What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Double-barreled Japanese/Western Surname after marriage

odango

後輩
Joined
5 Oct 2008
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hagimemashite, we are a Japanese and English couple(wife Japanese and husband English), recently married and living in the UK. We decided to keep both our family name, and create a double-barreled surname. (yamada-Jones for example). Now, this seems to be a simple enough process in the UK for UK nationals(via deedpole), but to have a double-barreled surname accepted/legalised in Japan seems to be a lot trickier! How hard would it be to have official Japanese documents (such as 'koseki' and Japanese passport of my wife's) accept a double-barreled surname? Does double-barreled names exist in Japan??

We are wondering if there are any couples out there that may have experienced the same problems or be able to advise us on this matter?

We thought it a great idea to retain the family name of both heritage for our children in the future, but didn't realise how difficult (and unusual?) this would be..
Any feedback much appreciated - doumo arigatou in advance!

:?
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
I would think it would be very difficult, but can't say for sure. Your husband could look in on this Yahoo listserv (Association of Foreign Husbands of Japanese) and ask.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AFHJ/

Or you (the Japanese wife) should be able to contact your ward office (former ward office) and ask. Or have your parents do that. You're off their koseki now anyway, so you need to create your own koseki.
 

odango

後輩
Joined
5 Oct 2008
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
all Japanese government documentation require a Kanji?

Thank you for your advise, yes we are starting to realise this isn't as simple as we thought or hoped!

Apparently, all Japanese government documentation require a Kanji name and so the Japanese wife will not be able to change that no matter what her name is in other countries?

So now that we have a new 'Koseki', that would record the Japanese wife as the 'koshu', with her Japanese maiden name. We believe this is also the case even if she takes her Western husband's family name after marriage, though the 'Koseki' will then acknowledge in (brackets) next to her Japanese maiden name that she is known as another surname outside of Japan..

We are in the process of receiving advise from Japan (We are based in the UK) but according to her family over in Japan, it's been received with a slight '???' as it seems not such a common request. The process of going to the family courts have been mentioned and also fees involved - which, it will also cost in the UK to have the surname changed by deedpole anyway so not so surprising but probably we have faced ore opposition then support over a double barreled Japanese-Western surname idea.

Is mixing two names from 2 different countries not such a good idea then we wonder? This doesn't feel too unnatural to us, as it feels similar to a Japanese man/woman marrying and inheriting his/her Western partner's family name: eg, Hanako Jones or Taro Smiths
 

butakun

先輩
Joined
9 Dec 2004
Messages
91
Reaction score
4
Family Registry Law (koseki-hou) allows Japanese citizen to change his/her surname to that of foreign spouse, provided that it be done within 6 month after the marriage was registered. The law only mentions Japanese national taking the spouse's surname, and double-barreled surname is not clearly defined. Apparently, according to the info on the sites below, your option is to go throuth the family court in Japan to have the double-barreled surname recognized. The sites are in Japanese.

国際結婚,海外での出生等に関する戸籍Q&A (Ministry of Justice)
http://www.moj.go.jp/MINJI/minji15.html

国際結婚と姓
http://www.ko-kekkon.com/jo-ho/007/008/

The second site gives some guidelines on how to proceed with the family court. In family court, you need to present a justification for the demand, and one case in which such a demand is accepted is if the double-barreled surnames are commonly used in the country of the foreign national and legally recorded on official documents.

When we got married in Belgium, I wanted to do the same, and did a lot of research on this matter, but ultimately it's up to the family court judge. Anyway, my wife didn't like the idea from the beginning, so we didn't do it.
 

odango

後輩
Joined
5 Oct 2008
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
When we got married in Belgium, I wanted to do the same, and did a lot of research on this matter, but ultimately it's up to the family court judge. Anyway, my wife didn't like the idea from the beginning, so we didn't do it.

Thank you so much for your post - so great to know again that we're not the only ones who thought of it..We've had a variety of reactions on this matter from utter horror to suggestions that it is full of hurdles and not worth the hassle etc etc.

Your advise and links are such a great releif to us - thank you so much. It has been impossible to get any more information or even know where to start our search.

Doumo arigatou. Tasukarimashita.👍
 
Top Bottom