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Japanese kanji for English last names

Last names are not done on for a couple of main reasons. First of all, there are different kanji that are used for first names and last names. While there is some overlap, first names are more likely to have more inspirational and interesting meanings (from an artistic perspective) like beauty, lovely, bright, fortune, faith, blessing, warrior and protector, whereas last names relate more to where people lived or what they did and had meanings like bridge, rock, tree, field, grass, etc. Since kanji are related to sounds, the ones used for first names could technically be used for last names, but many first name kanji are gender specific, when last names should be gender neutral. Also, English last names can be long and require many kanji, whereas it is better to use fewer kanji for names when possible. Most Japanese last names are 3 kanji or less. click here.

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