Make Your Personal Seals in Japan

stamp shoes

"resonanced sky" some rights reserved. flickr


In Japan, we use personal seals instead of signing names. They are called inkan or hanklo in Japanese.

Basically, we use seals in the situations where signatures are used in foreign countries; however, in some cases you can just sign instead of using seals. For example, you don’t need seals when you use credit cards.



"Jason Michael" some rights reserved. flickr


The seal above says “Jason.”



"shibainu" some rights reserved. flickr


Seals are usually kept in cases with red ink.



"raizo" some rights reserved. flickr



There are also pre-inked seals. Shachihata is famous for its wide variety of pre-inked seals. The pink stamp with strap in the picture is Shachihata’s small pre-inked stamp called “Petit Name,” which you can attach on your cell phone or purse.


There are basically three types of seals commonly used; jitsu-in (personal registered seal), ginko-in (seal used for bank transactions), and mitome-in (informal seal).

Since jitsu-in and ginko-in are used in formal matters, the seal must be original, while mitome-in are used the most in daily life informally, so they aren’t necessarily original, but can be mass-produced.



"NelC" some rights reserved. flickr



[Custom-Made Seal Stores]

Central-Wings Corporation (English, Portuguese)

Shibuya Hanko-Dou (English)

In the website below, you can see sample images of the seals of your name. (English)


This is JAPAN Style!