Kodokan – Tenugui
The above shows the Chinese characters from the sho or shodo (calligraphy) on the tenugui with the Japanese pronunciation and in English, their Confucian meanings.
The Combination of the characters (Jin-Gi-Rei-Chi-Shin) is called Gojo in Japanese. Gojo represents the five ethics which should be kept by a human being according to Confucianism. The Tokugawa Shogunate adopted Confucianism as an official ideology. Gojo therefore became a samurai's ethics standard. These are also the five values represented by the five pleats in the front of a hakama and in the 5 knots in the bamboo of a shinai
Tenugui have been used as a ceremonial ornament since ancient times. They were also used as a guard under the helmet in the age of civil wars. Kabuki actors designed their own original tenugui and gave it to their patrons as a gift since the early days of the Edo era.
Special 'thanks' to Nagao Sensei for the information on tenugui and the characters.
The Kodokan Kamon (club emblem) is a butterfly - in Japanese a chocho. The 'in flight design', evokes the famous quote from Muhammad Ali - 'Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee' (made at the weigh-in for his fight with Sonny Liston 25th February 1964)