Thursday, August 5, 2010

Glossary of Japanese Genealogical Terms

I copied this out of a book several years ago, and don't know where it came from. Once I find it, I'll give proper accreditation.

koseki  戸籍 household register, begun 1872; available from 1886. Includes all people in a household under one head.
tohon 謄本 certified copy.
shohon 抄本 summary; abstract.
jinshin koseki 壬申戸籍 registry begun in the year Jinshin (Meiji 5: 1872). Not available for private genealogical work.
joseki 除籍 expired register in which all persons originally entered have been removed because of death, change of residence, etc. A joseki file is ordinarily available for 80 years after its expiration.
genseki 原籍 another term for honseki.
honseki 本籍 registered locality (address of household being registered).
kakocho 過去帳 Buddhist death register.
kaimyo 戒名 posthumous Buddhist name, recorded in kakocho.
homyo  法名Buddhist name given to living converts; similar to kaimyo.
shumon aratame-cho 宗門改帳 examination of religion register (pre-1873).
ninbetsu-cho 人別帳 individual examination register (pre-1873).
          The shumon aratame-cho and ninbetsu-cho were special surveillance censuses whose object was to detect and apprehend hidden Christians. They were superseded by the koseki.
ken 県 prefecture, divided into shi and gun.
to motropolitan prefecture (Tokyo-to). Similar to ken.
fu 府 urban prefecture (Kyoto-fu, Osaka-fu). Similar to ken.
ku 区 ward in some large cities (Sapporo, Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Kita Kyushu, Fukuoka); divided into cho.
shi city, divided into cho and aza.
gun 郡 county, divided into cho and mura.
cho 町 (also read machi) district within a shi or ku; town within a gun.
chome 丁目 smaller division of a cho in some neighborhoods.
mura 村 (also read son)  village within a gun.
aza 字 (sometimes oaza)  unorganized district in a shi or mura.
banchi 番地 house number.
kuni 国 province (no longer in official use). Now used to mean "nation."
koshu 戸主 head of a household.
zenkoshu 全戸主 previous head of household.
otto 夫 husband.
tsuma 妻 wife.
fu 婦 wife.
chichi 父 father.
haha 母 mother.
sofu 祖父 grandfather.
sobo 祖母 grandmother.
dan 男 (also read nan)  male; man; son.
jo 女 female; woman; daughter.
ototo 弟 younger brother.
ane 姉 older sister.
imoto 妹 younger sister
mago 孫 (also read son) grandchild.
himago  曾孫 (also read soson) great-grandchild.
yo 養 adopted. In Japan, a man without sons may adopt his eldest daughter's husband as his own son, and the young man will take his wife's surname.
shimei 氏名 family name; name of household head.
shussei 出生 birth.
bo 亡 deceased; the late...
nen  年 (also read toshi)  year.
gatsu 月 (also read getsu or tsuki) month.
hi 日 (also read nichi)  day; date.

Here is the glossary on Nikkei Ancestry.

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