Japanese (mainly western Japan and the Ryūkyū Islands): habitational name from any of the many places in Japan so named, meaning ‘pine tree rice paddy’. The word matsu ‘pine’ also means ‘wait’, in this sense implying hope of a divine visitation to a sacred rice paddy. It is also related to the verb matsuru ‘to perform religious ceremonies’; the name therefore has connections with priestly families of the Shintō religion. Other names with similar religious derivations include Matsumoto and Matsuoka. Several families of noble (especially Fujiwara) descent have taken the name.