A tomoe (巴?), also 鞆絵, and tomowe (ともゑ?) in its archaic form, is a Japanese abstract shape described as a swirl that resembles a comma or the usual form of a magatama.
A tomoe (巴?), also 鞆絵, and tomowe (ともゑ?) in its archaic form, is a Japanese abstract shape described as a swirl that resembles a comma or the usual form of a magatama. The origin of tomoe is uncertain. Some think that it originally meant tomoe (鞆絵?), or drawings on tomo (鞆?), a round arm protector used by an archer, whereas others see tomoe as stylized magatama.
It is a common design element in Japanese family emblems and corporate logos, particularly in triplicate whorls known as mitsudomoe (三つ巴?). Some view the mitsudomoe as representative of the threefold division (Man, Earth, and Sky) at the heart of the Shinto religion. Originally, it was associated with the Shinto war deity Hachiman, and through that was adopted by the samurai as their traditional symbol. One mitsudomoe variant, the Hidari Gomon, is the traditional symbol of the Ryūkyū Kingdom. The Koyasan Shingon sect of Buddhism uses the Hidari Gomon as a visual representation of the cycle of life.
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Category: Religious Symbols.
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