This is the Kanji (Japanese symbol) for Zenshin.


To advance, to progress or to move forward. Literally it means gradual progress, steady advance.

  This is the Kanji for Karate.


empty hand.

Kanji is a Japanese term meaning " Han characters". In about the 5th century, Buddhist monks, probably from the Korean peninsula, brought Chinese texts back to Japan. They were written in the Chinese language and would have been read in Chinese. Over time the Japanese speakers created a system known as kanbun using Chinese text with accent marks, use to alter a words pronounciation, to allow them to read it in accordance with the rules of normal Japanese grammar.

At this time the Japanese language had no form of written version, so a writing system called man'yogana was created that used Chinese characters to represent their sound, rather than their meaning.

In these times women were denied higher education, and a writing system that was "loose and sketchy" called curvilinear style came about. This became hiragana and was used mostly by women. Meanwhile monastery students simplified the man'yogana and created a system called katakana.

The two writing systems, hiragana and katakana, became referred to collectively as kana, and actually descended from Kanji.

In modern Japanese, Kanji is used to write parts of the language to express ideas or concepts, while hiragana underlies the basic structure of the writing system and words where the Kanji is too difficult to read or remember. Katakana is limited in its usage for representing names of animals, plants and the like and non Japanese words. The usage of katakana to write non Japanese words is a fairly recent phenomenon started after World War II. This use of Kanji is known as ateji.

What does "Zenshin Karate" mean?