Small Glossary of Kamon Design Patterns

Japanese heraldry uses several strategies to generate new kamon variations. Apart from enclosures and blenders, there are numerous fixed patterns that are recurrently applied to emblems: the X or “crossing” pattern, the “embracing” pattern, the “splitting” pattern, the “inverting” pattern… Those are but a few examples of recurrent patterns that compose Japanese heraldry.

Below is a (non exhaustive) glossary of kamon design patterns:

Agari ascending
Atsume gathering
Chigai crossing
Chūkage emptied
Chū-wa semi thick circle
Daki embracing
Eda-maru branch circle
Fusen butterfly-shaped
Futae double-layered
Gyōyō saddle ornament shaped
Hoso-wa thin circle
Irechigai upside down
Ito-wa thread circle
Janome snake eye
Kage inverted
Kana-wa metal ring
Kashira awase top combined
Katate single
Kawari variation
Kokumochi inverted ~ on a black circle
Kōrin Korin style
Kumiai intertwined
Kuzushi modified
Mamuki facing forward
Mori (x-mori) doubled, tripled, etc.
Mukai confronting
Musubi tied
Narabi side by side
Ni-kai (x-kai) 2-stacked, x-stacked
Sagari descending
Shiri awase bottom combined
Tachi standing
Tomoe jewel-shaped
Ushiro muki facing backward
Wari (x-wari) split, x-split
Yokomi facing sideways
Yose combination
Yuki-wa snow crystal ring


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