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Re: [SCA-JML] Japanese name questions

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  • Barbara Nostrand
    Lord Godric! Greetings from Solveig! The zokumyo is also called a tsusho and a yobina. It is a common use name. It most commonly follows the form of the names
    Message 1 of 60 , Nov 1, 2000
      Lord Godric!

      Greetings from Solveig! The zokumyo is also called a tsusho and a yobina.
      It is a common use name. It most commonly follows the form of the names
      of Charlie Chan's sons. However, there can be some comlicated variants
      on it. For example, there are folks who were called Tarousaburou (yes
      Baron Edward, I know that you prefer macrons over the o's to writing
      ou) which is literarly #1 son #3 son and most likely means 3rd son of
      the 1st son. Clan names still showed up in certain official Japanese
      records as late as the 19th century. (As I recall at least.) However,
      clans were mostly a pre-Heian phenomenon and were mostly extinct by
      the middle of the Heian period. The "clans" of the bakuhan system were
      never really kinship groups and were not "clans" in any significant
      sense. This is confused a bit by the fact that a number of the Shugo
      daimyo at the head of the various han claimed descent from a limited
      number of ancient uji (clans).

      The various tags like Hei (most likely for the Taira), &c. are
      directly associated with the ancient uji whether or not there was
      an actual geneological descent going on.

      >Under Zokumyo they say thatit was common to use the order of birth (Tarou,
      >Ichirou, Jirou, etc.) and that this would sometimes be combined
      >(Saburoujirou, Jiroshirou, Jirotarou). However, I am trying to find out
      >when this combination came about, what it implied--if anything--and how
      >common it was in the 16th Century. Also, the enrichment of such names
      >with a prefix such as Shou-, Hei-, Yasu-, Miyo- has me a bit confused as
      >to how that was used.

      It was very very common in the 16th century. See the late Muromachi
      kyogen Bikusada to support this assertion. Bikusada concerns itself
      with a genpuku ceremony in which a young man receives an adult name.
      The play is rather humorous and does strongly support this business
      about inherited name elements, collateral naming practices, &c.

      >Were the translations of the name important to the Japanese? I assume
      >that one would want to avoid anything that was particularly inauspicious,
      >but was an auspicious name considered important?

      My take on things. There were and still are. The meaning stares right at
      you in Japanese. While I was living in Japan people would occasionally
      tell me interesting anecdotes about people's names which clearly indicate
      that Japanese are conscious of this sort of thing. The significance of
      names in Japanese society have been documented in The Chrysanthemum and
      the Sword, Japan's Name Culture, The Japanese, &c. Today, people in
      Japan may change their names a little less frequently than before.
      However, during the early Showa period, people were still changing
      their names to relieve ill fortune &c. Today, there is the interesting
      story of the Korean entertainer who kept changing his name in the hope
      that he would become famous before folks checked his koseki. This story
      does not even have to be factual to support the current discussion.
      Simply the fact that this story was circulating in Japan is signifanct
      data in this case.

      Your Humble Servant
      Solveig Throndardottir
      Amateur Scholar
      --
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      | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM |
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    • Barbara Nostrand
      Noble Cousins! I agree about the Yamanoue. Aside from its historical attestation, it follows a regular locative construction. As for Kemuri, while it is
      Message 60 of 60 , Nov 8, 2000
        Noble Cousins!

        I agree about the Yamanoue. Aside from its historical attestation, it
        follows a regular locative construction. As for Kemuri, while it is
        impossible to prove that anything which follows the sound system for
        a language is NOT a name, Kemuri is in the class of things which are
        unlikely to be a name. For example, Quidich and Dumbledore are
        reasonable phonetic constructions, but I would be surprised to meet
        anyone over the age of five with either of those. Borrowing from
        English Onomastics, we pretty much know when the name Wendy was
        invented. No we can not prove that it was never ever used by anyone
        before its use in literature, but we have no reason to believe that
        it was. Similarly, we have no reason to believe that Kemuri was
        used as a Japanese name.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar
        --
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        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM |
        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:bnostran@... |
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