Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Okinawa Marriage/Birth Records 2009/7/25 00:34
My grandfather was in the airforce during WW1 and married my grandmother who lived Okinawa. They had two children there and moved to Texas and had four more children. I have been told this is virtually impossible, but it doesn't hurt to investigate. Does anyone know a way I could see if records of that marriage or the birth of those children exist in Okinawa? My grandfather died in the late 60's but my grandmother is still alive, however being 80, she remembers little. These records would be in the early to mid 50's. I have been told they were married in Naha. Thanks for anything you might suggest.
by Greg Jackson (guest)  

. 2009/7/25 09:42
I'm sure it is a rare case, but I wonder why it can be "virtually impossible".

Japanese records (hon-seki)are typically kept at the municipal of the place where the person grew up or lived. If you know what part of Okinawa your grandmother lived or grew up in, perhaps you can try contacting the current city hall of that area. There might be a record of her showing she got married. However, many old records in Japan were lost in war or other disasters and such.

I know nothing about how U.S. records work. Perhaps you can try asking the U.S. Air Force, or start by tracking down from the Texas records.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

RE: Okinawa Marriage/Birth Records 2009/7/26 07:39
Maybe Okinawa Prefecture knows how such official records have been handled.
The family register system of Japan was drastically changed in 1948. And, after the occupation was over in April 1952, Okinawa was under the control of the U.S.A. until May 14, 1972.
I'm not sure which division of Okinawa Prefectural Government is the best to consult on your question, but Municipal Administration Division sounds to be a near guess.
At the bottom, above gray and blue lines, are a phone number, a facsimile number and an e-mail address to this division. Below the lines is an e-mail address to Okinawa Prefectural Government.
You don't need to reveal real names until an opportunity comes to access a record.
As to phone calls from abroad to Japan, this page offers a brief explanation.

I suppose, when your grandmother was / is a Japanese national will make differences.
If she was no more a Japanese national after that marriage, I think it's hard to find clues on Japan side.

As Uco suggests, it's highly possible that her family register domicile ([honseki-chi]) was / is located in Okinawa.
Events such as marriage and childbirth, if confirmed on Japan side while she was a Japanese national, must have been recorded on a family register ([koseki]) to which she once belonged / now belongs.
If any of the six children was born while she (= your grandmother) was a Japanese national, and also the child was once / is now a Japanese national, then maybe the child belonged / belongs to the same family register as she.
However, Japanese local service officers will not easily open this very private sort of official records, because they should prevent abuses. (If there is her Japanese near relative in Okinawa, possibly it's easier for them to indentify the relative on Japan side.) If you fortunately find official records concerning her on both Japan and U.S.A sides, that might be a chance to form a clear picture.

by omotenashi rate this post as useful

personal experience 2009/7/26 11:25
Omotenashi wrote;
However, Japanese local service officers will not easily open this very private sort of official records, because they should prevent abuses.

This is true to a certain extent. But when I emailed a city hall asking for my great uncle and great grandfather's whereabouts, a staff was quite cooperative. I must say, however, that he seemed personally interested in the issue, probably being some sort of a history nerd himself. He phoned me to make sure I'm worth trusting (I am a Japanese living in Japan) and he offered to do some research.

Unfortunately, a lot of official documents were lost for one reason or another, and we couldn't find anything more than what I already knew. The last time I heard from him he said, "I'll transfer this to another division and we'll see if they can find out more." That was a couple of years ago. But it's good to know that at least I tried.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Okinawa Marriage/Birth Records 2011/4/5 05:50
Responding (belatedly) to the query about Okinawa Marriage/Birth records: From the date spans, I think you must have meant WW2, not WW!. I. too was USAF, and married Okinawa girl. Re: Marriage - wife and I married in 1959 - process was to "Register at Naha City Hall" after USAF paperwork, and finally solemnize marriage at U.S. Consulate at Naha Port. Not sure how long Naha City Hall keeps Koseki records (maybe 50 years ??), but if they still exist, your grandma could get a copy, as she is mentioned on the Koseki. American husband will only be a "remark" on her family register.

As to birth - could be that one or both were in military hospital (e.g., Camp Kue or Kadena AFB) - records should be obtainable from US Govt, if so. OTOH, if born outside USG facilities, they would fall into Govt of Ryukyu Islands (1945-1972) period records, pretty sketchy - you would need to contact Okinawa prefecture Govt to get leads.
by Gene Montgomery (guest) rate this post as useful

sodesune--- 2011/4/8 16:52
----My grandfather was in the airforce during WW1 and married my grandmother who lived Okinawa. They had two children there and moved to Texas and had four more children.---------

WWII? Airforce, you may be able to start investigate through or NPRC.Vetrecs to look for information of documents that's been lost.
You'll need some information of your late grandfather's military id number or his social security number, BD and DD etc if you can find it. And start from there to link to Naha. Usually marriage like your grandfather's is obtained at the embassy in a situation of marrying overseas. I'm almost sure the above links can help you where to obtain information you're looking for but you have to be next of kin to file for information.
by umiumi (guest) rate this post as useful

Okinawa Marriage/Birth Records 2011/8/3 13:52
I was born in Okinawa in 1959 and I have in my possession 2 birth certificates: 1. Birth certificate from the local government and 2. Certificate of Live Birth for Children Born Abroad. I'm half Filipino and Okinawan.
Hope this info helps.
by atej rate this post as useful

reply to this thread