E Duobus Unum: Love Among Siblings with Different (Mother or Father) Surnames

E duobus unum (one out of two) shall be the motto of Neo-Feminism, the movement to ensure maternal as well as paternal lineage. Just as e pluribus unum (one out of many) was chosen to bring the 13 colonies into one nation, the Neo-Feminist motto ushers in a new age, where true gender equality reigns, unleashing the tremendous potential of women suppressed heretofore to nurture humanity to greater heights of achievement and civilization.

The motto is designed to dispel any concern about division or discord in the nuclear family on account of different surnames. Children have no sense of alienation from their brothers or sisters on account of having different personal (first and/or middle) names and adding a second or third element to their identity won’t bother them. Moreover, if the millions from different continents and cultures can live together, enjoying the miracle that is the United States, surely two groups, consanguineous but with mother or father surnames, should certainly get along and be loving brothers and sisters.

E duobus unum is best illustrated by the two prime ministers of Japan: Nobusuke Kishi (1957-60) and Eisaku Sato (l964-72), both siblings with the same father and mother. Their different surnames are the result of Kishi’s adoption by the wealthy Kishi family, not by Neo-Feminism, but the brothers’ continued love and support throughout their lives proves the point of Neo-Feminism, highlighted by the following excerpt from The Polyglot (Amazon.com).

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Ike and Kishi stayed close together and mixed small talk with references to politics, both feeling totally at ease because of Peter’s unobtrusive but thoroughly reassuring translation. At one point Kishi beckoned to one of his companions and introduced him to Eisenhower.
“Meet Eisaku Sato, my Minister of Finance, who is also my brother.”
“It’s remarkable to have two brothers so prominent in government service. So who is the elder?”
“He is five years senior to me, Mr. President,” said Sato.
“But the real boss in our ruling Liberal Democratic Party,” Kishi added, “he defers to me because I am older but his buddies are impatient to put him in my place.”
Sato was to serve three terms as Prime Minister from l964 to 1972, the longest tenure as Prime Minister in Japanese history.
“It must be truly gratifying to work as partners in adult life, as well as being siblings in private life. I know the post of Minister of Finance is the most vital in the Japanese cabinet, in any cabinet, like the Treasury in the States and the Exchequer in Britain, Mr. Kishi.”
“I am Sato, Mr. President. We have different surnames.”
“Oh, you are half brothers with different fathers.”
“No, we have the same biological father as well as mother.”
“Is there something I have missed about Japanese culture? I thought the children took the father’s name there as here.”
Puzzled, Ike turned to Peter, forcing him out of his transparency as translating medium.
“They do in general, Mr. President, but in some rare cases they take the mother’s name, when there is no claimed father or more importantly when the father marries into the wife’s family on condition of adopting her family’s when its line might come to an end for lack of a male heir. But in every case the children would take one or the other, and not both to have different names from each other. Early on Prime Minister Kishi left his birth family because he was adopted by the affluent Kishi family.”
Sato, who had followed the English, smiled and said, in Japanese, “You seem well acquainted with our pedigree.”
“Your families are among the most preeminent in Japan.”
“As a Kishi my elder brother Nobusuke has been a lot of help to the Satos.”
“No, Eisaku did it all on his own, passing the senior civil service examination quite young and distinguishing himself in all the posts he was assigned to.”

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It may be noted that Kishi happens to be the maternal grandfather of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s current Prime Minister (2006-7, 2012-present). Had the country known Neo-Feminism in the 50’s when Abe was born, he could very well be Shinzo Kishi now. Nobusuke might be turning in his grave with vexation at this lost opportunity for his lineage.

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