Seal (Hanko)

February 16, 2011 Juju Kurihara Culture, Japan Tags: 0 Comments

seal

Recently I've found something I haven't been using for a decade. It's a seal, hanko in Japanese. Instead of signing, Japanese people put the seal on any document. For the different purposes, they normally have various types of selas. For the usual use, only shows their family name but for something more important use, it shows the full name.

 

There are stil many seal makers (hanko shokunin) running the business all over Japan and they engrave the name by hand on any materials and font you like.

seal engraving

For seals, you can chose from various materials from different types of wood to ivory which can cost 64,900 yen (about $774). You need to buy a stamp pad which always comes in red. I've never seen other colour.

Once you have your seal, get a hanko case like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But for the daily use, to put the seal for receiving a parcel, you couldn't be bothered taking the hanko out, stamp is and wipe the ink etc.. Don't worry, there is a mechanical type which the ink is already set in, called shachihata

shachihata

I remember this was always at the entrance of the house in the little basket where the keys were, and when the postman came, I'd stamp the hanko to receive a parcel or a letter.

Putting seal correctly is a quite important thing for Japanese people. If you put it on the wrong place or if it's not straight, your clients may not accept the document and can return it to you. Actually there are quite many forums and websites where teach them how to put the hanko perfectly.

This is an basic example.

shomei_natsuin right

this is good

shomei_natsuin bad

this is bad

 

Recent increase of foreign workers or residents, hanko is available in Katakana.

simon

Simon

Danny White

Danny White

 

With this hanko, now you can sign in properly in Japan.

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