Japan Civil Registration

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Online Collections[edit | edit source]

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Local governments (municipalities) keep the records and the additional information:

For a list of cities, see List of cities in Japan.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

"A koseki (戸籍) is a Japanese family registry. Japanese law requires all Japanese households (known as "ie") to report births, acknowledgements of paternity, adoptions, disruptions of adoptions, deaths, marriages and divorces of Japanese citizens to their local authority, which compiles such records encompassing all Japanese citizens within their jurisdiction."[1]

For additional information, see Japan's Family Registry System, on the official website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan.

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

Japanese censuses started in the 6th century. The modern koseki started in 1872 for all Japanese citizens. This was the first time that all Japanese were required to have family names.[1]

Only Japanese citizens are in these family registers.[2]

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

"A typical koseki has one page for the household's parents and their first two children: additional children are recorded on additional pages. Any changes to this information have to be sealed by an official registrar.[1]


  • Family name
  • Given name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of records and causes (marriage, death, adoption, etc.)
  • Names of the father and the mother and the relation to them
  • If adopted, names of the adoptive father and mother
  • If married, whether husband or wife
  • If transferred from another koseki, the former koseki
  • Registered residence

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wikipedia, Koseki, accessed 17 August 2019
  2. Japan’s Family Registry System, accessed 17 August 2019