The Sashimono (personal banner) were typically worn by ashigaru (common soldier). This allowed messengers and samurai to show their affiliation to their clan and/or Daimyo. The samurai warrior would attach their sashimono to their backs, using a bracket and bamboo pole. These banners, resembling small flags and bearing clan symbols or samurai squad details, became most prominent during the end of the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period) from the 15th to the early 17th centuries.
The designs on sashimono were usually very simple geometric shapes. Sometimes they were accompanied by Japanese characters providing the name of the leader, clan, squad name, unit type, the clan’s kamon, or a clan’s motto. Often, the background color (traditionally white), of the flag, indicated which army unit the wearer belonged to. Different divisions in these armies emblazoned their own design or logo on it. It was usually the Daimyo’s kamon that was used more commonly than the design or crest of the unit. As battles became large and complicated, the sashimono’s key purpose was helping a warrior to stay in formation and recognize friend from foe at a glance. Generals could easily recognize and monitor their troop movements, spotting which units are advancing or retreating.
Sometimes elite samurai, who were sufficiently famed or respected, might have their own personal design or name featured on their sashimono. We are happy to add your own personal design to your sashimono, for an additional fee. Please e-mail us the design with a printable size at least 40 cm wide. Image needs to be one solid color in a Clip-Art type format.
Although there are a large variety of banner shapes, sizes and different materials used, the standard size was typically 45 x 100 cm. It was typically made from a linen, cotton or hemp. The Mon would be dyed (made from natural fruits and other materials) on one side, bleeding through to be seen on both sides of the banner. Iron Mountain Armory crafts their sashimono the same standard size, with linen, but uses a modern inking method.
If you are planning to wear this banner on the back of your armor, much like the samurai of Feudal Japan did, you should order the installation of Uke-zutsu (wooden post), Gattari (banner holder) and bamboo pole set.
- Sashimono Poles = Bamboo Pole Set to display the banner.
- Poles + Post + Mounting Bracket = Post Set + Wooden Base and Mounting Hardware to attach to armor.
- Traditional design (45×100 cm) and linen material
- Options colors and custom mon options available
- Custom sizing available
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