THE HEART OF KANJI: Each meeting in our life is (a) once in the lifetime chance

人(Jin) means “person.” This character represents the shape of a person. 生 (Sei) means “life.” The bottom lines indicate the ground and the top lines indicate sprouts. 一 (Ichi) means “one.” This represents one finger. 期 (Go) means “term or time.” The left side represents boxes stacked on top of each other and the right […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Life of flower

花 (Hana) means “flower.” The top indicates a plant. The left side below the plant indicates a person, and the right side indicates the person who is upside down in the ground, meaning death. A flower begins as a plant, blooms as a flower, and then it eventually dies. 命 (Inochi) means “life.” The top indicates a […]


根 (Ne) means “roots.” This kanji character consists of two parts. The left side represents a tree and the right side represents the roots. So “ne” is a tree’s roots. The Konko founder’s teaching says, “If you take care of the roots of a tree, then its branches will grow lush. Respect your ancestors, then […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Accept and stand firmly

受けて (ukete) means “accept or receive,” and consists of three parts. The top part represents one’s hands and fingers, the middle part represents a boat and the bottom part represents one’s arms. When a boat brings us items or materials, we accept or receive them with our hands, fingers and arms. 立つ (tatsu) means “stand,” […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Joy, even if you are in suffering

困る (komaru) means “suffering,” and consists of two parts. The outside lines represent a box, and the inside lines represent a tree. The tree can’t get out of the box, so it suffers. 喜べ (yorokobe) means “joy,” and consists of two parts. The top part represents a drum or musical instruments on a stand. Below, […]

THE HEART OF KANJI: Water and air

水 (mizu) means “water.” This character comes from the splashing of water. 空 (kuu or sora) means “empty” or “sky.” This character comes from a big empty room or cave. 気 (ki) means “spirit” or “breath.” This character consists of two parts. The top part represents a person’s profile including the face, mouth and nose; […]


The kanji character 用 (yo) means “to be able, useful” and consists of two parts. A vertical center line represents a nail. All other lines represent pieces of wood. The pieces of wood were put together by the nail. 意(i) means “thinking in your heart,” which consists of two parts. Above is a person’s voice and below […]