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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 11:05 am:   

Looking for mother (Suzuko Noda) in Fukuoka-Ken, Fukuoka City, Kyushu, Japan

I'm posting this message from Washington, DC (USA) in hopes that someone might be able to give me some suggestions on how I can locate my mother in Japan. She returned to her birthplace (Fukuoka-Ken, Fukuoka City, Kyushu, Japan) in 1960 leaving behind 4 children (ages 1, 2, 4, and 5). I have outlined all the information I know regarding her below:

Motherfs Name:
Suzuko Noda

Date of Birth:
March 26, 1926

Place of Birth:
Fukuoka-Ken, Fukuoka City, Kyushu, Japan

Last Known Address in Japan:
1 Dagadori 3 Chome, Fukuoka-Ken, Fukuoka City
Kyushu, Japan

Known Relatives:
Brother: Tsutomu Noda

Date Left Japan: 1952
Name Left Under: Left Japan under the name of Suzuko Mahoney

Date Returned to Japan: 1960
Name Returned Under: Returned to Japan under the name Suzuko Mahoney

Returned to Japan:
Fukuoka-Ken, Fukuoka City, Kyushu, Japan

Marital Information:
Date Married: May 8, 1952
Location of Marriage: Married in Kyushu, Japan
Filing of Marriage: Filed at U.S. American Council in Kyushu/Fukuoka Prefecture
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Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 12:37 pm:   

If you want to maximize your chance that some Japanese should read this message, it should be better to put her name and address in Japanese characters such as:
Her last known address doesn't exist no more because Fukuoka city is now composed of several wards as other Japanese large towns.
Anyway, it should be better to write Fukuoka city's municipal office to ask help.
Please go to Fukuoka city's web site
to find adequate e-mail address. Sorry to be unable to help you further. Fukuoka city having more than 1 million population, I hope you should be in contact with a kind clerk.
Kind regards,
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Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 03:34 pm:   

I just saw your message to the posting that I did regarding my search for my mother. Thank you so much. I can't write Japanese and I've been trying to find someone to translate my message in Japanese for me. The Japanese characters that you posted, can you tell me what it says, is it her name and birth date? Maybe I can use what you've posted.

I've been looking for her for over a year now, and I'm finally get some help, thank God!! If it's not too much to ask, can you send me a message with the basic information translated in Japanese for me:

Motherfs Name: Suzuko Noda
Date of Birth: March 26, 1926

Last Known Address in Japan:
1 Daigakudori 3 Chome, Fukuoka-Ken, Fukuoka City, Kyushu, Japan

gDaigakudorih is now known as gChiyo, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shih

Thanks again, and God bless you!!!

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Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 11:36 pm:   

Dear Sheila Walker,
here is the information you are seeking.
Mother's Name: cq
Date of Birth: 1926N326
The old address: swʂO1
The new address: sO1
You didn't' mention the house number after Chiyo but I've supposed same as the old one.
I recommend to contact the registrar service of Hakata-ku, i.e. Hakata ward. They maintain a list of each resident of the district, i. e. resident card = Z[
If your mom is no more there, they know to which town she has moved.
The resident card is necessary in order to open a bank account or participate to an election but some people don't declare their arrival to the district and it may complicate the search. Anyway, when you contact Hakata ward's office, it is important to say you are looking for your mother because some clerk is reluctant give the information in order to protect the privacy of their residents.
The official website of Hakata-ward is at:
Hoping your good luck, best regards
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Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:44 am:   

Thank you so much for the information, that you posted, that was very kind of you to help me. I will do as you suggested, but Ifm not clear on one point you made, when you suggested that I indicate that I didnft get help from the clerk, the clerk from where? Ifm glad you mentioned that point, because when I went to the Japanese embassy here in Washington DC to try to get a copy of my mother's birth certificate, I didnft get any help because they said they had to protect her right to privacy. That was an awful experience, I left there crying and started to give up! I went there with sufficient evidence that I was her daughter (birth certificate, pictures, letters Ifve sent to Japan) and they still did not help me. So I want to make sure I say the right thing when I call the registrar service for the Hakata ward.

Thanks again!

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Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 12:13 pm:   

Hi, Sheila Walker,
Yeah, Japanese embassy is one of the most secretive offices and its employees are always too nervous and afraid of a diplomatic incident (you should come with a lawyer). I hope the employees of Hakata ward's office should be more cooperative.
Theoretically, a third person can get a copy of any resident card (it should cost 300 yens) as long as the motive is clearly stated. But the exact rules being different on each municipality, I cannot guarantee the result.
What I fear mostly is that your mother might never declare her arrival to the municipality office so it becomes difficult to track her. In this case, you should come yourself to Hakata and seek her by interrogating old persons such as Buddhist priests. Otherwise, you have to hire a private detective and it costs $$$.
I hope to have answered all the questions.
Kind regards,
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Shelia Walker
Posted on Friday, March 12, 2004 - 04:06 pm:   

This posting is for all the people that have been so kind to respond to my posting regarding my search for my mother Suzuko Noda:

I wanted to post the latest information on my search for my mother. Ifve received some disturbing news regarding my mother, and Ifm not sure what next step I should take, if any. Ifll bring you up to speed with where things are and ask that you let me know anyway that you think you can help me.

About 2 weeks ago the American Consulate Fukuoka asked the Citizens Section of the Hakata Ward Office to help me locate my mother. This is the response that I received from the American Consulate regarding their request:

Dear Ms. Shelia A. Walker:

Thank you for your e-mail dated February 18 addressed to the American Consulate-General Osaka-Kobe. Osaka-Kobe forwarded the e-mail to the American Consulate Fukuoka for reply since your mother's last known address is located in our consular district. The Consulate does not normally get involved in searches for persons who were last seen such a very long time ago. Having said that, we made some effort to try to locate your mother, Ms. Suzuko Noda.

The following describes what we did to try to locate your mother:

1. We tried to get telephone numbers of Ms. Suzuko Noda or Ms. Tsutomu Noda with the given address (Chiyo, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka) and found that no telephone numbers are registered under these names. We even called several persons with the family name of "NODA" living in Chiyo, Hakata-ku, but we were not successful.

2. We called the Citizens Section of the Hakata Ward Office. A clerk of the section, kindly searched the office's records and found a person named "Suzuko Noda", who shows the same place of birth but a slightly different date of birth (only the year matched). The record also shows she was married to a U.S. citizen named Henry Mahoney (not James H. Mahoney). The ward office thinks that this is probably your mother's record, but since the birthdate was wrong, he will not release any information on this person's whereabouts and on whether or not they are still alive.

However, before he can release any further information, he wants you to find out Ms. Suzuko Noda's parents' names (preferably in "Kanji" –Chinese characters) and any other information on her relatives other than her brother, Mr. Tsutomu Noda. It would be best for you to call him directly and to convey this information yourself. However, if you provide us with new information (see our fax number below if you need to fax any Kanji character information), we will try one more time to convince him to release information.

If possible, please contact the Hakata Ward Office directly to provide them with the required information. By doing so, there is a chance for you to obtain the certified copy of this person's family register, which shows her present status and address.

The Citizens Section ("SHIMIN-KA")
Hakata Ward Office
2-9-3 Hakataekimae
Fukuoka, Japan 812-8512

The disturbing new is that after I called the Hakata Ward Office I was informed that since I donft have the correct birth date and canft give them her parents names they will not release the records. But I was informed later from the American Consulate that the Hakata Ward Office told them that gIF THEY HAVE THE RECORDS FOR THE PERSON THAT IfM LOOKING FORh that she died in 1977, which would mean that she died at the age of 55. But I still canft get them to release the family records to me. Ifve been trying to get the correct birthdate to give to them to see if they will release the records to me but Ifm having a very hard time here from the US.

Ifve decided not to give up completely and to try to find out if my mother has any living relatives so that I can at least try to find them and find out about my Japanese heritage. If you can help me to get her birth certificate or death certificate I would then have the information I need to ask for the family records.
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Shelia Walker
Posted on Thursday, January 06, 2005 - 02:23 pm:   

Words of encouragement for those looking for relativesc.

My search for my mother is over!!! As I mentioned in my previous posting, I found out that my mother died in 1977, but recently I was able to obtain her Koseki Tohon from the Hakata Ward office.

When I received the Koseki in the mail I cried like a new born baby, I was so happy!!! The people at the ward office were extremely helpful to me. Not only did they send me my motherfs Koseki, but they also sent me the Koseki for each living relative and provided notes for me in English to help me understand the information. It turns out that I have an uncle that lives in Nagazumi and one in Yoshizuka. I have written them both a letter to see if they are interested in communicating with me.

Soc.. I hope my story has encouraged someone to KEEP LOOK for their loved one or loves ones!!!!!!
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Mikku Johnson
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 01:30 pm:   

That was very touching, i'm incredibly sorry to hear about your lost. i never knew my father so i sorta kno how u feel or at least i think i do.

but still you dun the right thing not to give up, your a real hero shelia, one thing this world needs

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