how do you feel about a person's name read with 音読み?

Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by akashoz, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. akashoz Member

    English (?)
    Almost all Japanese last names are read with 訓読み.
    However, some are read with 音読み.
    What do native Japanese feel about people who use 音読み readings for their last names?

    Do you think that the families with 音読み readings are special in Japanese society? are they elites?
    Female names never use 音読み, right?
    There are a few male names that use 音読み, right? Don't such names annoy you?
  2. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    音読みの苗字?I googled and found 坂東, Bando. This is just one of our surnames and I haven't ever cared or noticed. Fuji in 藤原 Fujiwara is 訓読み, but 伊藤、佐藤、近藤、いとう、さとう、こんどう seem to be 音読み, according to the webpage I consulted. I even didn't know these three are 音読みの苗字.

    We have a common first name Jun, 純. This is common to both male and female. But when using kanji 淳、順, they are better for male. Do these names annoy me? No, they sound cool.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  3. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Never say never for language phenomena. You end up limiting the scope of your arguments so narrow. On-reading for female names is not as common as that for men but there are quite a few nowadays. 菊川怜 is a woman and she's got an on-read last name, . If you allow partial kun-reading, the list swells with Kyōko, Ryōko, Rēko, Shōko etc. [the suffix -ko is a Japanese autochthonous word].
    There are in fact a lot of on-read male names: Juňňichirō Koizumi, Kēsuke Okada, Kakuē Tanaka, Kōkō Satō etc.

    Sometimes, officially kun-read names are read for various reasons. 伊藤博文 is often referred to as Itō Hakubun (Hirobumi is the pronunciation learnt in school). Maybe the on-reading expresses some social clout.

    In order to distinguish a lot of Hiroyuki's to spell out the kanji for each correctly, one may inwardly call a Hiroyuki Yūkō (裕行) and another Hakushi (博之).
  4. akashoz Member

    English (?)
    I am just interested in the role of 音読み in Japanese.
    (1) common 音読み are しゃく、ちゅう、りょ、...
    (2) those sounds are based on sounds in the Chinese language.
    (3) during 徳川時代、elite Japanese scholars went to China to have cultural exchange
    (4) they returned to Japan with 漢字 and used 中国語ような発音( 音読み) for them.

    音読み are for formal Japanese, while 訓読み is for conversational Japanese?
    Are not 「省略、増加、比較、など」 more formal than 「省く、増やす、比べる、など」?
    I wonder if 苗字 that use 音読み has any connections to ancient scholars or samurais.....
  5. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan

    Correctness aside, this topic reminds me of Saxon words and Latin-rooted words. By the way, that is not a matter of formality; I always love to select the second group (省く..) for instructions/manuals, which I want to address simply.

    U~m, no..I haven't ever heard such a story much. I know a person who has a surname of 秦, Shin (音読み). This is very rare, and could possibly suggest his ancestor Chinese or, his Japanese ancestor wanted to use this kanji and sound. We don't know more than that unless we do any historical research. Surnames are sometimes employed randomly; my friend's family has changed their odd surname to more modern one soon after WWII.

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