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Michel Keck Artist.... circles / enso (円相) Ensō (円相) is a Japanese word meaning "circle" and a concept strongly associated with Zen. Ensō is one of most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol not character. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it can also symbolize Japanese aesthetic itself. In Zen Buddhist painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. M. Hatanaka's pin.