Calligraphies located in the dojo are penned by Mitsugi Saotome Sensei and his early calligraphy instructor. Sensei’s calligraphies are written under his pen name 巖仁. Sensei’s calligraphy can be found in Aikido dojo and private homes of practitioners around the world. If you are fortunate enough to see them, the expressive nature is dynamic and no two are similar.

Some prints of these calligraphies are available for purchase by members and guests for display in their own home or dojo.

A selection of calligraphies is displayed here, and there are more in the dojo when visiting.

Bu Calligraphy by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan

武; Bu

A well known kanji in martial arts, Bu is typically translated as “martial”, however the etymology of the character means to stop a spear. Saotome Sensei frequently refers to this concept in transmitting the founder’s teachings. This calligraphy was penned by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.

Ai Calligraphy by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan

愛; Ai

A prominent calligraphy by Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan displayed on side of the wall overhanging the member’s office and mat.

愛光; Ai Ko

This calligraphy penned by Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan is translated as Love’s Light; Light of Love.

Shiki Calligraphy by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan

志氣; Shi Ki

This calligraphy is for shiki, and represents aspiration, ambition, spirit, backbone, or resolve. It also has a well known translation of a message from W.S. Clark.

菩提達磨; Bodhidharma

This calligraphy is from Mitsugi Saotome’s calligraphy teacher, and it is displayed beautifully along with others in the foyer of the entrance. It is not only an honor to display these calligraphies in the dojo, for members, and patrons, but also the many visitors and guests that come to visit daily.


This calligraphy was penned by Mitsugi Saotome Sensei’s calligraphy professor, it has been hanging in the dojo since the early founding and is instructive to practitioners. Some of the characters while untranslated here, can be traced via Buddhist studies.


A prominent calligraphy penned by Sensei and affixed to the side of the Tea Room, this calligraphy points out washing the heart, and in Japanese culture this points to the heart, mind, and spirit.