Cool-looking hana komon

Good morning everyone,

My building hasn't been blown away or washed away yet, so I guess I'll survive the storm. But it does look like I'll be in the house all day. I guess I'll be renting a DVD or two and hoping that the power doesn't go out...Once the storm passes, it looks like we'll have hot, sunny weather till the end of the week when we may see some more rain.

Back in Japan’s feudal era, it was common for samurai to have a familial crest, similar to medieval knights’ coats of arms. If you’re reading this, you were born a few centuries too late to pledge your loyalty to a samurai clan, but you can still proudly use a hana komon, Japan’s floral crests that correspond to your birthday.

The company Hankozu specializes in hanko (the stamp-like personal seals used in Japan instead of signatures on legal documents) and has expanded its offerings to include personalized hana komon hanko featuring the owner’s name and floral crest.

If you’re unsure of what your hana komon is, Hankozu's website has a search function that will pull yours up for you. Simply scroll down until you see the drop-down menus and select the month (月) and day (日) of your birth, then click the red button marked 花個紋を探す (“Search for hana komon”).

▼ Hana komon for January 1

The results will show you your crest and the name of the flower, as well as its associated meaning and a description of the expected personality of a person born with this crest. The hana komon for August 31, for example, is the fritillaria lily, symbolizing a quest of yearning. Those with this hana komon are said to possess a mystical charm and gift for insight that allows them to read other’s emotions, as well as a fine sense of humor. Meanwhile, the hana komon for those born on September 1 is the bellfower, representing purity and cleanliness, and those born with it are unpretentious and pure-hearted,

▼ Hana komon for August 31 (left) and September 1 (right)

While Hankozu’s floral crest hanko are vaguely circular, a notable feature is that they don’t have a closed circle encompassing the entire design, unlike almost all other manufacturers’ personal seals. Customers can choose between one of three fonts with varying degrees of brush stroke-style flair.

You also have your choice of materials. Hanko with rubber stamp surfaces are priced at 4,000 yen, while those with wood stamps are just a little more at 5,000 yen. A two-hanko package, with the same design on both a rubber and wooden stamp, is also available for 9,000 yen).

▼ One-stamp orders come in tubes, while the double-pack ships in a box.

All orders include a large card explaining your hana komon (as even the average Japanese person doesn’t have an in-depth knowledge hana komon symbolism) as well as a booklet containing illustrations of all 366 crests.

▼ And yes, there’s one for Leap Day: the five-pointed shortia.

Orders can be placed through Hankozu’s online Rakuten shop (rubber stamps, wooden stamps, and combo packs). While hanko aren’t legally binding outside of Japan, the elegant design and personal nature of these hana komon hanko make them ideal gifts, as well as a unique way to sign personal correspondence or greeting cards which means these might make great gifts for anyone you know from overseas...like...I don't know...your English teacher...ha ha!

Have a great day!



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