We’re Hanko Square, a leading maker of name stamps in Japan, in business since 1970. Our headquarters is in Tokyo, and we have over a hundred stores throughout Japan.
WHY MAKE THIS SITE?
Like most hanko makers, a majority of our customers are Japanese, but we realized that there are many foreigners living in Japan that need hanko, and often don’t realize this until it’s too late to have a good shopping experience. Someone who just moved to Japan may not realize we have a culture of stamping–instead of signing–one’s name on official documents. They go to open a bank account or get a cell phone, and then are inconvenienced when they are told they need a hanko to seal the contract. They must set out to find the closest and most convenient hanko store, and often just get whatever will suit their need, rather getting something beautiful that represents them and that they are proud of. They don’t look back on their shopping experience fondly, and we think this is a tragedy!
We created this site to help inform people about this custom, and give them an easy way to pick out a hanko that can truly represent them and reflect their spirit. If you have more questions, take a look at our Store FAQ.
WHY CUSTOM HANKO?
Let’s draw a comparision between hanko and pen. To some people, any pen will do; it doesn’t matter what it looks like, how well it’s made or how well it writes, as long as it makes a mark on the paper. To others, the quality of the pen is very important. They care about the materials used, the look and feel of the physical object, how heavy or balanced it feels in the hand, and how smoothly ink flows from the nib.
There are cheap pens that serve their purpose and get thrown away, and then there are pens that are treasured, and even become valued heirlooms. Like the pen you carry and use, your hanko can say a lot about you. It is a unique expression of your individuality. And we think you deserve a hanko that will last you a lifetime.
We are trying to spread knowledge of hanko so people are not blindsided by this custom, and we are striving to improve your experience when you shop for hanko. Even if you don’t live in Japan, they make a great keepsake and can be useful for your daily life, signing notes to your friends, coworkers and loved ones. You can use your hanko to put a unique, personal touch on your papers at work or at home.