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Fictive family name 2009/5/27 00:50
Hey! I hope it's okay to ask this kind of question here...

I'm working on a bit of original fiction featuring a young Japanese man as one of the main characters. The story is set in the late 19th century, so the fellow in question grew up during the politically unstable years of the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji restoration.

Now I'm looking for a plausible last/family name for him. I'd rather not use an actual existing name, getting tangled up with real existing people, but I'm picky enough to want to find one that SOUNDS plausible.

His family would have been samurai up until the samurai class was abolished, not the lowest class of foot-soldiers, but not the very highest of aristocracy either (hirazamurai, would that be right?). I'm also thinking he'll most likely hail from southern Japan (the parts of the country where the sonnō jōi movement flourished in the early 1860ies) if that makes a difference.

His given name is Takashi, F, so a family name that works kanji-stroke-count wise with that would be best.

Would really, really appreciate some help with this!
Thanks! :)
by Egarim (guest)  

names in Kagoshima 2009/5/27 11:53
Do you read Japanese?
This site has a list of surnames which are often found in Kagoshima (formally called Satsuma).
http://homepage1.nifty.com/forty-sixer/kagoshima.htm
Hope it will help you.
by Okojo (guest) rate this post as useful

Ari- 2009/5/27 12:43
I Googled @@m and I found this;
http://wiki.chakuriki.net/index.php/%E3%81%82%E3%82%8A%...

Half way through, it says that among the family names related to samurais in Kagoshima, there are a lot that has the letter L (ari) in it. Examples given are;
Arimura
Arikawa
Arishima
Arima

Btw, F is quite a modern name for a 19C guy, which is alright.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks! Another question... 2009/5/27 21:04
Okojo - Not really, but I'm capable of transliterating, so I think I'll be fine. XD Thank you.

Uco - that IS helpful, thank you! Maybe I can pick an existing name and rearrange it to exhange an 'ari' for some other part of the name.

I did do some research for his given name, and from what I could see, F was around at the period I'm looking for? But would it be notably 'modern' to others of the time, or not really anything special? I could work witht hat, either way.
I know there are also a few alternate kanji spellings of the name ( , ) - would that affect how modern it was perceived at the time?
Thanks!
by Egarim (guest) rate this post as useful

The name Takashi 2009/5/27 21:58
I don't know about old given names. I just thought that an average Japanese reader would expect something with say -zaemon or -zaburo or -mori at the end if he was a samurai born in the Edo Era. My grandfather and his siblings were born way into the Meiji Era and they all had "one kanji character/three kana character" names like F. Our family had thought that that must have been modern in those days. But it's a given name. Nothing is impossible unless it's something like Ichigo-chan.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/5/27 23:19
Sakamoto or Maeda
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks again! 2009/5/28 07:51
Uco - I must admit I've only been looking into these particular things for a decently short while - there is a LOT of grammar issues and historical implications to try and grasp when it comes to Japanese names, I've come to understand!
I think I'll stick with Takashi until someone blatantly tells me it's perfectly wrong - it ties together nicely with other names I'm using, and I'd hate to have to go back and unravel all that to start over again.

Thanks for all your help, though! I really appreciate it. :)
by Egarim (guest) rate this post as useful

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