Essays From The Master

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Komuso Ryu crest symbolism

Komuso Ryu crest symbolism

Part of the ryu that has attracted much attention is the crest or logo of the school and to that end I have been encouraged to make this brief article on the crest and some of the more specific symbols used by the ryu. It must be noted that the information revealed below is only an outline of an esoteric symbol complex that has both practical and transcendental applications. The outer ring is a black sun; the line that creates the crescent is red and represents a red moon, the large crescent formed by the two previous symbols represents a violet moon. Below the two crescents is a silver field which symbolizes a silver star. The Kanji for Komuso is rendered in gold.


Black Sun: The world of the night the society of the ninja in total. It is also one half of the historical Koga Clan seal. Black is both a clan and school color.


Red moon: The oath of silence in blood taken when one takes one’s vows as a ninja. It is also the other half of the Koga Clan seal. Red is both a clan and a school color.


Violet moon: The inner or hidden light of truth that the ninja carry inside themselves. Violet is a school color of the Komuso ryu in particular.


Silver Star: This is the icon of the fact that the Komuso is descended from the Pole star school. Like violet, silver is a school color.


Gold kanji: This is the hidden treasure of the self fully realized. Gold is a school color.


The five colors also symbolize the five known elements of nature, wind, water, fire, earth and wood. These elements when arranged properly form the gate by which the unknown is made manifest and as such point to the four esoteric elements of metal, jewel, matter and energy. In this we see the nine total elements of existence. Note that two of the elements are termed unknown as they exist underground, these are metal and jewel. In all the five known and two unknown represent the seven Earthly elements. Matter and energy are cosmic elements. In terms of the kokoro the seven Earthly elements represent the paths to the kokoro as well as the seven known charkas, while the cosmic represent the two gates to those paths as well as the third eye and aura or Wa. These also speak to the right and left-handed forms of Yoga.


 The stylized crest described above is only one symbol of this Ryu. The black lotus is a symbol for the ryu as well as is the dragonfly. The flower is often used as a way of alerting others of the ryu’s spiritual resources, while the dragonfly is a means to state to other members that the place is a sanctum if need be if used on a place or that a person is an agent if worn by a person. Of course these symbols must be used in combination for communication to work. For example if the proper bow is given followed by an image of the crest or the black lotus. The ninja should be trained to look for his symbols in places where others do not look; graffiti on a wall is a good place to look. In addition to being a symbol of a sanctum of the sect the dragonfly is also a symbol of the martial skills of the ryu. A more arcane symbol of the Silent Way is the Phurba or Tibetan spirit blade, this image joins the martial and spiritual aspects of the path as it combines the meanings of the two kanji that form Nin, those being kokoro or heart and ken or blade. A phurba can be carried openly as a part of a Ninja’s disguise as a wandering monk or exorcist.

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