Last week we looked at feathers, and today we look at the bird they come from. While animals are relatively rare in mon relative to Western heraldry, they are not unknown, and various birds are the most common. This is a hawk from the same collection of provincial samurai mon.

As mentioned last week, falconry was popular among the samurai class, and this hawk, tethered to a perch, is a such a captive bird. It is an unusually realistic depiction for an early mon, with high levels of detail and some three-dimensional aspects to the drawing. This depiction of the hawk did not catch on, and more stylized and flat designs, without an accompanying perch, remained the general rule until modern times.(KJ:7)

Hawk on Perch