View Full Version : Meaning of a symbol...

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06-24-2002, 02:18 PM
I have a question not about the language but a spesific symbol which I have often seen in samurai movies and used in different MA.

I haven't found a decent pic so I try to describe it with words:

Within a circle there are placed three "commas" (as in typical yin-yang sign there are two "commas" with dots in them) "chasing" eachother so they form a triangular thingie in the middle.

Sometimes this symbol is placed in a triangle itself.

I have heard different meanings and explanations but what does it generally mean in Japan (within the context of MA)?


06-24-2002, 03:44 PM
http://www.southsidedojo.com/karate/ (http://)

At the top of this page is a version of what I think you're talking about. No idea what it's significance is...sorry.


06-24-2002, 03:45 PM
Its so hard to clearly express a visual image in words. May be wise to do a web-search for a kanji site and look it up. Good luck.

Until again,


06-24-2002, 03:53 PM

The last one didn't work. Maybe this time I got it right :rolleyes:

The image is right at the top of the page when it opens.

Is that a version of what you're talking about?


06-24-2002, 06:35 PM
I`m by no means an expert on this, but what you are describing sounds like a "Kamon", or family crest. Check out the link below for more info:


This page (one of the links from the above page) has a couple of different variations of what Jorx appears to be describing.


See here for a close up


06-24-2002, 06:49 PM
Here`s another page


with some more examples


and more


06-27-2002, 07:17 AM
The one on the karate dojo webpage is exactly what I was talking about. That maybe a kamon as well (saw it in one Japanese movie as well. Worn on gi.) BUT it should have a general meaning as well because it's quite commonly used.

Usually are the "commas" bigger than on the karate website so the triangular thing (reminding of some throwing blade or whirlwind?) is narrower.

I have seen it sold as amulets that grant "triple protection" but come on:)

Could it be the circular symbol of Bishamon the Japanese god of war and luck? I have not seen it but the description sounds alike.


06-29-2002, 02:28 AM
I have done a little scouring around on this (not very busy at work at the moment). There are a quite a few Kamon, and a number of them similar to the one you presented. The one thing I noticed though, is that they didn`t have kanji characters on them. I asked one of my colleagues about this and showed him your one, he said that it was a design made from a kamon, kamon don`t have kanji on them, although they were sometimes designed to look like kanji.

I think you`ll be looking in the right area if you do a bit more investigation on kamon.