Mar 24, 2015

Stamps and pictures

 In Japan people use a small stamp with their name on it, instead of a signature. This is called a han, the large red characters on the building, or a hanko. The word han can refer to either the stamp or its impression, while hanko refers to the stamp itself and not the impression.  If you take your hanko to the local city office, you can register it and then receive a document showing that this han is yours. In the past a registered han with the supporting document was necessary for all legal documents, but not too many years ago a law was passed allowing signatures, but they still tend to be limited. I've had my signature accepted but still had to produce a registered han to prove that the signature was mine.
Little booths like this appear all over Japan. They sell lottery tickets. I don't know much about them since the odds of winning are so low that I think it is a waste of money. When a booth like this sells a winning ticket, people will flock to the booth mistakenly thinking that it is like to produce more winners. I'm not sure exactly what new tickets are being sold, but sometimes when I pass by here, there are long lines, as many as twenty people, waiting to buy tickets for the new lottery.

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