Japanese family names usually include characters referring to places and geographic features. . means "to purify". These names can also exist written in archaic forms, as. ) means "the base of the mountain", and Inoue (. ( mura, village), together in any pair, form a simple, reasonably common surname: Tanaka, Nakamura, Murata, Nakata (Nakada), Muranaka, Tamura. Not all names are complicated. Some common names are summarized by the phrase tanakamura ("the village in the middle of the rice fields"): the three kanji: Despite these difficulties, there are enough patterns and recurring names that most native Japanese will be able to read virtually all family names they encounter and the majority of personal names. 新 ). Therefore, to those familiar with Japanese names, which name is the surname and which is the given name is usually apparent, no matter which order the names are presented in. This thus makes it unlikely that the two names will be confused, for example, when writing in English while using the family name-given name naming order. However, due to the variety of pronunciations and differences in languages, some common surnames and given names may coincide when Romanized: e.g., Shoji ( 昌司, 昭次, or 正二 ) (given name) and Shoji ( 庄司, 庄子, 東海林, or 小路 ) (surname). An example of such a name is Saitō. There are two common kanji for sai here. The two sai characters have different meanings: "flower"; e.g. " Reika ") and -na ( 奈, or. Nihonjin no Shimei ) in modern times usually consist of a family name (surname), followed by a given name. More than one given name is not generally used. In ancient times, people in Japan were considered the property of the Emperor and their surname reflected the role in the gover. Family names are sometimes written with periphrastic readings, called jukujikun, in which the written characters relate indirectly to the name as spoken. For example, Most Japanese people and agencies have adopted customs to deal with these issues. Address books, for instance, often contain furigana or ruby characters to clarify the pronunciation of the name. Japanese nationals are also required to give a romanized name for their passport. The recent use of katakana in Japanese media when referring to Japanese celebrities who have gained international fame has started a fad among young socialites who attempt to invoke a cosmopolitan flair using katakana names as a badge of honor. [. ). (The consonant n needs to be paired with a vowel to form a syllable). ) are common in Okinawa but not in other parts of Japan; this is mainly due to differences between the language and culture of Yamato people and Okinawans. Many Japanese family names derive from features of the rural landscape; for example, Ishikawa (. ), uji ( 氏 ) or sei ( 姓 )– precedes the given name, called the "name"– (. ] All of these complications are also found in Japanese place names. ( Learn how and when to remove this template message ). 島. Some names also feature very uncommon kanji, or even kanji which no longer exist in modern Japanese. Japanese people who have such names are likely to compromise by substituting similar or simplified characters. This may be difficult for input of kanji in computers, as many kanji databases on computers only include common and regularly used kanji, and many archaic or mostly unused characters are not included. An odd problem occurs when an elderly person forgets how to write their name in old Kanji that is no longer used. ( i-no-ue, well-(possessive)-top/above, top of the well), or historical figures such as Sen no Rikyū. . This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. ン ); this is in common with other proper Japanese words, though colloquial words may begin with.