The first time we conceptualized this book was about two years ago. We are a Japanese graphic design company, and in making this, we first started by learning about Japan’s traditional crafts.

Among these crafts, we focused our attention on kamon, or family crests. We found out that there are about 20,000 of these family crests in Japan. We also learned that there are many kamon on the verge of becoming obsolete.

Thus, in order to preserve kamon for future generations, and to relay the beauty of kamon to many people, we decided to create a kamon book featuring a collection of kamon.

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First, we talked to Mr. Takasawa and others of the Nihon Kamon Kenkyukai (Japan Kamon Research Society).

Mr. Takasawa is a researcher and author of “Kamon Encyclopedia” and other works based on extensive kamon data gathered through field work. He also shared with us molding and shaping stories about many gravestones with kamon directly applied on them using frottage, and other anecdotes related to each kamon.

As graphic designers, we learned about Japan’s great skill with molding and shaping, and we started hand-drawing each and every kamon while learning about them. We chose 350 kamon, and all were drawn by our designers.

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▲This is an actual kamon hand-drawn by our designers. In materials that exist today, many of the lines in kamon copied from gravestones and others are unclear and cannot be converted into data, thus we adjusted each and every line, and repeatedly drew and revised each one.

Looking at these now, they don’t look old at all – they look modern and their shapes somehow evoke Japan’s culture, making us feel that kamon is the origin of Japanese graphic design.

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The paper used in our customized kamon book is a very durable Echizen washi paper called hoshoshi that was made in Fukui. The binding is also a very durable type of Japanese binding called koki toji, and was finished by a craftsman in Kyoto.

By making this kamon book, we were able to learn about Japanese design that we thought we knew but didn’t really understand, and we now feel that designing is more fun than ever.

Please do drop by our GINZA SIX store and see our kamon book!

▼Our illustrated book of 350 kamon
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▼A supplemental book explaining the origins and other information about kamon
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▼D-BROS at GINZA SIX products which won the ADC Member Award may be purchased at the D-BROS WEB STORE.

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▼Back issues about D-BROS at GINZA SIX
Part 6 of a Dialogue with Satoru Miyata – The D-BROS GINZA SIX Store as a New Endeavor
D-BROS’s Traditional Crafts Project “D-BROS at GINZA SIX” Wins the ADC Member Award!
Lacquered Bunkobako (Stationery and Letter Boxes): Traditional Crafts Meet Limited Edition Products to Commemorate the Opening of D-BROS GINZA SIX
The D-BROS GINZA SIX STORE, A New Concept Store by D-BROS is Now Open!

▼Back issues about Takuma Fukuzawa
The Life of a Designer, Vol. 6: Mr. Takuma Fukuzawa Tells us About His Everyday Life
We Asked the Designers of the 2017 D-BROS Calendar “JUMP” About Their Thoughts on the Production Process (Part 2)
We Asked the Designers of the 2017 D-BROS Calendar “JUMP” About Their Thoughts on the Production Process (Part 1)
Presenting the “BEEH” Calendar of Adorable Animals: The 2nd Installment of D-BROS’s calendars for 2016!

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