Yesterday I was looking back over old school related blog posts. Wow. Anyway, I realized I hadn't done an update of unusual surnames at this school in the two years that I have been here. If you have missed out on it, I have a minor, unexplained obsession with Japanese last names; especially crazy ones.
I'll just give you a brief recap of why Japanese surnames are so varied. With the exception of the very powerful, Japanese didn't have last names until the fall of the feudal system in the 1860s. Under the Meiji they were told to give themselves last names. That hasn't been enough generations for the rarer names to eleminate themselves. That sounds ominous.
One category I am getting stricter on is the combination of a place specifier, i.e. 原、谷、山, plus a qualifier for it. Because, really you could stick any two kanji together and some are going to sound rarer to others.
Under the category of easy to read but strange, we have the all-time champion, now, at this school:
上圡： Uedo. I have never seen another Uedo and was convinced it must have some crazy reading. Nope. Uedo.
We also have 龍： Ryu. But as a last name. Is that odd? It seems so to me. "Hello, my name is dragon. Fuck you."
There are two brothers both named 薬師寺： Yakushiji. Which is a famous temple in Nara. Other teachers say it isn't so rare, but I have yet to find any others.
There is a 2nd year named 島子： Shimako. Very easy to read. I want that last name. 'Island Child.' Not bad.
There is a 征禄： Seiroku. Never seen that before.
There are two sisters with a slightly unfortunate reading of their last name 槍山： Yariyama.
Maybe related, maybe not, we have a young lady named 泊： Tomari.
Outstandingly bad-assed name 三星： Mitsuboshi. 'Three Stars.' Maybe they can grow up to be a chef.
Possible rare name champion 伝宝：Denpo. Here is the thing; Those aren't even the actual kanji for her name. The real kanji won't come up in any computer or cell phone, even if you look under other readings. They have to be written out by hand, so she just uses these.
There is a 古舘： Furutate. Which you don't see very often.
We have 中条： Chujyo. Whow is as unique as his name.
The 3rd year teachers have my grade book right now, so I will have to come back with more later.