Do you know the Chinese yin-yang symbol?
It’s meant to symbolize how opposites complete everything.
Life and death. Male and female. Good and evil. And so on.
Many people in the West think that that symbol is used in all of Asia.
But it’s Chinese.
Other Asian countries have similar ones, though.
This symbol is on the Korean flag.
In Japan, the closest symbol to these is the 「三つ巴」 (“Mitsudomoe“).
There’s also a less-common version with two tomoe like the Chinese and Korean ones above…but it’s still uniquely Japanese. It’s called 「二つ巴 (“Futatsudomoe“):
In Japan, the mitsudomoe is more common than the futatsudomoe. It’s often seen on 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) and 太鼓 (Taiko drums).
It also can be seen as a 家紋 (Japanese family crest).
Here are a few common 家紋 (Japanese family crests)…the mitsudomoe is amongst them:
Japanese appreciate simple and less-flashy designs. So, 家紋 (Japanese family crests) are much simpler than colorful European family crests.