Seals can be personalised with names in kanji, hiragana, katakana or English!
In Japan, personal seals called hanko or inkan are used instead of signatures on legal documents. It’s a system that’s been around for centuries, and while the fonts and designs of the seals may differ, the hanko imprint typically consists of a round circle with your surname inside the centre.
That doesn’t mean your hanko has to be boring, though, as a wide variety of fonts and designs are readily recognised as legal signatures, including the Pokémon Pon inkan released by seal maker Hankos late last year.
Following on from the success of their first release, which covered the entire roster of original Kanto Region Pocket Monsters in 151 different designs, Hankos has now decided to release a second generation run. And this time we’ll be able to choose from 100 new characters from the Johto region.
▼ The “pon” in Pokémon Pon refers to the Japanese onomatopoeia for pressing something down with a flourish.
Each stamp is made to order, combining your choice of Pokémon with your family name.
▼ This is what your seal might look like if your surname is 佐藤 (Sato)
▼ You can customise the look of your surname with a choice of three different fonts.
The seals themselves are beautifully made, with smooth wooden handles and gorgeous attention to detail in the character designs. Self-inking hanko and ones made from water buffalo horn are also available.