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Kamon
 
Nobu Jewelry
The original custom creators of the Kamon, Family Crest Jewelry
 
 The beauty of Kamon as a design, is a part of the total Japanese tradition as well as an artistic form for items like Kimono wears or fine hand crafted jewelry
 
 Kamon was born in the Japanese tradition and cultural climate and is the symbol of a family or a group. In addition, a symbol similar to the family crest is an emblem of national as well as local government bodies including prefecture, city, town and so forth, uniquely designed in consideration of the tradition and cultural background specific to the respective region. Also, religious facilities like shrines, Buddhist temples, various enterprises, educational organizations like universities, colleges, high schools etc. have got their own emblems designed to represent their own tradition and background, and they are regarded as important properties of their own.
 
 According to an authority, in Japan, there are as many as 30,000 different family crests. Most of them are images of plants followed by images of animals. This could explain that the traditional Japanese way of life had been closely associated with the natural surroundings.
 
 It appears that by drawing various images of nature that were seen or used in people's everyday life for usage as decorative articles for clothes, furniture etc. and with the repeated use of such images, gradually it became the family symbol or crest. This is probably how the Japanese family crest was born.
 
 The first Kamon you find in the Japanese written history is the one used on an ox carriage used by a nobleman in Heian period. While the number of Kamon steadily increased as time went on in Edo era (1,603 AD - 1,867 AD) that was the most peaceful and quiet period on the whole, they became much more elegant and artistic through sophisticated modifications. They were used on various items in those days - on Samurai swords, armors, costumes, furniture etc. - to demonstrate the family status and the social standing, and it is this era when Kamon became to be used not only by the aristocratic class, but also among rich public who invented various funny designs, this phenomenon resulting in a rapid increase of the number of Kamon.
After the Meiji Restoration (1868 ), Kamon became popular among every social class and started being widely used. But there was an abuse of the system and eventually, Kamon had become neither a trustworthy family crest nor a convincing historical witness.
 
 After the 2nd World War, along with a fast change of the "nuclear family" system, which is the decentralization of family members according to the new democrat social system enforced after the war, people's strong emotional attachment to "family" had been lost and eventually, recognition of Kamon as family symbol has also lost much ground. However, in today's Japan, the beauty of Kamon as a design is still people's attraction so that Kamon is a part of the total design of Japanese traditional as well as artistic items like Kimono wears, banners, historical publications, magazines, computer game titles etc. as a by player to give more fragrance to these artistic flavor. It is a proof for why the Kamon could survive hundreds of years of Japanese history and still be alive in Japan .
 
 A typical Japanese family would have two family crests, the father’s & mother’s side.
If you are the daughter of your family, you receive the crest from your mother’s side (Okasan - mother or Obachan - grandmother).
If you are the son of your family, you receive the crest from your father’s side (Otosan - father or Ojiichan - grandfather).
 
 The crests do not necessarily go by last names, even you have same sir name, It does not mean that you have same family crest, it depends upon where your family originated, related family ,occupation, social class etc.
 
We also silk screen Kamons (Family crest) or kanji / hiragana on any of our Firefly shirts or business uniforms.
 
If you would like to find your family crest or would like to have a custom kamon, hiragana or kanji creation, please call 213-628-4077.