This study deals with the indentation method of measuring residual stress in structural ceramics. First we investigate the appropriate pretreatment for measuring fracture toughness (basis value, KC) while avoiding any influence from residual stress, which is important when estimating residual stress using the indentation method. Based on the fracture toughness value, the residual stresses in Al2O3, Si3N4 and ZrO2 ceramics are estimated using the indentation method. Phase transformation is a problem when estimating residual stress using the indentation method with ZrO2 ceramics. Residual stresses in Al2O3 and Si3N4 can be largely eliminated by annealing the specimen after hand grinding. Consequently, it is thought that this treatment method is effective for determining the basis value KC. The estimated residual stress values in Al2O3 and Si3N4 obtained by the indentation method at 98 N corresponded closely to the values obtained wih X-rays. The residual stress value obtained by the indentation method for ZrO2 was close to the value obtained through the X-ray method, when the indentation load was 294 N. When estimating the residual stress in ZrO2 using the indentation method, the influence of the phase transformation caused by the indentation is added onto the original residual stress, when the indentation is small. The influence becomes smaller when the indentation load is large. If the applied indentation load is between 294 N and 490 N, the indentation method is effective for estimating the residual stresses in Al2O3, Si3N4 and ZrO2 ceramics.