Hanko are little name stamps used in Japan in place of a signature when receiving a parcel, authorising a document or filling in just about any kind of form. Being official identity markers, most hanko stamps are pretty boring – just your last name written in kanji.

These new Hanko-san (Mr. Hanko) stamps are designed to be used together with your existing hanko, allowing you to turn your seal into a little message that will bring a bit of spark to the drudgery of your working day. And they’re coming soon to a gashapon machine near you!

To use it, of course, you’ll first need your regular hanko to fill in Mr. Hanko’s face space.

▼ A hanko stamp. I used to carry mine around in my wallet until one day a co-worker noticed that I did that and everybody laughed at me. Apparently that’s weird and you should get a little designated case for it like everyone else.

HankoFuJET Wiki

Now for the fun part! Mr. Hanko comes in five designs, allowing you to communicate all kinds of messages to co-workers and friends without revealing your embarrassingly bad handwriting.

“You got a phone call!”


▼ “Urgent!”


▼  “Sorry!”
Note the beads of sweat coming off the prostrated apologising man. Just like the bowing emoji, but in analogue form!


Group Project
Each person gets their own Mr. Hanko!


▼ So Tired of Working I Wish I Could Just Turn Into a Cat.
In fact, it’s amazing Japan doesn’t have a word for that already.

Mr Hanko, or to give him his full name Stamp on Stamp Hanko-san, is produced by Otanjoubikai and are in gashapon toy vending machines now for 200 yen (US$1.70) each.


Source: NetLab
Images: Hanko-san via NetLab