Japanese: written with characters denoting an assistant to an official such as a guard. The original pronunciation was Saheki or Sahegi. The word also denotes noisiness, and the Saeki were known for their loud ferocity in battle. They descended from the very ancient and warlike Ōtomo clan, which claimed descent from the hero Michi no Omi, a companion of the mythical Emperor Jinmu. Listed in the Shinsen shōjiroku, the name is found mostly in western Japan. Some families have taken the surname from their places of residence, which had been named after earlier residents of the original Saeki family. Owing to the similarity in pronunciation, it could be that the name is sometimes spelled Saiki in America, but the two names are different originally.
Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.