Mon ( 紋 ? ) , also monshō ( 紋章 ? ) , mondokoro ( 紋所 ? ) , and kamon ( 家紋 ? ) , are Japanese emblems used to decorate and identify an individual or family. While mon is an encompassing term that may refer to any such device, kamon and mondokoro refer specifically to emblems used to identify a family.
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For other uses of the word Taira, Hira see Taira (disambiguation) The butterfly mon of the Taira is called Ageha-chō (揚羽蝶) in Japanese. The Taira clan ( 平氏 , Taira or Hira or Hei-shi ?
The picture above is a parade of the Top Ten among Japanese family crests, i.e. their basic designs have been most often used in cranking up other family crests since before the first thousand years. Besides the 18-petalled golden chrysanthemum, which is the Imperial Family's crest, the most widespread crest designs consist of the following (the clans that are mentioned first are those whose crests are shown as examples of each category in the main picture above): Some used dots to form flowers and such -- like the famous clans under Oda Nobunaga's overlordship: Maeda, Kuki, Tsutsui, Hosokawa . The Chiba clan also used dots as flower petals. The Rusu, Nasu, and Kusunoki clans incorporated a chrysanthemum in their crests, signifying the imperial DNA in their ancestors' veins. A few unimaginatively used kanji , such as the mighty Mori , the blunderer Ishida , and a number of well-known warrior clans like Honda , Ukita , Hara, Inoue , and Murakami.