Using reverse-phase HPLC after pyridylamination, we quantified the concentrations of major neutral oligosaccharides in the milk of sixteen Japanese women collected at 4, 10, 30 and 100 d postpartum. In colostrum and mature milk (30 d lactation), lacto-N-fucopentaose (LNFP) I was the most abundant oligosaccharide, followed by 2′-fucosyllactose (2′-FL) + lacto-N-difucotetraose (LNDFT), LNFP II + lacto-N-difucohexaose II (LNDFH II), and 3-fucosyllactose (3-FL). Together these accounted for 73 % of the total weight of neutral oligosaccharides in colostrum and mature milk. Changes in concentration occurred during the course of lactation. LNFP I and 2′-FL + LNDFT increased from 4 to 10 d postpartum, and then declined by 100 d. LNFP II + LNDFH II steadily increased during the first 30 d and then declined. In contrast, 3-FL increased steadily throughout the entire 100 d of study. Large differences were observed between our data and previously published data in Italian women, in terms of both the concentration and temporal changes of each oligosaccharide. These differences may be caused by different assay methodology, although racial differences cannot be ruled out.