Despite the push from the government to encourage the use of handwritten signatures, personal seals are still a very much normal aspect of everyday life in Japan.
Though time might be gradually running out for the old-fashioned gadget, the use of them in banking, property purchasing and in the office means they’re still held in relatively high demand.

Looking to keep the hanko alive, hanko specialty stores have been finding ways to make their hanko designs stand out from the rest. The list of customizable hanko includes designs featuring adorable cats, sanrio characters, and an ever growing list of Pokémon characters.

The first series of Pokémon hanko were released back in 2018, and featured Pokémon from the Kanto region. Since then they have been joined by characters from the Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh regions, and now they will be expanding once again to the Unova region.

There will be 156 Pokémon from the Unova region to choose from, including fan favourites; Tepig, Snivy and Lilipup.

Not just for fun, these unique hanko actually meet the legal requirements to be recognised by banks and postal services. This means that they can be used by the owner, if they choose to do so, for a range of official uses. Of course, a stamped hanko on an official document might not send the right message across in a business, or any other serious situation, so we, at grape Japan, will advise against this and instead recommend thinking of the special stamps as a collectors item.

After picking out your favourite pokemon character, you can choose from three different fonts to have your name engraved with.

Including all the other regions released in the collection so far, there are now 649 hanko designs to choose from. Depending upon your storage situation of course, can you catch them all?

The full collection of Pokémon stamps can be found and ordered online at the Pokémon Hanko store.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.