The Japanese “Hanko” personal seal

In Japan, on documents from simple delivery slips to official forms such as marriage registrations, Bank applications etc. seals, called “Hanko” or “Inkan” are used to serve the same role as a signature in the West.


It’s said that the practice of using seals in Japan began 1300 years ago when government officials used them on official documents.
Seals with glamorous and intricate designs found among cultural artifacts from the warring states period (15th ? 17th century) reveal the power and dignity of the warlords of that era.
Along with modern developments, legislation was passed requiring the use of seals in court papers and other important documents made the system spread around the country rapidly.
On numerous important occasions in the Japanese history, Seals were used as the proof of identity. The Japanese society has inherited and absorbed the practice and continued till today.

Japanese way of living & the seal

A personal seal is a must have item in the Japanese society. Whether to buy something big, or to make a contract or to enter a child in to a school or to apply for a job, a hanko or inkan seal is indispensable.
Seals falls in to different categories. They include a simple day to day use Hanko, ‘Jitsuin’ or officially registered seal used in real estate contracts etc., bank seal used for financial transactions, Company Seals, and in the field of arts, the “Seal of Acclamation” etc. In Japan, the Japanese seal culture is one of its own.

Stamp craftsmen & shops

Seals are carved out of wood or ivory and in titanium too by craftsmen as well as machines. Seal craftsman is a traditional occupation requiring highly developed skills and years of experience. To be considered as a top-notch craftsmen not only engraving skills, the ability to beautifully design Japanese characters with artistic flair is a requisite. A beautifully designed seal though expensive will remain as an exclusive piece of art.
Difficulty in finding craftsmen to succeed the present generation is a chronic problem of the seal industry as well as in many other traditional industries in Japan.

This product is designed in easy-to-understand “Kanji” or Japanese characters. As you are unaccustomed to stamp use, this stamp is made with an easy to push mechanism. Stamp face is made of special resin material and the ink is stain-resistant.