Furuya Sensei said, "A truly good human being is hardly noticed by anyone because they are good. This, I believe, is true goodness." Thus, the Nanten is the symbol of our dojo and is supposed to represent something that is so plain and simple that its beauty goes unnoticed. Nanten is a powerful plant and is supposed to have the power to turn evil into good as well.
The Snow represents the harshness of winter and the need to work hard and persevere because not only its temperature but its weight can cause things to break.
The Japanese sparrow or suzume sings, "chu, chu, chu." Chu (忠) usually means to be loyal and therefore the sparrow's song warns us to be loyal, but another variation of chu translates as hard work or mame.
This scroll calls to us to be strong in the face of whatever adversity we are facing in our lives. We learn the most about ourselves during adversity. A great quote by Albert Camus is, "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
When we look at this painting, it is easy to just notice the upfront perception of being a nicely painted scroll. As we look deeper into the symbols it reminds us that in order to be successful ,despite the circumstances, we need to be strong, work hard and persevere.