Mid -July is a time to give a midsummer gift or Ochugen to bosses and teachers.
This custom is practiced to express gratitude for their daily support.
When receiving the packages from a delivery company, a lot of Japanese people put a seal on a delivery slip.
Usually round in shape, personal seals or hanko with the engraving of the family name are dipped in red ink
and pressed on documents for daily use instead of a signature.
Hanko can also be required together with signature for many official documents regarding important personal matters
such as registrations of marriage and divorce.
Besides hanko for day-to-day use,
people have hanko for opening a bank account.and jitsuin for such dealings as purchasing or selling real estate or automobiles.
Jitsuin is an officially registered seal carrying the highest legal weight.
It is usually made to order using material that does not degrade easily,
and kept track of to avoid great potential for abuse. On the other hand,
everyday-use hanko is widely available. It includes cheap seals offered at \100 shops.
In Japan governments and influential groups like temples have relied on seals since ancient times,
but it wasn’t until a law passed in late 19th century establishing a national system for registration that personal seals became broadly used throughout the country.
Nowadays signatures are becoming more commonly accepted,
but many types of official forms still require affixed seal.
Affixing your seal to a document has great significance,
as it means you have confirmed and approved the contents.
Such culture can be seen in Japanese business world. Making a decision is an example..
In the process of decision making,
a written proposal is circulated around the company for obtaining approval .which is indicated by person’s affixing his seal.
This process may seem time-consuming by Western standards.
Even so Japanese society seems to stick to “hanko culture” for the time being.
Do you prefer having lessons at your own place at your own convenience?
NIC can dispatch Japanese teachers.