MATERIAL: cotton / silk
MEASURES: 47 x 35 cm
Japanese table mats "家 紋 Mokko-mon"
Set of two table place mats in black cotton and silk depicting a series of framed geometric and floral family crests (kamon). In this case it is the Mokkō-mon (melon coat of arms) 木瓜 紋 depicting a melon cut in half or a bird's nest.
Also ideal as a base / runner for ornaments.
Origin from Kyoto
What are kamons?
Kamon (or Mon ) is a family crest that has been passed down through the generations.
Most are based on geometric or floral designs, however some may represent zodiac animals, birds or butterflies.
Most of the most popular Kamons derive from those used in the past by the aristocracy, especially from members of the royal family.
The Kamons were originally believed to be fabric motifs used to indicate membership of a clan or organization. Towards the twelfth century, the prevalent use became that of heraldic coat of arms (especially in battle).
Since the society of the time was mainly non-literate, the Kamons became a useful recognition tool for other categories as well: merchants, craftsmen, members of certain temples and shrines, theater crews and even criminal gangs.
There were some rules on the choice and use of Kamons , although the choice was mainly dictated by social customs. It was considered incorrect to use the same Kamon that had previously been sported by someone else, even offensive to use that of a person of a high social class. In the event of a dispute over the Kamons, people of lower rank often changed their coats of arms so as not to offend those of higher rank.
The law forbade the misuse of the Kamon of the ruling classes, such as the Tokugawa hollyhock and the Emperor's chrysanthemum.