The word Hitotsu means "one" or "first" and is prepended to each rule to place it at the same level of importance as the others. The word koto which ends each rule means "thing" and is used as a conjunction between rules. Also, the Japanese no indicates possessiveness and is equivalent to the English 's . doryoku no seishin = effort's spirit = the spirit of effort. wo (and wa ) is used to indicate that the preceding element is the subject of the sentence . X wo Y = with respect to X, Y. Finally, the word imashimuru seems archaic, however, it contains the radical 戒 that means admonition and is usually translated as refrain .