A lot of newcomers to Japan are baffled by the custom of using hanko, or name stamps, in place of a signature for everything from opening a bank account to signing a rental agreement for an apartment, but it is a custom that is very deep-rooted in the culture. A hanko (also called an inkan) is a cylindrical-shaped stamp made from wood, plastic, or even bull’s horn, with a person’s family name carved into one end. When “signing” an important contract or document, one presses their stamp onto a pad of red ink and then makes an impression on the document.
More often than not, people will carry just a plain black, white, or wooden stamp, though most stamp-making shops offer other, more colorful options. But if you’re looking for something that will leave an impression on more than just paper, ONdesign, the same company that brought you the samurai sword stick shift, now offers original Sengoku-in, or “Warring States stamps”. The stamps are wrapped in the same manner as a katana’s hilt and available in five different colors.
There are also four different font types to choose from to make your stamp even more personalized. Up to three kanji characters or five alphabetical letters can be carved onto the seal.
The sword-handle design offers a much easier grip than the standard, smooth-surfaced stamp. Plus, when you bust it out, people will know you mean business! The stamp is available for order at ONdesign’s online store for 5,800 yen plus tax. A special gift set is also available, which includes a special carrying case with covered ink pad for 8,200 yen.
Source: ONdesign via Japaaan Magazine
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