Names are important things no matter what country you're in, though in Japan they work a little differently than what you may be used to. Japanese always have two names, a family name (Tanaka, Yamada) and a given name (Taro, Hanako), and since the name order is always reversed from Western name style, terms like "first name" and "last name" become pretty useless. Japanese never have middle names or sons named after their fathers, and when I was a teacher my students would ask me what my middle name was and show amazement that my father was named Peter Payne, just like me. It's quite rare for women to keep their maiden names after they get married, unless they marry foreigners (my wife kept hers); something that happens more often is, a man comes to live with his wife and her family and legally takes her family name. (My father-in-law did this when he married my wife's mother.) One thing I've observed about the Japanese: as a group, they're not very good at memorizing people's names, and one possible reason why this might be is the large number of non-name labels, e.g. senpai for an upperclassman or senior member of an organization, or sensei for someone in a place of respect like a teacher, a lawyer or a certified public accountant (no, I am not kidding about those last two).
When my daughter was very small, I went with her and a J-List employee to my mother's house in San Diego. Naturally my family called my employee by his given name, which was Daisuke, and my daughter pulled me aside and asked, "Why is everyone calling him 'Daisuke'? Didn't they just meet him for the first time? How can they be good friends with him so quickly?" It's just a cultural difference between Japan and the West that given names are only used by family members or close friends, or a couple who has just started dating. In the currently running anime Sakura Sou no Pet na Kanojo, which was supposed to be a "harem" anime with lots of fanservice, through the writers managed to sneak in an interesting character-driven story, Mashiro Shiina is a beautiful girl from England who is so scatterbrained, she can't even put on her own pantsu in the morning, so the male protagonist Sorata has to help her. He calls her by her family name (Shiina) to maintain a polite distance between them, but she yearns for him to call her by her given name of Mashiro.
The pantsu-challenged Mashiro, one of the more interesting boke-chara types to come along.