So, in this picture are four Hanko (Ha ha – n n – ko co. as in company). These are used in place of signatures and are usually registered at the local city hall. A small store at Keyaki makes these and you can choose your designer look. The ones in the picture have small glittery stones on them and have a small Zodiac charm attached as well. The two on the left are rats and the two on the right are bulls.
My hanko says my last name in Japanese on the bottom of the circular end and was made for me personally at a Hanko shop. After I dip it into red ink, I use it on business forms, at work to show that I have ‘clocked in’ for the day, and on receipts to show that I have been paid (usually if I’ve gone somewhere and they’ll pay my travel fare).
Best part…your ‘signature’ will never be denied because it looks different.
Worst part…well…don’t lose it. 🙂