I wanted to post the latest information on my search for my mother. Iâ€™ve received some disturbing news regarding my mother, and Iâ€™m not sure what next step I should take, if any. Iâ€™ll 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" â€“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
Fukuoka, Japan 812-8512
The disturbing new is that after I called the Hakata Ward Office I was informed that since I donâ€™t have the correct birth date and canâ€™t 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 â€œIF THEY HAVE THE RECORDS FOR THE PERSON THAT Iâ€™M LOOKING FORâ€ that she died in 1977, which would mean that she died at the age of 55. But I still canâ€™t get them to release the family records to me. Iâ€™ve been trying to get the correct birthdate to give to them to see if they will release the records to me but Iâ€™m having a very hard time here from the US.
Iâ€™ve 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.