THE MABUNI FAMILY CREST
It is not recorded how far back the unique crest of the Mabuni family has its origins but it is known to date back more than five centuries, and it carries the history of the family’s famous samurai ancestors that ruled the old Ryukyu Period. Kenwa Mabuni was a 17th generation descendant of one of the most famous and bravest warriors of that kingdom – Kenyo Oshiro. In Japanese culture the crest serves to identify the family name and history.
The circle itself is the Japanese character for peace and harmony whilst the inner lines are the Japanese character for ‘person’ or ‘people’. Combining these meanings therefore the crest also takes on the significance of people living in peace and harmony. And this is noted as the fundamental spiritual element of Shitoryu karate. Nowadays we carry forward the ancient techniques of the style but we also practice and instill the fundamental elements of peace and harmony.
It was a choice made by Kenwa Mabuni to adopt another significance for the crest. The crest would become symbolic in representing the karate system he founded, and in honoring his two main teachers, Ankoh Itosu and Kanryo Higaonna, both represented by the inner lines of the circle.
In so doing the crest has now became synonymous with Kenwa Mabuni’s Karate-do style, Shito-Ryu.