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Imperial Seal of Japan
Imperial Seal of Japan.svg
Details
Armiger Akihito
Crest Chrysanthemum
Orders Order of the Chrysanthemum
The Imperial Seal inscribed on the front cover of a Japanese passport.

The Imperial Seal of Japan is a mon or crest used by members of the Japanese Imperial family. Under the Meiji Constitution, no one was permitted to use the Imperial Seal except the Emperor of Japan, who used a 16 petal chrysanthemum with sixteen tips of another row of petals showing behind the first row. So each member of the Imperial family used a slightly modified version of the seal. Shinto shrines either displayed the imperial seal or incorporated elements of the seal into their own emblems.

Earlier in Japanese history, when Emperor Go-Daigo, who tried to break the power of the shogunate 1333, was exiled, he adopted the seventeen petal chrysanthemum to differentiate himself from his successor, Emperor Kōgon, who kept the emperial 16 petal mon.

The symbol is a yellow or orange chrysanthemum with black or red outlines and background. A central disc is surrounded by a front set of 16 petals. A rear set of 16 petals are half staggered in relation to the front set and are visible at the edges of the flower. An example of the chrysanthemum being used is in the badge for the Order of the Chrysanthemum.

Other members of the Imperial Family use a version with 14 single petals, while a form with 16 single petals is used for Diet members' pins, orders, passports, etc. The Imperial Seal is also used on the standards of the imperial family.[1]

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