Everyone will have the same last name in 2531 in this huge country

The population of an entire country could share the same last name 500 years from now.

Everyone will have the same last name in 2531 in this huge country

The population of an entire country could share the same last name 500 years from now. One expert even speculates that residents could be called by numbers.

During a marriage, couples who commit can choose to share the same name and choose the surname of one of the two partners. But this decision is purely a personal preference and is in no way mandatory. This is true in France and in many countries around the world. In Asia, a country has a law that forces married couples to have the same last name. The text in question, article 750 of the Civil Code, does not specify which of the husband's or wife's surname is required, but in 95% of cases, it is women who adopt their husband's surname. .

This country is Japan. But a citizen movement is underway in the Land of the Rising Sun to push the authorities to review the text of the Civil Code in force since the end of the 1860s. This movement, which defends the fundamental individual freedom to choose one's last name, can count on a study by Hiroshi Yoshida, professor of economics at Tohoku University. According to this researcher, within 1500 years, and more precisely in 2531, all Japanese people will have the same last name because of the law.

The professor's calculations, which take into account several hypotheses, make it possible to assume that the Sato surname will become the one and only surname if the law does not change. It is already the most common surname in 2023, worn by 1.5% of the Japanese population. Between 2022 and 2023, the proportion of Japanese people named Sato increased 1.0083 times, according to the study. And if this name continues to spread at the same rate, then half of Japan's population will have it in 2446 and all of it in 2531, according to Hiroshi Yoshida.

“If everyone becomes Sato, we may have to be called by our first names or by numbers,” the professor declared in the local newspaper Mainichi, emphasizing the difficulties that maintaining the law would cause. This lack of diversity of surnames "will not only be embarrassing but will also undermine individual dignity", he added this time in the Asahi Shimbun.

If the disappearance of all surnames except one is a scenario that could occur within a few centuries in Japan, according to Hiroshi Yoshida's study, it is because the country already has few surnames compared to its density: 100,000 names according to the Japan Experience site for around 125 million inhabitants according to the latest official data for 2022. In comparison, there are 1.4 million surnames for 67 million French people according to INSEE . Martins and Duponts are therefore much less common in France than Satos in Japan.

It goes without saying that the standardization of surnames in Japan would represent a cultural loss. It would also have harmful effects on daily society, because in the land of the rising Sun, the importance of the name takes precedence over that of the first name which is only used in the family and intimate context. Fearing that this scenario would come true, twelve Japanese men and women filed a complaint before the courts of Tokyo and Sapporo in early April, demanding the right to keep their last names after marriage.