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Watanabe (渡辺: "ferryside") is the fifth most common Japanese surname.[1] The first to be named Watanabe were kuge (court nobles), direct descendants of the Emperor Saga (786-842)[citation needed]. The most famous member of the family historically is the samurai Watanabe no Tsuna (953-1025), companion in arms of Minamoto no Yorimitsu (944-1021), and famous for his military exploits in a number of tales and legends. The Watanabe of Hakata were daimyo of Hakata Domain (Izumi Province) until the Meiji Restoration (1868). The Watanabe of Ōmura clan (Hizen Province) and the Watanabe of the Suwa clan (Shinano Province) were ranked among the Peers after 1868.

During the 16th century wars, the following samurai distinguished themselves:

In the context of the Japanese economy, Mrs. Watanabe is generic, collective name for housewives who deal in foreign exchange.[2]



Other groups[edit]

  • The Watanabes, hit group of Tokyo based international Indie/acoustic band

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Names". Japanverse. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Forex Power of Mrs. Watanabe". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2013.