Friday, December 16, 2011

Japanese Family Crests

Kamon are Japanese emblems or crests, corresponding to the European heraldy tradition, and are used to specifically represent and identify a family.

They are a subset of the larger body of motifs (called mon) that are symbols of temples, clans, guilds and similar groups of people. Mon first appeared by the 12th century as patterns on flags and uniforms in battles, but their wider use followed the vagaries of class and social custom.

The quartets of kamon below were selected and spliced together from the symbol categories: animal, plant, flower, furnishing, martialism, natural and pattern crests. {I think there is some crossover}

tori, maihouou, maitsuru, houou (animal - kamon)
[animal crest] chicken, phoenix, crane, phoenix

kawarichohanagata, kame, rindokacho, usagi (animal - kamon)
[animal crest] butterfly, tortoise, bamboo grass, rabbit

tokugawaaoi, itsutsuwarabi, ipponsugi, marunimitsuicho (plant - kamon)
[plant crest] hollyhock, bracken, cryptomeria, Oxalis corymbosa

hitofusabudo, inenomaru, shuro, ichoedamaru (plant - kamon)
[plant crest] grape, rice, date palm, ginkgo

edafuji, hidarimitshufujitomoe, kawaridakibotan, ikarizakura (flower - kamon)
[flower crest] wisteria, wisteria, tree peony, anchor

itsutsunenji, hasu, kudarifuji, jurokugiku (flower - kamon)
[flower crest] Morning glory, goldthread, wisteria, chrysanthemum

kagi, marunifutatsuami, haboki, choban (furnishing - kamon)
[furnishing crest] key, gin trap, broom, alarm plate

tsuchi, fukuro, kinutemari, gionmamori (furnishing - kamon)
[furnishing crest] wooden hammer, bag, temari ball, amulet

marunichigaiya, mitsunawatsukiikari, marunimitsuougi, rinpo (martialism - kamon)
[martialism crest] arrow, anchor, fan, gem

nanatsuyaguruma, onikabuto, ikari, happonyaguruma (martialism - kamon)
[martialism crest] arrow, samurai warrior helmet, anchor, arrow

tsukinikumo, sumitatesayagatainazuma, asahiko, naminitsubame (natural - kamon)
[natural crest] cloud & moon, arrows of lightning, sun, wave

kurodadukinimizu, inazuma, hoshishippo, nami (natural - kamon)
[natural crest] water & moon, arrows of lightning, gem, wave

hidarimitsudomoe, manji, shipponihanabishi, marunikikkonihabnabishi (pattern - kamon)
[pattern crest] comma-shaped, swastika, gem, fusil

kikko, gourinikutsuwa, marunisujikai, sumitateyotsume (pattern - kamon)
[pattern crest] tortoise-shell, Japanese quince, crossed stick, meyui pattern


Mary R. said...

Wow these are really great can we use them Thank you for the e-mail....

Lynne Rutter said...

great graphic design in these things. I also really like the kamon designed for Yamaha - a trio of tuning forks, creating a snowflake-like shape.

peacay said...

Yeah, they remind me of all the universal symbol graphics or, in a somewhat similar vein, the Gerd Arntz isotypes.

Kelly Robinson said...

Even the ones that seem simple are stunningly complex. What fantastic design!

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