Meaning of Chikushin


The emblem of Chikushin Martial & Cultural Training Group consists of three stalks of bamboo. It represents the name “Chikushin”, and possesses a special meaning.

Let’s first look at the make up of the word “Chikushin”. In Japanese it consists of 2 kanji, or Chinese-derived characters, which are the following:

  • 竹 (Chiku) = Bamboo
  • 心 (Shin) = Heart or spirit or mind

Together, these characters form the meaning “Spirit of the Bamboo”. More than just a fancy name, it represents the philosophy and mindset one should have when studying in this group.

One interpretation is to bring good fortune. If you look into the history of bamboo in Japan, as well as in other Asian countries, you’ll learn that it is symbolic for warding off evil and misfortune. It is used in certain festivals to promote good luck in homes by ridding away bad luck. In a similar fashion, the bamboo is a symbol to promote safe martial training and progressive cultural learning for all in this group.

Another interpretation of the name Chikushin is to encourage balance through a sense of duality. For example, if we look at the natural use of bamboo from history, we’ll see that it’s a versatile material. It can be used in a constructive manner, such as building a fence or raft with a bundle of bamboo tied together. Yet it can also be used in a destructive manner as well, as bamboo can be shaped into the manner of a weapon, such as a spear. Naturally, bamboo is supple, yet solid. This duality plays a role in concepts that express having a sense of balance between two extremes: soft & hard, offense & defense, sword & pen, and so on.

As a whole, the natural duality seen in bamboo is similar to how the Ying & Yang in Chinese philosophy symbolizes balance & harmony. It fits the mindset and intentions behind this group, thus why the bamboo is used as the “Chikushin” emblem.