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Legal dynamics of name registration? 2022/7/7 13:09
To give my situation, I will soon be moving to Japan for a contract job, and am looking to understand how to prepare for the foreign name issues in japan when the time comes. I had a few questions to that point:

1) My name in katagana is "メルトンコナー." Upon immigration I was hoping to drop the "ン" in my last name because saying "メルトンコナー" is a bit awkward to say, where as "メルトンコナー" sounds just about the same but is a lot easier to vocalize in Japanese, and just a cleaner overall translation. Is this allowed, or will I be forced to use a verbatim translation of the syllables into katagana?

2) I am planning on looking for further work in Japan upon the expiration of my contract, but am somewhat concerned that the katagana will stand me out in a bad way regardless of if I submit a Japanese resume and have the necessary Japanese skills (I'm looking for work in the engineering/technician/IT field). I'm considering registering the name "明流灯 康菜" (read mei-ryu-to ko-nah) as a legal alias and using that on job applications...but I'm not sure how that will go over if I come to the office as an obvious foreigner (Brazillian) and present my passport that says my name in katagana. Again...not so sure it'll be a problem since the readings would be identical between the two and I could just say the kanji is a legal alias of my name I use for housing/phone/bank applications...but again I'm not sure as I've never done this before.

I'm hoping others with direct experience dealing with this whole process could let me know if this will work without a hitch, or if I should just deal with using "メルトンコナー" for everything.

Thank you everyone for the help.
by Connorcm371  

Re: Legal dynamics of name registration? 2022/7/7 14:07
I don’t quite understand what you are saying: so your name is Connor Melton (Melton being the family name?), and yes in “katakana” it is written as メルトン コナー。
I am Japanese, and I find nothing difficult to say about this name of yours. And are you saying you want to change it to メルト コナー? To me at least it is not any easier. It somehow gives a stilted feel to it, saying メルト knowing it is originally Melton.

Or the way it’s often written for non-kanji name will be: コナー・メルトン, i guess. Either way, dropping the “n” doesn’t change anything.

I think it is just fine to use it “as it is.” You can register the katakana version as the alias (your alphabet name, the one on your passport, will always remain as the official name). Even if you came up with an alias in kanji, this is just put together by stringing up kanji that individually has similar sounds to the parts of your name, and this does not make it any easier to pronounce or easier to “blend in,” if that is what you are hoping to do.

Just by the way, my non-Japanese husband has been using his full name (quite long) in alphabets (officially) and in katakana when filling in forms in Japanese while living in Japan for ?? years, but he looks different anyways, and changing his name to kanji writing doesn’t affect any job eligibility or whatsoever. But this is just my two cents.

By the way, about use of alias in Japan: it will appear on your resident record (the one that is registered at city halls) alongside your name in alphabets, but nowadays it does not appear on the resident card (a small ID card that you’ll carry around everywhere with you).
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Legal dynamics of name registration? 2022/7/7 15:59
Yes, you are free to drop your ン, but as suggested, I don't feel that メルトコナー is any more easier-to-read or familiar-sounding than メルトンコナー. In fact, I personally feel that most Japanese people would find メルトンコナー being easier to pronounce. But maybe you just feel that メルト is closer to the true pronunciation of your name. Then, that's a different story.

About kanji, I used to have a rare Japanese maiden name, and no one was able to read the kanji of it. Moreover, no one wrote the kanji of it correctly. And a lot of people don't even write my common first name correctly. That's how people treat kanji. Dealing with that situation has been frustrating and time-consuming.

Now that I hardly use my maiden name any more, I realize that the only beneficial part of the name was that it stands out. People would have remembered me better once they remember the name, and if anyone should search the name on the Internet, they would most likely find the real me as opposed to someone else with the same common family name that I now have.

So, my advice to you is to either use メルトンコナー or a kanji name that is a bit more common and easier to remember. No one will be able to guess at first glance how you read 明流灯 康菜, you would end up going back and forth multiple times even if you say "never mind", and many people would write it incorrectly which would lead you to lose your mail. Also, sooner or later, they'd give up trying to remember/copy your kanji correctly and just start writing it in kana. And if they copy-and-paste your kanji name, they'd just copy-and-paste it without trying to read/pronounce/remember it.

I hope it helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Legal dynamics of name registration? 2022/7/7 20:19
I think you are overthinking this.

Katakana is a phonetic writing of your name. You have a degree of liberty how you want to write it. As PPs wrote the ン or not doesnt make the name more or less easy to pronounce. Just go with what sounds most similar to your name.

Regarding getting a kanji alias I don’t think this is a good idea. It will fit sure need a lot of paperwork just to have a kanji that isn’t your name and that for Japanese will not look like a normal name. Even if you go with an alias like Suzuki I think it would be strange if a clearly non Japanese person turns up somewhere with a Japanese surname unless you “gained” it through marriage.

For you professional future having a kanji name is not going to make a difference. It’s going to be your professional experience, Japanese knowledge…
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

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