Japanese Surnames

Japanese names are used in Japan and in Japanese communities throughout the world. Note that depending on the Japanese characters used these names can have many other meanings besides those listed here. See also about Japanese names.
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ABE (1) 安倍 Japanese
From Japanese (a) meaning "peace" and (be) meaning "multiple times".
ABE (2) 安部 Japanese
From Japanese (a) meaning "peace" and (be) meaning "part, section".
AKIYAMA 秋山 Japanese
From Japanese (aki) meaning "autumn" and (yama) meaning "mountain, hill".
FUJIMOTO 藤本 Japanese
From Japanese (fuji) meaning "wisteria" and (moto) meaning "base, root, origin".
FUJIOKA 藤岡 Japanese
From Japanese (fuji) meaning "wisteria" and (oka) meaning "ridge, hill".
FUJITA 藤田 Japanese
From Japanese (fuji) meaning "wisteria" and (ta) meaning "field".
FUKUI 福井 Japanese
Denoted a person who was from Fukui prefecture in Japan.
HAMASAKI 浜崎 Japanese
From Japanese (hama) meaning "beach, seashore" and (saki) meaning "cape, peninsula".
HASHIMOTO 橋本 Japanese
From Japanese (hashi) meaning "bridge" and (moto) meaning "base, root, origin".
HAYASHI Japanese
From Japanese (hayashi) meaning "forest".
HIMURA 緋村 Japanese
From Japanese (hi) meaning "scarlet, dark red" and (mura) meaning "town, village".
HISAKAWA 久川 Japanese
From Japanese (hisa) meaning "long time ago" and (kawa) meaning "river, stream".
HONDA 本田 Japanese
From Japanese (hon) meaning "root, origin, source" and (ta) meaning "field".
IKEDA 池田 Japanese
From Japanese (ike) meaning "pool, pond" and (ta) meaning "field".
INOUE 井上 Japanese
Means "above the well", from Japanese (i) meaning "well, mine shaft, pit", an unwritten possessive marker (no), and (ue) meaning "above, top, upper".
ISHIKAWA 石川 Japanese
From Japanese (ishi) meaning "stone" and (kawa) meaning "river, stream".
ITO 伊藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 伊藤 (see ITŌ).
ITŌ 伊藤 Japanese
From Japanese (i) meaning "this" and () meaning "wisteria". The final character may indicate a connection to the Fujiwara clan.
ITOU 伊藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 伊藤 (see ITŌ).
KATO 加藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 加藤 (see KATŌ).
KATŌ 加藤 Japanese
From Japanese (ka) meaning "add, increase" and () meaning "wisteria". The latter character may indicate a connection to the Fujiwara clan.
KATOU 加藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 加藤 (see KATŌ).
KAWAGUCHI 川口 Japanese
Means "mouth of the river", from Japanese (kawa) meaning "river, stream" and (kuchi) meaning "mouth, entrance".
KAWASAKI 川崎 Japanese
From Japanese (kawa) meaning "river, stream" and (saki) meaning "cape, peninsula".
KIMURA 木村 Japanese
From Japanese (ki) meaning "tree, wood" and (mura) meaning "town, village".
KITA Japanese
From Japanese (kita) meaning "north".
KOBAYASHI 小林 Japanese
From Japanese (ko) meaning "small" and (hayashi) meaning "forest".
KOIZUMI 小泉 Japanese
From Japanese (ko) meaning "small" and (izumi) meaning "spring, fountain". A notable bearer of this name is Junichiro Koizumi (1942-), who was Prime Minister of Japan.
KUROSAWA 黒沢, 黒澤 Japanese
From Japanese (kuro) meaning "black" and 沢, 澤 (sawa) meaning "marsh". A notable bearer was Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998), a Japanese film director.
MAEDA 前田 Japanese
From Japanese (mae) meaning "front, forward" and (ta) meaning "field".
MAKI (1) Japanese
From Japanese (maki) meaning "shepherd, tend cattle".
MAKI (2) 真木 Japanese
From Japanese (ma) meaning "real, genuine" and (ki) meaning "tree".
MATSUMOTO 松本 Japanese
From one of the many places with this name in Japan, derived from Japanese (matsu) meaning "pine tree, fir tree" and (moto) meaning "base, root, origin".
MATSUOKA 松岡 Japanese
From Japanese (matsu) meaning "pine tree, fir tree" and (oka) meaning "ridge, hill".
MATSUSHITA 松下 Japanese
From Japanese (matsu) meaning "pine tree, fir tree" and (shita) meaning "under, below".
MINAMI Japanese
From Japanese (minami) meaning "south".
MIYAMOTO 宮本 Japanese
From Japanese (miya) meaning "temple, shrine, palace" and (moto) meaning "base, root, origin". A notable bearer is video game pioneer Shigeru Miyamoto (1952-).
MIZUSHIMA 水島 Japanese
From Japanese (mizu) meaning "water" and (shima) meaning "island".
MORI Japanese
From Japanese (mori) meaning "forest".
MOTO Japanese
From Japanese (moto) meaning "base, root, origin". More commonly it is the final character in Japanese surnames.
NAKAHARA 中原 Japanese
From Japanese (naka) meaning "middle" and (hara) meaning "field, plain".
NAKAJIMA 中島 Japanese
From Japanese (naka) meaning "middle" and (shima) meaning "island".
NAKAMURA 中村 Japanese
From Japanese (naka) meaning "middle" and (mura) meaning "town, village".
NAKANO 中野 Japanese
From Japanese (naka) meaning "middle" and (no) meaning "field, wilderness".
NAKASHIMA 中島 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 中島 (see NAKAJIMA).
NISHIMURA 西村 Japanese
From Japanese 西 (nishi) meaning "west" and (mura) meaning "town, village".
OSHIRO 大城 Japanese
From Japanese (o) meaning "big, great" and (shiro) meaning "castle".
SAITO 斎藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 斎藤 (see SAITŌ).
SAITŌ 斎藤 Japanese
From Japanese (sai) meaning "purification, worship" and () meaning "wisteria". The latter character could indicate a connection to the Fujiwara clan.
SAITOU 斎藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 斎藤 (see SAITŌ).
SASAKI 佐々木 Japanese
From Japanese (sa) meaning "help, aid" (repeated, indicated by the iteration mark ) and (ki) meaning "tree, wood".
SATO 佐藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 佐藤 (see SATŌ).
SATŌ 佐藤 Japanese
From Japanese (sa) meaning "help, aid" and () meaning "wisteria". The final character might indicate a connection to the Fujiwara clan. This is the most common surname in Japan.
SATOU 佐藤 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 佐藤 (see SATŌ).
SERIZAWA 芹沢, 芹澤 Japanese
From Japanese (seri) meaning "celery" and 沢, 澤 (sawa) meaning "marsh".
SHIMIZU 清水 Japanese
From Japanese (shi) meaning "clear, pure, clean" and (mizu) meaning "water".
SUZUKI 鈴木 Japanese
From Japanese (suzu) meaning "bell" and (ki) meaning "tree, wood". This is the second most common surname in Japan.
TACHIBANA Japanese
From Japanese (tachibana) meaning "orange, tangerine".
TAKAHASHI 高橋 Japanese
From Japanese (taka) meaning "tall, high" and (hashi) meaning "bridge".
TAKENAKA 竹中 Japanese
Means "dweller amongst bamboo", from Japanese (take) meaning "bamboo" and (naka) meaning "middle".
TANAKA 田中 Japanese
Means "dweller in the rice fields", from Japanese (ta) meaning "field, rice paddy" and (naka) meaning "middle".
TSUKUDA Japanese
From Japanese (tsukuda) meaning "cultivated rice field".
TSUNODA 角田 Japanese
From Japanese (tsuno) meaning "point, corner" and (da) meaning "field, rice paddy".
UEDA 上田 Japanese
From Japanese (ue) meaning "above, top, upper" and (ta) meaning "field, rice paddy".
UENO 上野 Japanese
From Japanese (ue) meaning "above, top, upper" and (no) meaning "field, wilderness".
WATANABE 渡辺 Japanese
From Japanese (wataru) meaning "cross, ferry" and (be) meaning "edge, side".
YAMADA 山田 Japanese
From Japanese (yama) meaning "mountain" and (ta) meaning "field, rice paddy".
YAMAGUCHI 山口 Japanese
From Japanese (yama) meaning "mountain" and (kuchi) meaning "mouth, entrance". Olympic figure-skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi (1971-) bears this name.
YAMAMOTO 山本 Japanese
From Japanese (yama) meaning "mountain" and (moto) meaning "base, root, origin".
YAMASAKI 山崎 Japanese
Alternate transcription of Japanese Kanji 山崎 (see YAMAZAKI).
YAMASHITA 山下 Japanese
From Japanese (yama) meaning "mountain" and (shita) meaning "under, below".
YAMAUCHI 山内 Japanese
From Japanese (yama) meaning "mountain" and (uchi) meaning "inside".
YAMAZAKI 山崎 Japanese
From Japanese (yama) meaning "mountain" and (saki) meaning "cape, peninsula".
YOSHIDA 吉田 Japanese
From Japanese (yoshi) meaning "lucky, good" and (ta) meaning "field, rice paddy".
YUKIMURA 雪村 Japanese
From Japanese (yuki) meaning "snow" and (mura) meaning "town, village".