Shisochin – “Four Directions/Gates of Conflict/Attack”

Shisochin translates as “Four Gates” or “Four Directions of Conflict”.  To leave it at that discounts a truer understanding.  The third kanji is the same found in Sanchin and Seiyunchin, which translates as “battle” or “conflict”.  This lends to a deeper definition of its meaning.  The idea of four directions can come from the performance of the four shotei in four directions.  It can also represent the four elements represented in Chinese medicine (Acupuncture is one) of Wood, Fire, Metal and Water with man representing Earth.  Since this was the science and culture of that period in China when Higaonna and Miyagi both studied in Fuzhou, it would be a great oversight to discount this aspect as a very probable explanation of the Kata’s name and martial intent.