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Updated June 9, 2019

Family name origins & meanings

  • Japanese : from a common place name meaning ‘high field’. The surname is found mostly in eastern Japan and is listed in the Shinsen shōjiroku. Alternate readings found in western Japan are Kōno and Kōya, the latter being taken from the name of the famed mountain in Kii (now Wakayama prefecture), where the monk Kūkai (774–835) built a monastery, the Buddhist teachings of which had a profound effect on Japanese civilization.

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