The inmon (words or symbols engraved on the seal) on Gyoji says 'Tenno Gyoji' (Emperor's Gyoji) (written in two vertical lines with 'emperor' on the right and 'Gyoji' on the left) in tensho-tai (seal-engraving style of writing Chinese characters) in square; the seal is placed on instruments of promulgation and ratification of laws, cabinet orders and treaties, credentials of ambassadors and appointment letters and notifications of replacement of the Prime Minister and the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court.
The history of Gyoji goes back to Nara period. Gyoji had traditionally been cast from copper but the one made in 1868 by Kendo KOZONE was made from stone.
The present Gyoji is about 9 square centimeters, weighs about 4.5 kg and is made of mixed metal (18-carat gold) in order to secure strength. Rekido ABEI (1805-1883), a master craftsman of seal-engraving in Kyoto, was commissioned with its creation in 1874, and spent a year making it and the seal of state. It is kept in a special leather bag. It is used with the vermilion ink-pad specially manufactured by the National Printing Bureau and a special ruler (Inku) designed to avoid twisting and misalignment, which also ensures that the seal is placed slightly over the edge of the Emperor's name.
In the Penal Code, the first clause of Article 165 Crimes of Counterfeiting of Seals states that a person who counterfeits the Imperial Seal for the purpose of unauthorized use shall be punished by imprisonment with work for a definite term of not less than two years, and the first clause of Article 154 states that a person who counterfeits an Imperial rescript or other official Imperial document with a counterfeited seal shall be punished by imprisonment with work for life or for a definite term of not less than three years.