Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Luck dictates success in America. When a test is about to be taken in school, the student is told “good luck”, as if some mystical outside factor will determine the outcome. The appropriate response is typically, “Thanks. I’ll need it.” In the Japanese culture, the student holds the responsibility for success. “Do your best,” are the words of encouragement. The response is, “I must do my best.”

The Japanese word Osu is made up of two kanji, "o" meaning to "push" which symbolizes one hundred percent effort and "su" means to "endure". Combined, "osu" is a pledge to do one's best and endure. This symbol, which represents the discipline and self-respect of martial arts is also said to signify patience, respect and appreciation.
In order to develop a strong body and strong spirit it is necessary to undergo rigorous training. You must push yourself to what you believe to be your limit, when you want to stop and give up. When you reach this point you must fight yourself and your weakness and you must win. To do this you must learn to persevere, but above all you must learn to be patient. Just as students of martial arts take the personal responsibility and push themselves to do their very best in order to win, we all can "push and endure" through any of life's challenges in order to gain personal success.

This osu kanji design is available on t-shirts for children and t-shirts for adults and teens. Also see it on other great gift ideas such as mugs, greeting cards, tile coasters, pillows, greeting cards, journals and more.