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21 June 2010

Japanese Bureauracracy: the WTF edition

I'm sitting in the ward office right now trying to get my inkan (Japanese stamp used to "sign" official documents) registered for the 2nd time.
For 10 years I've been using a stamp that has the kanji 門木 which literally means Gatewood, my last name. I had no problem in Higashi Osaka registering this stamp so I can have an official paper to show people that it's a certified signature.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, google "inkan" or 印鑑証明...

In the States we get around this by having to provide social security numbers and answer all sorts of crazy questions that we'd only know like "what brand of toilet tissue did your grandma use during the 1950s?" "Charmin?!" WTF

Ok, so bureaucracy is the same everywhere, but no where does it seem sometimes more needlessly imparted than it does here. Just to get my insurance started, I filled out a card. Then waited for some dude to check it. Then they needed to confirm my income with my job--they mailed me a postcard when this was done. It said for me to come back to the ward office and talk to someone at window 9. When I got there, they handed me my new insurance card. Why the F didn't they just put THAT in the mail I wasted an entire afternoon in the ward office for a three second handoff

Location:8丁目,Nagoya City,Japan

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