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Have you heard of a word gKosekih (Family Registration, Family Register)? They use it like gKoseki wo utsusuh or gKoseki ni hairuh.

Koseki is for Japanese only. Foreign residents may not be familiar to it because there is another registration for foreigners, Alien Registration.

But Koseki will be significant matter if a foreign resident marries a Japanese or has babies

What is Koseki?

It is the peculiar institution which there are only a few countries adopt in the world including Japan.

It proves publicly relationship of persons who live together in the unit of families. It has information like who married who, number of children and names/birthdays of the children.

A single adult is able to make a new Koseki[It is called gBunsekih (Segregation from Family Register)], Marriage also brings a new one.

Originally it started in old days as registration of residents in the unit of houses for collection of government tax.

The name of Koseki (Ko: house, Seki: class, qualification) comes from this origin.

Rulers had used it for grasping and controlling people before, but Registration Law was changed and there is very little concern about reverting back.

Koseki is still very significant institution for Japanese.

We often need copy of Koseki as a certification e.c. when getting employed, getting married, taking a driverfs license or getting a passport.

Without Koseki would be in serious trouble.

Even though Koseki is so important and taken for granted for Japanese, foreigners who come from the countries with different institutions tend to hardly understand it including its concept.

What is the difference?

For example, about marriage. In many European countries, a marriage is legally acknowledged when a couple pledge themselves in front of a person of authority.

The person is different@by the places: a mayor, a priest or a minister. He or she signs a certification.

Meanwhile, a legal marriage in Japan is gto Join someonefs Kosekih(to Resister at government office).

A marriage can not be legally acknowledged even if you pledge in from of a person of authority and he or she signs a certification.

However, a foreigner can not have a Koseki if he or she marries a Japanese and registers.

Koseki is for Japanese only. A Japanese who marries a foreigner will have a new Koseki which has the record that he or she married - - - (partnerfs name).

Meanwhile, for making Koseki of children of the couple, registrations of marriage and birth are very important.

But their family structure and their circumstances alter cases, please contact Koseki Jumin-ka Koseki-gakari (Family Registration & Residents Section) TEL 047-436-2263 for detail information.