I was reading Sulu's brief biography when I first met him and something is bit off about his lineage. It says his great-grandfather is Sulu ST: Original and his grandmother is from ST: Generations. If that is the case then, his surname should not be Sulu. It should be something else. Maybe use Sulu as a middle name but not his surname. The only way for Sulu to have the same last name as his grandmother, she would have had a son out of wedlock.
The other option is to change his grandmother connection to a grandfather and mention his grand aunt (the Sulu from ST: Generations. I know it would add a layer to the Sulu family but it would make it more inline with real life naming schemes.
i dont see the problem... theres people now who get the mothers last name instead of the fathers... so why not in the future? theres also lots of ppl who dont really have a/know their father , again i dont see the problem?
I know some Spanish famlies incorporate their mothers name as part of their last names, could this be the way Japanese famlies do it as well?
I did find this in wikipedia:
"In many cultures (notably Western, Middle Eastern, and African) the family name is normally the last part of a person's name. In other cultures, the family name comes first. The latter is often called the Eastern order because Europeans are most familiar with the examples of China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam."
In many asian families, the girls inherit their surname from their mother, and boys from their father. It would break tradition to do otherwise, and naming conventions stand out of respect for culture. It would break with Star Trek tradition for the Sulu family not to follow customary naming conventions.
Raises the broader question of what is the real last name?
Many asian names are Last First.
So was Sulu his first or last name?
Sulu was his surname (i.e. last name), his given (i.e. first) name is Hikaru.
Anyway, just because the Asian languages follow the [surname] [given name] format, doesn't mean that format stays the same when you convert it to English. When writing it in English, you use the [given name] [surname] format. Would be pretty ridiculous to be calling Harry Kim "Kim Harry" instead.
Incidentally, you'll often find that native Chinese with a relatively minimal knowledge of English and who only have a phonetic translation of their name in English will in fact write it out in English with the surname first. My grandmother does this, for example.