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n. pl. hanko or han·kos
A Japanese stamp made of wood, stone, or horn, engraved with the name of an individual, office, or institution and used instead of a signature in official transactions.

[Japanese hanko, probably alteration (taken as if han, seal, stamp + ko, child, also a noun-forming suff.) of earlier hankō, publication, printing : Japanese han, board, block such as those used in woodblock printing (from Middle Chinese pa⋮n´; also the source of Mandarin bàn) + Japanese , to go, circulate (from Middle Chinese xɦja⋮jŋ, also the source of Mandarin xíng).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ivory is used for musical instruments, art and hankos - name seals often made from ivory to sign official documents.
In fact, Japan's hanko association is reportedly advising members to take full advantage of the Olympics tourist boom, offering ivory hankos as the premium product.
WildAid and Japanese NGO Tears of the African Elephant launched a campaign to end the ivory trade starting by abandoning ivory hanko stamps, which account for 80% of Japan's ivory consumption.
The campaign's animated video, called Hankograph and created by Grey Tokyo and Academy Award-nominated artist Koji Yamamura, tells the story of how hankos are made, connecting elephant poaching to the final product.
Viewed with great symbolic meaning and an opportunity to start fresh, government offices expect couples will rush to register their marriages - using hankos.
'Unlike usage in traditional music, ivory hankos can be replaced by several other materials,' said Airi Yamawaki, Director of WildAid Japan and founder of Tears of the African Elephant.
There are signs certain industries are willing to give up hankos altogether, particularly as businesses court younger customers and digitize their services.
WildAid is working in Japan to support any government effort to end the trade and address the remaining demand for ivory, particularly hankos. These Japanese stamps were not traditionally made from ivory, but the economic boom in the 1970s and 1980s prompted carvers to switch materials, and many people purchased whole ivory tusks believing it to be an investment.
WildAid is working in Japan to support any government effort to end the trade and address the remaining demand for ivory, and in particularly hankos, with a new campaign set to launch later this year.
Ivory hanko, or name stamps, accounts for 80% of all ivory products consumed in the country.
Many other countries are also taking action to close their domestic trades, but sadly Japan, which covets the 'hard' ivory from forest elephants for 'hankos,' or stamps, is so far refusing to join the global community in ending the destructive ivory trade,' Knights said.