Japanese Heraldry part 2

Japanese mons
                                   Differences between Eastern and Western Heraldry

The differences between the Japanese method of heraldry and that of the West are numerous and profound. Perhaps the most striking is the tremendous simplicity compared to heraldic devices in the West. Mons are always monochromatic, being a metal or colour on the contrasting background. In addition, as cadency was not used in Japanese heraldry, the emphasis on each mon being distinctly different was not as much an issue as in the west.

A. Single charge element without enclosure
These are the simplest of Mon, having only a single charge element and no enclosure.
B. Single charge element with enclosure.
C. Multiple charge elements without an enclosure
D. Multiple charge elements with an enclosure

1.  Mon are restricted to one color and one metal, either one being the field and the other the charges.

2. Mon normally consist of a single charge or charge group

3. The primary (or default) orientation for a charge group containing more than one charge is radial symmetry

4. When there are an odd number of charge elements in a group, the default grouping is with the ‘odd’ element being placed to chief (1,2 or 1,2,2 or 1,3,1).

5. Mon are most often (but not required to be) surrounded by an enclosure, which is usually an annulet.

The general emphasis is on simplicity and symmetry of design

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