I explain here how to prepare Hanko (Stamp) in this article. Hanko is a seal impression to stamp on a document in place of an autograph. The more formal situation you are in, the more opportunity you use “Hanko”.

Currently, there is a movement to abolish Hanko culture and change every authentication from stamping Hanko to giving a hand-writing signature. Banks that don’t require foreigners to prepare “Hanko” have been increasing. However, Hanko culture is still deep-rooted custom in Japan.

Especially, every single contract needs “Hanko” to leave the evidence that you have an intention to conclude. I want to answer the following question you may have.

  • What kind of character do I choose for my name to engrave on seal impression?
  • Is it possible to engrave my name by alphabet?
  • I have an middle name. Is it possible to include my middle name in seal impression?
  • Do you have any recommandable hanko shops?

You may be able to find pre-made Hanko which your name is written in Katakana or something in 100 yen shop or a book store. But, the seal impression of formal Hanko needs to be only one that no one can imitate. Mass-produced Hankos sold in such as a book store or a 100 yen shop publicly can allow other people to buy the same one which you already have. To avoid such a risk, you have to buy custom made one at a Hanko shop.

What is Ginko In (Bank Stamp)

Ginko-in is a Hanko which you need when you open a bank account. The seal impression will be registered at the very first bank opening procedure to distinguish it from other similar seal impressions. You need this Ginko-In as often as you go through the bank procedure at a window.

Nowadays, only the bank transaction we use is withdrawing money. But 形骸化

we can withdraw money by ATM without the necessity to stamp Ginko-In if the amount of money you use every day but originally, you need to stamp Ginko-In on an application after you fill it when you withdraw money.

Registable Charactor impression

Basically, if a part of your name is reflected on the seal impression, you can choose format and character freely.

  • Katakana. OK
  • Hiragana. OK
  • Kanji. OK
  • Alphabet OK
  • Only your family name, OK
  • Only your last name, OK
  • Your full name, OK

In th first place, unless you are Japanese, your name is very unique in Japan. Even whatever kind of format and character you choose for the seal impression, there is no worry that someone will imitate your seal impression.

Hanko shop

You can buy Hanko at online shop but there is no English language support. You have to understand Japanese. Rather, you should go to a Hanko shop. Staff don’t speak English but you can somehow tell your desire by gestures.

Hanko 21 is the major Hanko made-to-order shop in Japan. There is more than 200 shops all around Japan.
You possibly find the shop around where you live.

Hanko 21 URL

What to do when you lose it

As soon as you realize you lost your Hanko, make a call to the Bank and request it to terminate the Hanko registration for avoiding the risks of a fraudulent transaction.

After termination, you newly apply for Hanko registration.
Take the following things with you to the bank.

  • New Hanko
  • ID document (passport, resident card, national insurance card, driver’s license)
  • Bank passbook, cash card

At the longest, it takes 2 weeks to complete registering your Hanko.

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