Mabuni Family Crest

The symbol that is synonymous with Shito-Ryu Karate worldwide is the original Mabuni family crest or "mon". The aristocratic Mabuni family had a chronicled lineage during the Ryukyu Kingdom period in Okinawa. It is said the original mon is from the Ufugusuku family which originated from around the 15th century Okinawa. The mabuni family descends from a branch of the Ufugusuku family. It was in use generations prior to being adopted by Mabuni Kenwa as the official symbol of Shito-Ryu.

The physical characteristics of the mon well represent its use as the symbol for Shito-Ryu karate.

The outer circle is interpreted as symbolizing a ring or circle of a family (Wa), while the inner lines represent 'human' or 'human-being'. The crest therefore symbolizes that we are all human, with our different characters, faults and idiosyncrasies that go with this, but we must endeavor to show kindness and consideration for our fellow man through a gentle heart. These same precepts are part of the "Go Do Shin" written by Mabuni Kenwa in 1929.

Master Kenei Mabuni added, "According to my father's explanation, the circle symbolizes harmony (wa) while the two parallel vertical lines to the left and to the right inside the circle and their corresponding short horizontal ones symbolize the Shuri-te of master Itosu and the Naha-te of master Higaonna - the whole image stressing the harmony of the two schools."

The colour red used today is a recent addition. It is not known when the colour changed from the original black/grey. The "mon" can sometimes be seen to include Kanji down the centre.

line image

The information above was given to Adam Carter-sensei by Soke Mabuni Kenzo in 2002.

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