Banking in Japan, Part 1

In which I acquire a bank account.

My second day in Tokyo, I was accompanied to the bank by a helpful lady from Tokyo Orientations.  She acted as an adviser and translator during the process, without which I would have floundered.  Things were going along swimmingly, until the nice bank representative went to make a copy of my residence card.

Bank rep (via my translator): Your last name on your residence card is spelled with a space.  But here you have written it without a space.

Me: Ah, yes, see, it’s on the card like that because it was on my visa like that because apparently it’s on my U.S. passport like that*.  But I don’t actually spell my name that way.

Her: Preeeeetty sure the name on your bank account has to match your residence card.

Me: Okay, but that isn’t actually my name.

Her: I’m sorry but rules are rules.  Please cross out each incidence of the space with two horizontal lines, and then sign your name to acknowledge the correction.  Also, you spelled your address wrong (it’s how the hotel spelled it!), so please fix that too.

This meant attempting to sign my name inside the small boxes which were already filled with the original text entries on the form, so I had to squeeze.

Her: I’m sorry, you must sign your name all on one line.  Please cross it out and sign again.

I dutifully comply.

Her: Now you have fixed the signature, but you must sign your name again to acknowledge that you crossed out your signature.


Despite some stumbles, I came away with a shiny new Japanese bank account!  That was the easy part though.  To be continued.

*I have no idea why the United States decided to insert a space in my name, but it turns out it’s the same on my dad’s passport.  No one in our lives has ever before noticed or cared.

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