The word Shotokan is comprised of three
Kanji characters in Japanese - Sho To Kan 松濤館
The literal translation is Pine Waves Hall, and is
synonymous with the tiger symbol and Shotokan Karate
Master Funakoshi's pen name was Shoto, and signs his works of
calligraphy with his pen name. He would explain that the cool
breezes, which blew among the pine trees where he lived, made a
sound like waves breaking the shore. When viewing the Pine trees
blowing at distance, it looked like a tigers tail.
The tiger, which is commonly used as the symbol of shotokan
implies that the tiger never sleeps, therefore, is the keen
alertness of the wakeful tiger.