Achievement of Life
In heraldry, an escutcheon is a shield which forms the main or focal element in an achievement of arms.
The word escutcheon is derived from Middle English escochon, from Anglo-Norman escuchon, from Vulgar Latin scūtiōn-, from Latin scūtum, “shield”.From its use in heraldry, escutcheon can be a metaphor for a family’s honour. The idiom “a blot on the escutcheon” is used to mean a stain on somebody’s reputation.
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which consists of shield, supporters, crest and motto. The design is a symbol unique to an individual person, and to his family, corporation, or state.
Historically, armorial bearings were first used by feudal lords and knights in the mid-12th century on battlefields as a way to identify allied from enemy soldiers.
Despite no widespread regulation, and even with a lack in many cases of national-level regulation, heraldry has remained rather consistent across Europe, where traditions alone have governed the design and use of arms. Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic achievements have a formal description called a blazon, expressed in a jargon that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions.
Coat of arms in Japan
The Japanese equivalents, called kamon (often abbreviated “mon”), are family badges which often date back to the 7th century, and are still actively used in Japan today. The Japanese tradition is independent of the European, and thus very different in style; but as in Europe many abstract and floral elements are used.
Mon (紋), also monshō (紋章), mondokoro (紋所), and kamon (家紋), are Japanese emblems used to decorate and identify an individual or family. While mon is an encompassing term that may refer to any such device, kamon and mondokoro refer specifically to emblems used to identify a family.
Battle of Sekigahara, Gifu Museum of History