Hanko are little name stamps used in Japan in place of a signature when receiving a parcel, authorising a document or filling in just about any kind of form. Being official identity markers, most hanko stamps are pretty boring – just your last name written in kanji.
These new Hanko-san (Mr. Hanko) stamps are designed to be used together with your existing hanko, allowing you to turn your seal into a little message that will bring a bit of spark to the drudgery of your working day. And they’re coming soon to a gashapon machine near you!
To use it, of course, you’ll first need your regular hanko to fill in Mr. Hanko’s face space.
▼ A hanko stamp. I used to carry mine around in my wallet until one day a co-worker noticed that I did that and everybody laughed at me. Apparently that’s weird and you should get a little designated case for it like everyone else.
Now for the fun part! Mr. Hanko comes in five designs, allowing you to communicate all kinds of messages to co-workers and friends without revealing your embarrassingly bad handwriting .
▼ “You got a phone call!”
Note the beads of sweat coming off the prostrated apologising man. Just like the bowing emoji , but in analogue form!
▼ Group Project
Each person gets their own Mr. Hanko!
Mr Hanko, or to give him his full name Stamp on Stamp Hanko-san, is produced by Otanjoubikai and are in gashapon toy vending machines now for 200 yen (US$1.70) each.
Images: Hanko-san via NetLab