Kamon is a Family Emblem
July 08, 2022
You might have seen these unique symbols in Japanese houses and companies and wondered what exactly they are. These are “Kamon”. A “family emblem” is passed down from generation to generation and often find these emblems at the entrance of the house or building. That is why it is spelled Ka – Mon where “Ka” means “family” and “Mon” means “door”.
Many Japanese households back then had their unique Kamon, but these emblems are only passed down to those who acquired the family name; today, most have vanished into the past.
Some Kamon’s are created to represent their clan which is usually recognized by the Japanese Government. It is something one does not create to fancy their brand or name since such acts are known to be embarrassing in Japanese culture. That said, we do see this practice very often today.
Kamon isn’t a logo. But many misunderstand and think Kamon is one. Kamon is something you inherit as a family or a clan. It is passed from generation to generation while logos can be made, changed, tossed away, or merged with another logo. And we can also see the difference between Kamon the and logo from a cultural perspective. For example, we know a lot of image or non-text-based logos in the west while in Japan, most logos are text base.
Above are the Japanese logos. And yes, recent Japanese logos do have non-text designs but long successful Japanese brands tend to be text-based. That is because many Kamon are image-based and the Japanese do not like to mix Kamons with logos. We do have text-designed Kamon but the majority aren’t.
Kamon is an identity of your family history and or clan. It’s something you stand for. One who carries their Kamon will be very aware of their own actions so that he/she would not disrespect their family and clan. Because Kamon is taken so seriously, it would be a shame for anyone who attempts to tamper or create their own Kamon thinking that it will make them look fancier.
Kamei Royale’s five-petal Sakura flower emblem is a Kamon representing the Kamei family which originated from Tsukiji and perhaps, we are the only Japanese restaurant in Canada that has the true Kamon shining at our doorsteps. We have well over 150 years of history as a Japanese restaurant in Tsukiji, but our Kamei Kamon has been around for multiple centuries. Kamei Royale is also traditional in its core family background.