Bits of Japanese Knowledge

Inkan, signature seal


The name engraved on one side of a lumber, stone, or other material and a specific trace (In-ei) of the engraved name or part of it on the document is called "Insho." It is used to demonstrate the responsibility and authority of the person or organization. The seal registered to match the person (affixing the seal) with the owner of the seal is called the "Inkan."

There are various types of Insho depending on the needs of everyday life.

Approval seal

This mark is used as proof of application and receipt. Many of these products have only the surname (surname) engraved, and because they look cheap, they are also known as "Sanmon-ban (a cheap stamp)," but this is the most frequently used seal in everyday life.

Bank seal

This mark is registered when opening an account with a bank or securities company, etc. In order to prevent counterfeiting, it is common to use individually manufactured products. However, unlike the legal seal there are no legal regulations for this seal and standards are decided at the discretion of each financial institution.

Legal seal

It is a seal registered with a government office and subject to legal regulations. In order to prevent counterfeiting, individually manufactured products are often used. This seal is used for transactions and contracts on property such as real estate and automobiles.