The reason why the “Toyotomi family crest” is in the Prime Minister’s Office
In April 2020, a state of emergency was issued in response to the spread of COVID-19 infection in Japan.
It is fresh in our memory that the press conferences were held many times in various places for less than a month before the declaration was lifted.
By convention, press conferences are usually held at the Prime Minister’s Office.
How is it in other cases than Japan?
That place is equivalent to the White House in the United States, the Kremlin in Russia, and the Blue House in South Korea.
The United States and Russia use the national emblem, and South Korea uses the presidential emblem.
Like South Korea, Japan does not use the national emblem, but uses the “KIRI-MON(paulownia crest)” as the government one.
By the way, the national emblem of Japan is the “KIKU-MON(chrysanthemum crest)”.
(* About the national emblem of South Korea is someday, sorry)
The KIRI-MON is the same as the Toyotomi family crest.
Why on earth does the government of Japan use it?
What is “KIRI-MON”?
Before that, why did the Toyotomi family use the KIRI-MON?
It comes from the fact that the warlords in the 15th to 16th century of Japan used to choose the MOM’s design arbitrarily.
By the way, the national emblem, KIKU-MON, seems to be derived from the fact that Emperor Go-Toba used it during the Kamakura period in the end of 12th end to the first of 13th century.
There were several family crests derived from the imperial family, and along with that, there was a family crest like “Noren“, that it means opening a franchise.
That was “KIRI-MON”.
In short, the permission to use the KIRI-MON was granted in the midst of various speculations, such as from aim to use the authority of the imperial family, or as just an honor.
One of them was Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
In particular, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who achieved the unification of Japan, seems to have divided the KIRI-MON into his vassals.
In that way, he created a big “KIRI-MON family” and aimed for strong cooperation.
The reason why Tokugawa Ieyasu refused “KIRI-MON”
On the contrary, Tokugawa Ieyasu refused to use such a KIRI-MON.
Naturally, he was also one of Toyotomi’s vassals.
The reason may be that he was looking at the world after Hideyoshi died.
It seems that he wanted to increase the value of his family crest, and after actually opening the Edo Shogunate, he banned the use of AOI-MON other than the Tokugawa family.
For Hideyoshi who dyed the KIRI-MON in his color, Ieyasu increased the value of AOI with a shape that contradicts the KIRI-MON.
The stronger Hideyoshi’s influence, the more prominent it was as a conflicting landmark.
It may be said that Hideyoshi’s influence was used instead of the emperor’s influence.
As a result, many Japanese have got to such a “dramatic story” in which Tokugawa’s AOI enable evil to stop just by looking at itself.
And the Meiji Restoration.
The Meiji Restoration is the conversion from the Shogunate to the anti-Shogunate (new government).
In other words, it is “vs AOI-MON”.
However, the new gorvenment was raised KIKU-MON is draw on the “Nishiki flag”.
After that, the Empire of Japan proceeded to create a country centered on the emperor, and the KIRI-MON was ideal for use by the deified emperor and his “noren” government.
Various parts have changed, such as the Constitution after World War II, but the details still remain as a remnant.
How to make what we have special?
Tradition is just originality at first.
It becomes a difference from the surroundings, and in the process of being recognized, it becomes an individuality and is established as a proof of each value.
Everything is over time.
So is the Hermès‘ emblem as well.
“Horse-drawn carriage and follower” means that it was originally a harness maker.
And it has become a symbol of keeping on providing the same highest-quality as at that time, and it still shines and makes us tell the story of Hermes from itself.
The Tokugawa family’s Mitsuha AOI(AOI-MON) is originally just a family crest.
The posterity has come to the present for various reasons and we witnesses it.
As your own value increases toward the future, the things you have cherished will naturally increase.
At that time, it may become a symbol of you.