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Japanese Family Law – Global Legal Collection Highlights

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The following is a guest post by Sayuri Umeda, a senior foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress, who covers Japan and several other Asian jurisdictions.  This post is part of our Global Legal Collection Highlights series, which has included posts on the Law Library’s collections related to a wide range of countries and subjects.

Japanese ambassador and family
Japanese Ambassador & family, 3/29/29 (digital file from original

The Law Library of Congress has many varied holdings relating to Japanese law, most of which are written in Japanese.  Unfortunately, there are very few Japanese law books written in or translated into English.  However, when we are aware that these have been published, we certainly try to acquire them for our collection.

When I was thinking about the books to highlight in this blog post, I did not think there were any Japanese family law books written in English.  While it may be an interesting subject, there is apparently not much of a market for Japanese family law materials outside of Japan.  So I was surprised when I found a 2010 book by Joy Larsen Paulson titled Family Law Reform in Postwar Japan: Succession and Adoption in the stacks.  It is quite an interesting book.  The author completed a thorough social study and used a great deal of statistical data in analyzing succession and adoption law reform in postwar Japan.

When I further researched whether we have any other recent (within the last ten years) publications in English on Japanese family law, I did actually find some materials.  For example, the Law Library has another book on this subject: Japanese Family Law in Comparative Perspective (Harry N. Scheiber & Laurent Mayali eds., 2009).  This is a compilation of articles written by professors and practitioners.

There are a few other books, in English, that have sections on family law.  These include:

For more Japanese legal materials held in the Library of Congress, please visit the Library’s online catalog.  If you need reference assistance on the laws of Japan or any other countries, you can submit your questions through the Law Library’s Ask A Librarian system.

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