Ogihara, Y. (荻原祐二), & Ito, A. (伊藤篤希) (2022). Unique names increased in Japan over 40 years: Baby names published in municipality newsletters show a rise in individualism, 1979-2018. 個性的な名前は40年間にわたって増加している：地方自治体の広報誌に掲載された新生児の名前は個人主義傾向の増加を示している, 1979-2018 Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, 3, 100046. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cresp.2022.100046
We examined whether Japanese culture became more individualistic by investigating baby names published in municipality newsletters for 40 years between 1979 and 2018. Previous research has shown that the rates of unique names increased in Japan between 2004 and 2018, suggesting a rise in uniqueness-seeking and individualism. However, it was unclear whether the trend after the 2000s was found before the 2000s. To discuss cultural changes, it is desirable to examine trends over longer periods of time. Unlike in the U.S., databases of names given to newborns in previous years did not exist in Japan. Thus, we collected baby names published in municipality newsletters. Results showed that over the 40 years, unique names increased in all of the municipalities examined, indicating an increase in uniqueness-seeking and individualism in Japan. The current research investigated cultural changes for a longer time period and presented further evidence of rising individualism in Japan.