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Japanese Heraldry part 2

                                                                   Differences between Eastern and Western HeraldryThe 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 enclosureThese are the simplest of...

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Japanese Heraldry part 1

A Mon is the term for the traditional Japanese heraldic emblem. It is depicted in two tinctures, one colour and one metal, with one of the tinctures serving as the field. It is normally constructed of a primary charge group, on occasion surrounded by an annulet or other enclosure. The mon was used as both a badge and a device and represented either a person or (more commonly) a dynastic house. If defined strictly by western heraldic standards, a mon would be considered closer to a badge than a device.The mon was worn on three places. Traditionally, a samurai or general would not use a shield in a classical 'western' sense, instead using the large yumi (war bow), the two sword...

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The Origins of Heraldry part 9

Heraldry was not only confined to Western Europe but to those sections which were feudal in origin and had close links to the Catholic Church. Poland has Heraldry because she is linked with the West through the fact that alone of the Slavic nations she is Catholic, and has thus received western civilization. In Ireland, Wales and the Highlands of Scotland, Heraldry has been imitative, and the arms of ancient Celtic families are found to be much more recent than the pedigrees of these families would seem to warrant. The reason is that the arms have been adopted in the later Middle Ages in imitation of those of non-Celtic families which belonged to the Western feudal tradition.There is one important...

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