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Japanese surnames after marriage

gwendy85

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I...uh...am kind of confused in this subject. 😌

In marriages, women change their surnames to that of their husbands'. Sometimes, they combine the two (e.g. Jolie-Pitt) while other women keep their maiden names.

What about in Japan?

Thanks guys! 👍
 

epigene

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Under law, women take the husband's family name after marriage.

However, women with professional careers frequently continue using their maiden names to avoid confusion in identity. However, this is tolerated only in the business world and not in official records and documents.

Virtually no Japanese women use double-barrelled names (such as Smith-Jones). However, there is a small number of women who insist on it--usually they are radical feminists or women married to foreign nationals who adopted the Western style.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Under law, women take the husband's family name after marriage.
This is not entirely correct. Under Japanese law, one or the other must change their last name upon marriage, but it is not necessary for the woman to do so. Sometimes when a man marries into a family with no sons, he takes her family's name and is literally adopted into the family. I know of several examples of this, and I have comtemplated this possibility myself.

But Epigene is right about everything else as far as I know.
 

Pachipro

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Quote:Originally Posted by epigene https://jref.com/showthread.php?p=402306#post402306


Under the law, women take the husband's family name after marriage.

Mikawa Ossan said:
This is not entirely correct. Under Japanese law, one or the other must change their last name upon marriage, but it is not necessary for the woman to do so. Sometimes when a man marries into a family with no sons, he takes her family's name and is literally adopted into the family.
I heard from my wife just the other day that the woman in Japan does not have to change her last name to that of her spouse when marrying a foreign national anymore. Whether it holds for Japanese women marrying Japanese men I do not know.

As far as I know, what Mikawa said is also correct. In the cases of an only female child the husband will often adopt the wife's family name, if he has other brothers, in order to keep the family name of the wife going.

My wife is an only child, but since we never had any children, I see no reason to change it even when we do move back to Japan. But if I had to for some reason or another I would not be against doing it.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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I heard from my wife just the other day that the woman in Japan does not have to change her last name to that of her spouse when marrying a foreign national anymore. Whether it holds for Japanese women marrying Japanese men I do not know.

As far as I know, what Mikawa said is also correct. In the cases of an only female child the husband will often adopt the wife's family name, if he has other brothers, in order to keep the family name of the wife going.

My wife is an only child, but since we never had any children, I see no reason to change it even when we do move back to Japan. But if I had to for some reason or another I would not be against doing it.
I'll quote the law when I get home from work. (Sorry, but I only have the original Japanese version readily available.)
 

Pachipro

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Mikawa Ossan said:
I'll quote the law when I get home from work. (Sorry, but I only have the original Japanese version readily available.)
Thanks, I'd appreciate that.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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There are several laws dealing with name changes in Japan. They do have specific laws concerning marriage with foreigners as well. However, for the time being, I'll just quote the basic law concerning marriage between two Japanese nationals.

民法第四編(親族)第一章(総則)第七五〇条【夫婦の 氏】
夫婦は、婚姻の際に定めるところに従い、夫又は妻の氏を称する。

Then there are several laws contained in 戸籍法 concerning name changes and whatnot, but they use the law above as a starting spot. I can quote those, too, if anyone wishes.
 

gwendy85

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Thanks for all the input :)
But you see, I'm using this for a novel I'm working on. These are the situations:
Year 1922
Woman #1 - only child of a single mother. Man marries her and they have a son. This man is the eldest of two children, his sibling, a sister/
Year 1942
Woman #2 - Eldest of two children; younger sibling is a boy; Mother is deceased, father dies after she is married (illness) . The man she marries is the eldest of two sons.
So...given the dates and situations, do this women acquire their husband's surname or do their husbands acquire theirs or whatever? Thanks again! :)
 

Mikawa Ossan

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I don't think the dates matter so much, but given the situations you described, I think that in both cases the women would take their husbands' family names. Hope this helps!
 

mizukerntz

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hi! i need help guys.. im a japanese citizen.. i got married last august 12, 2010 to a filipino national.. will there be a problem if i change my last name to my husband's surname?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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I don't think there will be a problem, but seeing as he is not a Japanese national, neither one of you is under any legal obligation to change your name upon marriage according to Japanese law.

The only problem I can forsee is people assuming you are a foreigner based on your new last name.
 
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My J-wife long ago took my family name, and has never been confused for a non-Japanese because her given name is obviously Japanese.

Since we live in the US, where everyone also has a middle name, she uses her maiden name as her middle name.

No laws require any of this; she just chose to do it that way.
 

Nuala

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The only problem I can forsee is people assuming you are a foreigner based on your new last name.
I am aghast at this! Trouble with homegrown nationals because of your last name...dreadful...
 

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