Seals, Sendai City

1. Kinds of Seal

In Japan, it is more common to use seals (inkan/hanko) rather than signatures. There are two kinds of seals. One is a registered seal, jitsuin, which is registered at the municipal office of the ward in which you live and the other is a private seal, mitomein.

By using your jitsuin with the registered certificate, your act is legally confirmed. Consequently, jitsuin is used for formal contracts or legal acts such as registration of your own car. A mitomein is used for simple legal acts such as opening a bank account and withdrawing money from the bank. Seals can be ordered at a seal shop (hanko-ya). Jitsuin are usually made of boxwood or hard material.

2. Registration of Seals

One jitsuin can be registered per one person, and the person himself or herself must apply for the registration. After having completed the registration, when you need a registration certificate, please present your Non-Japanese (Alien) Registration Card at the Public Affairs Section (shimin-ka) at the ward office. After the applicant is identified by their picture, a certificate is issued on the spot. For further details regarding registration of seals, please contact the shimin-ka.