I finally have a lapel badge. After almost two decades of working in Japan-related law jobs, this is a big deal.

You have probably noticed a lot of Japanese men (and, increasingly, women) in suits with pin badges in their lapels. Some may even bear familiar logos: JR, Aeon, Mizuho and so on. But that's just branding. In law, lapel badges have special significance. This article will help you spot them and understand why.

Most famous is the kishō (badge) worn by trial lawyers (bengoshi) [photo 1]. The scales at the center are an obvious symbol of justice. As bengoshi lawyers are eager to explain, the 16-petal flower around them is a sunflower (himawari), not a chrysanthemum, the significance of which will soon be apparent.