A tomoe or tomoye (archaic) (巴) is a Japanese abstract shape (i.e. a swirl) that resembles a comma or the usual form of magatama. It is a common design element in and corporate logos, particularly in triplicate whorls known as mitsu tomoe. One mitsu tomoe variant, the Hidari Gomon, is the traditional symbol of Okinawa.
The tomoe is very similar in design to the Korean sam-taegeuk.
On the opposite side of Eurasia, the Basque lauburu and some forms of the Celtic spiral triskele resemble small groups of tomoe.
In popular culture
- The snowboarding company Burton uses the tomoye for its Ronin outerwear.
- In the series Rurouni Kenshin, by Nobuhiro Watsuki, Himura Kenshin's first wife is named Yukishiro Tomoe.
- The tomoe appear on the Raijin-like drums of the One Piece villain Enel.
- They appear in the 'Sharingan' eyes of the fictional Uchiha clan in the Japanese anime Naruto, with the number (up to 3) indicating the level to which the eye has developed. They also form the Cursed Seal of Heaven which Orochimaru put on Sasuke Uchiha and Anko Mitarashi.
- In My-HiME, Mai Tokiha's weapon is four Tomoe-like bracelets that circle around her wrists and ankles, giving her the ability to fly and to launch fire-based attacks.
- In the visual novel, Tsukihime, Shiki Tohno's knife has a tomoe design.
- In the anime series My-Otome, a character named Tomoe Marguerite is named after the tomoe.
- There is also one which appears on a child's toy in a later episode of the anime series Samurai Champloo.
- Also appears on the shoulders of Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave bassist Tim Commerford.
- In the anime Bleach it appears on one of the lower classed soul reapers, who faced off against Chad who defeated him easily. It's located on the left shoulder.
- In Tezuka Osamu's manga, "MW," Tomoe is the name of Michio Yuki's dog, who kills on command, and is very fond of her master. "MW" is available in Japanese, French and Italian, and will be published in English (November, 2007)
- Metal band Trivium, whose frontman Matt Heafy is half-Japanese, have used the Tomoe as a logo/symbol.
- The Tomoe appears as the main symbol of the new online game Tabula Rasa.
- In the anime Sailor Moon, Sailor Saturn's civilian name is Hotaru Tomoe.
- In the anime Rozen Maiden, Hinaichigo's original medium is named Tomoe. In the second season, the tenth episode is named Tomoe.
- In the anime Gintama, Kagura's pet Sadaharu has tomoe shaped eyebrows.
- Defunct comic book publisher CrossGen used a futatsudomoe as their logo, and also as a sigil of power within many of their comic titles.