Want to send something by post, need a new telephone connection, need to join some group or take a membership in your nearest library: wherever you go in Japan, you have to fill some application forms. It will most commonly be in Japanese itself. If you are a foreigner recently moved to Japan, you must have to seek the help of some friends or other persons in such situations. But you may fill the essential items in every application forms once you remember some common fields in a Japanese application form. Most of the forms have the fields for filling your name, address, phone number, etc. which you can do by yourselves from the next time once you recognize the Japanese words for those items.
1. Name : ‘ お名前 ’ or ‘氏名’ are the words ‘Onamae’ and ‘Shimei’ with the meanings ‘Name’ and ‘Full Name’. Fill your name in Katakana here or sometimes they may tell you to fill in Romaji itself.
2. Phonetic: You may see ふりがな ( or フリガナ) above or near name field in all the Japanese application forms. It is the field where you have to fill the reading of your name in either Hiragana(or Katakana). It is a filed actually meant for the Japanese as the Kanji letters of Japan have different readings and this space is where the correct reading of the names could be given.
3. Address : 住所 is the word ‘Juusho’ meaning ‘address’. Sometimes it will be given as ‘現住所’ with the reading ‘Genjuusho’ that means ‘Present address’. Fill your address here in Hiragana or in Romaji(if allowable). (If it is to be filled in Kanji, show your residence card and seek the help of some person in the respective office.)
4. Phone number : ‘ 電話 ’ is the word ‘Denwa’ with the meaning ‘Telephone’. ‘電話番号’ is ‘Denwa Bango’ with the meaning ‘Phone Number’. You can find any of these two words in the fields asking for your phone number.
5. Date of Birth : ‘ 生年月日 ’ or ‘Seinengappi’ is the word for ‘Date of Birth’ in Japanese. “ 日 月 年” could be seen in most forms associated with this field. Fill the day, month and Year of your DOB respectively in this space provided.
6. Gender : ‘ 性別’ or ‘Seibetsu’ is the word for ‘Gender’. ‘ 男 ’ and ‘女’ will be given aside this particular field. These are the words ‘Otoko’ meaning ‘Male’ and ‘Onna’ meaning ‘Female’ respectively. Mark your option as a circle around the respective Kanji character among this.
7. Signature : ‘署名’ or ‘shomei ’ is the word for signature. You can give your signature in this area. But in Japan, people use a personal seal called Hanko/ Inkan instead of the signature. '印' or '印紙' is the field commonly seen in almost all application forms and other documents asking for your signature. If you don’t have an inkan yet, they may allow you to make a hand signature in this field.
You can go ahead with filling the forms in Japan by remembering these seven essential fields. There are still some other common fields that you could remember and do by yourselves.
7. Country : ‘国籍・地域 ’ or ‘Kuniseki / Chiiki’ is the word with the meaning ‘Nationality/Region’. You can fill your country name in this portion. Being a foreigner, this field is to be filled in forms related to bank or other important places.
8. Photograph: A photograph is not at all needed in every forms. This field of an application form is actually very easy to recognize as it will be having a rectangular space provided to past your photograph. ‘写真’ or ‘Shashin’ is the Japanese word for ’Photograph’. The size of the photo to be affixed will be also mentioned in most boxes.
9. Age : 年齢 ’ or ‘Nenrei’ is the field asking for your age. It could be seen near the DOB field itself. Not all forms will be asking for your age.
And for the application form, the Japanese word is ‘Moshikomisho’(申込書). And the word for ‘to apply’ is ‘Moshikomisuru’. Let’s start filling the essentials in a form by yourselves from now onwards!