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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting married in Japan

I've been trying to find out more about marriage in Japan. After a while I found the well-hidden homepage of Koshigaya city, our local ward office (town hall).

They have a great translation engine on that site. Here's some choice extracts:

"Please cooperate and donate blood of love"

"news pack ... is rare with this finger!"

Increase forest ward combination synthesis disaster prevention training Sunday, February 24 from 9:00 to 12:00 (rainy weather decisive action). In Koshigaya multi-purpose park multi-purpose athletic ground. I wait for coming of all of you.

City exhibition(Koshigaya-shi art exhibition)
From February 16 (Saturday) February 22 (Friday). I wait for arrival of people.

I come back to the top of this page


So, having got no sense out of that I decided to give them a call. I tell you, phoning local authorities in Japan is something that makes me really happy, as it reminds me that I can actually speak better Japanese than I could 5 years ago! I still feel somewhat detached from my ability, like, "was it really me that just had that conversation in Japanese with that women about obtaining a yoken gubi shomeisho (certificate of no impediment)?! Ah, I tell you, this language -learning thing, it's great!

Turns out getting married in Japan is dead easy. Get a certificate here in the UK, take it to the embassy in Japan for translation, take the resulting document to the local ward office along with passport, details of family, fiance's family register, oh, and fiancé (although actually in Japan you can actually get married with only one of you present, as my friend did last year!), and Hey Presto! You're married on the spot. You can then have your certificate translated and recorded in the UK too if you wish, but that's optional.

Woof Woof. Time for bed.

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