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Understanding Japanese names. 2008/7/16 07:32
We're in the U.S. and sell to several Japanese customers. We're at a loss as to how to address them, please tell me how, here are a couple of names:

Namo Mizoba
Yoko Makokio

Which is the first, which is the last name? How do I know if it's a male or a female? They address me by my first name, they don't know my last name.
by Dana  

. 2008/7/16 17:40
Namo Mizoba
Yoko Makokio

To me, they do not look like Japanese name at all except "Yoko".
"Yoko" is a female given name.

Never heard of a name "Namo" or something sounds similar to it, and cannot think of any kanji for "Mizoba" or "Makokio" which sound extremely foreign to my Japanese ears...
Could they be mis-spelt or something?
by Japanese girl rate this post as useful

. 2008/7/16 18:43
Nam"i" would be a female given name.
Mizoba might be a family name (possibly a/at/a[) but not common at all.

Yoko is a popular female given name.
Makokio does not sound like Japanese at all.

Which is the first, which is the last name?

"First name" and "last name" are inappropriate terms in this topic
because name order varies from culture to culture.

In Japanese names, the family name come first and then the given name. But
most people write in the Western order when they use alphabet.

How do I know if it's a male or a female?

There are no general rule.
If you have to know their correct gender, you should have them write it when accepting orders.
If you are just wondering if you add "Mr." or "Ms." to their names, you can simply omit them.

Read this for various examples:
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

happens all the time all over the world 2008/7/16 23:50
I am assuming they are calling you "Dana" with no title. Is there a problem calling them by their full names "Namo Mizoba" and "Yoko Makokio" without the Mr., Mrs, Ms., or Miss?

Otherwise, you can just put a -san at the end. "Namo Mizoba san" "Yoko Makokio san" is a safe Japanese way to address people whatever gender they are.
by Uco rate this post as useful

ask them 2008/7/17 02:56
If you are in the US, why not use first names as they are addressing you with your first name? You can also ask them if is alright to address them with their first names.
by Josh rate this post as useful

name 2008/7/17 07:45
First names are appropriate if you are in the USA
by Danny rate this post as useful

spelling errors 2008/7/17 09:59
these look like spelling errors to me.

please, for the love of all that is good and cherished in this world, do not write a letter to someone with the spelling of their name mangled, especially if they have written it down for you before. i know nothing irritates me more than getting an email with my name spelled wrong when even in the reply they send me my name is spelled correctly for them..

by winterwolf rate this post as useful

and.. 2008/7/17 10:00
remember when in doubt just use the person's full name. even if you don't know which is their first or last name, you can just append mr or ms to the front of it and it will be acceptable either way.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

Mr. or Ms. sounds good 2008/7/17 11:10
I wouldn't really say they're misspelled. The spellings are indead done according to Japanese language rules. It's just that the names aren't common at all, except for Yoko, in which you never know if it's a rare male's name or rare family name.
by Uco rate this post as useful

. 2008/7/17 15:41
Here you can check all the existing Japanese family names either from kanji or katakana (han-kaku).

There's no "Mizoba" or "Makokio" so far.
by Japanese girl rate this post as useful

most likely a mistake 2008/7/17 16:32
I think there's a very strong possibility the names have been misspelled/ misread at some point. Dana needs to check carefully and then get back to us.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Japanese Honorifics 2008/7/19 13:38
Are you sure they are Japanese? And are you expected, as a foreigner, to use proper Japanese addresses? If so here is a quick guide..

In Japan, you would usually say the family name(last name), then the given name(first name).

Japan also has many honorifics, which you simply put at the end of their name.
Here is a list of common honorifics.

san- the most common honorific, it is about the equivelant of Mr. or Mrs.

kun- usually used towards younger males, or male friends of about the same age and staus.

chan- used towards small children, pets and lovers

sensei- used to address someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery in some skill (teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc.)

sama- used to address someone of a much higher rank than oneself

senpai- used to address senior colleagues or mentor figures (a first year student speaking to a third year student)

khai- the opposite of senpai; used to address junior colleagues (a third year student speaking to a first year student)

I would advise using only the last name and the honorific 'san' for your clients..
example: for Yoko Makokio, Makokio-san
by alexis forever rate this post as useful

Name sounds... bogus 2008/7/21 09:52
I'm a bit worried when you say you do business with these 2 persons.

The names sound bogus, so please be careful.
by ling rate this post as useful

. 2008/7/22 19:03
-san is inappropriate for customers. You should use -sama.
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

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