surnames

Government statistics reveal the most common Japanese surnames, makes Mr. Sato sad

Perhaps you would too if you share the same surname with 1.8 million people.

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10 amazing Japanese holidays you won’t want to miss–in February!

Riding on the heels of Setsubun, a day when Japanese people playfully admonish the demons in their houses (no anti-demon spray necessary; it turns out that most Japanese demons quickly flee the house if you throw beans at them), you probably think all the fun for February is gone. Cold, lonely, and demonless, you haven’t left your heated kotatsu table in days. But no worries! February still holds an enormous amount of fun, with plenty of unofficial holidays to warm up for. There’s Manga Day, Bra Day, Cat Day and Mount Fuji Day just ahead! Discover the story behind ‘You idiot!’ Day and the origin of Japan’s postal code symbol revealed on the annual Postal “T” Day. There’s even a day dedicated to Seaweed, Kabuki and Japanese surnames too. And just when you thought the wacky Japanese couldn’t come up with anything more bizarre, we’ll tell you about Listen to the Angels Whisper Day in Hokkaido.

We present you with 10 amazing February celebratory days in Japan that you won’t want to miss.

Ok, let’s jump into February!

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On a small island of 570 people, 92 are named “Amano” But, why?!

When we think of an Asian country where many people have the same last name, Korea usually comes to mind. With just 250 surnames in use, half the Korean population bears one of three names: Kim, Lee or Park. Compare that to Japan that has over 100,000 surnames. So when we hear of a place in Japan where over 20 percent of the people share the same last name, it’s enough to pique our curiosity.

Meet the Amanos: Amano-san the ferry port manager and Amano-san the grocer; Amano-san who owns the liquor shop and Amano-san who serves curry lunches; Amano-san the plumber and Amano-san the carpenter. They’re all different people who live on the same small island and who, believe it or not, are not related.

How can this be? We bet you can’t guess why!

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