Let’s check out some samples of Japanese family crests on the left! They are all beautiful, aren‘t they? The 16-petal chrysanthemum called Jurokugiku (#1) is well known as the Imperial Seal of Japan. You will also see it on Japanese passports. Three hollyhock leaves in a circle are known as Mitsuba-aoi (#2), which is the family crest of the mighty Tokugawa that governed Japan during the Edo period. Paulownia (#3) has often been used as the governments’ seal since the Muromachi period (1338-1573), and is now the Government Seal of Japan.
The Maeda family, ancient lords over Kanazawa, uses the Ume blossoms called Kaga-umebachi. Why the blossoms? It’s said because Toshiie (1538-1599), the founder of the Kaga domain, believed that Michizane Sugawara (845-903), enshrined at the Tenmangu shrines as the god of academic achievement, was one of his ancestors. Michizane loved the blossoms so much, so that Tenmangu shrines also use the seal of ume blossoms.
The Maeda family, ancient lords over Kanazawa, uses the Ume blossoms called Kaga-umebachi. Why the blossoms? It’s said because T