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Thread: "天楓十四郎" - a Japanese character from CLH, but it's not an authentic Japanese name?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default "天楓十四郎" - a Japanese character from CLH, but it's not an authentic Japanese name?

    In the CHOR LAU HEUNG stories appears a Japanese ninja character named "天楓十四郎" (the father of No Flowers Monk and Beggar's Union Chief Nam Gung Ling), which to Chinese readers would look convincingly like a Japanese name except...it isn't. Translated into Japanese, it becomes "Tenka Deshiro," which doesn't sound Japanese at all. Maybe Google Translate is just doing it wrong. Is it supposed to be "Tenka Toshiro" or "Tenka Teshirou," which looks and sounds more Japanese? Any Japanese experts want to take a crack at this? Did Gu Long just make up a Japanese-sounding name that wouldn't actually work in authentic Japanese naming conventions, or is it legit and I'm just not getting it right?

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    Hi Ken, I asked a good friend of mine. He is Japanese and a historian. Briefly, he said that the family name is _not_valid. But that the given name (first name) is a real name.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texture View Post
    Hi Ken, I asked a good friend of mine. He is Japanese and a historian. Briefly, he said that the family name is _not_valid. But that the given name (first name) is a real name.
    Thanks, Tex. It sounded legit to my ears at first, but when I tried to run it through a translator, it didn't produce anything intelligible. Moreover, I dug a little deeper and also found no such Japanese surname. Looks like Gu Long was trying to produce a Japanese-sounding name, but didn't know the language well enough to make it authentic.

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