産經:「青い目の人形」に“市民権” 愛媛・西予市。Sankei: Old dolls get “City Citizenship”. Now how about NJ residents?


Article below about old “blue-eyed dolls” getting shiminken, or “city citizenship”. Yet foreign residents and taxpayers can’t, anywhere in Japan. See what I mean–check out the Tama-Chan Case. Debito in Sapporo

「青い目の人形」に“市民権” 愛媛・西予市
産經新聞 2008.3.17 22:35








Hi Debito,

You might remember me… I did some translating for the whole Tama-chan thing way back when, and since then have been very tuned in to whole issue of Koseki and jumnihyo, esp because I am an NJ with Japanese PR and a Japanese husband.

So it was especially upsetting to come home from work today and hear that Seiyo City (nearby) has issued Juminhyo to two dolls. 青い目の人形へ特別交付住民票 I believe, I just caught the tail end of the news. I think the dolls were gifts from America (?) to Japan after WWII, and there are two of these dolls left in Seiyo. Yes, they are probably antiques, of great historic value and probably represent something important in the relationship between Japan and America.

But for me, after 12 years living in Japan, 9 years as the wife of a Japanese national, and esp recently having to translate our koseki and juminhyou and feeling very frustrated at not being listed anywhere on my husband’s juminhyo, I find this totally unacceptable, insulting, and frankly hurtful.

But wait, you know all that. So, what do you think I should do? Call the Ehime Prefectural Newspaper? Draft an official letter of protest and send it to the Seiyo City Hall? Any advice would be appreciated.

I think you are traveling, so you might not be able to get back to me soon. I am hoping there’ll be something in the newspaper tomorrow, and maybe something on line. If I can find any links, I’ll send them your way. And if it only appears in the newspaper, I will scan it in.

Sorry to trouble you when you are traveling. But I was so upset when I heard the news, and the first thing I thought was “I better contact Debito, he’ll know what to do.”

11 comments on “産經:「青い目の人形」に“市民権” 愛媛・西予市。Sankei: Old dolls get “City Citizenship”. Now how about NJ residents?

  • Argh, not again. It’s as if residency issues are just all fun and games for these people, and quite disgraceful considering that they’re public officials. I’d like to get involved as well. The Seiyo City homepage has a general e-mail address, but I have a feeling e-mails sent there would not see the light of day. Sending something to a larger media entity may be the best bet…?

  • Hey! that`s OK, remember Japan is based on Kitty-chan etc. All TV programs for adults are made like for kids, the way they speak is the same, so let them give dolls, animals and other creatures juminhyo. This government will give “citizenship” to anyone except humans paying taxes, being good residents etc. Remember story of japanese “tarento” whose baby was born through American woman? What they can say? Japanese baby, but not recognized as such by GoJ, so there is no juminhyo for that kid either because is assumed as foreign.

  • I understand the frustration etc. I live in Tokyo and I am listed as the husband on my wife’s koseki, near the bottom, but I am listed. Does this mean they are different based on where you live? Seems strange.

  • I understand the frustration etc. I live in Tokyo and I am listed as the husband on my wife’s koseki, near the bottom, but I am listed. Does this mean they are different based on where you live? Seems strange.

    I, too, am listed on my wife’s koseki, but as a foreigner none of us can get our own juminhyo, despite being, for all intents and purposes, jumin. That’s the root of the problem. Despite living and contributing to our communities, paying all our taxes (including the juminzei… hmm), and, well, actually being humans, we cannot legally be considered residents, and are relegated to zairyuu status, while animals and inanimate objects are given residency. It’s just a bit strange.

  • Test the irony by trying to get a juminhyou for your pet.
    “as a joke” and see if the city servants go along with the “gag”

    I suppose getting a native Japanese family member to do it
    would work better.

    Then have the same family member try to get you
    a juminhyou. When that doesn’t work, call the papers.

  • well i was well aware of this digraceful discrimination,but I just registered my 3rd child today and started a stink when
    they were trying to get me to write my wifes name in as the person
    requesting the juuminhyou (which I refused to do) as they wouldnt accept me as the person requesting as Im not on it..
    things took a distinct turn for the worse when they requested another 450yen to get the foreigners version of the juuminhyou (as its a separate document) .
    i didnt handle it very well I dont think as was too pissed off but
    made my feelings v clear!

  • debito,

    not sure if this is the right place to post but i have been looking
    at your blog bout the juuminhyou nonsense and just wanted to ck a few things-
    its not only people who are settai nushi who can be listed as a comment in the juuminhyou is it??
    does the seirei 292 you quote only refer to this?
    what prefectures are allowing people to be put in the bikouran section on the juuminhyou?(so I can quote when i go to complain again) I saw maebashi in gunma but nowhere else?

    –Yes, Seirei 292 only allows for that. Don’t know what prefectures practice it, but the Seirei is a directive so displaying that should work. It has for others. Print it up and take it in. Push the envelope. Debito

  • yes but im not a settai nushi(my kids dont have my name so I cant be) so i dont think i can use it..

    –Not true. All a setai nushi is is a head of household, and under Seirei 292, if you are the breadwinner, you can have your name listed as the jijitsu jou no setai nushi 事実上の世帯主.

    Are you actually reading the pages I have up on Debito.org? All of this is covered. I shouldn’t have to cover it again.

  • yes i am reading the pages which is why im asking as it doesnt apply to me-i am not the jijitsujounosetainushi(my wife earns slightly more tham me) or the settai nushi.
    no need for you to be rude when im asking for advice.

    –Sorry. But you have to give complete information when doing so–I had no idea you were not the “breadwinner” until you said so now. I get lots of questions every day–yours alone today now make three when one would hopefully have sufficed. Please make my job a bit easier. It’s not as though I’m being compensated for my time. Thanks.

  • understood.sorry for the confusion-i understand you are very busy..
    i am going to see them about it this morning


  • hi again
    (feel free to remove some of the older posts if there are too many)
    i went this morning and the result was that i can be in the bikouran
    on the juuminhyou shouhon but not on the juumminhyou touhon.
    (they say they are not allowed to do bikouran on the touhon)
    i didnt realise that these were different but shouhon is for individual and touhon is for the whole family.
    therefore i can be on my sons’ or my wife’s shouhons but not on the family touhon- so this loophole is only good if you are married without kids.
    they said that 3 yrs ago they sent a request to put foreigners together on the juuminhyou to the government.
    but they agreed that under the proposed changes this is unlikely to happen.
    when i asked what I could do to bring about improvements,they suggested forming foreigners groups (like FRANCA) and lobbying the foreign embassies to push for change..


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