Kanji are ideographs and pictographs used in written Japanese. On Kingfisher Swords, Staffs, Hiking Sticks and katana kake (sword stands), inscriptions are oriented vertically and read top to bottom. The characters are burned into the wood by hand with a calligraphy stylus. The bokken, shown above with and without tsuba, is inscribed with the word "randori", which is made up two kanji. The first, ran, means chaos. The second, dori, means to seize or capture. Randori refers to the martial practice of freeform attack and defense practice. On the Jo staff to the right, is the kanji "masagatsu agatsu"which means - true victory is self victory. The Kingfisher kanji archive is an unusual window into esoteric kanji and uncommon phrases that could be inscribed into your wooden weapon or hiking stick. They are compiled from arcane classical sources that relate to the Japanese martial arts, natural phenomena and Zen thought.