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shitsumon

samuraitora

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Is it true that in japan, they don't normally give their children middle names.

Here in the states, almost everyone has a middle name.
 

thomas

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Funny thing, I've just discussed that with a Japanese friend last weekend. Obviously, there's no such habit in Japan.

I always wondered about American middle names. In Catholic countries kids are usually given the first name of their godfather/godmother as middle name. Now take for instance the president's name: George Walker Bush. Is "Walker" supposed to be a first name or someone's family name used as middle name?
 

Tomoko

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middle names

Come to think of it, none of my Japanese friends has a middle name....
 

moyashi

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Official word on this.

Middle names are illegal in Japan. The Japanese government will not allow Japanese people to have a middle name.

Probably because almost all of their computer systems (governmental ones at least) are based on cobol and they have trouble fitting long names even on your driver's license. Although this year, after 10 years of having the name C I'm now officially back to Carsten. Ughhh, but all of my credit cards and bank accounts are still at "C"

If I get a chance, I'll ask at the baby registration office why middle names are outlawed.
 

Maciamo

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May I ask : How many middle names do you usually have in the States ? I have 2, my parents have 4, my grandparents even more. Some of my friends don't have any, but the average in the region I was born (Belgium) is two (so 1 first, 2 middle and one last name), usually the one of the godfather and godmother for my generation.
 

samuraitora

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I will answer your question maciamo. Well, you asked it over a year ago. Here in the states, people normally only get one middle name. Depending on the customes of your blood line, that can change. I had a little mexican girlfriend in high school that had 4 middle names.
 

budd

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or sometimes depending on how much the parents want to "put on airs"
"Probably because almost all of their computer systems (governmental ones at least) are based on cobol and they have trouble fitting long names even on your driver's license."
that's quite a bit of interesting info, thanks
 

den4

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Anybody know why the hispanic community or folks from south of the USA have so many middle names? Some are so long that I lose count!
 

Uncle Frank

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Animals lead the pack !

Purebreds like dogs seem to have about 5 or more name parts !

Frank
 

Iron Chef

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Interesting indeed. It had never occured to me that the Japanese do not use middle names. Re: Spanish names, I recently saw a rerun of Conan O'Brien the other night where Antonio Banderas was the guest and he was using his full name (and saying it so quickly I couldn't keep up). Needless to say it was quite impressive and elegant sounding when strung together.
 

torakris

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Originally posted by moyashi
Official word on this.

Middle names are illegal in Japan. The Japanese government will not allow Japanese people to have a middle name.

Probably because almost all of their computer systems (governmental ones at least) are based on cobol and they have trouble fitting long names even on your driver's license. Although this year, after 10 years of having the name C I'm now officially back to Carsten. Ughhh, but all of my credit cards and bank accounts are still at "C"

If I get a chance, I'll ask at the baby registration office why middle names are outlawed.

They are not illegal, they just have no history of it and thus official documents are not set up to handle a separate middle name. I have quite a few friends who have given their children middle names in Japan, most are couples where one person is Jaapnese and the other is foreign but others are both Japanese. The thing is the name gets attached to the first name on all of the official documents since there is no separate space for a middle name.
I decided to go the separate route for my 3 kids here in Japan and all of the official Japanese papers have just a first name, while all of the official American papers include a middle name
 

mdchachi

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Originally posted by thomas
Funny thing, I've just discussed that with a Japanese friend last weekend. Obviously, there's no such habit in Japan.

I always wondered about American middle names. In Catholic countries kids are usually given the first name of their godfather/godmother as middle name. Now take for instance the president's name: George Walker Bush. Is "Walker" supposed to be a first name or someone's family name used as middle name?

I believe the American use of a middle name stems from Catholocism as well but now it's just taken for granted that most people will be given one. So parents will choose it based on all sorts of reasons. It may be to honor a dead relative or just because they like it. Sometimes people will take a last name and make it a middle name in order to keep it in the family. For example, when my sister got married, since she had to change her name anyway, she made her maiden name her middle name. She didn't bother to keep her old middle name though I suppose she could have judging by hispanic names.
 

Mandylion

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I don't think it is because a middle name wouldn't fit in the computer. My Japanese drivers license has a full 20 charcaters (using the alphabet, including spaces between names) and my full middle name. There appear to be a good eight left over. Since most Japanese names are two or three kanji long, adding in a few more, even allowing for a larger print size, shouldn't be that big a problem. While a middle name might complicate some computer forms, there are too few people who want one to invest in making the change.
 
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