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#358009 - 08/30/07 03:23 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
Richard_Norris Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 43
Quote:

I would not pick a mon at random. Not without running it by someone higher up the chain as it were. It would be most unfortunate if I were to show up in Japan with the soke's mon on my montsuki quite by accident.




I'd say that the closer one's relationship with folks in Japan, the more the arbitrary selection of a historical mon will not be helpful. I think the previous suggestions of using one's instructor's mon, or some generic version promulgated by a dojo, seems a lot more reasonable. Frankly, in Japan, one would sensibly be wearing some informative zekkan, so mon would be an unnecessary decoration. But hey, that's just me. I know dojo that have created their own from whole cloth, and James Williams' group modified one from one of the books linked above to come up with one for the group ...

RN

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#358010 - 09/10/07 02:07 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Halley]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Wow, I don't know about just usurping someone's family crest...

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#358011 - 09/17/07 01:43 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Alternate opinions ...
The vast majority of folks in Japan have no real knowledge of, nor interest in, any particular kamon. Very much like coats of arms, there is only a very limited number of people that pay much attention to them. Montsuki are still considered formal attire in Japan, and you can rent them there for formal occassions just like you can a tuxedo in the U.S. Montsuki come with five mon on them, and most folks who rent one don't usually care what those mon are. Once kamon began being used by commoners after the Meiji restoration, they lost the majority of their significance. Consider the fact that there are some 30,000 different Japanese kamon, and some 127 million different Japanese people to use them.

Of course, the martial arts are one of those groups of people that tend to pay a little more attention to kamon since the arts we study are directly descended from the samurai. Many of the ryuha, and the folks who preserve them, trace their roots back and have their own kamon on their formal attire for embu and demonstrations.
_________________________
Paul

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#358012 - 09/17/07 02:25 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: pgsmith]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Quote:

Alternate opinions ...
The vast majority of folks in Japan have no real knowledge of, nor interest in, any particular kamon.






Well, I don't know where that statistic comes from, but it seems that the question of the propriety of taking someone's family crest for 'fun' still needs to be considered. Maybe not the most important question in the world, but...

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#358013 - 09/17/07 04:29 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

Well, I don't know where that statistic comes from, but it seems that the question of the propriety of taking someone's family crest for 'fun' still needs to be considered.



Not a statistic, just my experience. By your same reasoning, should I be upset whenever someone changes their name to "Smith" since they are 'taking my family name'? There are bunches of people that use my family name, just as there are bunches of people that use any given kamon. There are very few that are not in general use.
_________________________
Paul

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#358014 - 09/17/07 05:08 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: pgsmith]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Would someone take the name 'Smith' to try and look cool or play with another culture for fun? A better example was the coat of arms that you mentioned. Would someone from Japan learning an Anglo traditional art of some sort assume the identity of another family (or even families)? Now maybe many people who really are members of the family that coat of arms comes from know next to nothing about it and/or don't give a rat's behind who uses it, but it is someone else's family crest. If it were true that most people don't know or care, there are still some who legitimately do. In any case, I think the question (to the extent, if any, that this is important at all)would be on the part of the 'usurper.' Would that person think about it at all, or feel a little strange about taking a person's name for no particular reason?

Anyway, this is hardly an earth-shattering issue. Just something to waste some time when I should be working.

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#358015 - 09/17/07 09:23 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:

Would someone from Japan learning an Anglo traditional art of some sort assume the identity of another family (or even families)?




Why not, Amtgarders, and SCA folks do it all the time here. The vast majority of the Japanese just don't take them all that seriously anymore. Back in the day, sure they did, but not anymore. It's pretty much the same with westerners and family coat of arms. Back in the day you could get in serious trouble for wearing the wrong livery, but now people will just look at you funny and think you're on your way to a renfest or something.

Still as Paul mentioned, the handful of the Japanese populace which practices traditional budo, tend to also be in the tiny minority who know anything at all about kamon. That's why my next montsuki is going to have the more generic Mon. It will be something I can wear to Japan where my lion rampant mon would draw too many eyes. Eyes that will already have too many other things to criticize. No need to paint yet another target on tukus.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358016 - 09/18/07 11:52 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

Eyes that will already have too many other things to criticize.



Sorta like using a sword with a dayglo saya. Nothing says you can't, but you'd better be perfect if you're going to draw everyone's eyes to you.
_________________________
Paul

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#358017 - 09/21/07 12:43 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: pgsmith]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
smith is basically correct. In the daily lives of most Japanese, one's occupation has more significance. But during formal affairs such as weddings, funerals & other important family gatherings, the significance of the mon resurfaces. Not in an obvious way but a more subtle way (difficult to explain to non-Japanese).

No one would consider burying a family member w/ a headstone bearing another family's mon. And the rented attire utilize generic mon (much like "smith" vs. "the smiths from Manchester").

In my family, our mon had significance due to our family history (which I won't bore you w/). I was always aware of the documented history that goes back about 1200 yrs. However, the common Japanese in those days didn't even have last names.

Is it archaiac? Possibly. Is it relavent? Only if you choose to maintain the lineage.

Americans have a habit of doing any damn thing they want, often disregarding the others' feelings/opinions. This is not a Japanese trait - much the opposite. That's why it doesn't make sense..."it's just a logo" attitude cheapens & dismisses the heritage & ansestors that built the family/clan. You, as potential mon-usurpers don't need to understand all the intricacies, just that it's not proper & to respect the cultural value.

owari

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#358018 - 09/21/07 01:39 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
I think what I was getting at is in there somewhere.

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