Martial Arts Certificates
Martial Arts certificates can be a work of art and a source of
inspiration in addition to being a method of documenting student and instructor
At Takase Studios we take great care in working with you on both
the translation and layout to create a custom master certificate that is just
right for your school. We provide the individual attention and work directly with
you to create just the right certificate.
Once you are completely satisfied with the sample design,
Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase will create the master certificate and a
separate sheet with matching dan and kyuu ranks. This
hand-lettered master certificate along with the matching sheet of ranks will be
mailed to you and so there are no other charges.
Standard Certificate Layout
Shown above is a standard certificate layout. As is customary with Japanese,
the certificate begins on the right with the lines written vertically. The
certificate is then read from right to left.
A) Certificate. This is commonly either ninteisho as shown here
or simply sho. Both mean Certificate.
B) School Seal. This is the location for the school seal. The school seal
is always square and formal using the tensho or seal script.
C) Student Name. On the master certificate this area is left blank for
the instructor to fill in the student's name.
D) Rank. This area is reserved for the rank being awarded. At Takase
Studios we provide a separate sheet in a matching font a list of all the dan
and kyuu ranks.
E) Award Text. Typically this follows a pattern of "This certifies that
the person on the right has satisfied all of the requirements MARTIAL ARTS
STYLE/SCHOOL for the specified rank."
F) Date. Dates may be entered in English numbers. Here the date is shown
completely in kanji.
G) Issuing Authority. Depending on the situation this may show only the
school name or a second line may be used to show the parent association.
H) Instructor (s). Typically one or more instructors, their title, and
seal are placed in this final area on the left.
Custom Layouts Welcome
Japanese certificates are well defined and have a long tradition. This guides
both the wording, the border and the layout. While this is appropriate in many
cases, each certificate is an individual work and has particular requirements
that must be met.
Custom 10th Dan Certificate by Master Eri Takase
In some cases English needs to be added to the certificate. Unfortunately
Japanese Calligraphy and English calligraphy are very different. In these
circumstances we recommend working with the copy company to include a
suitable font and layout for the English.
Issues involved in translating names to Japanese are discussed in these
reproductions of Master Takase's column in Martial Arts Insider Magazine:
How To Write Names in Japanese
We do provide two sizes of pre-printed golden phoenix blank certificate
paper. However, if you have your own border or paper this is perfectly fine and
we would just need to know the inside dimension for the Japanese text.
To create the master certificate, we use an interactive process where we send
you samples of the translation, layout, and fonts and based on your feedback make
adjustments as necessary. This way you have complete control over the
certificate design and you will know exactly what the certificate says and how
it will look.
All you need to begin is to place the order and generally let us know the
following (refer to sample above):
E) Award Text
E) Martial Art Style
G) Issuing Authority or Association
G) School Name
H) Instructors/School Founder and formal titles
That is it. We would then work with you on the translation of the elements
and begin with samples of how the certificate might look. We would continue this
until the certificate is just right and based on the final
sample we create the final master certificate which is mailed to you along with
the dan and kyuu ranks.
16 1/2"W x 11 3/4"H
(other size available)
"I received the certificate package yesterday. Everything arrived in
perfect condition, your packing was excellent. I am thrilled with
everything! You did a great job and I am completely satisfied. Your
calligraphy is true art and I am certain all my students will be able to
appreciate their rank certificates in that way. The extras you included
will be very helpful, thanks for being so thoughtful."
Robert Bessler, Shidoshi