Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo Crest



The Crest's description, explanation and usage told to me by Mitose, differs slightly from some of the current descriptions. However, some current descriptions and explanations house some of the same general and basic information.


Mitose explained to me that (1) a circle with an inner circle shaped as an octagon, (2) two equilateral triangles, (3) three hand signs, (4) three nature signs and (5) on a field of black and white. Alternate positioning of the hand signs and coloring variations have historically occurred. These variations are part of the usage of the crest, as will be explained later. Let us begin the exploration of the crest with its field of black and white.


Why Black and White? These colors represent a point of reference to (1) understanding the historical link between the ancient users of this system and nature, (2) the utilization of that union for the betterment of the human, (3) the development of internal balance. Let's see how these colors assist us in reaching understanding, utilization and development.


Black denotes the "forces of nature" (i.e. lighting, wind, water, earth, fire). White denotes man's ability to convert these forces into useful tools. Lighting into low intensity heat (interior lights), wood into furniture, earth into medicine. The ancient masters used these colors as an illustration of how the natural forces can be harnessed and utilized for man's benefit. The combination of these colors was used as a symbol to represent principles that were fundamental to the monk's training; principles such as self sufficiency, tolerance and temperance.


The Geometric Crest? The crest is composed of geometric figures: circles, triangles, rectangles, etc. These figures allow us to curiously trace nature through its various windings, discover how we move and react, study symmetry and order, review and evaluate our internal and external conditioning. These useful instruments assist us in monitoring and charting our progress.


The Crest Triangles and Their Meanings? There are two equilateral triangles. The first triangle is an ascending triangle which is delineated by the three hand signs. The second triangle is a descending triangle which is delineated by the three nature signs. The two triangles and their six symbols allude to the nature and character of the person wearing the crescent.


Hand Signs: The hand signs represent three usage levels. They are (1) Identification of the duties and responsibilities of the Three Teachers, [three teachers are necessary for the lawful and traditional operation of a Koga Ha Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo Temple/Dojo], (2) A symbolic representation of the nature of the person wearing the Crest, and (3) Identification of the characteristic and usage of the three self defense systems.


Hoken: The hand sign at the top of the crest represents the first teacher whose duties are to open and close the temple/dojo and other relative duties. It represents morality over knowledge. This is illustrated by having the left hand over the right hand. In ancient tradition the left hand represented morality and the right hand represented knowledge. The knowledge that we cover is the knowledge to "control through pain". This hand sign represents the Koppo systems.


Kaishu: This hand sign located at the lower right of the crest represents the second teacher whose duties are to assist the first teacher in opening and closing the dojo and other relative duties. It represents the natural development of the human character. This is illustrated by both hands forming an equilateral triangle. In ancient tradition, the triangle represented the human's development from crawling on the base of the triangle with the head in front, to standing upright with the head in the proper position on top. This hand sign represents the Jiujutsu systems.


Kigan: The hand sign located at the lower left of the crest represents the third teacher whose duties are to oversee the dojo when the first and second teachers are not available, and other relative duties. It represents the equal positioning of morality and knowledge. This is illustrated by both hands clasped together in a praying position. Morality and knowledge are working together in unity and peace. This hand sign represents the Koga Ha Ninjutsu systems.


Nature Signs: The nature signs represent two stages of development. They are duty and character. Each teacher has a nature sign for his or her station.


Matsuba: This nature sign is located at the upper left of the crest. It stands for the first teacher whose duty is to judge with equal regularity and justice. The character of the teacher is one of flexibility, tolerance for others' beliefs, customs, and rights. Matsuba means "pine tree" or "needle".


Take: This nature sign is located at the upper right of the crest. It represents the second teacher whose duty is to see that peace and harmony are maintained. The character of the teacher is one of strength, assistance, and support. Take means "bamboo".


Baika: This nature sign is located at the bottom of the crest. It represents the third teacher whose duty is to see that all obey the rules and regulations of the dojo. The character of the teacher is one of beauty and support. Baika means "plum flower".




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