Family crest

Japanese family has each different family crest.

They are mainly flowers, trees and insects as Shintoism worships nature.

By looking at a family crest we can tell what someone’s family origins are. There are said to be more than 10000 different family crests in Japan. Today, family crest can be seen on ceremonial kimonos, called montsuki.

Family crests first appeared during the Heian Period when aristocrats placed them on clothes and cow carriages. Warriors then began to use family crests on their flags to identify themselves on their battlefields. Merchants and kabuki actors were permitted to use in the Edo period, then ordinary people in the Meiji period.

Emperor’s family crest is 16-petal chrysanthemum.

at Meiji shrine

at Imperial palace

at Imperial palace

Tokugawa shogun’s family crest is Holy hock.

at Nikko Toshogu

at Chrysanthemum display, Shinjuku gyoen national garden


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