When people meet me for the first time and hear me speak English, they often ask, "Why don't you call yourself George instead of Joji?"
Well, in fact, I did go by the name of George during my childhood, but only for a few years. And when I worked for a Japanese company, for many years, my business card said George Matsuo instead of my real name, Joji Matsuo.
So, why now, when it would make it a lot easier for potential clients to realize that I'm bilingual, would I choose not to tap into the name game—Japanese nationals often given themselves a common name used in English-speaking cultures that either resembles their Japanese name, or just sounds catchy. The reason is simple: impact.
No one would ever expect someone with a completely Japanese name like mine to speak perfectly fluent English. Even most Japanese can tell that I speak native American English. While the astonished looks I get does offer a mild adrenalin-rush, more importantly, it serves as the perfect cue for pitching my services.
That said, I've accepted and allowed, albeit with some degree of reluctance, certain people and organizations to address me as George. I also understand that those from non-English speaking countries who use an English name prefer to do so to make themselves easier to remember or more approachable. I have no problem with this. I simply prefer to go by the name my parents gave me and reap the benefits of the impact described above.