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Debate on separate spouse surnames heats up before court ruling

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By Elaine Lies

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First, can't imagine why someone would be against another person's choice of name. It is none of my or anyone's business which surname I use. Second, I guess this doesn't apply to foreigners because my wife and I both use our own surnames. So I'm confused on both the stats and law.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

"Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

Was he wearing a clown costume during the program?

23 ( +27 / -4 )

"Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

How EXACTLY does allowing different surnames do any of those things?!

You mean like parents killing their children, children killing their parents, spouses killing each other, elderly people being abused in care homes, elderly people dying alone without anyone knowing and those kinds of things? Is that the social stability and public order you are talking about? Funny, it seems that is getting destroyed already.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

One part of me says, "It's just a name." The other part says, "You can't keep your last name if you want to?"

Does that mean you can't legally change your name in Japan?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Stupid Law by stupid lawmakers.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

And this guy is a constitutional scholar, not a sociologist, psychologist or even political scientist. How do such people manage to be taken seriously? Does he have any evidence from social science for this? But, as usual in Japan, if any policy or measure can be linked to "safety", however tenuously, then it can be justified. Just suggest to the people that their property, bodies or lives are in danger and anything at all can be implemented.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

What's in a name?

The choice seems to be keep your father's name, or take your husband's name. Both choices based in the patriarchal system. Dig around the roots of your family tree even only a little bit, and you come up with lots of family names that all played an equal part in making you. Statistically, your maternal grandmother provided just as much of your DNA as your paternal grandfather did; why should he be represented 100% in your name, and she, 0%? Maybe people (male and female) should be able to choose to take either of their parents' names.

Now that we've got My Number to keep track of everyone, what does the name matter? We could do it the Afghan way, and have only given names. T'would make genealogy even more of a maze than it is at present, of course.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“Names are the best way to bind families,” Masaomi Takanori, a constitutional scholar, told NHK public television.

IDIOT!!! YOU IDIOT!!!!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Oh, my dog! This is what my tax is used for? This law was created in 1896 and these old fools still think it is 1896!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

"Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

Was he wearing a clown costume during the program?"

If he wasn't then it had to be a straight jacket.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

You know, Japan is the only country I've lived in with a law like this. Japan is also the only country I've lived in where I'be seen grown adults agonize over what to call someone after they get married. Japan is the only country I've lived in where adults actually have one legal name after marriage, but ask to be called another in the workplace. I don't think that's a coincidence.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

And this guy is a constitutional scholar, not a sociologist, psychologist or even political scientist. How do such people manage to be taken seriously? Does he have any evidence from social science for this? But, as usual in Japan, if any policy or measure can be linked to "safety", however tenuously, then it can be justified. Just suggest to the people that their property, bodies or lives are in danger and anything at all can be implemented."

A common theme it seems of all governments these days. The aftermath of laws restricting people in the U.S. Post 9-11 springs to mind. Why we allow it is beyond me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

IMHO, marrying a man and using his surname after marriage shld be the norm. a woman won't lose her identity nor filial binding once married. It's easier to identify married women. What Iam against is the continued use of most foreign women of the Japanese husband's surname even when divorced. I understand that a complete overhaul on legal papers like passports and alien cards takes time and money but for those who have been divorced for more than 5 yrs and still using the Jsurnames is I think questionable. You divorced the man hence you don't want to have anything with him except if there's a child. In the same way that if a woman decided to marry a man, part of her obligation is the acceptance of the man including his surname. Not unless his surname sounds vulgar. In this case I'd stick to my maiden name!

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

@trinklets2

RUBBISH !

4 ( +11 / -7 )

“Names are the best way to bind families,” Masaomi Takanori, a constitutional scholar, told NHK public television. Yeah right, its defiantely not love, respect , understanding, toleance or any of those things it is the "name " that is the best way to bind a family.

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.” So the rest of the G7 and developed countries are all in a state of near anarchy according to this dinosaur. Someone "bind" him and ship him off back to the 19th century.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I fully agree with her and her actions. Marriage is a biggest and the very best take away from women and girl's life. Marriage puts women and girl's in a subordinate position. Marriage forced women and girl's to put an end to their own search for happiness. Then marriage forced us to become dependent of this so-called 'A Mr. Husband' for rest our lives for our every bit of happiness. Marriage is a hazardous for every woman and for every girl. Yes, we got to get rid of this so-called marriage because 'Marriage' is crime against women, girls and all children.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.” How so? Japan's ancient old lawmakers are so totally out of touch with modern life.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.

Based on...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One simple solution, don't get married!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare"

Don't forget the plagues of locusts, the sun turning black and the increased risk of enormous earthquakes.

Have a shot of Yamazaki to settle the nerves there, lad.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Interesting! I guess this doesn't apply to International marriages. When I got married to my wife (Japanese), we couldn't decide on whose name to take. So the Japanese city hall official told us we didn't need to decide right away, that we could change it later. So we got married. I kept my last name. She kept hers.

It turned out, though, that you had to decide within a certain time period. Of course, he didn't tell us that. So when we went back, after that period, we were told we'd have to petition a name change in the courts. We didn't want to go through that trouble. So here we are. I have my last name. And she has hers.

The only problem we've run into since then was when my daughter was born. My wife wanted her to have my last name. But when I went to the city hall, I was told that my daughter could only take the family name on the Juminhyo (family registry), which still had my wife's last name.

So here we are now. My wife has her original family name. My daughter has her mother's name. I have my orignal family name. And just so the U.S. immigration officials won't get confused, I gave my daughter my last name as her middle name on her American passport.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare

i don't agree with him, and he's being a bit overdramatic But i think many of you need to delve deeper into what he's trying to say instead of instantly dismissing it. a name binds a family or clan. this is the first group that we join in life, and we can instantly recognize others in our group because of the shared name. if the wife and husband have different names, then this concept of family is a bit fractured. whether this is true or not, i'm not sure. on the other hand, i don't belvieve the woman who says part of her identity was destroyed when she got married.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

cleo:

The choice seems to be keep your father's name, or take your husband's name.

You'll find that it's perfectly legal for a man to take on his wife's surname. I had a Japanese colleague who did that.

I like how the government doesn't give a damn about foreigners here - Japanese women aren't obliged to take on their foreign husband's surnames and foreign children aren't obliged to attend school. You notice the kidnapped Japanese who came back from North Korea. Before you could blink, two of the women were given their Japanese husbands' surnames while Soga was still... well, Soga.

Anyway, like I said, the Chinese and Koreans don't change their surnames - and I'd say their family values have suffered no worse than the Japanese - in fact I'd say family bonds are still much stronger in those societies.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

“Names are the best way to bind families,” Masaomi Takanori, a constitutional scholar, told NHK public television.

No, love and financial security is the best way.

I guess this doesn't apply to foreigners because my wife and I both use our own surnames.

As has been alluded to, it doesn't apply to Japanese who marry foreigners.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

nakanoguy01DEC. 14, 2015 - 10:48AM JST i don't agree with him, and he's being a bit overdramatic But i think many of you need to delve deeper into what he's trying to say instead of instantly dismissing it. a name binds a family or clan. this is the first group that we join in life,

erm... no. The first group we join in life is "me and the people who give me milk or change my diapers." Developmental psychologists have tons of evidence that this is the foundation of young children's social psychology. The awareness that a larger family than this even exists comes later, and it only comes if the child is raised in a culture that puts stock in such things. Case in point, for most of human history in both the East and West, the vast majority of people who did not come from the royal class had no family names. They still knew who they were, they still knew who their family was.

on the other hand, i don't belvieve the woman who says part of her identity was destroyed when she got married.

See, that's the thing about identities - it doesn't matter if anyone else believes you or not. Identity is not a matter of popular opinion or up for a vote. If I say my name is "Smith", you don't get to tell me it's not just because you think it shouldn't be.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

nakanoguy01.

Yes, we can invent some justification if we try hard enough. But we know what he is trying to say. He is a shill for the right. Presenting him as a scholar is supposed to raise his credibility. But firstly he is talking outside of his alleged expertise to the extent that you begin to doubt he has any expertise. Secondly, if he was worth his salt as a scholar he would look for and present evidence of his wild assertion (Does a country which allows separate names fall apart?). And thirdly, his assertion that society would collapse is a transparently ideological one designed for maintaining a conservative status quo. It repeats over and over in what minimal debate there is about anything. From having too many tourists to daylight saving the spectre of social chaos and danger is always raised.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have had my name for all my life, which is, so far, over forty years.

Where my name came from, and which outdated patriarchal rules decided what my name should be, forty years ago, don't interest me as much as what happens now. If I get married, I have no intention of changing my name. Why should I? It won't make my relationship stronger to do so.

This is such outdated nonsense, and the fact that the law doesn't apply to marriage with a non-Japanese partner makes that all the more glaringly obvious.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You'll find that it's perfectly legal for a man to take on his wife's surname.

The same applies; you keep your parent's name or take your spouse's name. In either case it's still somebody else's name in the first place.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

its an interesting question / law. So women will change her surname everytime she divorce/remarries. I am guessing next problem /lawsuit will be regarding children surname (what if a woman wants to have her kids surname after her)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.” It is attacking their culture, traditions and traditional values, not necessarily destroying all what he says.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We are ALL born individuals, unique in every way. We do not choose our names they are given to us by our family, and here starts the labeling of life. Name, race, sexuality, musical preference, hobbies etc. But the truth is Japan love labeling more than most, replacing any individualism with pigeonholing an example would be the premium put on meishi koukan/business card etiquette, you are not yourself you are you job/car status over personal individualism,in my opinion.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But how will the Supreme Court judges fudge the ruling on Wednesday? I can imagine the sucking of teeth. They will want to be seen to be upholding rights and the constitution (tatemae) but, on the other hand, their lack of independence from the Justice Ministry, the bureaucracy as a whole and the conservative system, plus their wish not to upset existing procedures, will require them to do nothing at all (All this despite the constitution saying that "all judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this constitution and the Laws" (Article 76)). So, we can expect some flummery about rights in principle but no substantive change in practise. But, voters, you know you can vote them out, don't you? At every general election there is provision to vote some of them out. Has it ever been done? Funny that the subject rarely comes up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“The world is more oriented towards individuals now” it is part of the real reason that is weaking family ties, not the names.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

maxjapankDec. 14, 2015 - 10:37AM JST (...) And just so the U.S. immigration officials won't get confused, I gave my daughter my last name as her middle name on her American passport.

Ahah nice, I like that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And just so the U.S. immigration officials won't get confused, I gave my daughter my last name as her middle name on her American passport.

You definitely have that Japanese state of mind like I do living here so long worrying about troubling/inconveniencing others.

I was able to give my son my last name on the American passport no problem and even chose the middle name though the last name in Japan is different. The good thing was there didn't seem to be a deadline with the U.S. officials for choosing the name luke they have in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many of these legislators can remember the day the initial legislation was enacted, because they voted for it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@fighting viking, what's so rubbish with my view? Maybe you're one foreign woman married to a Jman just to stay here in Japan and pursue better opportunities. Otherwise, if you're into a love marriage, there's that kind of pride using the man's surname. Sorry, I maybe barking at the wrong tree!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"maxjapankDEC. 1

The only problem we've run into since then was when my daughter was born. My wife wanted her to have my last name. But when I went to the city hall, I was told that my daughter could only take the family name on the Juminhyo (family registry), which still had my wife's last name. So here we are now. My wife has her original family name. My daughter has her mother's name. I have my orignal family name. And just so the U.S. immigration officials won't get confused, I gave my daughter my last name as her middle name on her American passport."

In Japan, when a marriage with children legally dissolves, full parental custody and authority is awarded to only one parent. Moreover, this custody ruling creates complete legal separation of the non-custodial parent from his or her biological children.

hypothetically speaking scenario 1: if a foreigner(keeping his/her surname) and Jp partner divorces, Jp court will give to jp parent who has jp "surname"? hypothetically speaking scenario 2: when divorce outside jp, one Jp parent "abduct child back to Jp, then the Hague convention that Jp refuse to sign will kick in. Non-Jp surname parent will be left high and dried?

I am wondering if Jp official don't enforce non-Jp to change the surname for a reason?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Otherwise, if you're into a love marriage, there's that kind of pride using the man's surname.

That's the part that's rubbish.

Don't get me wrong, my wife took my last name, and I wanted her to take my last name, but that was our choicde. To think that all women want that, or to demand that they have to do it, is rubbish. It should be each person's choice.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Wiritiribin

Our kids have Japanese last name on their Japanese passports and American last name on their U.S. passports. And on the Japanese passport, they actually have their American last name in parentheses so when they fly with one of their parents (me or husband), they don't get stopped at the immigration.

Also for your information, even though Japanese don't have middle names, you can actually list your kids' middle names on the juminhyo in the remarks area if you ask them to. In Japan, they pretty much never need to use or show middle names but just so you know this is an option.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bugger that. I kept my surname and so my kids have two names and two passports. Much more better.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

when I went to the city hall, I was told that my daughter could only take the family name on the Juminhyo (family registry), which still had my wife's last name.

That was probably because your wife (with her Japanese last name) was the Setainushi (head of the household). If you two were legally married, you could become the head of the household (unless you are U.S. military affiliates - they your official address isn't Japan in the first place), and if you were the head of the household, your daughter could have taken your last name.

For your J-wife to change her last name after 6 months of being married to you, she'd have to submit paperwork to family court, but it's actually not too much of a pain in the neck. She needs to go to the family court in your residential area, pick up paperwork, write up a reason why she wants to change her last name (you can say you as a family want the same last name and that can be an enough reason actually). It's pretty simple. It'll then take a month or so, for them to send you a paper that says she can change her last name to yours. You need to bring the paper to the city office, they will change the juminhyo, hoken and all that stuff there :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keeping your birth-given name = No problem. Using a hyphenated name = no. no. no. Not only do they look ridiculous on paper, they clearly state "I'm too selfish to choose one, so I want both" <- (Pg13 way of saying what I wanted to get across.)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

opps my comments were intended to MaxjapanK, not Wiritiribin...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After marriage, the wife kept her surname and I kept mine. The kids took her name, naturally, this being Japan.

Don't see the need for fuss....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

lucabrasi After marriage, the wife kept her surname and I kept mine. The kids took her name, naturally, this being Japan. Don't see the need for fuss

Wife kept her J-surname and I kept mine Gaijin surname. Kids have non-Jp passport (I deliberately chose not to apply Japanese passport for them yet) with my surname (born outside japan). Every time when we enter Japan at the custom I get " You must use the Japanese passport to enter Japan next time for your children"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keeping the wife's maiden name, assures the wife of less paperworks if ever divorced. In a way, there's a positive side to it. But me as a conservative and at the same time a bit romanticist, I'd prefer using the husband's surname if ever I'd get married again.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With one family name you keep the family tree and relevance - or in the end it will be like in the biblical times lol - my name is David son of Sam son of marry son of john son of etc... You get it ...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

That would account for the constant chaos of pre-modern Japan, seeing as only the aristocracy had family names until the mid-19th century. Try that argument on the traditionalist troglodytes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

maxjapankDEC. 14, 2015 - 10:37AM JST

Interesting! I guess this doesn't apply to International marriages.

Japan applies lex patriae (law of nationality) to birth, marriage and inheritance of a person. So, a foreign national marries in Japan, the effects of marriage is determined by the laws of the home country of the foreigner.

wiritiribinDEC. 14, 2015 - 03:04PM JST

The only problem we've run into since then was when my daughter was born.

She is a Japanese national, and her name must be given in accordance with her lex patriae which is Japanese Law.

Conservatives say allowing couples to choose whether they share the same surname or not could damage family ties and threaten society.

The debate in Japan is what the "family name" of the children should be if the couple does not share a "family name".

Does anyone have a proper answer?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least my boyfriends name is not Abe!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maxplank, basically you've got zero rights in your household, including being your daughter's legal guardian. I would say you've been suckered...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yet another example of how Japanese archaic "family registry system" is preventing advancement of modern laws designed to create equality across the board.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Things Japanese may not be "archaic" or a "fuss" (Luca!) but different. The Japanese are different. Names in Japan are important.

I study tourism and Japanese tourism was traditionally and remains to an extent today an expedition to collect names (rather than to view sights as in the case of Western tourism) as in the case of visiting Ise shrines and other shrines where one receives the name of the God stamped on a piece of paper, sometimes for other people (as in the case of okage mairi) and especially when these named pieces of paper are believed to fall from the sky (eejanaika), the pilgrimage route in Shinkoku where one visits 88 temples where again one receives name stamps, all the visiting of named places (meisho) collecting named things (meibutsu), and the modern shuin ga-ruzu(girls) and stamp rallies that likewise collect names. It was not important for Japanese tourists, such as Matsuo Basho who walked a thousand kilometers to see summer grass, for there to be something to see at the destination, so long as it was a "named place". The importance of collecting names or symbols is big in Japanese manga such as Once Piece and Dragon Ball.

With all this importance of names in Japan it seems okay that names play a more important part in human bonding. I was sad that as a gaijin, the same name was not required. I changed my name to my wife's name anyway and I am glad I did. I feel bonded.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

No one really cares as long as there is an open bar at the reception. Let the drinks flow and lighten up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She (Japanese spouse) took my foreign name. We divorced amicably. She keeps my lovely name in katakana. Gotta love that!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The debate in Japan is what the "family name" of the children should be if the couple does not share a "family name".

Does anyone have a proper answer?

Whatever the parents decide it should be.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

The family has already been all but destroyed by the corporate slave work paradigm for me, you of little wisdom who said this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maxplank, basically you've got zero rights in your household, including being your daughter's legal guardian. I would say you've been suckered...

Well...I don't know how true that is. I do know that some foreigners have a terrible time trying to be with their kids after a divorce. But my relationship with my wife is solid. We are soul mates through and through and have been for 18 years. My daughter knows who her Dad is, and both of our families are supportive of us. So if this is what being suckered means, I'll take it...happily.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about 50/50 combo? If a takehashi and a fujioka marry, why not takeoka or fujibashi? Everybody gets something...

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Well... the Govt is forcing MyNumber on each individual.... why not keep MyName.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I fully agree with her and her actions. Marriage is a biggest and the very best take away from women and girl's life. Marriage puts women and girl's in a subordinate position. Marriage forced women and girl's to put an end to their own search for happiness. Then marriage forced us to become dependent of this so-called 'A Mr. Husband' for rest our lives for our every bit of happiness. Marriage is a hazardous for every woman and for every girl. Yes, we got to get rid of this so-called marriage because 'Marriage' is crime against women, girls and all children.

Wow. I'm so sorry for whatever happened to you to give you such a jaded view of marriage :(

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan, another example of being down right primitive, the oyaji quoted in this blurb is seriously pre-historic!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does that mean you can't legally change your name in Japan?

Yes you can, by filing with the family court one can change their name. Many women who divorced from their husbands have done it. However it is not common as many find it a true pain in the arse to get it done and all associated paperwork too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In my opinion the simply the proposal of this kind of changes is sign of the global trend to expect less traditional families, something that is coherent with a context of people being less willing to make sacrifices for the sake of family in the meeting of their own roles and with people being more permissive with divorce. Thus I think that the real problem here goes beyond the use of names and have to do with the context that is pushing the changes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Spain women never had to adopt their husband's names. This is a custom in most Spanish speaking countries. Changing names seems very weird to us. Why changing name? Is like loosing who you are. But the reality is that the biggest proportion of humanity does it. I can only tell you that families are not destroyed by not changing names. If not, we wouldn't have survived as culture for centuries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@hechendorf, the problem is not the kind of traditions certain culture have, but the reasons behind to want to change these traditions, and the meaning of these changes for the people that share a culture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The people who are suing and the people who are defending do share a culture. It's not like this is change being pushed by external forces.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StrangerlandDEC. 14, 2015 - 10:25PM JST

The debate in Japan is what the "family name" of the children should be if the couple does not share a "family name".

Does anyone have a proper answer?

Whatever the parents decide it should be.

I am not sure I understand you. You mean something like, Mr. Smith and Ms Kato marry and the family name of their first child is Washington and that of their second child is O'Corner? Is this what you call an advanced society? What is the meaning of a family name, then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You mean something like, Mr. Smith and Ms Kato marry and the family name of their first child is Washington and that of their second child is O'Corner?

Actually I meant from either of the parents first names, but after reading your question, I don't see why the above shouldn't be allowed either.

Is this what you call an advanced society?

As a matter of fact, it is. I think societies that let their citizens live without imposing rules that have no reason behind them are more advanced.

What is the meaning of a family name, then?

Why does it have to be a family name? In English we call it a last name more than a family name, and 苗 doesn't mean family either. Many cultures have last names that aren't necessarily passed by family. And as to why we have them, it's to distinguish between Kosuke 1 and Kosuke 2. Back in the day when there weren't as many people, people didn't even have last names. And some people in some countries don't have them these days either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably conservatives are afraid this will somehow remove the stigma from single mothers and divorced parents. But they also seem to nurse some antiquated Neo-Confucian idea that social order is maintained when wives' identities are subsumed within that of the husband and his family. They see it as the natural order of things that families are ruled by a patriarch and that everyone in that family defines themselves in relation to that patriarch and defers to him. To be honest, this has been contentious for well over a century and a half now, and it's time they stopped rolling out these Tokugawa-era justifications for laws which deny equity and balanced partnerships between husbands and wives.

Anyway, as somebody pointed out above, it's only relatively recently that the majority of Japanese people actually got a family name. Not many seem to set much store by ancestral names in the way that they do in, say, Scotland, where some people still like to maintain some kind of clan identity. In fact, on the contrary, Japanese women with historical names are often forced to give them up at marriage for Tanaka or Nakata or whatever, because husbands are averse to giving up their own names, no matter how unexceptional they are.

There is a very sad footnote to this issue. In the butsudana, we have the names of all the deceased family members, dating back centuries, but none of the maiden names of the wives or where they came from are recorded anywhere. Half the family lineage is lost forever; their identities and where they came from have been denied and erased. They have been treated as nobodies, without a context or a life of their own. How very sad that is, not just for them, but also for their descendents who are unable to trace their ancestors or to know who they really are.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Would prefer to give individuals choice around this. I think it is ridiculous that my sister hyphenated her name when she got married, but respect her right to do so, even if her kids are always referred to by me as 'hyphens'

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@Plinytheelder “Tokugawa-era justifications for laws which deny equity and balanced partnerships between husbands and wives” Don’t mix up equity with balance or equilibrium, along the history man and women never have been equal, but their relationship certainly have had balance. The balance and equilibrium is usually a natural output of any society that achieve stability for a very long time, and have nothing to do with equality; a hierarchical relation can have balance, a relation where the things one is giving and receiving are of different universes can have balance.

“We have the names of all the deceased family members, dating back centuries, but none of the maiden names of the wives or where they came from are recorded anywhere” But it were very natural because the kind of roles men and women have had in society; roles that have been in coherence with the reality. It is not only that women were needed for what women always have been needed, but it would be very difficult that a woman that was pregnant and nursing for large part of her life, and that is naturally weaker and less capable than men, would have been taking the place of her husband, instead of be giving support to him. And only taking a role of the same kind of her husband, it would have been possible to do the kind of things that can make you think that there is something that you must record.

“They have been treated as nobodies, without a context or a life of their own” They have not treated as nobodies, they have been treated as support of their husband and sons, and the context of their lives was precisely give support and be married with great men. It was never sad.

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I'd bet money that the Supreme Court will not allow couples to have separate surnames. They will argue that it will cause "confusion" and that since the husband can take the wife's surname there is no gender discrimination. The Supreme Court always tries to maintain the status quo, often using nonsensical arguments to do so.

I'm more interested in the ruling on the waiting period for remarriage for women. That rule is clearly discriminatory and unconstitutional, but still I wonder what "logic" the court will use to defend it. Perhaps they will argue that it protects the rights of unborn children (even if the woman is not pregnant). I feel the rule should be struck down, but I'm not confident that it will be.

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