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The Shūmon Aratame Chō : Japan’s Population Registers

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Chapter Summary

The history of local population documents in Japan can be divided into three periods: prior to 1600, 1600 to 1870, and 1870 to the present. This chapter discusses the character, quality, and availability of Shūmon Aratame Chō, the local population registers of the middle period, but it is worthwhile to mention the others as well, since they indicate how rich the sources of demographic history are in Japan. The Japanese government first compiled population records in 702 A.D. The chapter discusses the construction, distribution, and survival of the registers. It also considers how available they are to scholars. There were two general principles of compilation. The first is the permanent residence principle, according to which persons were registered in their permanent residence, often the place where they were born or where their family had lived for generations. The second kind of register was compiled using the principle of current domicile.

Keywords: current domicile; Japan; permanent residence; population registers; Shūmon Aratame Chō



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