'All things start
(a saying of Tatsuo Shimabuku)
THIS IS ONE OF MANY TRANSLATIONS:
emblem is called "Mizu-Gami." Its oval shape originally was designed to represent a vertical fist. It shows a woman who is
half sea-dragon with her left hand open in a universal sign of peace and her right hand closed in a fist as used in the Isshinryu
Kata, Seiuchin. Note: it is traditionally worn vertically on the left chest area of the Gi, over the heart.
In oriental mythology the sea serpent
is born at the bottom of the sea and ascends into the heavens as depicted by the small dragon above her head. The churning
sea and the gray background represent a typhoon, a terrible storm, that happens in the Pacific. Mizu-Gami represents a mother
taking care of her small child, calm and gentle as a mother would under these circumstances but ready to unleash the same
amount of fury a mother would if the child was harmed in any fashion. The three stars represent the three arrows of Karate,
spiritual, physical and mental Note: these stars also represent Master Shimabuku's three formal teachers: (Shuri-Te); Chokotu
Kiyan (Kobayashi-Ryu); Chojun Miyagi (Goju style).
This colorful emblem represents a vision
which came to the founder of Isshinryu Karate, Tatsuo Shimabuku, in a dream he had during the time he was developing Isshinryu.
The feeling is that the emblem symbolically expresses what he was trying to accomplish in Isshinryu Karate. The word "Isshinryu"
when translated from the Okinawan language literally means, "One Heart Method" and "Karate" means "Empty Hands."
This emblem, with its
deep and profound meaning, should be worn proudly by everyone practicing Isshinryu Karate.