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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.

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    I'm half Chinese and have been toying around with the idea of doing Chinese middle names. I would never use one as a first name though since English speakers tend to butcher the names pretty bad. Plus, I myself, don't even have a Chinese name. I have a Chinese nickname though. I'm toying with that idea as well. Picking an English name that can be turned into a cute Chinese name. For example, I love the name Luna, so I can call her "Xiao Yue" which means little moon.

    I'm not too familiar with all those names, but I do know Shiori and Kaede because of the anime, InuYasha. Kaede is also a common Japanese name I run across in anime/manga. The only boy name I recognize is Akira, which is a animated movie and manga. So I personally would avoid those because of that association. BUT, I don't see why they wouldn't go with Shiori?

    I don't think it's odd, given the father is Japanese, but it might be a little inconvenient for the children since their names are most likely to be butchered by English speakers.

    I plan on giving all my children one middle name. I think the first child might feel left out if their younger sibling has a middle name and they don't. Maybe they'll feel less special? Like why does he/she have a middle name and I don't? I have a younger sister, so I know what sibling rivalry is all about.

    Well there's my 2 cents, I think I hit most if not all of the questions.
    Last edited by catloverd; June 14th, 2013 at 04:38 PM.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    1. Kaede, Kiyoshi, and Nozomi most go with Shiori to me, but I think all of them would more or less work in a sibling set. For English speakers, I think Akira, Shou, Narumi, Manami, and Nozomi would be the easiest names to "figure out." The other FN's would be ones that might have to be spoken by the parents first before people get it straight. For example, I think with Azami, English speakers may say "uh-zah-mee" (almost like "a zombie!" without the B. haha) at first.

    As for whether it's too much, that's up to the individual. Some people may think it's odd, while for others it doesn't register as a concern.

    2. Narumi Alice
    Azami Cordelia
    Kaede Maura
    Manami Honora
    Sumire Ophelia
    Nozomi Elspeth
    Kozue Maeve

    Kiyoshi Byron
    Akira Hamish
    Shou Alfred

    3. I think I'd do equally for each child, out of fairness.

    4. For me I think I'd just do whatever name we liked best, regardless.

    5. Well, I've wanted to name my daughter Sansa Nanami for a long time now. Ha, and my #1 boy name is Léo Shinobu. So as you can see, this is up my alley. xD

    Some other combos I've been thinking of...

    Adelaide Hanako
    Agnes Mizuki
    Astoria Rumi
    Astoria Miharu

    Alfred Kou
    Alfred Hiroyuki
    Alfred Masamune
    Kendrick Zen
    Irving Junichi
    Barnaby Rin
    moving to new account with username I like more... since we can't just change them

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Kaede and Sumire are two of my most-loved Japanese names ever. I also quite like Reiko, Miho, Ren, Yui and Miaka. I heard my friends talk about picking "new" Spanish names in class and always hoped I could pick a Japanese name to be called in Japanese class, but it never happened, we just wrote our names in katakana. Anyway, I have two thoughts on this matter. 1) For English speakers, just seeing two Japanese sibling names together makes them automatically "go together." A lot of English speakers don't really worry about names going together anyway. 2) Depending on the first language spoken/country they live in, I suggest picking the name with the least amount of guesswork involved for people who don't speak Japanese. For example, Sho makes perfect sense to us, but Kaede might be said "kade" instead of kah-ay-day, and Sumire might be said like "su-myre" instead of su-mee-ray. English speakers with no Japanese knowledge don't realize every letter makes a sound, unlike our own names. So with that in mind, I think Sho and Azami would have the easiest time. (please vote!)

    Just lurking since the birth of my son S. G. A.
    Zorina, Faustine, Castalia, Vasilisa, Oriana, Anaxandra, Sebastiana
    ... Alaric, Silvan, Alistair, Stellan, Rainer, Caspian, Theron, Salvatore

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    I read japanese manga so I really am familiar with many japanese names. I like Narumi, Kaede, and Sumire. Like all their boy names choice except Sho (I know Shou but not Sho, so it's just weird for my eyes)

    Not sure what to pair with them, but I like the sounds of Narumi Elizabeth or Narumi Elysia. Kaede Louisa, Sumire Eulalia, Kiyoshi Keats, Akira George, Shou Alexander. Well, those were my first thoughts.

    Not sure about it, since I always know I'm gonna give all my future children middle name(s). In this case, I'll consider to add a brand new mn in Shiori's name.

    I love the sound of Shiori and Ailsa together, so why not? As long as they sounded good together.. Maybe a mix, like japanese mn for Ailsa?
    twenty-something name nerd. infj

    Seraphina Juliette Audrey. Evangeline Laetitia Odette. Catalina Ariadne Helen. Valentina Bellatrix Yvaine
    Violetta Catherine Lenore. Isabelle Faustina Clare. Rosalind Anna Belphoebe. Guinevere Cassia Ottilie
    Vanessa Rose Aphrodite. Helena Edelweiss. Talitha Caroline. Aurelia Madelief

    Peregrine Lysander James. Gavriel Alexander Callum. James Luca Auberon. Edmund Frederic Altair
    Perseus Arthur Flynn. Cassius Jason Alaric. Damien Alexei Orion

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