In Japan, rather than signing documents and forms, people use a ‘hanko’, a stamp of their name. Also known as an inkan, it is specially engraved and designed for the individual person, then registered with the local city hall before it can be used to sign official documents. This makes it, in the eyes of the Japanese, much harder to forge than a signature. For important contracts, such as ones to rent an apartment, they will definitely ask for a hanko rather than a signature.

There’s a lot of freedom regarding the design, which is why recently some awesome Pokemon themed hanko were released that actually incorporate the creatures into your seal. Signing off with a legendary Pokemon is one definite way to impress a new landlord.

But supposing you’ve already got your hanko sorted before they were released... how will you show off your love of Japanese pop culture every time someone throws a form to sign at you? Think of the missed opportunities for slightly awkward but overall positive exchanges with the postman!

Well worry no longer, even if you have an average kind of hanko, you can now dress it up in one of these cute stands, which are inspired by some of Studio Ghibli’s most recognisable and beloved characters.

Conveniently you can store your inkan in an upright position, which also doubles up as a cool ornament. You can simply pick up the character portion of the stand and you’re ready to stamp away, no more fumbling around searching for it.

There are five designs available. First is Totoro.

Then the medium size Totoro with a tiny Totoro on top.

You can also get the Cat Bus which appears in My Neighbour Totoro.

Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service.

Or the ever-reticent No Face from Spirited Away.

As long as the diameter of your inkan is between 16-18 mm, you can give your average looking stamp an anime makeover and gain a cute desk decoration while you’re at it!

Rakuten Online Store

By - Jess.