I love Asian art and have several pieces that I’ve collected on various travels. Some that I picked up while travelling in Japan and Hong Kong have ‘chops’. These are like stamps, used instead of signatures, on art and on personal documents.

Gail Holloway chop
One of my souvenirs from a trip to China in 2007,
with chop at bottom right

As my book’s set in Japan and Hong Kong, I decided to get a chop to include in the book and on its cover.

Chops are often made of stone, wood, or ivory, and are typically used with red ink. According to Wikipedia, the colloquial name chop, when referring to these kinds of seals, was adapted from the Hindi word ‘chapa’ and from the Malay word ‘cap’, meaning stamp.

Anyone can get a chop made of their name. Mine simply says ‘Author Gail’.

‘Author Gail’

See how a chop is made