Japan Genealogists

Our Japan genealogists research on location. They will find and analyze the best records available to further your family history research. They can search the archives and libraries in Japan, including:

  • National Archives of Japan
    Contains records of historical importance received by the Prime Minister from various government ministeries and agencies
  • Japan Center for Asian Historical Records
    Houses official documents of the Japanese Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Army and Navy
  • University of Tokyo, General Library
    Rare books, journals, newspapers from the 1700s
  • Policy Research Institute Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PRIMAFF) Library
    Houses about 296,000 books and about 3700 periodicals, constituting the largest collection of literature on agricultural economics and related fields in Japan
  • Buddhist temples
    Over 41,500 temples contain various records, including Buddhist death registers.Our genealogists can do research projects of many sizes and for many budgets. We customize the amount of research provided according to your needs.

If you would like to learn how our genealogists can further your research, request a research quote.

Some of the major records sources that can be used for genealogy research in Japan include:

  • Buddhist death registers (Kakocho) contain the name, posthumous name, death date, and sometimes the household unit of the person
  • Religious Inquisition Census Records (Shumoncho), which is a census that was taken periodically to classify people according to their religion and to detect illegal Christians (1640-1872).
  • Pilgrimage Records (Dankaicho), which are records of persons making pilgrimages to Buddhist temples (1550-1870). Provides reliable source for surnames.
  • Japan Calendars, which are roughly equivalent to feudal court records (1543-1867).
  • Tombstone inscriptions, in manuscript or published form (1600-present).
  • Household Registration Records (Koseki), which is a registration of the population taken nationwide by the government. since 1872.
  • Christian Church records (Kirisuto Kyokai Kiroku) of baptisms, marriages, and deaths kept by church clergy (1873-present).
  • Emigrant passenger lists and assorted papers on emigrant shipping (Ryokaku Meibo to Imin Unsosen Mondai Zakken) (1868-1940).
  • Immigration records (passenger lists and ship manifests) in the language of the port where they arrived (1890s-1960)
  • Military records, such as Enshrined Patriots’ Lists (Senshisha Meibo) of heroic soldiers and patriots (aikokusha) who are honored and enshrined at various shrines and temples (1852-1945).
  • Village records (1600-1868) provide generational linkages, as well as names, places, and dates for village inhabitants,

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