What’s In a Name?

In order to sign a legal document in Japan you need to have a Hanko, or personal chop. This Hanko is then tapped onto a red ink pad and placed on the document. If you do not have a Hanko then your signature is not enough.

The Hanko is comprised of Kanji characters that sound out to create your last name and possible your surname. There are tens of thousands of characters that can make all sorts of sounds, the challenge is to find just the right character with the right impression or meaning behind it’s sound. Some sound more feminine than others, and some have positive or negative undertones. It’s just grab any character and slap it on a chop, the meaning behind it has everything to do with why you chose that particular character.

I can appreciate the importance of the letters that comprise a name because our name is all about us. When someone says our name it makes people glad, excited, happy, sad, fearful or nervous deepening upon how we have behaved over a long period of time. Our name is the catch phrase for our personal brand. When people hear it they instantly know what to expect by our past behavior. Whether we like it or not our brand precedes us in everything we do. If you do not like your brand then begin behaving differently.

1 Comment

  1. You would think the Japanese would have rejected, at least through time, a system of 10k+ sounds to be cognizant of. Today, Latin-1 code library gives us something or the equivalent in fonts. I’m either New Times Roman (so traditional) or Helvetica. Comic Sans grates on anyone who didn’t choose it to begin with. Notice the sentences endint with ‘with’ and ‘of..

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