Stone Seal Craft Workshop

Traditional Japanese seals, locally known as hanko (判子), come in many forms but if you ask any Japanese person, they might tell you that they only use them when requested in formal documentations. But in reality, hanko is much more interesting than that! Some hanko are made solely for aesthetic purposes, and don’t carry any legal weight. These are called yu-in (遊印), and that is exactly what you will be crafting in these workshops! You can carve your first or last name onto them, or anything for that matter (for example, if you have a favourite word/character). You can use them in place of signatures and autographs, on works of art, poetry, etc. that you create.


Everyone’s serious going through a kanji encyclopaedia to pick the perfect character!


Choosing the right characters for your hanko could be tough, especially if you’re not familiar with the language in the first place! But don’t worry, the people at the hanko place can help you choose one(s) that suit your preference.


Our hanko master, drawing over the stone for you to carve over the lines

The whole engraving process usually takes less than an hour to complete 🙂


Teppitsu (鉄筆)  – which literally means “iron brush”, is a tool made of iron (surprise, surprise!) that’s used to engrave characters into the stone.


A wooden block is used to support the stone securely while you engrave


And here’s the end result! Neat, isn’t it? It lasts forever if you take proper care of it, and it’s truly a once in a lifetime experience to create an original stone seal that only you possess in the whole world.

Contact us at for inquiries/bookings if you’re interested in participating in this workshop!

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A tourist guide, showing everywhere in Japan. Guide hundreds of people from all over the world every year. Born in Osaka, lived in Australia and Sweden. Traveled in more than 50 countries.


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