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Japanese general names;surname comes first or second?

Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by Garuda, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Garuda

    Garuda New Member

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    I'm currently making a home made animation about WW2. There is one general in particular that I will mention in it and that is Yasuji Okamura. But his surname is Okamura and I think that Japanese names mention the surname first although this general is more well known with being called Yasuji Okamura. And not Okamura Yasuji. I know very well that Chinese names use the surname first when mentioning generals but which name should I use first when it comes to mentioning Japanese general names in video clips?
     
  2. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    Depends on what your target audience is Western, Japanese or Chinese?
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have worked with a lot of Japanese over the years, I think it's polite to use their format. A note at the beginning to explain this to "Western" readers would be a good idea and would inform some people of the proper format.
     
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  4. Garuda

    Garuda New Member

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    Ok.I'll use Okamura Yasuji. But I can't reshoot the opeing credits so that will have to remain with as "Yasuji Okamura".
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It's not a life or death matter.
     
  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    It is curious that we render most other Asian names correctly, even of enemies like Kim Jong Un or Mao Zedong but reverse Japanese names, for example Shinzo Abe.
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Is it because at the heart of the matter we consider Japan as a 'western' nation more than a eastern one?
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Or too many of us are too lazy to do the mental conversion.
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    From the beginning of the 20th century, when Japan was trying to make itself more "modern" & "western" was when the naming convention of surname last caught on. It was continued in the West, despite the Japanese returning to the old style with the rise of Japanese nationalism in the 30s.

    There was a poll some years ago in Japan on this. 1/3 favored it surname first, 1/3 favored surname last, and 1/3 didn't care.
     
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Part of my job is testing software revisions. We have a developer who likes to use Japanese names in his tests. The problem arises when we don't know which is the given name or the surname and we have to verify the correct order.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    It can be a problem. I've worked with some Japanese professors on the Magic document since 1999. We had to agree on certain protocol to bridge the academic gaps. One thing I readily agreed to was to use names in the format most used in the country of the person in question. The funny thing was that the Japanese were ready to concede that Americans could only do names in the American style. I got good karma from being willing to honor the Japanese system.
     

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