C is for “Chop”
The term “chop” is a common name for a stamp used in Asian cultures which shows your name. Here are two “Gagō-in” that I have… the one on the left is from my grandfather, who was an artist and art teacher when he was alive. In the chop he gave me, the family name “Fujimoto” is written above the letter “B”, and I have used this in some of my paintings that I did when I was in art school. This chop is one of my cherished possessions. The other chop is one that I bought when I visited Hong Kong, and it is a more stylized version, left-to-right, and my first name below.
These two are not used in official documents – for that, my wife and I have another smaller seal, called a Mitome-in, which is used to sign documents in Japan. I won’t display that here, of course, but it’s really nothing special. I think we bought it at a stationery store for ¥1,000.
Below is a photo of the chop that I bought in Hong Kong. It’s made of stone, and has a really nice dragon carving on the top. I think it’s pretty cool!