Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get Your Personal Japanese Hanko Stamp Before Going to Japan

A hanko is a Japanese stamp that people use to sign official documents. It's like using a black pen in western countries for signing our name on papers.

When we live in Japan, we have to use stamps on many occasions. I even had to get my own stamp before I could sign a cell phone contract at au. And some real estate agents require you to have a hanko registered officially at your local city hall. So having a stamp can be quite necessary in Japan.

If you're planning to live in Japan in the near future, it wouldn't hurt you to get a stamp for yourself in advance. Having a stamp prepared in your suitcase will make the start easier for you, as you can take care of alien registrations and cell phone contracts quickly without first thinking about where to get a "gaijin hanko" and which characters to choose for your name.

In fact, J-List is now offering to create custom-made Japanese hanko stamps for $29.50 (USD). You will also get a case for it that has red ink in it. They have a Japanese team working on them, so you won't be receiving a stamp with an incorrectly engraved name: "the Japanese staff of J-List will be happy to help you choose the best character for what you want to express."

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