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Japan2112

Kogai crests

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I am used to seeing shadako nanako ji ita kogai with gold family crests. Many times there are three mon instead of one, or two differing mon (marriage pieces)?  What significance is there, if any, of there being three mon?  Also, did any other school besides Goto do these?

 

This sounds like a basic question, but I haven't run across an explanation. I am hoping it is a cool one.

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Someone with better knowledge may chime in and provide better insight, but my understanding is that when there are two Kamon placed together, it could be a commissioned gift to acknowledge or celebrate a marriage - as you say, - or maybe a gift to strengthen an alliance between Daimyo, or I have also heard that Samurai families had a 'main' Mon and a 'secondary' Mon.. So the main or dominant Mon would be displayed more prominently on the Omote and the secondary Mon on the Ura. This rule also applies if it was for a union or marriage.. The stronger family's Mon would be more prevalent or conspicuous on the Omote when worn. You often see this with Menuki.. The Omote will have two Mon on the outside and a single Mon in the centre, and that is reversed on the Ura Menuki.. So making the number of Mons 'equal' but at the same time, not displayed that way.. This can also be done by using Gold and Shakudo when displaying Mon. Gold being more visible.

 

I have read somewhere that the free use of Mons got out of hand (unfortunately) by the end of the Edo Period, so trying to chase genealogy or provenance through the use of Mons can sometimes be a waste of time.

 

Barrie.

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I have an original copy of a monsho - a publication that lists all the daimyo, their kamon, family tree, shapes of spear scabbards, jinbaori and so forth. They were used, among other reasons,  during the daimyo gyoretsu to identify processions on the roads and determine who had to make way for the other. Whilst many daimyo are shown with three kamon, some had five. Clearly some kamon were used by the daimyo and his family, others being worn by his retainers and servants. 

Ian B

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