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Japanese Design Motifs: 4,260 Illustrations of Japanese Crests Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Japanese Design Motifs: 4,260 Illustrations of Japanese Crests + Family Crests of Japan
Price for both: $30.13

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  • Family Crests of Japan $15.89

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (June 1, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486228746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486228747
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 11.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Japanese (translation)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The images in this book have haunted me, and defied my attempts to recreate even a few of them from memory.
Nicole
Overall it's a good inspiration book for an artist not so much if your looking for detailed research on Japanese crests.
Miyam Brumfield
If one is able to read Japanese, the names of the specific crest designs convey additional valuable information.
Merrily Baird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Merrily Baird on April 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Matsuya catalogue of crests is a resource of remarkable depth and breadth for serious students of Japanese design history. Although it lacks the interpretive text of John Dower's classic study on Japanese crests, the unusually large number and relatively complete range of crests pictured allow readers to draw solid conclusions about the relative popularity of certain motifs, like plum blossoms or oak leaves, in Japanese history and to examine how different motifs--such as the Big Dipper and crescent moon or rabbit and high waves--were combined. If one is able to read Japanese, the names of the specific crest designs convey additional valuable information. One of the many copyright-free books published by Dover, the Matsuya catalogue also provides a treasure trove of reproduction-quality design material.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TooManyHobbies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 13, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Page, after page, after page of great designs.
Not something you can use for research, but it you are looking for inspiration, this is a book for you. I started putting yellow post-its on the designs I wanted to use (quilting, cross-stitch, stained glass), but I soon gave up when I realized that I was marking almost every page.
This is one of those rare design books that is well worth the money.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Nostrand on July 28, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Following the Meiji Restoration in the nineteenth century, the Japanese people were granted a number of perogatives formerly reserved to the noble and military castes. Among these priveleges was the right to have household arms variously called kamon, monsho, or simply mon. As a result, Japanese around the nation went out and acquired kamon for themselves. The Matsuya Piece Goods Store catalog satisfied their demand for new clothes with nice spiffy kamon on them.
While the Matsuya catalog does provide a cyclopedic view of late nineteenth century notions of what kamon should look like, it does not provide reliable information for those interested in premodern Japan. This is a problem shared with most books about kamon whether in English or Japanese. However, there are a few books available in East Asian libraries and some even currently in print in Japan which do link kamon to clans, families, regions, historical periods, and even specific individuals. If your interest in kamon is of a historical nature, I recommend that you seek these out. If, however, your interest is primarily artistic, this is a fine book with well rendered depictions of a vast aray of these designs.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sophie on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Supposedly, there are about 2,000 Japanese family crests, with origins that reach back more than a millenium. And while I can't say whether this book contains all two thousand, it's nevertheless pretty comprehensive. They're presented in columns of black images--each image about 2" in diameter--and grouped by theme (e.g., crests depicting one cherry blossom, then crests based on 2 blossoms, then crests based on 3 blossoms, etc.).

Like other Dover art books, this one is primarily for artists and designers, rather than for students of history/culture. (I used these images for stencilling, during an Anglo-Japanese makeover of our 1870s-era house--and discovered that "chinoiserie" abounds, but "japanesque" is rare. This book became part of an invaluable, and small, set of resources.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Highlander on June 29, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am unable to understand the reviewer who began with the sentence: "How does one rate a book with no words in it? The only way to do it is by description." The book clearly has words in it. It is organized alphabetically, albeit a Japanese alphabet. The crests are organized by motif and the table of contents and index clearly explain the structure of the book. Unless we were reading different books, I found that the book was a significant asset in examining the range and topics of Japanese crests. It is what it is -- an extensive presentation of crests. It provides insight into the objects chosen by Japanese culture to be placed in these highly visible and socially important family icons. Variations of the crests' themes are interesting - - how many ways can a stylized arrow be presented? The Japanese ties to the entire range of nature and human constructs emerge as one peruses the book. Admittedly, it doesn't have the plot of "War and Peace", but it is not intended to do so. I think that this book has value to designers, artists, students of Japanese art and culture, and hobbyists looking for Japanese motifs. I won't haul it around constantly for a good read, but I will consult it as need and interest dictate.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've lusted after this book ever since I saw it in the library years ago. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the name (I should've stolen it then!). So what a delight to finally rediscover it. The images in this book have haunted me, and defied my attempts to recreate even a few of them from memory. There are more permutations on each motif than one can possibly think of. An endless wealth of source material for logos, symbols, backgrounds, graphics. This book is a must-have for any designer interested in or influenced by Japanese design!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AaronLS on July 9, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This stuff is eye candy to anyone who does graphic design of any sort that uses 2D graphics. My mother gets ideas for quilting patterns and I've been inspired several times while looking through the book and gone and loaded up photoshop and started messin around. This stuff is surprisingly beuitful and fascinating when you notice how simple the designs are.
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