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Encyclopedia > Koseki

A koseki (戸籍) is a family registry. Japanese law requires all Japanese households (ie) to report births, acknowledgements, adoptions, deaths, marriages and divorces of Japanese citizens to their local authority, which compiles such records encompassing all Japanese citizens within their jurisdiction. Marriages, adoptions and acknowledgemants of children become legally effective only when such events are recorded in the koseki. Births and deaths became legally effective as they happen, but such events must be filed by family members. A family register (also known as any of several variations, such as household register, familienbuch, koseki ) is a registry used in many countries to track information of a genealogical or legal interest. ... Japanese law was historically heavily influenced by Chinese law and developed independently during the Edo period through texts such as Kujikata Osadamegaki, but has been largely based on the civil law of Germany since the late 19th century. ... The ie (家), or household, was the basic unit of Japanese law until the end of World War II: most civil and criminal matters were considered to involve families rather than individuals. ...

Contents

Recored Items

Following are the items recorded in koseki. (Law of Family Register, Koseki ho, article 13.)

  • family name and 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 the person is a husband or a wife
  • if transfered from another koseki, the former koseki
  • registered residence honseki chi

History

While similar systems have been employed in Japan since ancient times, the modern koseki, encompassing all of Japan's citizenry, appeared in 1872, immediately following the Meiji Restoration. This was the first time in history that all Japanese people were required to have family names as well as given names. Records were originally kept in lengthy paper volumes, but were translated to digital format in 2002 and are now entirely computerized. The Meiji Restoration ), also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, or Renewal, was a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japans political and social structure. ...


The koseki is traditionally held by the eldest male descendant of the lineage, the honke.[citation needed] During times of veneration of the family's ancestors, Higan (spring) and Obon (fall), the other family members (bunke) may visit the home of the honke to venerate the family's ancestors.[citation needed] A Japanese family title held by the eldest son of the family. ... Higan (彼岸) is traditional festival time during Spring in Japanese culture, to commemorate the family ancestors. ... YOSAKOI1(2004 August at Enomoto Primary School Osaka) Yosakoi2(2004 August at Enomoto Primary School Osaka) O-bon is a Japanese Buddhist holiday to honor the departed spirits of ones ancestors. ... A bunke (分家) is a branch family established by a collateral of the honke (the line descended through the eldest male) in Japan. ...


Privacy Concerns

The koseki simultaneously fills the function of birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and the census in other countries. It is also based on family rather than each individual. Information provided in koseki is detailed as well as sensitive and makes discrimination possible against such groups as burakumin or illegitimate children and lone unwed mothers, for example. As burakumin liberation movement gained strength in postwar Japan some changes were made to family registry. In 1970 some details of one's birth address were deleted from the family registry. In 1974 a notice that prohibited employers to ask prospective employees to show family registry was released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. In 1975 one's lineage name was deleted and in 1976 access to family registry was restricted. As of April 2007, anyone interested is eligible to get a copy of someone else's koseki. However, on May 11 of 2007, a new law passed, though not enacted, to limit the persons eligible for a copy to the persons recorded in the very koseki and those who need such a copy to exercise their due rights. Anyone who is listed on a koseki, even if their name has been crossed off by reason of divorce and even if they are not a Japanese citizen, is legally able to get a copy of that koseki. One can get a copy in person or by mail. Lawyers can also get copies of any koseki if a person listed is involved in legal proceedings. Mary Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) birth certificate In most countries, a birth certificate is a vital record usually containing most of the following information: Name at birth Date Time of birth Sex Place of birth Birth registration number (NHS number in UK) Legal parent(s) (in some countries including parents... 1870 US Census for New York City A census is the process of obtaining information about every member of a population (not necessarily a human population). ... Burakumin (: buraku, community or hamlet + min, people), or hisabetsu buraku ( discriminated communities / discriminated hamlets) are a Japanese social minority group. ... Burakumin (: buraku, community or hamlet + min, people), or hisabetsu buraku ( discriminated communities / discriminated hamlets) are a Japanese social minority group. ...


Koseki and Citizenship

Only Japanese citizens may be registered in a koseki, because koseki serve as certificates of citizenship. Non-Japanese may be noted where required (as being the spouse or parent of the registered citizen, for example).


Format

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. However, since most records are computerized these days, above mentioned paper koseki are becoming rarer.


Residency Registration jūminhyō

Note that the koseki system is different from the jūminhyō, or Residency Registration system, with which is it sometimes confused. A jÅ«minhyō (住民票) is a registry of current residential addresses maintained by local governments in Japan. ... A jÅ«minhyō (住民票) is a registry of current residential addresses maintained by local governments in Japan. ...


Similar Systems in Other Nations

A similar household registration system exists within the public administration structures of China (hukou), Vietnam (ho khau), and both North and South Korea (Hoju). In South Korea the (Hoju) system was repealed in 2005 A hùkÇ’u (Chinese: ) or hùjí (Chinese: ) refers to residency permits (household registration) issued in mainland China (by the Peoples Republic of China) and Taiwan (by the Republic of China). ... North Korea, officially the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK; Korean: Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk; Hangul: 조선민주주의인민공화국; Hanja: 朝鮮民主主義人民共和國), is a country in eastern Asia...


External links

  • Practical information on obtaining and using a koseki for Family Law related purposes in Japan
  • Information on Japan's Jûminhyô, or Residency Registration system

  Results from FactBites:
 
Koseki - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (461 words)
The koseki fills the role that birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses, and the census play in other countries, all in one package.
Information provided in koseki is detailed and sensitive and makes possible discrimination against such groups as burakumin or illegitimate children and lone unwed mothers for example.
Note that the koseki system is different from the juminhyo, or Residency Registration system, with which is it sometimes confused.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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