Gaijin Girl Gets Going Again

by Linda Okazaki

The U.S. Pilgrimage is complete, save for a trip to the jail in El Centro, a pass through Santa Fe, NM and a visit to Seattle, WA (currently scheduled for July). Also necessary for my research is a return visit to the National Archives in Washington DC and Maryland (currently scheduled for December). Next stop? Okayama, Japan; more specifically, the tiny village where the family farm and cemetery still stand. Appointments have been scheduled, distant relatives have been contacted, but still there is an element of the unknown. How will the Buddhist priests at the temple respond to this gaijin girl? What about the government clerks? Japanese privacy laws are extraordinarily strict. As per a law passed in 2008, no prefectural repository can divulge information to anyone not adequately documented as a descendant. I will hand carry the original koseki, along with birth certificates, marriage records, color copies of passports and driver’s licenses, plus any other documents I can think of. The rest will be up to Ted. Afterall, it is his lineage I am researching and conveniently, he is the one who speaks the language. While the Okazaki koseki is complete, I now seek the bridal lines of the Maibara and Kobayashi families, plus any others I am able to discover or the clerks are willing to print.