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Help Identity Our Mons.


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Hi John, 

 

I think Gethin Evans (Menpo) might have one the same as yours.  At least, it is very close.  He put a number of them up a couple of posts ago on this thread (fantastic collection Gethin).

 

Reproduced shot of Gethin's attached.

Screenshot_2021-06-30-11-56-47.png

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The central Mon design is Umé-bachi but one of those is 丸に梅鉢 Maru ni umé-bachi and the other is 木瓜に梅鉢 Mokko ni umé-bachi.

 

NB Umé is Japanese apricot (flower) often referred to as ‘plum’ to which it is distantly related.

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  • 1 month later...

John, 

 

This informatiin is from the Seidoshop.com which is a Japanese engraving shop.

 

Sakura is Japan's floral emblem and the most loved blossom since ancient times. The Sakura mon has about 200 known variations, and yet it is an emblem that is rarely seen nowadays.

Cherry blossoms represent beauty, but they are also a symbol of death because they soon wither away. Several Buddhist temples use the Sakura mon as their emblem (jimon), notably in the ancient capital of Nara.

The Sakura mon was also used as a sub-emblem (kaemon) by the Hosokawa, lords of Kumamoto Domain.

 

Rob

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10 hours ago, PNSSHOGUN said:

Were there any Samurai families using this Sakura crest or is it just a 'nice' motif?

The two larger families that used the Sakura Mon were the Sakurai and Yoshino family. Hawley has a variation similar to the habaki listed as one of these two families

(小出) Koide

(西) Nishi

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On 8/18/2021 at 1:17 AM, PNSSHOGUN said:

Were there any Samurai families using this Sakura crest or is it just a 'nice' motif? This sword also has the Kaga Umebachi Mon.

 

John,

Since your example already has a kamon, I would tend to think the sakura on habaki was more a patriotic thing?

 

Interesting to learn more about the sakura as a mon, though.

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I'm not fond of posting links but for the sake of transparency, it's not mine and I'm not interested in buying it either. I was just curious as I've never seen one like this before.

https://pre98.com/shop/thu-aug-26-Japanese-army-officers-shin-gunto-sword-very-old-ancestral-blade-from-the-late-1400s-with-family-crest-tassel/

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I understand this is the Kiri Mon, with the Paulowinia flower motif. This is on a '94 mounted Gunto. I have seen it used for the Japanese Government.

My question is, what relevance does it have for a family or clan? Or is it a Government sword.  

a7.jpg

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Neil, does this help ...got it from possibly unverified Wiki source but Toyotomi clan seems to be pretty close to the mark. 

 

The Government Seal of Japan, one of the country's national seals, is an emblem (mon) of paulownia used by the Cabinet and the Government of Japan on official documents. It is one of various paulownia mon, collectively known as the Paulownia Seals (桐紋, kirimon) or the Paulownia Flower Seals (桐花紋, tōkamon).[1][2]

220px-Emblem_of_the_Prime_Minister_of_Ja
The seal is utilized in the official emblem of the Japanese Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

The 5–7 Paulownia (五七桐, go-shichi (no) kiri) is used as the official emblem of the Prime Minister of Japan. It resembles a stylized paulownia with 5–7–5 flowers.

Before the Chrysanthemum Seal was used extensively, the Paulownia Seal originally was the private symbol of the Japanese Imperial Family, from as early as the sixteenth century. The Toyotomi clan, led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, later adopted the Paulownia Seal for use as the crest of his clan. After the Meiji Restoration, the seal was eventually adopted as the emblem of the Japanese government.[3][4]

 

It is now still mainly used by the Japanese government, as a contrast to the Chrysanthemum Seal which represents the Emperor as the symbol of the sovereignty of the State, and members of the Imperial Family.

Screenshot_2021-09-26-21-53-25.png

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The design with three, five and three flowers in respective inflorescences is general and called Gosannokiri (also referred as Gosangiri). The one with five, seven and five flowers is called Goshichinokiri (also referred as Goshichigiri). There are more than 140 kinds of Kiri-mon such as Midaregiri (wild paulownia), Kiribishi (diamond and paulownia), Koringiri (Korin's paulownia), and Kiriguruma (paulownia and circle).

 

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3-5-3 Paulownia crest (in circle) is fairly common. I wouldn't read too much into it. 

5-7-5 is the seal of the Government of Japan. But some ministries use 3-5-3 Paulownia (Ministry of Justice, for example). 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Seal_of_Japan

 

But these uses aren't exclusive. It's not quite like the imperial family's use of the 16-petalled chrysanthemum.

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Regarding the Kiri-Mon, I had looked up the picture of the mon previously and saw it was tied to the Toyotomi clan. However, with your naming it, then I found it’s a symbol of either the Japanese government or with this 3-5-3 Paulownia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Seal_of_Japan ), a symbol of the Japanese Imperial Guard. So, this wouldn’t represent the carrier's family but instead that he was a solider in the Imperial Guard?

The problem with getting too deep into Mon is they were nearly all open to use by anybody from the Meiji period onwards, including this 3-5-3 Kiri Mon. Sometimes there needs to be examination of the whole sword to determine if there is any special significance to be gained from the Mon. It is an enjoyable little exercise but all too easy easy to get carried away, I know I have on many occasions. 

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