I came to JREF 18 years ago searching for several old friends in Fukuoka and am still waiting to find them. Sometimes it feels like trying to find "John Smith" somewhere in the US. When it's a female , there is also the chance of a name change which makes it even more difficult. Knowing the town they lived in and how the person's name is spelled with Kanji is a good start if you have that info. People and staff here are really good at trying to help.