Signatures or Seal

Lately, I found something that draw my attention about signatures. My collages in laboratory asked me how to endorsing signature for research journal document proposal (in English of course). When I asked him back about his own signature, he said he didn’t have any signature. After that, I found that a lot of Japanese don’t have any signature for their official affair. Even write their name with their own writing style in Kanji (Chinese letter) doesn’t consider as valid proof (Though I think, it has similar usage with signature). They use another alternative way to substitute signature usage with seal. For example, in case of making bank account in Japan, everybody using their 印章 (inshou or seal) to proof their identity on document (they have several seal for different occasion and purpose, and the most important seal will be registered to the local city hall office).

sign

Samples of signature and seal for Japanese common surname Tanaka/Nakata with different styles.

Maybe signatures are common things for everybody who live in a country whose everybody write their name with Roman/Latin alphabet. How about in another country whom using different character (not Roman alphabets) like Arabs with their arabics? Are they using signature or seal? Or maybe with different way like thumbprint?

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