Japanese Online Newsletter Vol. 125 日本の『印鑑』文化(にほんの『いんかん』ぶんか)

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(みな)さんは『印鑑(いんかん)』という言葉(ことば)()いたことがありますか? 日本(にほん)では、自分(じぶん)名前(なまえ)()られた印鑑(いんかん)(しるし)(のこ)すことで、その書類(しょるい)()かれた内容(ないよう)同意(どうい)、もしくは、その責任(せきにん)自分(じぶん)にあることを(しめ)すことができます。


しかし、外国(がいこく)では印鑑(いんかん)はありませんので、本人(ほんにん)署名(しょめい)(サイン) をします。そのため、外国(がいこく)(かた)日本(にほん)()(さい)印鑑(いんかん)文化(ぶんか)困惑(こんわく)される(かた)(おお)いのだそうです。


“Ikan” Culture in Japan

Have you ever heard of the word, “inkan”? It refers to a personal seal with family names engraved on it. In Japan, using an inkan indicates that you agree or claim responsibility for the content of a document. Much like when you sign a document in America.

Inkan culture is deeply rooted in Japan and isn’t just used for procedures at pubic institutions. It’s also used in private life when receiving packages. And many people have more than one inkan because they can use different types of inkan for different purposes.

However, inkan doesn’t exist in other foreign countries. Instead, people just sign with signatures. For this reason, inkan culture confuses many foreigners living in Japan.

Due to the current pandemic, electronic signatures are attracting attention as they can be easily filled out online. However, it will probably be a long time before inkan culture disappears from Japan. 

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