- My boyfriend is a herald (with a German persona but at Japanese
stomach) and he is looking to expand his collection of books. He
wants suggestions of books in English that can be used to document
Japanese charges. I have a copy of Japanese Design Motifs but that's
just for picture ideas. We're looking to pick up a copy of The
Elements of Japanese Design. The main reason we need this info is
because I'm thinking of having koto ji on my device and passing a new
charge requires at least 3 different sources. We looked at a copy of
Elements of Japanese Design at Borders this past weekend and it says
that some families used the koto ji design/motif on their mon but it
doesn't cite what families and only says Kamakura (he says he'd
prefer if they had actual dates rather than the period name) for the
time period that it was first used. Also, the references that the
book lists are mostly in Japanese and out of print. Give me a couple
of years and I may be able to get back up to the proficiency
necessary to read parts of those books but at the moment my nihongo
is very rusty. Any help would be appreciated.
- Noble Cousin!
Greetings from Solveig! Alas, pretty much all of the English language
books and a lot of the Japanese books on kamon treat them as art and
not as a matter of serious historical study. Last I heard, passing a
new charge requires rather more than simply three sources. The problem
has to do with the way in which the CoA treats charges in general. You
will do better to determine what the charge represents, document it
in Western Europe in at least three different countries and then use
the Japanese depiction under the artistic license approach to things.
Kamakura is just fine for documentation. Just use the end date for
the Kamakura period. Another problem is that glyphs are pretty much
banned by the Rules for Submission of the College of Arms.
However, the College of Arms may have warmed up a bit to the idea of
Japanese armoury in the last few years, and I am supposeably working
on an article about pre-modern Japanese kamon.
Your Humble Servant