There are an estimated 300,000 Japanese last names. Around 300 B.C., people in Japan began using occupational or geographical names to define their clan (a group of people related by blood, marriage or a common ancestor). These clans grew into small kingdoms, which were then united under one ruler who gave each clan a designation according to their societal status. This was called the Uji-Kabane system and was the foundation for Japanese family names.
If you're looking for more information and specifics about the history of your last name, we've seen great results with the Search Database from our partners at MyHeritage. Search for your name here. If you decide to sign up with MyHeritage, we may earn a small commission for it.
Most Popular Japanese Last Names on FamilyEducation: Amari, Akiyama, Fujiwara
Image: Mount Fuji, Japan