Japanese Family Crest - Kamon
- Historically, each clan had a family crest of its own and these crests were widely displayed on war flags, armors, helmets, kimonos, roof tiles, and even on the sides of the tatami flooring of each household.
- Most family crests had different colors that influenced the color choice of the samurai armors.
- Today, some traditional family crests are reflected in company logos such as Mitsubishi and Kikkoman.
- The family crest that looks like the Nazi symbol is for the Hachisuka clan, The symbol, that is upwards swastika leaning to the left side which is also called swastika, represents the Buddhist temple.
- The crest that looks like 3 swirls, mitsudomoe, is the common crest in Japan. It is used on the roof tiles of Shinto temples, on taiko drums, and on some samurai armors. The 3 commas or 3 swirls symbolize 3 separate entities: man, earth, god. It also represents Hachiman, the Shinto war god.
Toyotomi clan (豐臣氏/豊臣氏, Toyotomi-shi) was a Japanese clan that ruled Japan before the Edo period.
The most influential figure within the Toyotomi was Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the three "unifiers of Japan". Oda Nobunaga was another primary unifier and the ruler of the Oda clan at the time. Hideyoshi joined Nobunaga at a young age, but was not highly regarded because of his peasant background. Nevertheless, Hideyoshi's increasing influence allowed him to seize a significant degree of power from the Oda clan following Oda Nobunaga's death in 1582. As the virtual ruler of most of Japan, Hideyoshi created a new clan name "Toyotomi" in 1584, and achieved the unification of Japan in 1590.
When Hideyoshi died in 1598, his son Toyotomi Hideyori was only five years old. Five regents were appointed to rule until his maturity, and conflicts among them began quickly. In 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu deposed Hideyori and took power after winning the Battle of Sekigahara. In 1614, Hideyori came into conflict with the Tokugawa clan, leading to Tokugawa Ieyasu's Siege of Osaka from 1614 to 1615. As a result of the siege, Hideyori and his mother, Yodo-dono, committed seppuku in the flames of Osaka castle. After their death, the Toyotomi clan dissolved, leaving the Tokugawa clan to solidify their rule of Japan and the last member of the Toyotomi clan was Tenshuni [ja] (1609-1645). A rumour said that Toyotomi Hideyori's son Toyotomi Kunimatsu escaped execution, and another rumour said that Hideyori had an illegitimate son named Amakusa Shirō.
Kamon (Japanese Family Crest): Ancient Key to Samurai Culture
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to searchThe mon of the Toyotomi Clan, now used as the emblem of the Japanese Government; originally an emblem of the imperial family-a stylized Paulownia.The Japanese Imperial kamon-a stylized chrysanthemum blossomThe mon of the Tokugawa shōguns-three hollyhock leaves inside a circle
Mon (紋), also monshō (紋章), mondokoro (紋所), and kamon (家紋), are Japanese emblems used to decorate and identify an individual, a family, or (more recently) an institution or business entity. While mon is an encompassing term that may refer to any such device, kamon and mondokoro refer specifically to emblems used to identify a family.[further explanation needed] An authoritative mon reference compiles Japan's 241 general categories of mon based on structural resemblance (a single mon may belong to multiple categories), with 5116 distinct individual mon (it is however well acknowledged that there exist lost or obscure mon that are not in this compilation).
The devices are similar to the badges and coats of arms in European heraldic tradition, which likewise are used to identify individuals and families. Mon are often referred to as crests in Western literature, another European heraldic device similar to the mon in function.
Mon may have originated as fabric patterns to be used on clothes in order to distinguish individuals or signify membership of a specific clan or organization. By the twelfth century, sources give a clear indication that heraldry had been implemented as a distinguishing feature, especially for use in battle. It is seen on flags, tents, and equipment.
Like European heraldry, mon were initially held only by aristocratic families, and were gradually adapted by commoners. On the battlefield, mon served as army standards, even though this usage was not universal and uniquely designed army standards were just as common as mon-based standards (cf. sashimono, uma-jirushi). Mon were also adapted by various organizations, such as merchant and artisan guilds, temples and shrines, theater troupes and even criminal gangs. In an illiterate society, they served as useful symbols for recognition.
Japanese traditional formal attire generally displays the mon of the wearer. Commoners without mon often used those of their patron or the organization they belonged to. In cases when none of those were available, they sometimes used one of the few mon which were seen as "vulgar", or invented or adapted whatever mon they wished, passing it on to their descendants. It was not uncommon for shops, and therefore shop-owners, to develop mon to identify themselves.
Rules regulating the choice and use of mon were somewhat limited, though the selection of mon was generally determined by social customs. It was considered improper to use a mon that was known to be held by someone else, and offensive to use a mon that was held by someone of a high rank. When mon came into conflict, the lower-ranked person sometimes changed their mon to avoid offending their superior. The mon held by the ruling clans of Japan, such as Tokugawa's hollyhock mon and the Emperor's chrysanthemum mon, were legally protected from unauthorized usage.
Occasionally, patron clans granted the use of their mon to their retainers as a reward. Similar to the granting of the patron's surnames, this was considered a very high honor. Alternatively, the patron clan may have added elements of its mon to that of its retainer, or chosen an entirely different mon for them.