Jacob Baltuch jacob.baltuch at EURONET.BE
Wed Nov 19 05:59:28 UTC 1997

>we are here in German and we are fighting against
>one problem: How we can come to know the sex from
>the name of a japanese scholar? Is there any trick
>or no chance to find out the sex by the name?

Jorden & Noda, "Japanese: the Spoken Language", say:

> While many given names cannot be immediately identified as masculine or
> feminine, there are some special characteristics that are helpful in
> distinguishing gender:
> (1) 3-mora names whose final mora is -o are masculine
>     Examples: Haruo, Yukio, Akio, Yosio, Takeo, Kazuo
> (2) 3-mora names whose final mora is -ko, -e, or -yo are feminine.
>     Examples: Haruko, Yukiko, Akiko, Yosiko, Kazuko, Yooko, Satiko,
>               Kazue, Yosie,
>               Kazuyo
> (3) 4-mora names are masculine.
>     Examples: Yosihiko, Masakazu, Masanori, Tomoaki"

Note (from Jacob):

The rules above do not cover the whole ground. When in doubt just ask
a Japanese person as it was kindly suggested by Hisashi MATSUMURA.

In the above <ti> is pronounced 'chi', <si> is pronounced 'shi',
<zu> is pronounced 'dzu'. All single vowel letters are short (that is long
vowels are indicated explicitly, e.g. -oo- for Yooko, etc.) I used
because Jorden & Noda do. Hepburn is closer to what you're used to and what
you're likely to see in the normal spelling of Japanese names in English.
Note though, the spelling Japanese people use in English doesn't always
mark all the moras (cf. Yoko Ono). Thus you're likely to see some of the
names above more often written as: Yoshio, Yoshiko, Yoko, Sachiko, Yoshie,
Yoshihiko. Finally note not all names in -ko are feminine. Three-mora ones
are, four-mora ones aren't. Also if a three-mora name ends in -koo (with
a long o) it falls under rule (1), names whose final mora is -o, and is

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