Get a stamp of approval with your own Japanese personal seal complete with your Japanese kanji name.

In Japan, paperwork or contracts often require a hanko, a personal seal with the user’s name engraved upon it. Despite mostly being used as legal identification, you are allowed you give your hanko a personal touch. You can open an account at the bank, sign a contract for a new job or make a sale on your new house with a Pokémon, Sanrio character or even your favourite Russian leader.

However, it’s sometimes difficult for non-Japanese people to obtain a hanko. Most Japanese surnames consist of one to three characters and can easily fit within a circular shape, which is often not the case for foreigners. Also, while it’s perfectly acceptable to stick your name on a hanko using phonetic katakana characters, non-kanji names don’t feel traditionally Japanese, and to some people can look a little unnatural on a hanko. And trying to translate your name into kanji using a random online converter almost always ends badly…

Well now you can get a hanko complete with your very own kanji name, made of kanji that are stylish and respectable, thanks to Japanese company Sirusi. The company’s Omiya-Hanko crowdfunding project is for a new line of hanko aimed specifically at foreigners, with Sirusi’s staff of native Japanese-speakers selecting the kanji.

First, your name is converted into Japanese. For example:
Robert becomes 呂馬跡 (Ro-ba-ato)
Donald becomes 努成土 (Do-naru-do)

And don’t worry, the company will also include information on what each kanji means, in case all you Roberts/呂馬跡s out there wanted to start referring to yourself as Mr Musical Horse Print in front of your peers.

Next, you can choose the style of hanko. Circle is a modern design with both the Japanese name and English name featured. Emblem features both the Japanese and English names, with ‘Japanese Sign / Convert to kanji’ written around the outside, designed to be easy for people who had never seen a hanko to understand. The final design, Traditional, as the name suggests, is a more typical hanko design.

Finally, the designers at Sirusi will check with you that there are no problems, and you’re all set!

The hankos are currently being crowdfunded here on Rocket Factory. They come in four tiers ranging from 5,000 yen to 13,000 yen and are expected to ship out in March 2020.

Sirusi suggests that the hanko can be used as souvenirs for friends and hopes for them to spread interest in Japanese culture around the world. We definitely think it’ll make a more thoughtful gift than sending your loved ones masturbatory aid crackers, and in any case, it’s a wiser way to express your love of kanji than getting a tattoo that you’ll definitely regret!

Source: Rocket Factory/Sirusi via Japaaan
Images: Rocket Factory/Sirusi
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