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Family crests (mon) have been a Japanese tradition since the eleventh century, when they decorated the costumes and carriages of courtiers. Later, they were used to identify warriors on the battlefield, as heraldic decorations on formal costumes, and as ornament on the kimonos of the common people.
Small, compact, and graceful, with a strong sense of style, crest designs are ideal for spot illustrations, as logos, or for any graphic purpose requiring the classic simplicity, purity, and strength of Japanese design. This volume presents a total of 540 permission-free motifs, carefully selected for graphic impact and usefulness from several thousand crests known to exist. Featured are a wide variety of stylized designs depicting plants, animals, natural phenomena, geometric shapes, and manufactured objects.
Among the subjects included in this selection are such traditional Japanese motifs as bamboo, crane, lightning, cherry blossom, peony, plum blossom, wave, rice, circle, and hollyhock. Immensely useful, this volume of permission-free designs is not only an invaluable source of graphic material for artists, designers, and craftspeople, but a fascinating picture book of Japanese culture.