Hyoutatsu or name plates for homes are a common sight to see when travelling through Japan. Every house has one and it dies perform a vital role, for delivery services. But even these name plates are diminishing.
Most people only buy 表札 (hyou-satsu) when purchasing a home which leaves the millions living in apartments usually without one, defeating the purpose of them.
Additionally, with the prevelence of social media they have become a security risk (crime is rare but it still occurs in Japan).
Let’s suppose there is only one Suzuki family living in Ise (impossible since the surname Suzuki is like Smith in the west) and they inform the world they’re going to Guam. Well done for them, but their house is now at risk and if a criminal happens upon this, you have a problem.
Another issue is that they make people easier to find. Have a western surname in katakana? You can’t exactly stay hidden (it does stop the door to door Mormons though).
What to take from this post? A word of caution, if you have a hyousatsu (even in the west) be careful with security.
Thank you for reading and as always happy exploring.