HOW DID SAMURAI GET THEIR NAMES?
Posted on April 01 2016
A samurai were usually named by combining one kanji from their father or grandfather and one new kanji. Samurai normally used only a small part of their total name.
For example, the full name of Oda Nobunaga would be "Oda Kazusanosuke Saburo Nobunaga" (織田上総介三郎信長), in which "Oda" is a clan or family name, "Kazusanosuke" is a title of vice-governor of Kazusa province, "Saburo" is a formal nickname (yobina), and "Nobunaga" is an adult name (nanori) given at genpuku, the coming of age ceremony. A man was addressed by his family name and his title, or by his yobina if he did not have a title. However, the nanori was a private name that could be used by only a very few, including the Emperor. Samurai could choose their own nanori, and frequently changed their names to reflect their allegiances.