KIN,the large character at the top, has many meanings: work, action, diligence, proper function, service, dynamic. In Zen, it connotes "meaningful activity," good work without waste, and with purpose. "One day of no work is one day of no food," is one of the most famous of Zen phrases, and sums up the Zen ethic.
Nantembo was one of the more colorful Zen masters of recent times. He was famed for disciplining his disciples with a stout staff made from a branch of a nanten tree, hence his nickname Nantembo, "Nanten-stick." He was a friend of the great swordsman Yamaoka Tesshu, and had many important and influential disciples. Nantembo was said to have had more than three thousand Zen students and he is believed to have created around one hundred thousand works of Zen art.