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  • Writer's pictureThomas Nelan

Family Register Translation | Koseki Tohon Translation

Updated: Mar 24

What is a Koseki Tohon/ Japanese Family Register? The Koseki Tohon, also known as the Japanese Family Register, holds significant importance in Japan, serving as the primary document used by the government to maintain records of its citizens. It is essential for various governmental procedures, and a translated version is necessary when Japanese citizens apply for temporary or permanent visas abroad. Moreover, family registers are recognized as valid proof of marriage eligibility, and for Japanese citizens married to foreigners, a translated copy of the register often suffices as evidence in foreign nations.



As a Japanese translator, what is the golden rule of Family Register/ Koseki Tohon translation?


To be accepted, the certified translation your Family Register/ Koseki Tohon translation needs to be faithful to the original, not only in the words translated, but also in the formatting. In general, any Japanese translation which differs visually from the formatting style of the original document will have greater difficulty being accepted by the official reviewing the document. This increases the risk of your translation being rejected.


Certified Translation of your Koseki Tohon:

At Japanology Translation, we take the time needed to ensure that your Family Register/ Koseki Tohon translation is accurate and visually reflects your original document. In that way, you can be certain your Japanese translation to English will be accepted first time. Our certified Family Register/ Koseki Tohon translations have a 100% acceptance rate both here in the U.K. and in Canada.


Types of Koseki Tohon:

As there are many types of Koseki available, perhaps you are not certain about exactly which type of you have? Here is an explanation of the various types available:

There are two main types of Koseki, the Koseki Tohon ( 戸籍謄本 ) and the Koseki Shohon

(戸籍抄本). The Koseki Tohon is a complete Koseki of all members of a family, showing details of their birth, death and marriage. The Koseki Shohon is different; it contains a similar record- but for one individual member of the family only.


"...your Family Register/ Koseki Tohon translation needs to be faithful to the original, not only in the words translated, but also in the formatting".

A third type of Koseki also exists, a Koseki Joseki Tohon (戸籍除籍謄本). These Koseki contain details which have been removed from the Koseki mentioned above as a result of a death or divorce in the family.


An older style of Koseki, known as a Kosei-Gen-Toseki-Tohon (改製原戸籍謄本) also exists. These can come in two formats (the Showa-era format and the Heisei-era format), and are usually available upon request from the archive section of your local government office.


Getting the certified translation of your Japanese Family Register/ koseki tohon right the first time is crucial to a smooth application process going forward.


Want to know more? Read why our koseki tohon certified translation service is the right service for you.

How about a free quote?

Send us your Family Register/ koseki tohon and we'll get back to you shortly with details of the cost and time needed to perform your certified translation. Friendly service and governmental acceptance guaranteed.


Tom Nelan- B.C.L., B.B.S. (M.K.T.), (New York Qualified Lawyer).

Mitsuko Miyake Nelan- B.A. Japanese Literature: Chofu University, Tokyo.



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