Storm Tidings Article 02

August 4, 2009 at 14:30 (Uncategorized)

Japanese Heraldry

A mon is a heraldic device that was originally used as a identifying symbol by nobility on the battle field during the Heian period (785 – 1185).  Mon refers to any heraldic symbol while Kamon and Mondokoro are family symbols.

Mon were generally simple and monotone in colour though any combination of colours could be used.  Simple shapes or things such as flowers or animals were used and usually framed with a ring.  There weren’t many rules for designing a mon and the only design that was illegal was the Imperial Kamon – a chrysanthemum with sixteen petals. 

Mon are displayed on nobori, a rectangular banner carried in battle and sashimono, small banner worn on the back of warriors.  Mon were also worn on clothing in one of two ways – three places; one on the back and one on each side of the front of a kimono or haori or five places; one on the back, one on each side of the front and one on each sleeve.  Five places rule was usually for formal occasions.  During the later half of the Heian period when long sleeves become popular, large mon were placed on the bottom front of each sleeve.


みどり かえで

Midori Kaede



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