Abstract: Berthierine (formerly chamosite) occurs as concretions, lenses, and bands in carbonaceous, kaolinitic shale of freshwater coal-swamp deposits in Paleogene and Upper Triassic coal measures of Japan. Textural relations in thin sections of the Triassic berthierine rocks and a siderite-kaolinite-berthierine-quartz assemblage in Paleogene rocks indicate that the berthierine formed by reaction of siderite with kaolinite. The transformation of siderite and kaolinite to berthierine and quartz occurs progressively under reducing conditions between 65° and 150°C and at burial depths of 2–5 km. Utatsu berthierine is an aluminous, low-Mg variety as compared with berthierine pellets in modern marine and estuarine sediments and in ancient marine ironstones. Fe is the dominant octahedral cation with Fe2+ ≫ Fe3+. The composition of the berthierine varies between different morphological types. Utatsu berthierine transformed to ferrous chamosite when kaolinite in the host shale changed to pyrophyllite. These transformations are estimated to have occurred at ∼160°C and at a burial depth of ∼3 km.