Ivy (Tsuta)

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

Ivy crests
Konosuke Matsushita Ivy leaf in circle Ivy leaf in threadlike ring Ivy leaf in rice cake
Pointed-leaf ivy in circle Korin-style shadowed ivy Ivy branch circle Trisected ivy leaves

A deciduous liana of the grape family, ivy was used in patterns and family crests because of its elegant beauty. In the Edo Period, ivy crests were used by the Matsudaira clan and the shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune, so they came to be associated with power and authority. Incidentally, geisha and prostitutes also loved to use these crests, but for quite a different reason.The way ivy twines around other plants and grows thick was said to symbolize the way these women depended on their regular customers and never left them. (From 'Family Crests of Japan' ICG Muse, Inc.2001)


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