Behind the Story of Blood and Tears — Usaburo’s Family Crest
In Blood and Tears episode 7 (09JUL), Usaburo gives O-Hatsu a small lacquered storage box, called inro, bearing his family crest. Because Japanese kimono have no pockets possessions were carried in the wide sleeves, or tucked into the front lapels or waist belt. Small items such as herbal pills or a personal seal could be carried in an inro, which hangs from the waist belt by a short cord.
An object decorated with a samurai family crest is considered a very personal item. When Usaburo gives O-Hatsu his inro, it serves as a pledge of fidelity, a bit like a wedding ring. For this story, I invented a crest for the Yamashiro family consisting of a crescent moon and mountain bellflower, and Photoshopped it onto the inro. See the original image here.
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