“Itain” Moe-Hanko Make Big Impression

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Japanese otaku have been delighted to learn they can now stamp all manner of official documents with moe girls thanks to the advent of the “ita-in” seal, with fans busily registering them for use at banks and other official institutions, and some enthusiastic souls even vowing to use them to seal their marriage certificates.

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The seals in question, traditional throughout East Asia, are still essential for “signing” most legal documents in Japan, so there is a diverse market for every kind of seal imaginable, in materials ranging from wood to mammoth ivory.

The idea for the business came from their earlier efforts to sell rubber moe-seals, already fairly well known amongst otaku. These were felt to be a little lacking however, and they enquired of traditional seal carvers (a multiplicity of which will have shops near any Japanese station of size) as to whether they could carve moe seals.

This proved possible, and the results were so impressive they soon led to a business venture.

The company’s break occurred when a tweet pointing out that the seals could be registered for use in official contexts such as banks just as any seal was widely retweeted, leading to a flood of orders.

For those interested in the specifics, various standard sizes of hanko and inkan are available for ¥1,380-¥2,980, and custom designs can be submitted by providing a monochrome image.

The main problem for many potential customers may be their hard line on copyright and doujin art – only Touhou and Higurashi derivative art receives automatic approval, with permission from the copyright holder (i.e. publisher, not merely the artist) required for everything else, severely limiting the possibility of K-ON! and Moebyou seals for now.

Orders and further information can be pursued on their site.

 


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