Sunday, February 14, 2010
Getting married in Japan Part 11: The name game
Ok, I know that I promised that I would soon tie up this series and move to the next exciting series called "Buying a house in Japan", but as I looked at my earlier post, I just realized that I should also mention some of the excitement that came in the bureaucracy that we went through at the City Office when registering our wedding.
The whole process went basically fine when we were at the City Office, all the paperwork seemed to be in order and we had decided that Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman would take my Swedish family name (not the Japanese) as her name. During the time of form filling this went perfectly fine and we met with no objections from the poor clerk working the weekend shift.
When Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman a few days later went to the City Office to pick up the documentation on the legal registration of the wedding she noticed that they had added both my Japanese and Swedish family name to her, without properly telling her. Obviously she complained and tried to convince them that legally in Sweden it's two separate names and that the primary name was my Swedish family name so it should be perfectly fine that she only got that. This stirred up some considerable confusion in the office and they decided that they needed to call the Swedish Embassy and have them confirm that what Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman was saying was true.
Quickly thereafter she called me and told me of the situation, and me in turn, worried that they might reach some incompetent temp staff at the embassy who would give them the wrong information, quickly called them up and asked the person in charge to make sure she was the one taking the call and that she would give them the correct information...
In the end, the embassy managed to convince the City Office that our way was completely acceptable they grudgingly agreed to remove the Japanese family name from her records, but it was quite annoying... But in the end, I'm sure that our name problems pale in comparison with what other people has endured; Japan is very poorly equipped to deal with names that don't clearly fit in the Japanese system...