A man preparing for the happy occasion of his marriage was shocked when local officials told him that he would not be allowed to marry, as government records had him registered as the family’s eldest daughter.
The man, in his thirties, had apparently been registered somehow as a daughter in the “koseki”, the official census records which underlay much local bureaucracy in Japan.
The bungling officials excused themselves thus:
When did you notice?
“When the man came to us to register his marriage. It was a holiday so when someone came to process the documents, they discovered he was registered as ‘eldest daughter’.”
Why did it take you so long to notice?
“The koseki was never used. The man was identified as ‘male’ on his certificate of residence. His driving lisence used this document.”
Did he have a female sounding name?
“Not at all, it was clearly male. Somebody made a mistake copying his name into the koseki. He even had an elder sister, so the family ended up with two eldest daughters. It’s 100% our mistake.”
So his marriage still isn’t on?
“Based on the law, his records must be amended before he can marry. We tried to correct his birth certificate, but it had already been destroyed by us. We had to chase up his mother’s records, and consult with higher up; we hope to have it revised tomorrow.”
And the “eldest daughter’s” response?
“This has been infuriating. The section chief of the bureau came to my house, and explained ‘At the start of your life, there was an inexcusable mistake’ and was so apologetic I did so much as raise my voice, instead dealing with him in a gentlemanly way. I’ll be going ahead with the marriage registration soon.”