Have you reached a “brick wall” in your genealogy research? Onsite genealogy research in Japan may just be the key to extending your Japanese ancestry. We have genealogists in Japan who can help!
Challenges in Japanese Genealogy Research
Family history research in Japan relies primarily on record sets called koseki and juminhyo. The former contains information about members of a household including names, dates, marriages, and notes about adoptions; the latter tracks a family’s movement within Japan if they changed residence. These records are held only onsite by the local city government. An exact hometown must therefore be known before research can proceed. In most cases, successful Japanese genealogy research will require a Legacy Tree researcher to visit in person but even when we arrive, record access restrictions are strict, and usually limited to a documented member of the family or a proven descendant, or an agent with permission from a family member. Other records such as family genealogies often exist as well, but also must generally be accessed in person. If your ancestors immigrated from Japan to somewhere else, it may be necessary to first research in that adoptive country first.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
If you have Japanese ancestry, our professionals can help track down the town of origin of your ancestors, determine where that location is today, and identify where the records for that place are currently kept. We can also do the preliminary research in immigrant destination countries to learn the Japanese hometown, if necessary. For those areas that don’t have records available online or on microfilm, our onsite agents can visit that location to obtain any documents that are available.
Onsite Archive Access in Japan
Our onsite genealogy researchers have access to the following archives, repositories and libraries in Japan to help track down the records you need to extend your Japanese family history:
- The Diplomatic Record Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho, Gaiko Shiryokan)
- The Department of Research, Planning, and Coordination, Policy Research Institute – Library Division
- National Archives of Japan (Kokuritsu Kobunshokan)
- Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, National Archives of Japan (Kokuritsu Kobunshokan Asia Rekishi Shiryo Center)
- University of Tokyo General Library