Open main menu
Japan Wiki Topics
Flag of Japan.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Japan Background
Local Research Resources

Japanese Adoption and Name Changes

It was common practice for Japanese to adopt another male young adult or older children, if no male heirs were present in a family. Often a son who was not his family's heir would marry a daughter of a man with no male heirs. Upon their marriage, the groom would take the bride's maiden name as his and would become her father's heir. If they divorced, his rights to her family's estate would be returned, he would resume his own name and return to his family and again be recorded under the head of his household's koseki. These changes that are recorded on the family's koseki can quickly become confusing. Using a software program like PAF is helpful to keep track of these changes and distinguish between direct lineage and adopted lineage. Adoptions were very common and frequent in all families and for varied reasons. A good explanation of this practice can be found: here and: here.