Noriko Oki, Kamon Designer

金曜日 04th, 9月 2015 / 21:51 Written by
Noriko Oki, Kamon Designer

What is Kamon?

Kamon (家紋), like the family crests in European heraldic tradition, are emblems used to identify individuals and families in Japan. They have been a part of Japanese culture for some 960 years, since the year 1050. In the old days it was used as a decorative design for oxcarts, swords, furniture and clothing and today it is mainly used on kimono and tombstones. Kamon represent a family in the same way as a surname does and each kamon has a special meaning. At least 25,000 Kamon have been confirmed to exist, but the actual total remains unknown. The Kamon is a simple, impressive and powerful symbol.


Why she started Kamon Art?

Noriko loves drawing since she was a child. She has always drawn a picture and when she grew up she lived in an exciting art area Shonan where many artists live in. They create art pieces and get inspired each other.

In 2003, Noriko set up her art business. And the first work she got was designing a T-shirt with Kamon logo. While researching the meanings of motifs, she found Kamon art very interesting as people can put thoughts and wishes into own Kamon, and she thought this is the work she wants to specialise in. In 2013 she moved to New Zealand with her family and now starts the business here towards the world.


Noriko thinks

“These days many families still take great care to preserve their ancestral Kamon and I think this is a good thing although, unfortunately, very few people understand the original meaning of their Kamon. I want to reactivate the Kamon of old and at the same time introduce this wonderful and beautiful culture to the people of the world. I conduct activities aimed at promoting this ancient tradition; not simply as heritage, but as a living culture–including research, production, exhibitions, courses in Kamon production, and helping to create new Kamon designers.”


Similarities between designs of Japanese and Maori

Even before she knew well about NZ, she has designed like traditional Maori motifs such as Spiral (Koru), Fish Hook (Matau) and Waves etc. Visually the simple but strong designs which catch our eyes are really similar to Japanese Kamon art. Also to contain meanings into the motifs is another common part. This interesting coincidence makes her recognise a tie and mission so it stimulates her creativity.


This year Noriko starts a new collaboration project with Auckland based Japanese building company, Japan Homes Limited. It is named ‘HOUSE TATTOO” which clients can place their original Kamon onto anywhere in the house such as the main door, stairs, kitchen cabinet, or window. For new home buyers, families, marriage, business, anyone who wants to give shape to the strong thoughts and bonds, will see this project new and interesting. They exhibit the HOUSE TATTOO project at Auckland Home Show on 9-13th September. You can find Noriko’s Kamon art and performance at the stand number 777.




Order of original Kamon

  1. Contact Noriko to ask and order your original Kamon.
  2. After confirmation of your order, she will send you a question form and contract.
  3. Fill in and send it back to her, she starts designing and you will get the first design proposal in around 10 days.
  4. Pay total fee into bank account
  5. When she confirmed your deposit, she started to fix and finish the Kamon design.
  6. The final design will be sent to your email address on the day you agreed.


[Price for each original Kamon]

Individual use: NZ$ 500

Commercial use: NZ$ 2,000




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