So this is fun. In Okinawa and I guess in the rest of Japan, a thing you gotta have is an ‘Inkan’. This is your own personal yet official seal. To approve a document, er like a budget thing at work, um a bank check, you want to buy a car, things that in Europe or the US we would sign, here you seal. This is great. It reminds me of a big splodge of sealing wax and an angry King being forced by revolting Barons to plunge his signet ring.
My own Inkan, which I received after quite a lot of paperwork and much help from my employers, is discrete. I think it has my name in Katakana inscribed on it.
A brief digression on what I understand to be 3 different Japanese scripts. First is Kanji which is the same as is used in China – highly decorative. The second is Hiragana,which is sort of old Japanese used for concepts that have no direct Kanji counterpart. Then there is Katakana, which is used for foreign loan words and concepts. Apartment complex would be written in Katakana. A translation of:
“His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht,
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
would be written in Katakana. So, my name, clearly foreign and having quite a lot of L sounds, not easily handled in Japanese, is transcribed into Katakana something like, ‘Knee-Dough Cor Duh.’
I think this is what is carved onto my Inkan. Japanese friends please correct me.
I rather wish I had asked for my Inkan to be in Kanji as it would have been much more decorative.
I am terrified of losing it.