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Re: retroverted pubis, Asian surnames, and JP.
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Elliott" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 5:05 AM
Subject: retroverted pubis, Asian surnames, and JP.
> About Asian surnames: quick question from one self-professed lurker to
> Andrea Kirk wrote: >Japanese surnames are commonly (at least, in Japan!)
> before the personal names, just as in Chinese. I'm a bit surprised to
> that this journal prints them Western-style. As for the origin of
> surnames, some of them are clan names, some are place names, and I think
> most logical reason for them to be written surname-first is simply
> grammar. A name like "Tokugawa Ieyasu" would have been written in an
> earlier time as "Tokugawa no Ieyasu", or Ieyasu OF [the clan of]
> Is it possible that names in Japanese are changed according to the
> they're being spoken in? For example, because it's "Ieyasu of clan
> Tokugawa", it becomes "Ieyasu Tokegawa" if Ieyasu happens to be being
> introduced by somebody speaking in English (and so it'd go back to normal
> when being introduced in Japanese)? So i would *become* "Elliott David" as
> long as i was introducing myself in Japanese, if "David of clan Elliott"
> "Elliott no David" in Japanese, thus possibly explaining the Westernized
> grammar in the article? I'm probably wrong, but it's just a thought.
I think that Westernizing of Japanese names in Western languages is a fairly
common practice; I've never been introduced in English to a Japanese person,
so I don't know how they would give their names to (for example) an English
speaker, but my guess would be that they would indeed give their names
given-name first. My surprise at hearing about the formatting in this
journal came from two points: I didn't know the article was in English :-),
and for some reason the Chinese names are kept surname-first. I don't quite
know why the Chinese ordering would be preserved, and the Japanese reversed,
unless it's some general preference of the Japanese community.
HP... Vorompatra? (Sorry, Chip, I don't have a last name to work with here
:-) sent me a link offlist that discusses the Japanese attitudes towards the
presentation of their names which probably gives a clearer explanation than
I can wrestle together:
And as a side note, generally when Westerners introduce themselves in
Japanese, they give their names Western-style; the Japanese expect it that
way. In writing, Western names are spelled out in a syllable alphabet,
usually with a dot to separate given and surnames, instead of in Chinese
characters as an East Asian name would be.