Crane (Tsuru)

These family crests (In Japanese, KAMON) are called 'Tsuru - Mon' in JAPAN.

Crane crests
Facing white cranes Korin-style cranes in shape of ivy leaf Korin-style cranes in shape of balloon flower Paper Crane
Crane circlein circle Circle of three cranes Crane-shaped kanji characters for Cho Nanbu cranes

Since ancient times, cranes have been said to live for a thousand years, and were thus considered good omens of longevity. According to legend, there was a Japanese crane of great beauty that flew around with a hermit on its back.

Crane motifs became quite popular, especially in the Kamakura Period, and when the Kamakura shogunate dedicated swords to the shrine of each region in Japan, they were decorated with the pattern of a crane in a circle (tsuru-maru). Later, the crane pattern came to be widely used for family crests. (From 'Family Crests of Japan' ICG Muse, Inc.2001)


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