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Fwd: Seeking Japanese Heraldry Info/ help

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  • wodeford
    I m forwarding this question from another list I m on as I m not familiar with either the name or what kamon might be associated with it. Assuming it does
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
      I'm forwarding this question from another list I'm on as I'm not
      familiar with either the name or what kamon might be associated with
      it. Assuming it does exist, I can then explain to the sender whether
      using it in an SCA context would be appropriate or not.

      Many thanks,
      Saionji no Hanae, West Kingdom


      --- In sca-west@yahoogroups.com, chris hansen <chrish19572003@y...> wrote:

      Greetings,
      I need to find what the family KAMON (individual family crest) is
      for the SUENAGA Clan. A good friend of mine is a part of that family
      and I want to make a banner for her as a surprise gift. THat she could
      hang on the wall at home or fly in camp at events.

      Sincerely

      Marius
    • Solveig Throndardottir
      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... To the best of my knowledge, there was no Suenaga clan. I assume that this person is of Japanese descent and there is
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
        Noble Cousin!

        Greetings from Solveig!

        > I need to find what the family KAMON (individual family crest) is
        > for the SUENAGA Clan. A good friend of mine is a part of that family
        > and I want to make a banner for her as a surprise gift. THat she could
        > hang on the wall at home or fly in camp at events.

        To the best of my knowledge, there was no Suenaga clan. I assume that
        this person is of Japanese descent and there is a Suenaga family. There
        is a Suenaga nanori (official given name) in NCMJ, but I do not know of
        a record of a premodern Suenaga family. Neither does an entry for
        Suenaga show up in Daijirin, so even if there is a Suenaga family, they
        are not particularly famous. Further, I can not immediately find a
        candidate for a Suenaga family name in a SHARP PA 8500, so it is not
        likely to be very numerous either.

        As for kamon. You should understand that there is in general no
        correspondence between either family lname or kamon. That is, if you
        look up a particular kamon in a kamon dictionary which I have, you will
        find a list of uji (clans) with families listed under them which used
        that particular kamon. But, these same family names will show up
        elsewhere in the dictionary. Some family names may have a single entry,
        but in general you should not expect this.

        Finally, you should realize that during the Meiji Period (1868-1912),
        all Japanese families received the right to have a kamon and they went
        off and got them picking them out of kamon catalogues published by
        places like the Matsuya Piece Goods Store.

        Your Humble Servant
        Solveig Throndardottir
        Amateur Scholar

        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
        | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
        | the trash by my email filters. |
        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • wodeford
        ... Thanks, Solveig-hime, I ll pass your response on to the gentleman who requested it. It sounds from his question like it s the modern name of the lady he
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
          --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@a...>
          wrote:

          > To the best of my knowledge, there was no Suenaga clan.

          Thanks, Solveig-hime, I'll pass your response on to the gentleman who
          requested it. It sounds from his question like it's the modern name of
          the lady he wishes to make the gift for, not her persona.

          Saionji no Hanae, Province of the Mists, West Kingdom
        • chris hansen
          Greetings, I would beg most respectfully to differ with you. My reaserch is that Suenaga were among earliest retainers Hojo. One of thier members played a
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
            Greetings,
            I would beg most respectfully to differ with you.
            My reaserch is that Suenaga were among earliest retainers Hojo. One of thier members played a proinent role agianst the mongol invasion in 1274 and was on the battlefield during the second invasion. They then disapear from readily availible liturature for 200 years. Reapearing as the holders of Noda Castle in Mikawa during the first half of the 16th century although they had lost control of it by the time it was besieged by Takeda Shingen. there is also a refence to them holding another fortress prior to thier occupation of Noda Castle In the modern era they are a promienent family in Japan with many members in teaching in higher education and at least one B movie actress (Haruka). They are also a respected part of the japanese comunity in Hawaii and the San Fracisco area. During the second world war the head of the Clan who at that time was a resident of Hawaii was interred in southern Colorado for the duration of the war in protest he has refused to speak english since 1942.

            Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...> wrote:
            Noble Cousin!

            Greetings from Solveig!

            > I need to find what the family KAMON (individual family crest) is
            > for the SUENAGA Clan. A good friend of mine is a part of that family
            > and I want to make a banner for her as a surprise gift. THat she could
            > hang on the wall at home or fly in camp at events.

            To the best of my knowledge, there was no Suenaga clan. I assume that
            this person is of Japanese descent and there is a Suenaga family. There
            is a Suenaga nanori (official given name) in NCMJ, but I do not know of
            a record of a premodern Suenaga family. Neither does an entry for
            Suenaga show up in Daijirin, so even if there is a Suenaga family, they
            are not particularly famous. Further, I can not immediately find a
            candidate for a Suenaga family name in a SHARP PA 8500, so it is not
            likely to be very numerous either.

            As for kamon. You should understand that there is in general no
            correspondence between either family lname or kamon. That is, if you
            look up a particular kamon in a kamon dictionary which I have, you will
            find a list of uji (clans) with families listed under them which used
            that particular kamon. But, these same family names will show up
            elsewhere in the dictionary. Some family names may have a single entry,
            but in general you should not expect this.

            Finally, you should realize that during the Meiji Period (1868-1912),
            all Japanese families received the right to have a kamon and they went
            off and got them picking them out of kamon catalogues published by
            places like the Matsuya Piece Goods Store.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar

            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
            | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
            | the trash by my email filters. |
            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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          • Anthony Bryant
            ... Agreed. I think people overuse the word clan -- especially in a Japanese context -- far too much. The Sengoku Jinmei Jiten only lists two people with the
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
              Solveig Throndardottir wrote:
              > Noble Cousin!
              >
              > Greetings from Solveig!
              >
              > > I need to find what the family KAMON (individual family crest) is
              > > for the SUENAGA Clan. A good friend of mine is a part of that family
              > > and I want to make a banner for her as a surprise gift. THat she could
              > > hang on the wall at home or fly in camp at events.
              >
              > To the best of my knowledge, there was no Suenaga clan.

              Agreed. I think people overuse the word "clan" -- especially
              in a Japanese context -- far too much.

              The Sengoku Jinmei Jiten only lists two people with the
              [extremely rare] surname Suenaga:

              Suenaga Kiyotsugu (?-1590). Retainer of the Oshu Kasai
              family. Son of Munetoki. Killed when the (lord's) clan was
              destroyed in 1590.

              Suenaga Munetoki (dates?) Retainer of the Oshu Kasai.
              Commander of the garrison of Tome District castle of
              Zen'oji. It is said that he supported Yamanouchi Sudo
              family in planning the assassination of Kasai Munekiyo.



              Effingham

              --

              Anthony J. Bryant
              Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

              Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
              http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

              All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:
              http://www.cafepress.com/sengokudaimyo
            • Ii Saburou Katsumori (Joshua B.)
              ... They are also a respected part of the japanese comunity in Hawaii and the ... Any futher information on your sources? Internet sites
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
                On 12/22/05, chris hansen <chrish19572003@...> wrote:

                > Greetings,
                > I would beg most respectfully to differ with you.
                > My reaserch is that Suenaga were among earliest retainers Hojo. One of
                > thier members played a proinent role agianst the mongol invasion in 1274 and
                > was on the battlefield during the second invasion.


                <snipped for brevity>

                They are also a respected part of the japanese comunity in Hawaii and the
                > San Fracisco area. During the second world war the head of the Clan who at
                > that time was a resident of Hawaii was interred in southern Colorado for the
                > duration of the war in protest he has refused to speak english since 1942.


                Any futher information on your sources? Internet sites or particular
                books? It sounds like you've done quite a bit of research on the subject.

                I did find a Suenaga in the 13th century who commissioned the Mongol
                Invasion scrolls. The use of 'clan' can be misleading. E.g. 'Clan' as in
                Minamoto and Taira or as in any family group (e.g. the Hojo, who were a
                cadet family of the Taira, and often called 'Taira' when referred to in the
                Taiheiki). Was this fellow actually the head of a recognized uji, or simply
                the head of the Suenaga family that had come over from Japan?

                -Joshua B.


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Anthony Bryant
                ... I hate to tell you this, but Takezaki Suenaga was not a Suenaga. In his case, Suenaga was his given name, not his surname. There is no familial
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
                  chris hansen wrote:
                  > Greetings,
                  > I would beg most respectfully to differ with you.
                  > My reaserch is that Suenaga were among earliest retainers Hojo. One of
                  > thier members played a proinent role agianst the mongol invasion in 1274
                  > and was on the battlefield during the second invasion.

                  I hate to tell you this, but Takezaki Suenaga was not "a
                  Suenaga." In his case, "Suenaga" was his given name, not his
                  surname. There is no familial connection.

                  It's that simple. No connection.

                  > They then
                  > disapear from readily availible liturature for 200 years. Reapearing as
                  > the holders of Noda Castle in Mikawa during the first half of the 16th
                  > century although they had lost control of it by the time it was besieged
                  > by Takeda Shingen.

                  That may be possible, but of the 8,000 odd entries in the
                  Sengoku Jinmei Jiten, only TWO people with that surname
                  appear -- neither of them down in central Honshu. The ones
                  who DO appear were vassals of the Kasai, who governed Mutsu
                  for a few centuries (until the Date came along <G>).

                  > there is also a refence to them holding another
                  > fortress prior to thier occupation of Noda Castle

                  Well, I can't find any references here or online for a
                  Suenaga as joshu of Noda castle. The only time "Suenaga"
                  shows up with "Noda castle" in my searches shows a modern
                  author named Suenaga Katsusuke whose book happens to be
                  mentioned somewhere on the same page as Noda Castle has a
                  mention. And it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the
                  castle.

                  Noda was a small castle, with a garrison size of about 400
                  samurai, and was held by the Imagawa before the Tokugawa
                  (who held it during Shingen's failed assault of 1573).
                  Though either the Imagawa or Tokugawa *may* have assigned
                  someone named Sunenaga to be the garrison commander, there's
                  no indication in *my* records -- or that I can find -- that
                  the castle was held by anyone with that name.During
                  Shingen's assault, the garrison commander was Suganuma
                  Sadamitsu, aided by Matsudaira Tadamasa. Suganuma was put
                  into that position in 1561.

                  I've just looked over a dozen histories of Noda, and none
                  mentioned the name Suenaga. It was built first by Suganuma
                  Sadanori (possibly read Sadatoki; the grandfather of
                  Sadamitsu) in 1505-08 -- so it seems to have been in
                  Suganuma hands through their vassalage to the Imagawa
                  through their tenure under the Tokugawa. No Suenagas.

                  Barring any clearer documentation, it seems you were given
                  some erroneous data.


                  >In the modern era they
                  > are a promienent family in Japan with many members in teaching in
                  > higher education and at least one B movie actress (Haruka).

                  I haven't verified this, but the chance that she's really a
                  Suenaga are about 1 out of 100. Japanese entertainers almost
                  *always* take a stage name -- especially if they're "boin
                  tarento."

                  > They are
                  > also a respected part of the japanese comunity in Hawaii and the San
                  > Fracisco area. During the second world war the head of the Clan who at
                  > that time was a resident of Hawaii was interred in southern Colorado for
                  > the duration of the war in protest he has refused to speak english since
                  > 1942.

                  Well, I can't speak to any of this -- but for the record,
                  you're talking about a household, a family, not a clan. The
                  Suenaga -- such as they may have been -- were never so
                  mighty or numerous to rank "clan" status, as at all periods
                  the families bearing that surname (such as they existed at
                  all) were vassal houses of apparently second- or third-rate
                  lords in the first place.

                  The only two I can find any reference to as having any
                  authority were in the mid 16th century under the Kisai, and
                  though one was a garrison commander he was also implicated
                  in the plot to assassinate his lord during battle with a
                  rival lord. Sorry, but in all family histories there may be
                  found a horse-thief; but in this case, this is the only
                  person of note in Sengoku history (apparently) to have had
                  that surname.


                  Effingham
                  --

                  Anthony J. Bryant
                  Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

                  Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
                  http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

                  All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:
                  http://www.cafepress.com/sengokudaimyo
                • Anthony Bryant
                  ... The Suenaga here was Takezaki Suenaga -- he was from the Takezaki family, not the Suenaga family. Effingham -- Anthony J. Bryant Website:
                  Message 8 of 12 , Dec 22, 2005
                    Ii Saburou Katsumori (Joshua B.) wrote:

                    > I did find a Suenaga in the 13th century who commissioned the Mongol
                    > Invasion scrolls. The use of 'clan' can be misleading. E.g. 'Clan' as in
                    > Minamoto and Taira or as in any family group (e.g. the Hojo, who were a
                    > cadet family of the Taira, and often called 'Taira' when referred to in the
                    > Taiheiki). Was this fellow actually the head of a recognized uji, or simply
                    > the head of the Suenaga family that had come over from Japan?

                    The Suenaga here was Takezaki Suenaga -- he was from the
                    Takezaki family, not the Suenaga family.



                    Effingham

                    --

                    Anthony J. Bryant
                    Website: http://www.sengokudaimyo.com

                    Effingham's Heraldic Avatars (...and stuff):
                    http://www.sengokudaimyo.com/avatarbiz.html

                    All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:
                    http://www.cafepress.com/sengokudaimyo
                  • Ii Saburou Katsumori (Joshua B.)
                    ... Okay, that makes sense.... sigh--I hate the ambiguities of name order in English translations. I m wondering if it wouldn t be better to adopt the
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 23, 2005
                      On 12/22/05, Anthony Bryant <anthony_bryant@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > The Suenaga here was Takezaki Suenaga -- he was from the
                      > Takezaki family, not the Suenaga family.
                      >
                      Okay, that makes sense.... sigh--I hate the ambiguities of name order
                      in English translations. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to
                      adopt the practice of always entering the surname in CAPS... but then
                      how do you deal with Family v. Clan name, etc.... Arrrggghhh!

                      -Ii
                    • Solveig Throndardottir
                      Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! As I wrote, while there may be a Suenaga family (and it really isn t all that prominent or it would have showed up in one
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 24, 2005
                        Noble Cousin!

                        Greetings from Solveig! As I wrote, while there may be a Suenaga family
                        (and it really isn't all that prominent or it would have showed up in
                        one of the sources I cited), it is almost certainly not a clan. You
                        really have to try to understand that creation of real clans was
                        controlled by the emperor after about 700 CE. A clan is a larger
                        kinship group than a family and usually members of a clan have family
                        names which are different from the clan name. For example, you might
                        have a family name of Tanaka and belong to the Fujiwara clan. If you
                        are really certain that the ancestors of the person in question
                        possessed a castle, then you should try looking up the history of the
                        castle in question. Another possibility is that if they were around for
                        the battle of sekigahara, then you can try looking them up in
                        "Sekigahara Kasen ni Manabu" which has the kamon for each of the big
                        wigs which showed up for that battle. If the Suenaga were retainers of
                        the Hojo, then they were most likely NOT a clan they were a family. One
                        thing that can confuse you is that families often had heads. Finally,
                        if you want someone to try looking up the Suenaga for you, then you
                        have to give the exact kanji representation of the name as there are at
                        least two common variants.

                        Your Humble Servant
                        Solveig Throndardottir
                        Amateur Scholar

                        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                        | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                        | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
                        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                        | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
                        | the trash by my email filters. |
                        +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Solveig Throndardottir
                        Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! I too have a copy of Sengoku Jinmei Jiten, and Baron Edward is right. There are only two Suenaga. They appear to have
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 24, 2005
                          Noble Cousin!

                          Greetings from Solveig! I too have a copy of Sengoku Jinmei Jiten, and
                          Baron Edward is right. There are only two Suenaga. They appear to have
                          been a father/son pair, and were never particularly distinguished. The
                          elder Suenaga was the master of a very small castle (apparently a
                          fortified temple) for a while, but not the one you wrote about.
                          Further, it is somewhat unlikely that your friend's family can
                          definitively trace their ancestry to this pair. You need to understand
                          that the majority of Japanese family names only date to the nineteenth
                          century. Although, if I were picking a family name in the nineteenth
                          century, I might have invented more illustrious ancestors. If you have
                          substantial research about the ancestry of this family, then please
                          share it with us citing sources. Then, perhaps, someone here can be of
                          greater assistance.

                          Your Humble Servant
                          Solveig Throndardottir
                          Amateur Scholar

                          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                          | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                          | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                          | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
                          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                          | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
                          | the trash by my email filters. |
                          +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Solveig Throndardottir
                          Ii dono! Greetings from Solveig! You are unlikely to have name order problems in Japanese sources. There is a lot of problem with names in English sources.
                          Message 12 of 12 , Dec 24, 2005
                            Ii dono!

                            Greetings from Solveig! You are unlikely to have name order problems in
                            Japanese sources. There is a lot of problem with names in English
                            sources. Generally, the preface or introduction will tell you how they
                            are treating names. Some writers even prefer to put family name last
                            for Meiji era and later Japanese with family name first for pre-Meiji
                            Japanese. This can be particularly confusing when they write about
                            people whose public lives overlap 1868. Usually, only rather popular
                            texts will give the family name of premodern Japanese last. As for all
                            in captials. You can try taking that up with the editors of Monumenta
                            Nipponica and the Journal of Asian Studies, but I doubt that editors of
                            popular texts will pay any attention at all.

                            Your Humble Servant
                            Solveig Throndardottir
                            Amateur Scholar

                            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                            | Barbara Nostrand, Ph.D. | Solveig Throndardottir, CoM, CoS, Fleur |
                            | deMoivre Institute | Carolingia Statis Mentis Est |
                            | mailto:nostrand@... | mailto:Solveig@... |
                            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+
                            | Note. Many popular "free" email services are automatically routed to |
                            | the trash by my email filters. |
                            +----------------------------------------------------------------------+


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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