Jingi is the Japanese form of a Confucian term.

According to Moshi (known as Mencius in the West), this term describes a balance between humanity and justice through humility, being responsible to one's seniors and responsible for one's juniors, and caring for the mutuality within a group, society, or community.

In the Edo era (1603-1868), the term was adopted by underworld criminal groups (yakuza) and adapted to mean the protection provided by the crime boss in return for subordinates following the rules of the gang.