Names are in the news in Japan right now, thanks to a study that says if current trends continue, everyone in the country will eventually end up with the same name.

Or at least the same surname; there are a lot of caveats with the findings of this study out of Tohoku University.

For starters, this isn’t projected to happen until the year 2531.

So there’s a little time before any of this goes down.

The last name singularity wouldn’t happen if marriage rates fell further.

And the researchers had to explain that just because their study came out around April 1st, it wasn’t an April Fools Day prank.

With all that said, here’s what they found.

They were looking at the effects of a part of Japan’s civil code that requires married people to have the same last name.

The couple can choose whose name to take, but they have to have the same name after marriage.

Their simulation found that over the next five centuries, Japan’s surnames would fall by the wayside, one by one, until just one was left: Sato.

That’s already the most common surname in the country, used by some 1.8 million people there.

The technical term for this is the Galton-Watson process: in societies where newlyweds adopt each other’s family names, over time some of the names go extinct.

The people who funded the research in Japan say that Satomania can be avoided if the country changes the law about names and marriage.

If not, the researchers say Japan will need other ways to figure out which Sato is which, like having everyone go by their first names… or maybe even by numbers!

It’s eclipse day.

Maybe you are one of the many people who traveled to one of the spots where the eclipse will be at its eclipsy-est.

If so, please do remember to be a good guest.

In the town of Luna Pier, Michigan, some residents were apparently so concerned about the eclipse tourists that the mayor says they asked him to stop the eclipse.

He said, “I do not have the authority to do that.”

Everyone in Japan will be called Sato by 2531 unless marriage law changed, says professor (The Guardian)

Solar Eclipse 2024: The only Michigan town that is in the path of totality (

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A crowd in Tokyo, 2016. (Photo by Ben & Gab via Flickr/Creative Commons