I’ve recently noticed an interesting trend with stamps and payments / receipts in Japan. There are two types of stamps you tend to see used quite a lot here.
The first is the ink stamp that comes from special instruments, that everyone here has, called hanko. We actually have 3 of these special hanko stampers. One is only used for bank documents. One is used for any official documents other than bank documents (my employment documents are both signed and stamped, for instance, as well as my apartment contract). The third is a really cheap one that I use to sign for deliveries, and other random, un-important documents.
The other type of stamp is the one pictured up above. That stamp is more or less a stamp no different from a postage stamp. You often receive these stamps as proof of purchase from government agencies, but I’ve recently seen them on receipts from private businesses. I asked my wife why these companies couldn’t just use a regular receipt / print off, or even just a signed / hanko stamped receipt. She informed me that any purchases over a certain amount of money (100000 Yen ~~ 1,000$) require that these stamps are on the receipt. Apparently, it’s some assurance, like a notarization, and the government requires it (perhaps so they can keep track of large purchases).
If anyone else knows more info on the history / regulations behind these stamps – feel free to let me know (just because I’m curious).