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Æthelmearc LoI - 2016-01-22

This item was on the 04-2016 LoAR

8: Kameshima Zentarou Umakai - New Badge

OSCAR finds the name registered exactly as it appears in September of 2012, via Æthelmearc.

Argent, a Japanese crane displayed and in base two bars azure

This submission is to be associated with House of the Blue Crane

Herald: Kameshima Silver Buccle

The "Japanese Crane displayed," as it is blazoned in the SCA, has been registered a total of 5 times to a total of 4 gentles, as recently as November 2013, when it was registered (in two instances) to Kamiizumi Hirotaro of Calontir. In the November 2013 Letter of Acceptances and Returns, Wreath notes:

The Japanese crane displayed as depicted in this device has been registered several times before in the SCA and, based on those depictions, is legless by default. This device is not presumptive of the logo of the airline company JAL, as their Japanese crane is gules, not purpure, and is charged with the letters JAL.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a Japanese crane, a non-European charge. There is not an additional step from period practice for being a non-eagle displayed, as this non-European charge is commonly displayed. If this design had been documented as an Individually Attested Pattern, there would have been no step from period practice.

Thus, the crane as it is depicted in this badge is registerable as a SFPP. However, in this documentation, we will attempt to establish the "Japanese crane displayed" as an Individually Attested Pattern, found in late-period Japanese mon.

The first source we will consult is O-umajirushi: A 17th-Century Compendium of Samurai Heraldry by Xavid Pretzer. Vol. 2, p. 56, item 9 shows a design identical to the submitted badge, save for the tinctures of the primary and secondary charges (both sable in the documentation, azure in the submitted badge). Commentary on this reads:

"Nanbu, Provincial Governor of Shinano", i.e., Nanbu Toshinao (南部利直) (1576-1632)

This nobori features a crane and two horizontal stripes. It also has a top plume. Birds are one of the main types of animals found in Japanese heraldry. The crane in particular represents longevity, and this crane circle has been used since the Kamakura period (1185-1333).

The statement dating the crane to the Kamakura period is cited in the footnotes from Hawley, W. M. and Kei Kaneda Chappelear (金田景). Mon: the Japanese Family Crest. W. M. Hawley, 1994. However, this is the only depiction of a crane in O-umajirushi.

Electronic copies of the title page, bibliographic information, relevant page, and footnote citation from O-umajirushi have been included in this documentation.

The next source to examine is Daibukan by Hashimoto Hiroshi. In Volume 1 of Daibukan, listings on pages 1-89 are attested before 1600, according to Solveig Throndardottir. Listings on pages 90-209 are attested before 1650. This depiction of a crane can be found on the following pages in the following locations:

 Page 105 (一〇五), bottom row, last mon

 Page 106 (一〇六), fifth row, third mon

 Page 113 (一一三), fifth row, third mon

 Page 123 (一二三), third row, fifth and eighth mon

 Page 128 (一二八), fifth row, sixth mon

 Page 134 (一三四), bottom row, second and third mon

 Page 143 (一四三), bottom row, third mon

 Page 147 (一四七), third row, last mon

 Page 159 (一五九), first row, first mon and second row, second, third and fourth mon

 Page 174 (一七四), first row, seventh mon

 Page 175 (一七五), fourth row, sixth mon

 Page 186 (一八六), first row, first, second, fourth and sixth mon

 Page 189 (一八九), bottom row, fifth mon

 Page 191 (一九一), third row, fourth mon

 Page 201 (二〇一), third row, third mon

 Page 202 (二〇二), bottom row, second mon

 Page 203 (二〇三), first row, first mon

Electronic copies of the title page and relevant pages, along with the volume's bibliographic information from PittCat (the University of Pittsburgh Library Catalog system) and WorldCat have been included in this documentation.

Given the cited history of the charge (in use since 1185, as per Pretzer) and the multiple instances of the use of this charge in this orientation prior to 1650 (a total of 26 between Pretzer and Hashimoto), I believe this constitutes reasonable attestation of the "Japanese crane displayed" as a common charge in late-period Japanese mon. Should the College of Arms not agree with this assessment, this badge should still be registerable with one step from period practice for using a non-European charge.

[Note from Garnet: Documentation available via email -- [email protected] -- upon request.]

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