There are qualified to represent the technical level of a Hanko craftsman. Not every Hanko shops have qualified. However, if you want to have a custom made Hanko, it is better to refer the title or qualified.
Certified Skilled Worker
There are technical skill tests by the ministry in Japan Those who passed this test can name a ‘Certified Skilled Worker’.
- 3rd grade: Beginner skills and knowledge level.
- 2nd grade: Intermediate level.
- 1st grade: Advanced level.
- Special grade: Administrator and Supervisor level.
Meister of Zengiren
‘Zengirien’ is an abbreviated designation meaning National Certified Skilled Workers Union (I do not know the official English notation). It is awarded for craftsmen who have above 1st grade of Certified Skilled Worker who have work experience of over 20 years, excellent skills and achievements, and keen on cultivating and transmission.
Great Craftsmen in the present world
Excellent technical craftsman who is honored by the Minister.
Traditional craftsmen are certified according to law. They are responsible for the preservation of the unique traditional craft of the production area, and transmission the skill to the next generations. HANKO is the traditional crafting in Yamanashi, and there are 20 traditional craftsmen now.
There are competitions for the technique of HANKO making. You can know the skill of the craftsman by whose awards history. It is more difficult to be a winner of the competition than to obtain Certified Skilled Worker.
Skills Grand Prix
This competition is held once every two years that decides the best position in Japan. The challenger must be 1st grade Certified Skilled Worker. The winner is awarded by Prime Minister’s Prize or Minister.
In addition, there are also national conventions by the seal association.