Mon was a term used for Rokugani family crests. They were somewhat like coats of arms in that they were either associated with a particular family, or an individual who had achieved some variety of public recognition. Crests added formality to a kimono. Also it displayed the person's affiliation to those around him/her.

Creation Edit

The Lion were the first to use Clan Mon in battle, followed by the Dragon, and the rest of the clans also used mon to herald their armies on the field, developing a symbol which they felt best defined their Kami. [1] The newest Shadowlands mon, a scowling oni, was devised by Yogo Junzo, who claimed it came to him in a dream. [2]

Proper Use Edit

The Mon was not just the symbol of the people currently in the clan. It also represented the souls of all the ancestors of the clan, and therefore the mon should never be treated with disrespect. To do so would insult all the ancestors of that house or family. When a samurai wore the mon of his clan he always wore it on his back as a gesture of respect. The family mon could be worn over the left shoulder so his ancestors were closer to his heart, or over the right shoulder so they could guide his sword arm. [3]

Details Edit

Clothing Edit

All samurai sworn to a clan wore the mon, the Clan symbol and colors. The clan mon could be worn on the back, and the family mon on one of his sleeves. A samurai usually incorporated his clan colors into his formal clothing. The mon was typically done in a combination of two colors: a dark, and a light. [4]

Imperial Mon Edit

The Imperial mon was the Chrysanthemum, and only members of the direct Hantei line might wear that particular crest. Other representatives of the Emperor wore the crest of his Emerald Champion, the laurel wreath. [4]

Clan Mon Edit

The Clan had its own mon depicting their respective animals. For example the Crab Clan had a Crab on their mon. [4]

Family Mon Edit

The Family Mon also usually had some connection to the Clan. [4] For example the Matsu family Mon had a Lion's paw holding a katana and the Asako family Mon had a hand holding a flaming feather.

Personal Mon Edit

A samurai who wished to have a personal mon should register it with the Miya to avoid confusion or duplication, and to have recognition. A mon without recognition was just a picture. Many samurai hired out the most skilled painters they could afford and the finest quality silks to create their mons. [5]

Ronin Mon Edit

The ronin used their mons as a show of their own reputation. They were forbidden to be recorded by the Miya, so many ronin stole one another's mons in order to to capitalize on a rival's reputation or to sully another's name. [6]

See Also Edit

Crab Clan mon Edit

Crane Clan mon Edit

Dragon Clan mon Edit

Lion Clan mon Edit

Mantis Clan mon Edit

Phoenix Clan mon Edit

Scorpion Clan mon Edit

Spider Clan mon Edit

Unicorn Clan mon Edit

Imperial Families mon Edit

Minor clans mon Edit

Other mon Edit


  1. Way of the Lion, p. 14
  2. Way of the Shadowlands, p. 32
  3. Way of the Crane, p. 22
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 57
  5. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 104
  6. Way of the Wolf, p. 14 Sidebar
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