Saturday, May 09, 2009

11/11/08: Day 12 in Japan Part I - Family Crest

After a quick but fun visit to Shichiken, I am headed back to Tokyo for the last leg of the trip. My agenda today is to meet up with my uncle and aunt who happen to be in the town for lunch.

The people in the first picture are my uncle (your eyes haven't betrayed you, he is Caucasian), and my aunt (Japanese.) When I visited their apartment, they showed my a picture of my great-great-grandfather. I was particularly interested in the designs etched on both sides of his chest, which is our family crest.

I find Japanese Family crest to be a fascinating traditions, carrying significant meanings. Our family crest symbolizes toughness from a certain type of weed plant, and the fact we belong to a samurai class.

Of course, the most respected family crest belongs to the house of the Emperor, modeled after chrysanthemum.

These are the crests for the lieutenants of Shinsengumi.

This is a crest commonly seen in temples, called "Mitsu Domoe."

The family crests can still be found in many traditional buildings. Of course, it is a common sight in breweries. More I visit the breweries, the more I feel attached to the history of Japan.

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