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culture::petty crimes

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Protect your umbrellas and bicycles!

These are the 2 most stolen things in Japan. Well, sorry, no stats to back this up but I've heard enough stories.

Umbrellas, well, they good as gone. Your bicycle if found you're lucky. The Police do check the train and subway stations frequently to find a missing bicycle.

If by chance they find the culprit, that person only needs to say, "I was just borrowing it and was planning to return it!" which then leads to a scolding at best.

shoplifting, interestingliy enough has also increased among elder housewives who just couldn't resist putting a $2 bag of NORI (edible seaweed) in her purse. Result if caught, a scolding by the store manager and if unlucky by the store undercover granny!

Of course, shoplifting is poplular among students, with private girl's high schol students pretty close to the top in participating in the extra-curricular activity.

I should add in here the recent theft / robbery crimes since the amounts they snatch are ridiculous petty.

People have been caught for knocking off vending machines, and convience stores. Net score $150 on the average. LoLoLo ... gee If I was gonna rob somebody I'd want at least a cool million for my troubles.

Warning:

Do protect your account books (the ones from the bank) and your HANKO (CHOP for those familiar with the English-Chinese usage). With these 2 anybody can empty your bank account.

Hanko ::: for those not in the know. Is normally a wooden dowel with a stamp of your name in Kanja/katakana use for official documents in exchange for your signiture.
 
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uuuuuuh TT______TT
Please don't talk about bicycles... I have never been lucky with them ;____; All of mine had been stolen, even not in Japan...
 
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I have a question in regard to the hanko: what makes a document legitimate? The hanko stamp or the act of stamping a document with a particular hanko in front of another person? Oops, my question doesn't make sense... in other words, how do you prove that a person and his/her hanko correspond, that the use of a hanko is legitimate? Can I authorize another person to use my personal hanko?
Guess I'm too curious...:D
 

thomas

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Hanko

Not sure about your other questions, but I think that hankos have to be registered with the local city hall. Basically, they have the same function as a signature. If I'm not completely wrong some offical documents need to hanko-stamped, similar to notarized documents.

Btw, I also got a hanko with my family name in Japan, just for fun.
:)

Here's a link to one of the largest Japanese hanko producers

=> http://www.shachihata.co.jp/english/

Another gem of a web site

=> http://www.baldmtc.com/resource_hanko.htm
 
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Basically, there are 3 HANKOs. (I'm not completely positive on this though)
- a big fat (IIN - I think it's called) one that is registered at the city office or at your ward office.
- a more normal sized one which too can be registered
- a skinny mini version used for corrections

IF your HANKO is registered .... and somebody stamps anything with it ... you screwed!
I've seen TV news story where men were being divorced, problem was they didn't know they were married in the first place!!!

Of course, these cases are looked into just as much a signiture forgery would but still the legal hassles are big.

Another example, you must register your babies birth within 14 days at the city/ward office. At the same time, you must register's the babies name. If for example, grand-pa likes a certain name and decides to had in the papers for you ... your baby is stuck with that name for good basically!

Of course, recently, having a witness to co-sign with their HANKO has become prevalent, but still, a un-authorized HANKO stamping is a fact of life and can be legal binding.
 
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If you have a lost or stolen credit card, you can cancel it. Can you "cancel" a hanko or report it stolen, and have a new one issued?
 
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Yes, errr ... At least you should be able to.

But, this is basically a big hassle and a waste of time.

So, people are always warning each other not to put their HANKO with their account books. ... that way you don't loose your hanko and money in the bank.
 

hanibi

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Can you have 2 or 3 hankos registered at your
city office at the same time? (Same Japanese
family name, just different levels of fanciness
of the hanko). Also, what materials are used
other than plastic to make a hanko? Can you
get one in Aluminum or some other metal?
Ceramic? Stone? Ivory? Thank you!
 

Mikawa Ossan

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hanibi said:
Can you have 2 or 3 hankos registered at your
city office at the same time? (Same Japanese
family name, just different levels of fanciness
of the hanko). Also, what materials are used
other than plastic to make a hanko? Can you
get one in Aluminum or some other metal?
Ceramic? Stone? Ivory? Thank you!
According to my ツ「ナスティ窶伉ア窶堋ォツ・窶愿債出窶堙娯?「テサ窶邸窶堋ェ窶堋キ窶堋ョ窶堙俄?堙ュ窶堋ゥ窶堙ゥ窶怒ツ」 book, a single person can register a single hanko at any given time. No more than one.

I think you misunderstand what a registered hanko is. You would not want to register more than one, because they are legally binding! Could you imagine the trouble having more than one would create? It would be like having two signatures. There is no merit in registering more than hanko at city hall. Zero. Besides, you couldn't if you wanted to, anyway.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Sorry, Hanibi, I made that last post before I knew your story. (Just saw your Toyama/Kanazawa thread.) I'll be nicer this time.

Yes, you can only register one hanko at city hall at any given time. You can change your registration over to another hanko, but you have to unregister the old one in the process.

Hanko that are to be registered can be made of ivory, plastic or stone. I don't know about aluminum or ceramic. My guess would be that aluminum is OK but ceramic is not, because ceramic chips easily. Hanko not to be registered can probably be made of almost anythig, but plastic is the most convenient and widely available. (I have one made from an eraser, but I only use it to "sign" pictures that I draw. I would NEVER even think about using it for general use!)

I have only used my registered hanko on a handful of occasions, like for securing my lease contract for my apartment.
 

hanibi

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Thank you for your thoughtful answer.
I actually would like to register two, with either
one being legally binding. There is a purpose.
But I will take your word, that the city office will
refuse to do this. I already assumed that the city
office would accept a hanko made from a metal, ceramic,
etc. I was asking rather if I will be able to find a
shop to make one in such materials. Forgetting plastic,
what is actually available? If not metal, how about
stone or bone? (I assume ivory is illegal by now...?).
If no one uses metal, I assume it would be very hard
to find an artisan to make one. What do you think?
 
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I've seen a shop that sells hanko made of various stones, about 30,000 a piece though. Would look very cool but overly expensive in my opinion.
 

jieshi

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I have an Inkan which is the smaller, pen size version that you carry in public and sign things with e.g New bank accounts, letters, bills etc.

I even got it with my Kanji- I was able to use it the whole time I was in Japan for opening my mobile phone accounts and offical documentation.

My suggestion to anyone planning to live in Japan for a long period of time, buy one!! They only cost about 800 yen and save you a lot of hassles (Japanese companies can kick up a bit of a fuss if you don't have one, they don't like signatures too much)
 

Mikawa Ossan

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hanibi said:
(I assume ivory is illegal by now...?).
If no one uses metal, I assume it would be very hard
to find an artisan to make one. What do you think?
Honestly, I have never tried to have a metal one made. I have no idea.

As far as ivory goes, no, it is not illegal. In fact, my registered hanko is made of ivory. Ivory is quite common for registered hankos.

Incidentally, my book said that only one hanko can be registered per person, not per family. So I assume that if you happen to be married, your wife could register a separate hanko.
 

jieshi

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Mikawa Ossan said:
Incidentally, my book said that only one hanko can be registered per person, not per family. So I assume that if you happen to be married, your wife could register a separate hanko.
That is correct:thumbsup: . Both my host parents had registered Inkan which they used.
 
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Been thinking about this for a couple of days, what's the legal difference between an Inkan and a hanko?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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The simple difference according to my dictionary is that a hanko is essentially the same as a mitomein, but an inkan is one which has already been registered at some place, at say a bank or city hall.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Basically, yeah.

But I don't know how much it really matters on a practical level. I learned the word inkan well before I learned the word hanko, and I remember when I first tried to use the word "hanko" I was corrected to say "inkan". But seriously, there are so many different words for these things that it's probably not worth splitting hairs unless you intend to join Japanese society.

The really important word to know IMHO is jitsuin, because that's the one that carries the most legal weight! :p
 

Nuala

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I've never had a bike stolen. I think housewives should get more then just a scolding for stealing from a stores. So many things can stem off from one act of petty crime.
 
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Thor said:
I've never had a bike stolen. I think housewives should get more then just a scolding for stealing from a stores. So many things can stem off from one act of petty crime.
"If I can get away with stealing a bike, how about stealing a car..." etc.
 
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