These family crests (In Japanese, KAMON) are called 'Tsuru - Mon' in JAPAN.
|Facing white cranes||Korin-style
cranes in shape
of ivy leaf
|Crane circlein circle||Circle of three cranes||Crane-shaped kanji characters for Cho||Korin-style cranes in shape of balloon flower||Nanbu cranes||Paper Crane|
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)