Dominance relations among adult females in the Katsuyama group of Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) were analyzed. Dominance relations among female relatives of 6 or more years of age corresponded almost exactly to those predicted by Kawamura's principles [Primates, 1:149–156, 1958] in the four highest-ranking kin-groups. According to these principles, 1) a mother is dominant to her daughter and 2) among sisters, the younger is dominant to the older. However, 9 of the remaining 11 middle-and low-ranking kin-groups included dyads in which dominance relations did not correspond to those expected from Kawamura's principles. Within the dominance rank order, of all 74 adult females of 6 or more years of age, individuals of the high-ranking kin-groups always ranked adjacent to members of their own kin-group, while individuals in middle- and low-ranking kin-groups tended to be ranked independently of members of their own kin-groups. These results indicate that, since females of a high-ranking kin-group form a cohesive matrilineal unit, it may be very difficult for females of other kin-groups to break into the dominance rank order that exists among females of the high-ranking kin-groups. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.