May 14, 2008

Midweek Tidbits on Japanese Stuff - The Hanko

So, when Mike first got to Japan he was given a few small wooden cylindrical objects. As it turns out, these were stampers (called hanko), which are used here in lieu of actual signature on official documents (such as legal contracts, banking transactions, postal delivery acknowledgment forms, etc.). The thing is, you need to use this thing. If show up to open a bank account and happen to forget your hanko, forget it! Here is a website describing the use of the hanko in Japan.


The above is the result of Mike's stamper - it was custom made to stamp our last name in katakana (Ka-su-da-n). The use of the hanko as an official signature in Japan is ubiquitous. Which is actually kind of weird, because you can simply order them over the internet. Although it doesn't necessarily seem like the most secure of systems, it's pretty cool.

In addition to the more classic wooden hankos that must be pressed into a separate ink pad and then pushed down very hard to make an imprint, we also have a more modern self-inking hanko that we keep at home to "sign" for postal deliveries. Jacob is a big fan of signing for packages!

6 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm always reading...can you get me a stamper that says biiiig lisa?

Mike said...

It would look like 大レサ (BIG in Kanji and then Katakana Re-Sa)

jmgesq said...

How about SWMBO???

The Kasdan Family said...

Don't push it.

jmgesq said...

:-(

jmgesq said...

:-(