Japan Center for Asian Historical Records

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Japanese

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. About Searching Documents

2. About the use of materials

3. About research

4. About public materials

5. About the donation of materials

6. Errors in the database

7. About Special Exhibitions

8. About the JACAR Newsletter


Questions and Answers

1. About Searching Documents

  • How can I find information about a family member’s military history?
  • JACAR does not release military records online in accordance with Japanese regulations. Please refer to the tips below for information on how to access Japanese military records.

    -Individual name search
    Materials related to the individual histories (from enlistment to discharge) of former military personnel are managed by Japanese prefectures where they were registered when the Pacific War ended.

    [For finding information on army soldiers or civilian employees of the military]
    •  Please contact the social welfare department in charge of military record verification of the prefectural office where the person's permanent address is located.
      1. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) provides a list of "Divisions in charge of military history certification in each prefecture" (pdf). (external link)
      2. In addition, you may be able to obtain more detailed information by using Google or other search engines to locate prefectural military name registers or prefectural military records.
        For example, for a person of Niigata Prefecture, search for the Niigata Prefecture military register. Within the search results, you will find a Niigata Prefecture website for providing military registration information on former army soldiers.

    [For finding information on navy personnel, civilian officials, and unreturned persons]
    •  Please contact the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Relief and Services Division of the Social Affairs and Relief Bureau.
      •  Services related to former military personnel's benefits and certificates of military service (external link)
      •  Request copies of materials from the former Japanese army and navy (external link)

    ★Search for military units within larger organizations
    •  List of military units by name outside of Japan -> Names of major unit commanders for each army outside of Japan
    •  JACAR Newsletter No.13, “Documents Spotlight,” "How to Trace Your Ancestry through ‘Butai Rekisi’"
  • I want to view or find photographic materials.
  • You can search for materials with photographs in them by selecting "Photos" in “Type of documents” within an advanced search. However, since the materials registered in our database are mainly government documents such as approval paperwork, there are not many photographs.
  • I can't find documents or materials.
  • Please see the Browsing Guide or Search Guide.
  • I want to revisit items I've seen before.
  • It is useful to make a note of references numbers when conducting searches. We do not recommend bookmarking the search result itself, since it may change due to database updates.
  • I want to see a record’s separate supporting documents, but I can't find them.
  • In some cases, such as in materials provided by the National Institute for Defense Studies, a document may describe separate supporting records, but they have sometimes been destroyed.

2. About the use of materials

  • I want to use images of documents in academic papers or on television.
  • Please refer to the About Usage of Document Images page. For materials provided by the National Institute for Defense Studies or other organizations, an application for secondary use is required. For photographic materials such as Shashin Shuho (Weekly Photographical Journal), it may be necessary to obtain permission from a copyright holder of a photograph, in addition to the permission from the institutions holding the material (such as the National Archives of Japan, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, or National Institute for Defense Studies).
  • I want high quality images of documents or full-color images.
  • JACAR does not hold images of a higher quality than those accessible in the database. If a better image is needed, you ought to seek the cooperation of the holding institution (such as the National Archives of Japan, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, or National Institute for Defense Studies).

3. About research

  • I want you to confirm the factuality of something or conduct research for me.
  • JACAR focuses on presenting materials in their original form as much as possible. We do not interpret or research materials. For more information on how to search for materials, please refer to "About Searching Documents.”

4. About public materials

  • Are all the materials provided by holding institutions on this website also in JACAR’s database?
  • JACAR provides a database of historical documents and other materials related to Japan's relations with various neighboring Asian and other countries and regions in the modern era. The National Archives of Japan, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the National Institute for Defense Studies of the Ministry of Defense are the main providers of materials. Not all the materials held by these institutions or currently available online through JACAR’s database.
  • How can I find out about new materials that will be added to the JACAR database?
  • We provide information about newly released documents on our website and in the JACAR Newsletter.
  • When will additional public materials held by institutions working with JACAR be made available in the JACAR database?
  • All materials in the JACAR database are made publicly available from holding institutions (including the National Archives of Japan, the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the National Institute for Defense Studies). JACAR releases digitized materials from its partner institutions, so please check with the institutions for dates on when they will newly open materials to the public.
  • I want to see original materials.
  • Depending on the condition of the materials, you can view many directly at their holding institutions (including the National Archives of Japan, the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the National Institute for Defense Studies, etc). When browsing documents, for a smooth retrieval later note their call number.
  • I would like to see documents translated into English.
  • JACAR does not provide translation services.
  • Will you print out images of materials or catalog data for me?
  • JACAR does not provide printing services. Please print for your own purposes if necessary.

5. About the donation of materials

  • I would like to donate materials.
  • JACAR does not hold physical materials. JACAR also does not accept donations or requests for appraisals. If you have any belongings of fallen soldiers, such as the Japan’s national flag with messages or ”Senninbari,“ please contact the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s Social Welfare Bureau.

6. Errors in the database

  • I can’t view the scans of materials. There is an error in the catalog.
  • Please contact us using our error form.

7. About Special Exhibitions

  • I want to see special exhibitions in person.
  • JACAR is an online digital archive. There are no exhibition rooms or reading rooms.
  • I want to use images from a web exhibition.
  • JACAR posts images on its website with the permission of the National Diet Library and holding institutions. Please obtain permission from the institutions before using the images.
  • I would like to quote text from a web exhibition.
  • Cite the source as JACAR in accordance with one of the style guides or in a way that is easy to understand.

8. About the JACAR Newsletter

  • I would like to receive a copy of the JACAR newsletter.
  • Please register your email address on our JACAR Newsletter subscription form.


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