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Correct Use & Care

Your personal hanko is a Japanese cultural icon.


Hanko reflects your personal identity. A genuine family heirloom. Japanese people protect and care for their treasured hanko. In essence, their seal is them.

Here's how to use and care for your hanko to avoid stamping your name upside down or at an angle, smudging the impression or getting an uneven print.

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Press your hanko into the red ink pad with a light touch. Don't jam it down. Instead, lightly tap your hanko into the ink pad two or three times to distribute the ink evenly. .

Using your Natsuin mat

Place your document on top of your dark-gray Natsuin mat then press your hanko evenly on the document surface for a crisp, clean impression.

Holding and pressing

To hold your hanko, grip it between your index finger and thumb (see photo). Bend your middle finger for support on the back side. The top end of the hanko should press against your palm for additional support. Check the bottom of the stamp to make sure the top of your name is aligned with your index finger. Using a firm grip, slowly press your hanko onto a test page (scratch paper). Make several impressions for clarity and evenness of image. When you are satisfied with your tests, re-ink if necessary and press a final image onto your real document. Then carefully lift your hanko off the document to avoid any unintended marks or smears.


After use, gently wipe off any residual ink from the tip of your hanko with a tissue or soft cloth, then return it to its case. Store in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.

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