The meaning of this symbol

The family crest is a longstanding tradition in Japan. It helps distinguish members of the same family. Similar to the British tradition, Japanese families hold house crests to indicate their regional origin.

The last name Ohno大野 which means "large field," identifies the family's origin as that of the Kanto region(関東地方) of Tokyo, Japan. My ancestors are likely farmers as the name suggests. The Ohno house crest is a symbol that celebrates good harvest and health. The crest is often seen displayed in flags, buildings, or found imprinted on formal kimonos. You can see the Ohno house crest on the sleeve of my kimono and on the home page of my website.

As I researched the origin of the family crest, Ku-yoh (九曜), I discovered that it has its roots in the Sanskrit from the ancient Indian astronomy. The crest made it's way to China, and eventually to Japan. The crest is symbolic of a celebration of two deities (Graha or Navagraha) in Hinduism and the Hindu astrology. There are nine grahas. They include the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, and the ascending and descending lunar nodes, respectively known as Rahu and Ketu. (See the illustration.)