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JAPANESE PERSONAL NAMES

The traditional order for Japanese personal names is family name first, followed by given name.

For example, in the name Matsuo Basho, Matsuo is the family name, or surname.  Basho, the name by which this 17th-century poet is best known, is the given name.

For historical figures follow a standard source such as Webster’s Biographical Dictionary.

Many Japanese today westernize their names, using their given name first, followed by surname.  Follow a person’s personal preference.