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About Us

The purpose of this website is perfectly summed up in its name:

Japanese family registers (koseki – 戸籍) are the fundamental starting point for all Japanese family history research – both for Japanese nationals living in Japan and Nikkei living outside of Japan.

This website provides you with tools to obtain your koseki – which will enable you to trace your roots back to Japan – in some instances, up to four generations before the immigration of your issei ancestors!

Considerable Japanese-language information currently exists on-line related to koseki; however, this information is nearly impenetrable to non-Japanese speakers. Up until now, detailed information on how to request your own koseki from Japanese municipal offices has been sorely lacking in English and other languages. has been initially developed in English with future plans for Portuguese pages for Japanese-Brazilians and Spanish pages for other Nikkei in Latin America.


We would like to acknowledge the following people for their contributions:

●  Todd Belcher, Masayo Bennion, June Berk, Linda Crawford, Russ Endo, Pat Fraser, Bobbi Goodman, Bob Hada, Debra Hahn, Barbara Harper, Brian Hatano, Janis Hirohama, Sue Ichiho, Ron Ikari, Yvonne Ishimoto, Phyllis Iwasaki, Gerry Kajitani, Susan Kamei, Clarke Kido, Sally Lee, Natalie Leung-Wo, Doug and Michi Matsumori, Kathryn Mlsna, Nancy Monden, Aileen Oda, Iwona Osmolska, JoAnne Otsuki, Gene and Patty Saito, Rene Sakorafis, Lester Seto, Lois Shimasaki-Oda, Carol Sunahara, Craig Takagishi, Diana Versluis, Lisa Williams, Nanae Wolf, and Irene Yee. Experience working with your koseki documents provided much of the foundation of this website.

●  Sue Ichiho and Gene Saito for generously allowing use of their personal documents on this website

●  Jim Hunt (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – California Elk Grove Stake); Reverend Candice Shibata (Buddhist Church of Florin); Sarah Nitta (Loomis United Methodist Church); Gloria Imagire (Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church); and Brian Hatano, Stuart Ito, and Sandra Kataoka (Buddhist Church of Sacramento) for allowing Japanese family history classes to be taught at your congregations. Class materials developed for those classes have been utilized in developing content for this website.

●  Ellen Hayakawa and Linda Kawamoto Reid for introducing the Japanese-Canadian experience.

●  Mia Natsume for the design of the logo.

●  Lesley Gale, Paul Stafford, and Mikiko Izumitani for editing and review of the website content.


We believe that any Nikkei can trace their ancestral roots back 2-4 generations before their issei immigrant ancestors using the tools to request their own personal koseki records from Japanese municipal offices. In reality, however, this may not be possible due to circumstances beyond our control, including bombardment and fires from World War II, natural disasters (e.g., the 1923 Kantō earthquake and fires; the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear incident), and local fires.

We believe that the information presented on the website is correct; however, due to the reliance on secondary Japanese sources, we cannot guarantee this with 100 percent certainty.

The village look-up function represents the Japanese administrative divisions as of January 1, 2021; subsequent changes are currently not included. Likewise, municipal office addresses provided by the village look-up function are current as of January 1, 2021.

Discussion of areas occupied by Imperial Japan before and during World War II does not constitute approval of Japan’s imperialistic policies at that time; however, it does acknowledge the historical fact that some Nikkei ancestors and relatives may have lived in those areas.