Fellow researcher Ken Honda was nice enough to both write to us and allow us to post his experience of trying to obtain copies of his great-grandparents's koseki in Fukuoka-ken. Thanks so much, Ken!
"About 5 years ago, I got very interested in my father's Japanese family. His mother was born in Oregon and her parents settled near Yakima, Washington. After talking to family members and other relatives, I came to find that one set of my great-grandparents came from the village Yasutake in Fukuoka. I obtained a koseki request form from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. My grandmother had my great-grandfather's name in kanji characters and we knew that he was the oldest male in his family. These both make it much easier to obtain koseki records. An employee at the Family History Library helped me fill out all the necessary lineage information and wrote a letter for me to what we thought was the correct city government address. Included in the packet was an official copy of my birth certificate along with an international money order to pay for the koseki. It was initially sent to Shiida-machi in Fukuoka. Apparently, this was the wrong location because we received a letter back stating that it was, indeed, the wrong location. Luckily, they were kind enough to forward it to the correct location -- a place called Tsuiki-machi. After about a month's time, I received an envelope containing the koseki record of my great-grandfather (Zentaro Hata). I had a Japanese friend translate it for me. It contained many details of my great-grandfather's father, mother, brothers and sisters. Information about births, deaths, marriages (Family members were crossed out with an 'X' to show a death in the family or when a daughter married and moved into her husband's koseki. This record contained the name of my great-grandfather's father (Kakubei Hata). I was able to (with help) obtain his koseki record.
My experience with the local office was a very good and rewarding experience. I have recently sent for more records and am hoping my luck continues!"
Thanks for the input! If you have tips, experiences, or information about obtaining a copy of a koseki from Japan, please drop us a line.