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Family Letter Translation Help

pocantheses

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For a family history project, I digged up this old letter written almost entirely in kanji in a trunk at my grandmother's house. She's a filipina born-and-raised, so she was unable to read it. She says it was from her father, a japanese immigrant to the Philippines named Bunji Sato (upon arrival he changed his name to 'Benito' Sato). Recent background: her father came from Japan and married her mother, a filipina. They had 3 children; unfortunately, my grandmother's father died shortly after her youngest sister was born.

I know that this is not the right forum to post (forum tag says 'short sentences only') but I was wondering if someone could at least help me find a place where I could find someone who would be willing to take time to go over it with me and help me to translate it . This is a priceless family treasure, and I would be extremely grateful if someone would help me make sense of it.

http://imgur.com/a/09voU
 

Mike Cash

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It is from February 1934 and at a quick glance it is primarily a sort of power-of-attorney allowing someone else to act on his behalf in the matter of settling the estate of his father.
 

Toritoribe

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The "someone else" Mike-san mentioned is his younger brother Takeji Satō. He also commissioned Takeji to use his right of the head of the household and asked to take care of their aged mother.
 

nekojita

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The top right appears to be something relating to the 戸籍 (family register). It refers to a location in Fukushima prefecture (the same is repeated overleaf). Then "current address", Bunji Sato's name in kanji (佐藤文次), and a date (Meiji 24 - 1891 - would that be his birthdate?).

The location is: 福島県、信夫郡、野田村、(大字)、笹木野、北谷地
(ordered from largest area to smallest, the part in brackets I think means "section of village" the rest are placenames)
Fukushima prefecture, Shinobu-gun, Noda-mura, Sasakino, Kitayaji.

This location is now part of Fukushima city, and you can see it on Google maps if you put in:
Kitayaji Sasakino, Fukushima-shi, Fukushima-ken, Japan
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, Bunji's birth day is October 15, 1891, and his father's name is Jōshichi.
His current address (at that time, of course) is Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur province, US colony Philippines.
 

Majestic

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I thought the grandfather's younger brother might be Takeharu?

And Bunji's name in kanji would be 文治 (as 文次 would be funny for the first born, no?).
 
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pocantheses

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Thank you everyone for the help! I am planning to save up for a very, very thorough trip to Japan to explore my Japanese roots (mostly just to take a break from labwork), so all of this information will definitely come in handy. But most importantly of all, it means so much to my grandmother; she expresses her sincere gratitude to everyone that helped shed some more light onto our family's history.
 

Toritoribe

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Your great-great-grandfather's name
佐藤常七

Your great-grandfather's name
佐藤文治

Your great-grandfather's younger brother's name
佐藤竹治

Your great-grandfather's birthday
明治24年10月15日

Your great-grandfather's initial domicile registered in his koseki
福島県信夫郡野田村大字笹木野字北谷地
the current address
福島県福島市笹木野北谷地

Hope this helps your exploration.
 

Mike Cash

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You can copy-paste 福島県福島市笹木野北谷地 into the search bar on Google Maps and get a look at the area as it is today. Turn on the satellite view.
 

SoapyMallet

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Hi! Sorry to bump up an older thread. I found this through Google.
Your story is awfully awfully similar to a post I made on reddit a while back! - http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/j535n/hey_reddit_would_anyone_knowledgeable_in/

Why, your scan happens to be the scan that me and my cousins produced. Did I find one of those cousins on this forum?

Your profile says you're from LA. Since all my cousins are in the Philippines, you must have changed your IP address to a US-based one seeing as how this website disables any accounts whose profile location doesn't match their IP address.

You mentioned how Bunji Sato had three kids. You must not have heard from our uncle about how he found the names of older children who died during WW2.

You mentioned how your grandmother sends her gratitude to the posters in this thread. My grandma died a year ago. Bunji Sato now has one living daughter - the youngest sister who you mentioned in the first post. Is our grandma alive again? Hallelujah, it's a miracle!

Anyway, I just wanted to graciously and truly thank all the responders for providing their translations. I learned stuff I didn't know before! And I also want to extend my thanks to my long-lost cousin for posting my (our?) great-grandfather's letter here in the first place. If you hadn't, I wouldn't have been able to see these translations. ;)
 
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