshirou
            >hurr you made it up
            Frick off.
            >without a citation.
            利休の登場 [the Birth of Rikyuu], a biography by 宮本義己 Miyamoto Yoshimi
            Rikyuu might be the most famous/best documented non-nobles of the 16th century, which is why I thought to check his early life.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >therefore his birth name must have been Tanaka Yoshirou
            The argument you're making is based on the same assumption that's being contested in this thread. This is why I asked you to give the surnames of Rikyuu's closest direct descendants.
            >利休の登場 [the Birth of Rikyuu], a biography by 宮本義己 Miyamoto Yoshimi
            Why are you able to post excerpts from the Wikipedia article but not from this biography?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >This is why I asked you to give the surnames of Rikyuu's closest direct descendants.
            Rikyuu's sons used the Sen(no) surname, since that was the name of his family by then, although his designated heir Sen no Shouan was originally named Miyaou Saburou before marrying into his family.
            I don't know why you're stubborn about this either way, even if Rikyuu himself had been born Sen (no) Yoshirou, it wouldn't change the fact that his father had changed the family name.

            >Why are you able to post excerpts from the Wikipedia article but not from this biography?
            Because it doesn't appear to be available online? How did we go from "you made it up" to "lacks citation" to "unless you pull up the exact passage from the biography I don't believe you"?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            No, it wasn't any rarer than social mobility itself.
            As mentioned, monks took on buddhist names (and surnames) and Rikyuu's family changed their name from Tanaka to Sen(no), but there are many other examples.
            The merchant Suminokura Ryoui was born to the Yoshida family "of physicians and moneylenders" but took on a merchant surname (Suminokura is "corner warehouse")
            Another famous merchant born Okamoto Kusamoto went by Yodoya Saburouemon (another store-based surname, it's unclear if the new name was official)
            The trader Naya Sukezaemon changed his surname to Ruson (Luzon) because that was his area of expertise.
            Takadaya Kahei's original surname (if any) is unknown but he was a sailor born to a lowly farmer and adopted his name after settling down as a merchant.
            Tsutaya Juuzaburou was a commoner adopted by the Kitagawa family who gave him the name of one of their tea houses as surname.
            The artist/writer Santou Kyouden was born Iwase Jintarou, later Iwase Samuru in a family of pawnbrokers, and as a tobacco shop owner was known as Kyouya Denzou (his penname is based on that and the location of his tobacco shop)
            The artist Kitao Shigemasa was born Kitabake Taroukichi, his own father had changed his name to Suharaya Mohei when he opened a bookstore.
            The artist Kubo Shunman was born Kubota Yasubei.
            The actor Konparu Zenchiku was born Shichirou Ujinobu, his descendants continued to use the Konparu surname. Their distant ancestor the actor Kanami Kiyotsugu (born Yuuzaki Kiyotsugu) also used the surname Kanze, under which is son Kanze Kiyomoto was born before renaming himself Zeami Motokiyo, but their mainline descendants have been using Kanze to this day.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Okamoto Kusamoto
            Okamoto Kotomasa, my bad.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I don't know why you replied to me when your post is clearly directed at the second post you've replied to.
        I said that western style surnames were made mandatory after the Meiji restoration, which is an absolutely true statement. I never said that nobody had surnames.
        >Literally all the people mentioned have names in the modern format
        Western style isn't just an aesthetic choice, it also implies how it's used. What are the surnames of the closest direct descendants for the people you've listed?

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Iirc, Japanese is a different language family than Chinese and Korean. They just adopted Chinese characters and made the kana alphabet from Chinese.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Funnily enough, I browsed wikipedia for a bit and apparently Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese are all in different language families. I guess people are afraid of Asian linguistics conferences turning into mass shootings.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Lol. Though it would probably be a mass stabbing instead.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >China
    Tonal language.
    >Vietnam
    Tonal language.
    >Korean
    Different language family, different phonology/word construction. Just compare native words.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Different language family
      Ironically enough, Korean is the closest to Japanese out of all those language in terms of grammar and syntax, although it used to be a tonal language.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Even Koreanic linguists agreed

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah, they really are identical.

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