Ogihara, Y. (荻原祐二) (2021). Direct evidence of the increase in unique names in Japan: The rise of individualism. 日本における個性的な名前の増加: 個人主義傾向の上昇 Current Research in Behavioral Sciences, 2, 100056. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crbeha.2021.100056
Previous research analyzed rankings of common baby names and indicated that common names decreased in Japan, suggesting an increase in uniqueness-seeking and individualism. However, it did not directly examine whether unique names increased. To adequately understand the historical changes in naming practices and underlying cultural trends, overcoming this limitation is important. Therefore, I analyzed raw data on baby names and directly examined the historical changes in the rates of unique names in Japan between 2004 and 2018. The results showed that the rates of unique names increased for both boys and girls, providing further evidence of the rise in uniqueness-seeking and individualism. Additionally, unique names increased more rapidly for girls than for boys, which may suggest that parents came to have stronger hope for their daughters that they become unique and independent. This is new evidence showing that sex is a moderating factor of cultural changes in naming in Japan.