Comment on “Itain” Moe-Hanko Make Big Impression by Imyou:

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I love this story… In theory, being able to register any image for personal use would allow for such creativity. I’d always thought this kind of thing wouldn’t be allowed though. Wikipedia for instance says of the jitsuin (legal, formal seal):

“The size, shape, material, decoration, and lettering style of jitsuin are closely regulated by law. For example, in Hiroshima, a jitsuin is expected to be roughly 1⁄2 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 cm), usually square or (rarely) rectangular but never round, irregular, or oval, and must contain the individual’s full family and given name, without abbreviation. The lettering must be red with a white background (shubun), with roughly equal width lines used throughout the name. The font must be one of several based on ancient historical lettering styles found in metal, woodcarving, and so on; ancient forms of ideographs are commonplace. A red perimeter must entirely surround the name, and there should be no other decoration on the underside (working surface) of the seal, though the top and sides (handle) of the seal may be decorated in any fashion from completely undecorated to historical animal motifs to dates, names, and inscriptions.”

Imyou made other comments on this post:

  • “Itain” Moe-Hanko Make Big Impression:
    The article says it can be used for official contexts like banking, but a banking seal isn’t as high as a personal registered seal…

  • “Itain” Moe-Hanko Make Big Impression:
    Actually, it’s the opposite. Mass-produced ones aren’t unique enough for legal documents, which is why people have them handmade. They don’t do it themselves, largely because not everyone has the skill to carve kanji in mirror image, and also because despite this story, the requirements for a jitsuin are rather stringent (so it’s kind of like taking your own passport photo vs having it done professionally.)

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