Samurais Crests – Part 1

Japanese crests, or mon or kamon, are used to represent a family, an individual or a clan. They usually represent animals, plants, natural and man-made objects and were vastly used for battle on flags and equipments.

Let’s take a look at what the crests of famous clans looked like during the Sengoku period.

- Oda clan

Oda emblem Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Oda clan’s crest is called the Oda Mokkou and is believed to represent the flowering quince or Japanese quince.

- Sanada clan

Sanada mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Sanada clan’s famous crest is called Rokumonsen which means and represents six coins. These coins are believed to be needed to cross the river of the underworld. By using this crest, Yukimura Sanada wanted to show he was never afraid of death during battle.

- Takeda clan

Takeda mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Takeda clan was the one in control of the Kai Province and rival to the Uesugi clan. Their crest represents four diamonds.

- Tokugawa clan

Tokugawa mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

The Tokugawa clan ruled Japan as shoguns starting the end of the Edo period. Their crest is called the Maruni-mitsubaaoi (“Circle Around Three Hollyhock Leaves”) and symbolizes a “triple hollyhock”.

- Uesugi clan

Uesugi mon Samurais Crests   Part 1

Their crest represents two flying swallows in bamboo.

That’s all for now! We’ll look at other clan’s crest next time.

[Famous Samurai]: Miyamoto Musashi

Miyamoto Musashi (宮本 武蔵) (c. 1584–June 13 (Japanese calendar: May 19), 1645) was a Japanese swordsman famous for his numerous duels and his distinctive style. He was also the founder of the Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū style and the author of The Book of Five Rings.
Miyamoto Musashi is one of Japan’s most famous warriors of all time.

miyamoto musashi1 [Famous Samurai]: Miyamoto Musashi

[Famous Samurai]: Honda Tadakatsu

Honda Tadakatsu (本多 忠勝?, March 17, 1548 – December 3, 1610) was a daimyo and one of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Tokugawa Shogunate (Tokugawa Shi-Ten-Ou, 徳川四天王). He is known to have worn an antler-horned helmet and a spear called the Dragonfly Cutter. Rumors say that despite being on the front of numerous battles, he has never been wounded.

honda tadakatsu [Famous Samurai]: Honda Tadakatsu
Image from Wikipedia

[Famous Samurai]: Sanada Yukimura

Sanada Saemon-no-Suke Yukimura (真田 左衛門佐 幸村, 1567 – June 3, 1615 (Keichō 20. 5.7)) was a samurai and probably the most famous of the Sanada clan. He was called “A Hero who may appear once in a hundred years” and “Crimson Demon of War”.

sanada yukimura [Famous Samurai]: Sanada Yukimura
Image from Wikipedia

[Famous Samurai]: Date Masamune

Date Masamune (伊達 政宗, September 5, 1567 – June 27, 1636) was a famous samurai and heir to a long line of daimyo in the Tōhoku region.
He was an outstanding tactician and was known for his trademark crescent moon helmet and his missing eye, which got him his famous nickname “one-eyed dragon”.

Date Masamune02 599x1024 [Famous Samurai]: Date Masamune

The Third Unifier of Japan of the Sengoku Period

Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康, January 31, 1543 – June 1, 1616) was one of the most significant figures in Japanese history. He was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan.
His famous saying: ‘A man’s life is like a long journey bearing a heavy burden.’

tokugawa ieyasu The Third Unifier of Japan of the Sengoku Period
Image from Wikipedia

The Second Unifier of Japan of the Sengoku Period

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉, February 2, 1536 or March 26, 1537 – September 18, 1598) was a Daimyo, warrior, general and politician. He was the one who unified Japan in the 16th century, and brought an end to the Sengoku period.
His famous quote: ‘When you think you have lost, you have lost. When you think you have won, you have won.’

toyotomi hideyoshi The Second Unifier of Japan of the Sengoku Period

Image from Wikipedia