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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Messing around with culture-clash Japanese names :3

    This is really just a thought exercise and playing around with names, so...ahem. A fairly familiar acquaintance /good friend of a good friend, who's a few years older than me, moved back to England with her boyfriend earlier this year, after living in Japan after she graduated, teaching English and such. They've both got pretty common names and aren't name geeks, so what the hey - the mother-to-be is Caitriona, but she's always gone by Catrina to the point of writing it like that for an easy life, or her nn Cat. Her boyfriend is called Kazuo and has a pretty common Japanese surname. They have a young daughter, Shiori (詩織), no mn, no nn.

    They've just found out that they're expecting a second child, and have been testing the water for Japanese names in England and such. Their top choices are as follows:

    Narumi (鳴海 - means "the roaring of the sea") (na-ru-mi. Stress is even and r is pronounced like r/l. In reality, this will probably be pronounced like a straight 'r' in Brit society and "properly" in Japan/at home)
    Azami (薊) ("thistle") (a-za-mi)
    Kaede (楓) (their favourite, means "maple") (kai-day?)
    Manami (愛海) (ma-na-mi)
    Sumire (菫 or 紫花) (second favourite, means "violet" or "purple flower") (su-mi-rey)
    Nozomi (希) ("hope") (no-zo-mi. I have a friend named this, and you say it really quickly, so it's a blur between noz-mi and a little bit no-zo-mi. It's not -pretty- but it's cool)
    Kozue (梢) ("twig", "treetop") (ko-zu-ey?)

    Kiyoshi (亮 - "pure") (ki-yo-shi)
    Akira (昭 - "bright")
    Sho / Shou (翔 - "soar, fly")
    These are all left over from when Shiori was just a bump and they were working out names for either gender. Both sets of grandparents are okay with them and can say them, and they're one-kanji names, which Kazuo likes. Cat also likes Shūji, Shinji and Mitsu- names, but Kazuo doesn't.

    They've decided to go with a middle-name this time. It will be Scottish or English, maybe something a bit more out there, and they're not too worried about it working in Japanese, as, well, middle names aren't really a thing in Japanese culture. They want something fun but not completely insane compared with the Japanese first name - boys might be Bartholomew, which they both find fun and quirky, but also a name with substance and history. Personally, I'm not sure whether Akira Bartholomew is awesome, surreal or an abomination. They're both pretty flamboyant, and I think they want -exotic- or -unusual- or just fun and funky more than Thomas or Anne. Then again, Cat does love Violet and Ava.

    As a name nerd, I have to say - thank you god or godlike-deity for Facebook and indecisive parents-to-be!

    So, not that I have any influence, nor would I want any, this got me thinking...

    1) What do you think of their Japanese fn choices? Do they go with Shiori? Are they too weird for English speakers? I know they didn't want 'tame' compromises like Naomi / Emi / Hana etc... but is it too much? The surname is Japanese, so it's not like it would look 'odd' - not like Hanako Smith or something. Do you have a favourite?

    2) If you had to, what names (British/Scottish/Mythological/Your culture/whatever) would you put with these names? They can be used as fn or mn, and you can have two middle names if you want.

    3) Would you ever give one kid no middle name, and another kid one or two middle names? Why?

    4) Would you ever give a kid one name from the father's culture, and the other a name from the mother's? E.G - Shiori and Ailsa?

    5) If you had to, or wanted to, what combos would you make with one Japanese name and one non-Japanese name? You can go as wild as you like, make huge lists or not, all cultures and types of names are acceptable, either gender, it just to have one Japanese name, as a first name or middle name. Inspiration for Japanese names, if you want it - . . . Or google. Or whatever. This is the main question because I'm nosy as to what combos everyone'd come up with! No limits. I'll make some later myself.

    Sooooo... whatdya think?

    PS: Sorry if this is better suited to the game forum.

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