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Subject: Re: Does anyone know why Japanese people in Japan do not have middle names?
Author: ClaudiaS   (Authenticated as ClaudiaS)
Date: June 18, 2010 at 6:18:55 PM
Reply to: Does anyone know why Japanese people in Japan do not have middle names? by ninjato
You are correct; Japanese do not have middle names. It has nothing to do with kanji being "confusing"; middle names are simply not part of their culture. I don't think there is any reason beyond that.

ETA--One will occasionally encounter a Japanese national who seems to have a middle name, but this will not have been given in Japan at birth. Some Japanese Catholics take a Christian name as a middle name at confirmation, just as some American Catholics do. Also, sometimes when a baby is born to Japanese parents in the USA or another country, he or she will be given a middle name or middle initial because it seems to be "expected" (i.e. there is a space for it on the birth certificate). I know of one case in which Japanese parents, living in the USA temporarily, gave their baby the middle initial "C". It was just C on the birth certificate, not short for any name, but the parents explained that they chose C because the baby was born by Caesarian section.

This message was edited by the author on June 18, 2010 at 9:30:00 PM

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