“Reclaiming Identity: The Power of the Koseki Tohon in Reuniting Families”


A koseki tohon is a comprehensive copy of a family register in Japan. A family register is an official document that records the vital events and relationships of a Japanese family, such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, adoptions, and citizenship changes. A koseki tohon contains the information of all the family members who share the same family name and registered domicile. It is used to prove one’s identity, nationality, and family status for various purposes, such as applying for a passport, getting married, inheriting property, or enrolling in school. A koseki tohon can be obtained from the local city office where the family register is kept, by submitting an application form and paying a fee. Only the person who is listed on the koseki tohon or their legal representative can request a copy.

The arrival of the family register felt like a weight lifting from my chest, replaced by a lightness that spread through my entire being. It was more than just a piece of paper; it was a tangible symbol of a connection that transcended years of separation and the miles that stretched between us. For 600 long days, the ache of parental alienation and the pain of child abduction by his Japanese mother had gnawed at my heart. This official recognition wasn’t just legalese on a document; it was a cherished validation of the paternal bond I’d always felt for my son, a bond that distance and legal hurdles could never sever.

Knowing my name is etched next to his in the family register is a precious step forward, a beacon of hope in the darkness. It fuels the unwavering belief that someday soon, the physical distance will be bridged. I yearn for the day when I can finally hold him close, feel the warmth of his embrace, and whisper in his ear the words I’ve longed to say: “I love ❤ you TJ.” That joyous reunion will be the true beginning of building a meaningful relationship, a relationship where we can share stories, laughter, and all the joys life has to offer. This official recognition may be just a piece of paper, but for me, it represents the opening chapter of a future filled with love, connection, and the unbreakable bond between a father and his son.




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