Tracing your family roots: resources available in Hawaii

Tracing your family roots:  resources available in Hawaii
If you are trying to trace your family in Japan, or trying to find out how your ancestors came and lived in Hawaii, here are some resources available in Hawaii.
If you have any questions regarding certain resources, please contact the owner organization.
If you want your organization to be included in the list, please contact us at

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH)
Nippu Jiji Hawai Nenkan Hawaiian Japanese annual & directory
(日布時事布哇年鑑 附日本人住所録)
Language Japanese
Content Annual directories of Japanese living in Hawaii (Honolulu, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Hawaii, Kauai), published by the Nippu Jiji
14 volumes (1927-1941)
Information Kanji name (last name, first name), citizenship, home prefecture, occupation, address in Hawaii
Sorted by Island and last name
Location JCCH Tokioka Heritage Resource Center
(808) 945-7633 ext. 42,
Brief biographies of Hawaii Island Issei
Language English, with Kanji Name (online-data)
Japanese (hard-copy)
Content Brief biographies of 676 Hawaii Island Issei who were 80 years old or older in 1967 (i.e., born before Dec. 31, 1888). Prepared in 1967 by the Executive Committee, Centennial Celebration of Japanese Immigration to Hawaii. 
Information Last name, first name, Kanji name, date of birth, home prefecture, date of arrival to Hawaii, town of residence, occupation, notes/remarks, permanent/present address(*), family info(*), other detailed notes(*)
Information with (*) only available on hard-copy.
Sorted by Last name
  1. Hard-copy
 JCCH Tokioka Heritage Resource Center

 Masaichi and Shizue Uemura Collection (AR 03): loose on shelf (four 3-ring binders)
  1. Online-data

-> Type “Uemura Archival Collection” in the search box and click on the magnifying glass
-> Click on the result and go into full catalog detail.
-> Click on any of the links in the record

JCCH Tokioka Heritage Resource Center
(808) 945-7633 ext. 42,
Hawaii WWII Internee Database
Language English
Content A database of approximately 2,270 Nikkei residents of Hawaii who were held in internment camps across the U.S. during World War II.
Information Last name, first name, relationship to head of household, name of internment camp (if moved between several camps, camps are recorded in chronological order), place of residence (town, island), occupation, year of birth, date of return to Hawaii from U.S. Mainland, information source.
Sorted by Last name
Location JCCH Tokioka Heritage Resource Center
Online Database:
(808) 945-7633 ext. 42,
Family registry (koseki tohon) application assistance and translation services
Language Koseki tohon is in Japanese; the JCCH offers translation assistance
Content A service to assist with the application process to obtain copies from Japan of a family registry (koseki tohon).  The name of the person of interest and his/her permanent address in Japan are required.  The inquirer must provide proof of their identity and their familial relationship to the person of interest. The JCCH also provides translation assistance for family registries received from Japan.
Information Family registry (koseki tohon)
Location JCCH Tokioka Heritage Resource Center
Appointment required
Processing fees, necessary documents and other information are detailed on the web page:
(808) 945-7633 ext. 42,
JCCH Oral History Collection
Language English and Japanese
Content Original unpublished transcripts of oral history interviews, many of which were conducted by JCCH volunteers, featuring primarily Nikkei Issei and Nisei. As of April 2021, we have more than 325 transcripts.
Information Original unpublished transcripts
Sorted by Last name
-> Enter search term into the search box and click on the magnifying glass
-> Click on the result to view full catalog detail.
-> Click on any of the links in the record.

JCCH Tokioka Heritage Resource Center
(808) 945-7633 ext. 42,
JCCH Permanent Exhibit “Okage Sama De” and Community Exhibit “Honouliuli Education Center”
Language English
Content Visitors can learn about the history of Nikkei in Hawaii since the 1800s through the permanent exhibit “Okage Sama De”, and can learn about the internment of Nikkei at the “Honouliuli Education Center”
Location Okage Sama De exhibition (admission fee)
Information :
Honouliuli Education Center
JCCH (808) 945-7633,

Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu
Resident Registration (Immigration) Records
Language Japanese
Content A collection of an estimated 70,000 resident registration cards for Japanese citizens spanning 1880-1970.  One household per card.
Information Last name, first name, permanent address in Japan, relationship to head of household, occupation, date of arrival in Honolulu, date of birth, registered address in Hawaii, additional information (date of death, location of death, etc.)
Sorted by Last name & prefecture of permanent address in Japan
Location Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu
Requires documented proof of a familial relationship between the inquirer and the person of interest. For further information, email

Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii OGSH)
Okinawa Immigration Database
Language English
Content A database of Okinawan immigrants to Hawaii from 1899 to 1925. There are approximately 16,500 entries as of December 2017 and were translate by OGSH from the following sources: “Okinawa-ken Shiryo, Imin Meibo Vol. I 1899-1906, Kindai 5”, “Okinawa-ken Shiryo, Imin Meibo Vol. II 1907-1911, Kindai 6”, “Okinawa Kenshi Shiryo-hen 8: Jiyu Imin Meibo 1908-1920, Kindai 2”, “Okinawa Kenshi Shiryo-hen 19: Jiyu Imin Meibo 1921-1925, Kindai 6”.
Information Last name, first name, Kanji name, other readings of family name, other readings of first name, date of birth, age at time of travel, permanent address in Japan, family information (number of family members, head of household, eldest son, etc.), Status (Class, Occupation, etc.), Passport number, destination, passport arrival date, travel approval date, travel date, purpose of travel, reference, contact in Okinawa (municipality, address, phone, fax, history of municipal)
*Not all information available for each entry
Sorted by Name, birthplace in Okinawa, or Passport number
Location Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii c/o Hawaii Okinawa Center

Moiliili Japanese Cemetery
Moiliili Japanese Cemetery biographical data
Language English
Content Documents of over 2,000 monuments and estimated population of 10,000 souls that rests in Moiliili Japanese Cemetery which was established in 1908.
Information Location of grave, name, date of birth, date of death, age at death, family crest, prefecture of birth
Sorted by Cemetery section and name.
Organized by grave sections A-E. Each web-page shows a list of graves.
To view more detailed biographical information, click on “Click here for biographical data” box shown on each page.
Moiliili Japanese Cemetery
902 Waiaka Road, Honolulu, HI 96826

Bishop Museum
Arrival Records (着布記録)
Language Japanese
Content Arrival records of Japanese immigrants kept by Kobayashi Hotel. Documents include: record of arrivals 1901-1956, record of returnees 1901-1952, name list of  returnees 1904-1938 and 1953-1954, boat schedule 1885-1935.
Bishop Museum Reference Code: MS290
Information Date of arrival, ship name, name, relationship to the head of household, date of birth, destination
Sorted by Date of arrival and ship name
Location Bishop Museum Library and Archives (808)848-4148
Open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:00-4:00pm, and Saturdays 9:00am-12:00pm
Information: http: //

Hawaii State Archives
Index to Japanese Passenger Manifests
Language English
Content The index to Japanese Manifests, 1843-1900. The entries appear as they do on the actual passenger manifests.  Many of the manifests are handwritten and were subject to the interpretation of the indexer.
Information Name, age, profession, names of family members on the same ship, country of origin, ship’s name, date of arrival in Hawaii or departure from Hawaii, port of embarkation or destination.
Sorted by name
Location https: //
  1. List (alphabetical order): Click the “Name” tab at the top left
  2. Searching Individuals: Enter name in the search box in the top right
The handwritten records have all been digitalized by the creator of the index. To confirm the content of the original documents, copies are available for viewing on microfilm at the Hawaii State Archives (Microfilm MFL No. 72, Ship Manifest / Series 82, Records of Passenger Arrivals and Departures 1843-1900)
Hawaii State Archives Keauluohi Building, Iolani Palace Grounds
364 S. King Stree, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Phone: (808)586-0329   Email:

Genealogy Guidebook in Hawaii:
  • “Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy Research – Okinawa” by Okinawan Genealogical Society of Hawaii. Available for purchase ($15 + shipping); to order, contact
Other non-Hawaii resources: