Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stamp down

In a character-based writing system where no one has signatures, how do people sign official documents? I'd originally assumed that Kanji characters were as susceptible to an individual's handwriting as roman scripts and people scribbled their name at banks the same as in the UK. In actuality, everyone carries a personalised stamp with their name engraved on it.

A stamp? Surely that's utterly insecure?! What is to stop me getting a stamp of someone else's name and stealing all their doe?

... or was that too shocking a suggestion for any Japanese person to consider?

Apparently no, such deviousness is not below the moral threshold of every citizen. Rather the stamps are made of wood, not rubber, and so each one is unique. This posed the next obvious problem:

What if you loose it?

You have to register a new one with the bank, proving your identity with the documents you used to open the account in the first place.

My stamp arrived today with my surname engraved in Katakana (the Japanese phonetic script for foreign words): タスカー . It comes in a tube that looks like a lipstick with its own mini red ink pad at one end.

Currently, everything is getting stamped. You all belong to me. Me me me.


  1. That's cool, I'd never thought about how character-based languages used signatures.

    Hey, this sounds like a cool thing with which to sign a post card...hmmm...I'll be some folks back here would love to get one....yes...

  2. Hehehe. Do I actually have your current address? If not and it were emailed to me I might do *something* with it.