Growing up, all Yuni Matsumoto wanted was to fit in.

But his name made that hard. It was highly uncommon in Japan and, on top of that, essentially unreadable as written. Middle school classmates ridiculed him. The bullying got so bad that he eventually dropped out of school.

Matsumoto, 24, had what is known as a kira-kira — meaning "shiny” or "glittery” — name. A growing number of Japanese parents are choosing these unconventional names, often in hopes of making their children stand out in a country where pressure to conform is strong.