I need to obtain some additional information on Japanese introductions.

1 Answer 1


Do you mean the order of the first name and last name in Japanese names?

If that's what you mean then Yes, last names come before first names in Japanese, which is similar to many other Asian names. So we have, for example: 高橋 直希 - Takahashi Naoki Where Takahashi is the last name, and Naoki is the first name.

However, when Japanese introduce themselves to foreigners, it will be likely that they introduce their name in Western style (by putting their last name behind, making it Naoki Takahashi).

Therefore, I think you should not assume that the name coming first is always the last name. It is better if you learn and know common/popular Japanese last names so you won't be confused when they introduce themselves in either way.

  • 1
    Saying "nowadays" is misleading. Arranging Japanese names in Western (non-hungarian) order is a convention since old days and still norm today but some people are starting to use Japanese order as it is.
    – user4092
    Oct 28, 2016 at 5:14
  • @user4092 Thanks for your comment, I agree with that too. I'll omit "nowadays" in my comment!
    – Le Yen Chi
    Oct 28, 2016 at 7:31
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    I would add that in some formal contexts first name can be irrelevant, only the last name is given. Example: 田中ともうします。よろしくお願いします。
    – wip
    Oct 29, 2016 at 13:07
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    On the opposite in informal contexts people might be reluctant to share their family name, and would give their first name to "protect their privacy". Example: "Hey, I'm Jin. You often come to this club?"
    – wip
    Oct 29, 2016 at 13:11
  • I think that when talking about this sort of thing, using terms like "last name" and "first name" is kinda confusing. I would generally recommend terms like "given name" and "surname" (or "family name").. From what I've seen, when speaking Japanese, in Japan, most people will assume a name is given with the surname first if it is a Japanese name, but if it is clearly a non-Japanese (or rather non-asian) name, they will often assume it uses the given name first instead, so it often depends on the name and the person it belongs to.
    – Foogod
    May 5, 2021 at 1:16

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