A data base retrieval system includes a memory for storing vicinity feature values of data records as search (or retrieval) objects of the data records. The vicinity feature values indicate a correspondence between data characters of the data records which are in the same vicinity. A searching device obtains matching degrees between a vicinity feature value of a search (or retrieval) key and the vicinity feature values of the search objects of the data records. Data record numbers are output arranged in a descending order of the matching degrees. Since phase information of data (position information indicating the position of a search key in a record) as a factor for prolonging the search time upon execution of full-record direct searching is abstracted by a vicinity feature value calculation, a high-speed and fuzzy searching operation can be performed so that the search time depends only on the length of the search key information, and does not depend on the volume of data.