Hanko date back to 5500 B.C., when people in the Middle East began engraving their personal symbols on stones, shells and clay and leaving impressions to identify property as their own. Hanko use first spread to Europe, and then Asia.
Hanko have been employed by high officials and samurai for most of Japan's recorded history and were already common among merchants and farmers by the Edo Period (1603-1868).
The modern hanko system was codified during the Meiji Era (1868-1912) in the early 1870s, when legislation was passed requiring people to register their hanko and use them on important documents.
A hanko personal seal is a necessary item for most adults in Japan which is the same role as a signature in the West.
How is this used?
- As personal seals that use in place of signatures!
- Stamp your hanko on etters and greeting cards!
- Anywhere you like! Let's get your unique style!