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#357989 - 08/23/07 12:59 PM Samurai Mon
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Not sure if this one should be in the general forum, since its Samurai specific, for me at least i decided to post here.

Does anyone know any websites with information about the Mon, family crests? Im looking for something that will show a picture of the Mon and which house it belonged to. We are choosing Mon in my class and I would like to know which family the one I chose belongs to. The one I chose looks like this or like this but with a circle around it. Any help is greatly appreciated.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357990 - 08/23/07 01:47 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
Halley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 126
Some time ago, my sensei showed me a thick book that was dedicated to the hundreds (if not thousands) of different crests. I don't have the title of that book but I have seen similar resources on the web. I expect proper googling will find enough for your purposes.

Here's a book reference, for a different book, apparently in French: http://www.ilab.org/db/detail.php?booknr=342866782

Here's a geocities page, which I can't view from our work proxy: http://www.geocities.com/kazenaga23/crests2.htm

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#357991 - 08/23/07 03:11 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Halley]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Thank you! I had found the 2nd link you posted and so far its really the only one that has been of any use. I didnt even think of checking for books, though cash is in short supply maby i can find something on amazon.com to buy later. Again, thank you!!
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357992 - 08/23/07 06:59 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
The japanese name for the crest (or kamon) is "itowa ni chigaikuginuki" if the circle is thin or "maru ni chigaikuginuki" if it is fat. An awkward translation could be "interlocked pincers in a (thread) circle", maybe? You can see the one with the thin circle here. Don't know what family it represents, but I think the text on that page at the right indicates that the thread circle around the crest could be used to indicate a branch family instead of a main family, or something like that.

For what it's worth, I can't seem to find who used the interlocked pincers without a circle either. However, the single pincer was apparently used by a samurai called Mori Tahei, who worked for the Kuroda family. The same crest was also used by the Horishi family.

If you're motivated and can handle japanese, you could buy the Nihon Kamon Daizukan (Illustrated reference book to Japanese family crests).

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#357993 - 08/23/07 07:18 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: splice]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Right on! Thanks for the links and info. I doubt i could do much with Japanese characters, my girlfriends cousin lives in Guam or some island in the chain and speaks Japanese. She tried to show me how to translate, but i couldnt get it... Ill bring the sheet my sensai gave me with all the mon, is it mon or kamon, to work and scan it so you can see the one I chose. The one I wanted looked like ocean waves cresting (white caps) inside of a circle, but one of the other studients beat me to it.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357994 - 08/24/07 11:24 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
"mon" means "symbol" or "crest". "kamon" means "family crest". Kamon is more specific than mon but both are used.

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#357995 - 08/24/07 11:55 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Splice is correct.

But I have another question...Why don't you simply use the mon/kamon your instructor uses?

To me (& many other Nikkei), the use of kamon for disign is like using the stars-&-stripes as a design for fashion...somewhat disconcerning ("myo-na") & typically "gaijin". To someone of the family you choose, it may be down-right insulting. Imagine an Asian wearing a specific Tartan to the Highland games when he's clearly not a Scot.

If your instructor isn't Japanese possibly his instructor is/was Japanese so think long & hard about this. It might be a simple issue of design to you but it's so much more to Japanese

owari
_________________________
Ed Ichihara Smith - Shukokai

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#357996 - 08/24/07 12:17 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
There is a more or less generic Mon which MJER and a few other styles use. Here is a picture of it http://24.155.86.214/public/photos/Iaido/HayashizakiShrine/kamon-sample-mag.jpg

It is kind of the default mon when you don't have another one readily available for use.


Edited by Charles Mahan (08/24/07 12:19 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#357997 - 08/24/07 02:35 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Im not using my senseis because he wants each studient to pick a different mon to carry. Each of us were to pick one that had meaning to us, his for instance is a square on its corner inside a circle. At each corner the lines overlap and touch the inner edge of the circle. He said that to him it represents his family, his son, wife, mother and his father. He said that it is common in Japan, according to Nishiuchi Sensei, my sensei's sensei, to pick a mon and carry on the tradition.

I understand how someone might be offended but that is not the intent. I for one wouldnt mind if someone carried my family crest weather or not they are portuguese a few centuries after my death. We are carrying on a tradition and in that regard we are showing honor and respect to the family whos crest we adopt.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357998 - 08/24/07 03:18 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
Halley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 126
Quote:

Each of us were to pick one that had meaning to us..., to pick a mon and carry on the tradition.




I can get behind that sentiment, as it rationally fits within the sense of modern and international iaido study. Just like the kamon, a particular ryu used to be a closely guarded local tradition. Today, people who have no familial or geographical connection to the koryu still study them. If we didn't, the koryu would be gone. Nobody has legal claim to them: the bushi class is no more. The few who have "valid" claim to them geographically or by family lineage are less and less likely to also have the means to uphold them with a dedicated lifestyle.

The other example was Scot tartans. If a Chinese guy respectfully wore a kilt to a Scotland sporting event, I think it would probably get him a free mug of beer, regardless of the family indicated by the weave. Of course, if the Chinese guy was otherwise acting like a jerk, there might be some who took offense and the cultural garb might exacerbate it.

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