December is represented by the ‘Kiri’ (Paulownia) plant. The Kiri is the official symbol of the Prime Minister of Japan and of the democratically elected system of government. This was the 'Mon' (symbol) of the Toyotomi clan that ruled over Japan prior to the Edo period.
The most influential figure within the Toyotomi was Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the three 'unifiers of Japan'. Oda Nobunaga was another primary unifier and the ruler of the Oda clan at the time. Hideyoshi had joined Nobunaga at a young age but was not highly regarded because of his peasant background. Nevertheless, Hideyoshi's increasing influence allowed him to seize a significant degree of power from the Oda clan following Oda Nobunaga's death in 1582. As the virtual ruler of the most of Japan, Hideyoshi created a new clan name 'Toyotomi' in 1584 and achieved the unification of Japan in 1589.