Was there any way to identify which clan someone belonged to (other than when they wore their formal wear with their mon/emblem on their attire). In other words did they carry something on their person such as a sword branded with their emblem or distinct clothing that would make them instantly recognisable of that clan?


No, there was no way to tell.

If a confrontation occurred, there were laws that dictated how the parties involved were supposed to announce themselves to each other.

Note that in the period in question the old samurai system was starting to break down.

  • So you mean before a duel they would normally announce themselves and their clan before fighting? I suppose that might not apply to assassins (?) – user232670 May 18 '16 at 9:21
  • @user232670 Yes, anytime two named people "encountered" each other for any reason, they were supposed to announce who they were to each other and there was a protocol for that. Fighting somebody without announcing yourself was extremely illegal. Such rules did not apply to commoners who were not even allowed to possess weapons, forget about fighting anyone. – Tyler Durden May 18 '16 at 11:48

Also, there were family crests worn on kimono so clan/family/domain affiliation could be discerned but not everyone had a crest. The crest, called a 'mon' was often round and had stylized elements in it. Mitsubishi's trademark comes from the crest of the family that founded the company.

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