Buy a Custom Altruism-related Chinese and/or Japanese Calligraphy Wall Scroll

You can choose from many options to create artwork with Altruism-related characters on a wall scroll or portrait.
Start your project by clicking on the button next to your favorite title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Benevolence
  2. Kindness / Benevolence
  3. Benevolent Heart
  4. Compassionate Heart / Benevolent Heart
  5. Benevolent and Skilled Doctor
  6. Kindheartedness / Benevolence...
  7. Charity
  8. Caring
  9. Compassion
10. Mercy / Compassion / Love
11. The Five Tenets of Confucius
12. Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity
13. Courage to do what is right
14. Empathy / Humanity
15. Fair / Impartial
16. Forgiveness
17. Generosity
18. Gentleness
19. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion
20. Goddess of Compassion
21. Goodness / Good Deed
22. Goodness / Kind-Hearted
23. Grace from Heaven / Grace from God
24. Grace from Heaven...
25. Helpfulness
26. Human Race / Humanity...
27. Human Nature
28. Love for Humanity / Brotherly Love
29. Impartial and Fair to the...
30. Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision
31. Kindness and Forgiving Nature
32. Kindness / Caring
33. Love
34. Loving Heart / Compassion
35. Loving Heart / One’s Love
36. Mercy / Compassion...
37. Moral and Virtuous
38. Oneness of Heaven and Humanity
39. Self-Restraint / Self-Control
40. Selflessness
41. The Tao or Dao of Being Human / Humanity
42. Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial
43. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good
44. Doing good is the greatest source of happiness


Benevolence

China rén
Japan jin
Benevolence

Beyond "benevolence" this character can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.

The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).

This is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.

I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, good will, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.

This word is so important to me that I named my second daughter with this character. Her name is "Renni" which means "Benevolent Girl."
-Gary.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Love | Kindness | Charity | Confucius

Kindness / Benevolence

China rén cí
Japan jin ji
Kindness / Benevolence

仁慈 word is used in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Asian Buddhism to relay the important idea of loving kindness.

仁慈 can also be defined as: benevolent; charitable; kind; merciful; kind-hearted; benevolence; kindness; humanity; mercy.

In Japanese, this can also be the given name Hitoji. This would also be a good Mandarin Chinese given name romanized as Jentzu (in Taiwan) or Renci (really sounds like ren-tsuh).


See Also:  Love | Kindness | Charity

Benevolent Heart

Japan ji hi no kokoro
Benevolent Heart

This means benevolent heart, compassionate heart, or merciful heart in Japanese.

This is a Japanese-only phrase, and should be ordered from our Japanese master calligrapher. This is because the third character is special Hiragana.

Chances are you are into Inuyasha and are seeking the title of chapter 471 which is often translated as "Merciful Heart."


See Also:  Love

Compassionate Heart / Benevolent Heart

China cí xīn
Japan jishin
Compassionate Heart / Benevolent Heart

This title means, "Compassionate Heart" or "Benevolent Heart." It's used in day-to-day speech to refer to someone who has the traits of benevolence, mercy, and compassion for their fellow humans.

This title is also used in Buddhism with the same profound meaning.

Benevolent and Skilled Doctor

China miào shǒu rén xīn xuán hú jì shì
Benevolent and Skilled Doctor

This phrase celebrates the benevolence, skill, and service to his/her patients.

Here's a breakdown of the characters:
妙手 miào shǒu admirable skill in curing disease (when used in reference to doctors).
仁心 rén xīn kindheartedness, charity, benevolent heart.
悬壶济世 xuán hú jì shì practice medicine or pharmacy to help the people or public.

Benevolent and Skilled Doctor

Short version
China miào shǒu rén xīn
Benevolent and Skilled Doctor

This phrase celebrates the benevolence, skill, and service to his/her patients.

Here's a breakdown of the characters:
妙手 miào shǒu admirable skill in curing disease (when used in reference to doctors).
仁心 rén xīn kindheartedness, charity, benevolent heart.

Kindheartedness / Benevolence
Humanity

China rén dé
Japan jintoku
Kindheartedness / Benevolence / Humanity

These two characters create a word that can be translated as love, kindheartedness, benevolence and humanity.

The first character means benevolence by itself.
The second character means virtue or morality.

Japanese note: The second Kanji of this word has been slightly simplified (one tiny horizontal stroke removed). It is still readable for Japanese but if you select our Japanese calligrapher, expect that stroke to be missing on your wall scroll.

Charity

China cí shàn
Japan jizen
Charity

There are a few different words used to express charity in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja but this is the most common. Some of the other words describe acts such as "giving alms" etc.


Note: Also considered to be one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

If you need a different meaning, just post your request on our Asian calligraphy forum.

Note: Sometimes this is translated as benevolence or benevolent.


See Also:  Benevolence

Caring

China guān xīn
Caring

This means caring in Chinese.

Caring is giving love and attention to people and things that matter to you and anyone who is in need of help. When you care about people, you help them. You do a careful job, giving your very best effort. You treat people and things gently and respectfully. Caring makes the world a safer place.

Note: This is also a word in Korean Hanja but in Korean, it means taking interest or concern. In Korean it's still a good word but it doesn't quite have the "caring for a person" meaning that it does in Chinese.


See Also:  Love | Benevolence

Compassion

China tóng qíng
Japan dou jou
Compassion

These two characters mean compassion and sympathy in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, which makes this word universal.

Compassion is caring and understanding someone is hurt or troubled (even if you don't know them). It is wanting to help, even if all you can do is listen and say kind words. You forgive mistakes. You are a friend when someone needs a friend.


See Also:  Love | Caring | Kindness

Mercy / Compassion / Love

China
Japan ji
Mercy / Compassion / Love

慈 is the simplest way to express the idea of compassion. It can also mean love for your fellow humans, humanity, or living creatures. Sometimes this is extended to mean charity.

This term is often used with Buddhist or Christian context. The concept was also spoken of by Laozi (Lao Tzu) in the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching).

This is considered the direct translation of the Sanskrit word मैत्री (maitrī) Pali word मेत्ता (mettā). In this context, it means benevolence, loving-kindness, and good will.

This Chinese character is understood in Japanese but is usually used in compound words (not seen alone). Also used in old Korean Hanja, so it's very universal.


See Also:  Mercy | Benevolence | Forgiveness | Kindness

The Five Tenets of Confucius

The Five Cardinal Rules / Virtues of Confucius
China rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
Japan jin gi rei tomo nobu
The Five Tenets of Confucius

These are the core of Confucius philosophy. Simply stated they are:
benevolence / charity
justice / rectitude
courtesy / politeness / tact
wisdom / knowledge
fidelity / trust / sincerity

Many of these concepts can be found in various religious teachings. Though it should be clearly understood that Confucianism is not a religion but should instead be considered a moral code for a proper and civilized society.

This title is also labeled, "5 Confucian virtues."


礼 If you order this from the Japanese calligrapher, expect the middle Kanji to be written in a more simple form (as seen to the right). This can also be romanized as "jin gi rei satoshi shin" in Japanese. Not all Japanese will recognize this as Confucian tenets but they will know all the meanings of the characters.


See Also:  Confucius Teachings | Ethics

Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity

Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself
China jǐ suǒ bú yù wù shī yú rén
Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity

Some may think of this as a "Christian trait" but actually it transcends many religions.

This Chinese teaching dates back to about 2,500 years ago in China. Confucius had always taught the belief in being benevolent (ren) but this idea was hard to grasp for some of his students, as benevolence could be kind-heartedness, or an essence of humanity itself.

When answering Zhong Gong's question as to what "ren" actually meant, Confucius said:

"When you go out, you should behave as if you were in the presence of a distinguished guest, when people do favors for you, act as if a great sacrifice was made for you. Whatever you wouldn't like done to you, do not do that thing to others. Don't complain at work or at home."

Hearing this, Zhong Gong said humbly, "Although I am not clever, I will do what you say."

From this encounter, the Chinese version of the "Golden Rule" or "Ethic of Reciprocity" came to be.
The characters you see above express, "Do not do to others whatever you do not want done to yourself."


See Also:  Confucius Teachings | Benevolence

Courage to do what is right

China jiàn yì yǒng wéi
Courage to do what is right

The title says it all.

This could also be translated as:
"Never hesitate to do what is right."


See Also:  Work Unselfishly for the Common Good | Justice | Bravery

Empathy / Humanity

China rén qíng
Japan ninjou
Empathy / Humanity

This title can apply to a lot of meanings including: humanity; empathy; kindness; sympathy; human nature; human emotions; human interaction.

Fair / Impartial

China gōng píng
Japan kouhei
Fair / Impartial

公平 means impartial, fairness, and justice in Chinese, old Korean, and Japanese.

This character, on your wall, should be used to remind yourself to be fair and just in all situations of life.


See Also:  Justice | Balance

Forgiveness (from the top down)

China róng shè
Japan you sha
Forgiveness (from the top down)

容赦 is the kind of forgiveness that a king might give to his subjects for crimes or wrong-doings.

容赦 is a rather high-level forgiveness. Meaning that it goes from a higher level to lower (not the reverse).

Alone, the first character can mean "to bear," "to allow" and/or "to tolerate," and the second can mean "to forgive," "to pardon" and/or "to excuse."

When you put both characters together, you get forgiveness, pardon, mercy, leniency, or going easy (on someone).


See Also:  Benevolence

Forgiveness

China shù
Forgiveness

恕 means to forgive, show mercy, absolve, or excuse in Chinese and Korean Hanja (though mostly used in compound words in Korean).

恕 incorporates the pictogram of a heart at the bottom, and a woman and a mouth at the top. The heart portion has the most significance, as it is suggested that it is the heart's nature to forgive.
In Asian culture, as with most other cultures, forgiveness is an act of benevolence and altruism. In forgiving, you put yourself in someone else's shoes and show them the kindness that you would want them to show you. Confucius referred to this quality as "human-heartedness."

Generosity

China kuān dà
Japan kandai
Generosity

Generosity is giving and sharing. You share freely, not with the idea of receiving something in return. You find ways to give others happiness, and give just for the joy of giving. Generosity is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

寬大 can also be translated as charitable, magnanimity, liberality or in some context broad-mindedness.

Note: There is a tiny deviation in the first character when written in Japanese. If you choose our Japanese master calligrapher, the little dot on the lower right of the first character will be omitted. With or without the dot, this can be read in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.


See Also:  Benevolence | Charity

Gentleness

China wēn róu
Gentleness

Gentleness is moving wisely, touching softly, holding carefully, speaking quietly and thinking kindly. When you feel mad or hurt, use your self-control. Instead of harming someone, talk things out peacefully. You are making the world a safer, gentler place.


See Also:  Kindness | Caring

Gentleness

China wēn hòu
Japan on kou
Gentleness

溫厚 is a Chinese, Japanese and old Korean word for "gentle" or "gentleness." This can also mean "kindness" (more as an adjective like "kind person").


温The modern Japanese version of the first character looks like the one to the right. If you want this modern Japanese form, just click on that Kanji instead of the button above.


See Also:  Kindness | Caring

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

China guān yīn
HK kwun yum
Japan kan non
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

觀音 / 観音 is the Buddhist deity known as the Goddess of Mercy or Bodhisattva of Compassion.

In Chinese, the proper name of this being is Guan Yin. There is some debate as to whether Guan Yin is female. The argument comes from some scripture that suggests Buddhist deities take on the male form. Others say that Guan Yin has no sex. And still others are okay with the female representation of Guan Yin.

This bodhisattva is also known or Romanized in the following ways:
Mandarin Chinese: Guan Yin, Kuan Yin, Kwan Yin.
Japanese: Kannon, Kwannon.
Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Korean: Gwan-eum.
Vietnamese: Quan Âm.
Thai: Kuan Eim.
English: Bodhisattva of Mercy and Salvation, Goddess of Compassion, Buddha of Mercy, et al.

Note: The first character has a slight variation in Japanese. If your audience is specifically Japanese, you may want to select that version.


See Also:  Buddhism | Goddess | Namo Amitabha | Bodhisattva

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

This is the long or more formal version of this title
China guān shì yīn
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

觀世音 is the longer, and perhaps more formal title for the Buddhist deity known as the Goddess of Mercy or Bodhisattva of Compassion.

The longer title of this bodhisattva is Romanized in the following ways:
Mandarin Chinese: Guanshi Yin, Kuan-shih Yin.
Japanese: Kanzeon.
Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Korean: Gwan-se-eum.
Vietnamese: Quan Thế Âm.
Thai: Prah Mae Kuan Eim.
English: Bodhisattva of Mercy and Salvation, Goddess of Compassion, Buddha of Mercy, et al.

Please view our more common and shorter version "Guan Yin" before you make a decision. Also, note that the first character has a slight variation in Japanese. If your audience is specifically Japanese, you may want to select that version.


See Also:  Buddhism | Goddess

Goddess of Compassion

China guān yīn
Japan kan non
Goddess of Compassion

観音 is the specifically Japanese version of Bodhisattva of Compassion or Guan Yin.

In Japanese, this is pronounced Kannon, and occasionally spelled Kwannon. The Chinese version is a bit more commonly-seen in Asia. However, in Japanese, there is a slight variation with the first character.

Some time ago, a camera company in Japan named their company after this Buddhist deity. That camera company is still known as Canon (they chose a "C" instead of a "K" when they Romanized this name).

Goddess of Compassion

Long or more formal Japanese version of this title
China guān shì yīn
Japan kan ze on
Goddess of Compassion

観世音 is the longer and more formal Japanese version of Bodhisattva of Compassion or Guan Yin.

In Japanese, this is pronounced Kanzeon. The Chinese version is a bit more common in Asia but in Japanese they use a slight variation of the first character. Choose this version only if your intended audience is specifically Japanese.

Goodness / Good Deed

China shàn
Japan zen
Goodness / Good Deed

This word means goodness, virtue, good deed, charitable, benevolent, well-disposed, nice, pleasant, kind, or simply, "good."

This is the kind of good that applies to someone's good character, or a good person in general.

Referring to someone with this word means that they have a well-aimed moral compass, are charitable, giving, wise, and honest. Basically, this is a blanket statement for every good trait a human can have, or all the things that make someone good.

In another context, it can mean to improve or perfect something or refer to someone who is good at something.

Goodness / Kind-Hearted

China shàn liáng
Japan zen ryou
Goodness / Kind-Hearted

善良 means good and honest, kind-hearted, goodness, excellence, and/or virtue.

Grace from Heaven / Grace from God

China tiān ēn
Grace from Heaven / Grace from God

天恩 is the deepest way to say "Heaven's Grace" or "God's Grace" in Chinese.

The first character means Heaven or sky (referring in this case to the domain of God).
The second character means grace, blessings, benevolence, favor/favour, acts of kindness, merits, or beneficial influence.

This title can also be defined as:
Blessings of Heaven, Favor of the Emperor, Divination's luckiest day, or blessings of nature. Note: When you see "Emperor" above, keep in mind that the Emperor, like the Pope is theoretically chosen by God, or seen as an emissary or conduit of God in ancient Asian culture. It would only be read that way in a certain context such as, "The Emperor, in his mercy, bestowed upon him Heaven's Grace and the prisoner was set free."


Note: Technically, this is a Japanese word too (pronounced "ten-on") but it's rarely used in Japan anymore. Therefore, this title is best if your audience is Chinese.

Grace from Heaven
Grace from God

Japan kami no on kei
Grace from Heaven / Grace from God

神の恩恵 means God's Grace in Japanese.

The first two characters act to create a word that means "divine," "God's," or "The Spirit's."

The last two Kanji mean grace, favor/favour, blessing, or benefit.

Helpfulness

China lè yú zhù rén
Helpfulness

Helpfulness is being of service to others, doing thoughtful things that make a difference in their lives. Offer your help without waiting to be asked. Ask for help when you need it. When we help each other, we get more done. We make our lives easier.


See Also:  Caring | Charity | Benevolence

Human Race / Humanity
Mankind

China rén lèi
Japan jinrui
Human Race / Humanity / Mankind

人類 is the way to say mankind or humankind in Chinese. It's kind of the "animal title" for human. 人類 is the word you would use if you said this phrase in Chinese, "Mammals include dolphins, monkeys, dogs, and humans among others."

人類 is a weird selection for a calligraphy wall scroll. But a customer begged me to add this word.

Human Nature

China rén xìng
Human Nature

This title is the essence of what it means to act and be human.

These two characters refer to the way we are as people.

This is also sometimes translated as human personality, human instinct, humanity, or humanism.

The first character literally means human or people.

The second character means nature. It can also mean property, quality, attribute, or essence. It can even be a modifier like "-ity" or "-ness," which is why this word is also translated as "humanity."

Love for Humanity / Brotherly Love

benevolence, love
China bó ài
Japan hakuai
Love for Humanity / Brotherly Love

In Chinese and Korean, this means universal fraternity, brotherhood, or universal love.

In Japanese, this means charity, benevolence, philanthropy, or love for humanity.

Please note these subtle differences and take that into account depending on your intended audience (Chinese, Korean or Japanese).


See Also:  Benevolence

Impartial and Fair to the
Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the World

China yí shì tóng rén
Japan isshidoujin
Impartial and Fair to the / Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the World

一視同仁 is how to write "universal benevolence." 一視同仁 is also how to express the idea that you see all people the same.

If you are kind and charitable to all people, this is the best way to state that virtue. It is the essence of being impartial to all mankind, regardless of social standing, background, race, sex, etc. You do not judge others but rather you see them eye to eye on the same level with you.


See Also:  Benevolence | Compassion | Equality | Justice | Right Decision | Selflessness | Work Unselfishly for the Common

Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

Also means: honor loyalty morality righteousness
China
Japan gi
Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

義 is about doing the right thing or making the right decision, not because it's easy but because it's ethically and morally correct.

No matter the outcome or result, one does not lose face if tempering proper justice.

This character can also be defined as righteousness, justice, morality, honor, or "right conduct." In more a more expanded definition, it can mean loyalty to friends, loyalty to the public good, or patriotism. This idea of loyalty and friendship comes from the fact that you will treat those you are loyal to with morality and justice.

This is also one of the five tenets of Confucius doctrine.

儀 There's also an alternate version of this character sometimes seen in Bushido or Korean Taekwondo tenets. It's just the addition of a radical on the left side of the character. If you want this version, click on the image to the right instead of the button above.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Judgment | Impartial | Confucius Tenets

Kindness and Forgiving Nature

China rén shù
Japan jinjo
Kindness and Forgiving Nature

These two characters create a word in Chinese and Japanese that means something like benevolence with magnanimity or kindness with a forgiving nature.

If this describes you, then you are the type of person that I would like to call my friend.

This may not be the most common word in daily use but it's old enough that it transcended cultures from China to Japan in the 5th century when Japan lacked a written language, and absorbed Chinese characters and words into their language.
Note: This is not commonly used in Korean.

Kindness / Caring

China qīn qiè
Japan shin setsu
Kindness / Caring

Kindness is showing you care, doing some good to make life better for others. Be thoughtful about people's needs. Show love and compassion to someone who is sad or needs your help. When you are tempted to be cruel, to criticize or tease, decide to be kind instead.

This Chinese / Japanese / Korean word can also mean affectionate, cordial, warmly, or close (emotionally).


See Also:  Love | Caring | Benevolence

Love

China ài
Japan ai
Love

愛 is a very universal character. It means love in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean Hanja, and old Vietnamese.

愛 is one of the most recognized Asian symbols in the west, and is often seen on tee-shirts, coffee mugs, tattoos, and more.

愛 can also be defined as affection, to be fond of, to like, or to be keen on. It often refers to romantic love, and is found in phrases like, "I love you." But in Chinese, one can say, "I love that movie" using this character as well.

This can also be a pet-name or part of a pet-name in the way we say "dear" or "honey" in English.


It's very common for couples to say "I love you" in Chinese. However, in Japanese, "love" is not a term used very often. In fact, a person is more likely to say "I like you" rather than "I love you" in Japanese. So this word is well-known but seldom spoken.


More about this character:

This may be hard to imagine as a westerner but the strokes at the top of this love character symbolize family & marriage.

心The symbol in the middle is a little easier to identify. It is the character for "heart" (it can also mean "mind" or "soul"). I guess you can say that no matter if you are from the East or the West, you must put your heart into your love.

友The strokes at the bottom create a modified character that means "friend" or "friendship."

I suppose you could say that the full meaning of this love character is to love your family, spouse, and friends with all of your heart, since all three elements exist in this character.


See Also:  I Love You | Caring | Benevolence | Friendliness | Double Happiness Happy Marriage Wall Scroll

Loving Heart / Compassion

China ài xīn
Loving Heart / Compassion

This literally means "loving heart." It can also be translated as "compassion."

In Chinese, it carries more of a compassion meaning.

愛心 is rarely used in Japanese anymore, so best if your audience is Chinese.


See Also:  Compassion | Love

Loving Heart / One’s Love

Japan koi gokoro
Loving Heart / One’s Love

This literally means "loving heart." It can also be translated as "one's love" or "awakening of love."

This is used exclusively for love between boyfriends and girlfriends or husband and wife.

Breaking down the meaning by each Kanji, the first means love, affection, or tender passion. The second Kanji means heart, mind, or soul (most will read it as heart).


See Also:  Compassion | Love

Mercy / Compassion
Buddhist Loving Kindness

China cí bēi
Japan ji hi
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness

Besides the title above, 慈悲 can also be defined as clemency or lenience and sometimes the act of giving charity.

In Buddhist context, it can be defined as, "benevolence," "loving kindness and compassion," or "mercy and compassion."

This Buddhist virtue is perhaps the most important to employ in your life. All sentient beings that you encounter should be given your loving kindness. And trust me, however much you can give, it comes back. Make your life and the world a better place!

This Chinese/Japanese Buddhist term is the equivalent of Metta Karuna from Pali or Maitri Karuna from Sanskrit.

慈 can mean loving-kindness by itself.
悲 adds a component of sorrow, empathy, compassion, and sympathy for others.


See Also:  Benevolence

Moral and Virtuous

China
Japan toku
Moral and Virtuous

德 is the simple way to express the ideas of having virtue, morals, kindness, benevolence, goodness etc. 德 also happens to be the first character of the Chinese word for Germany.


徳There is a slight deviation in the Japanese Kanji form. If you want the modern Japanese version, please click on the special Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note that the traditional Chinese form is still readable and understood by Japanese people.


See Also:  Ethics | Chastity | Prudence | Benevolence | Morality

Oneness of Heaven and Humanity

China tiān rén hé yī
Oneness of Heaven and Humanity

This title represents the oneness of heaven and humanity. It conveys the idea that man is an integral part of nature.

You can also read this as "heaven and man in unity," or "nature and man in unity." The "man" is really "people" or "humans" and is not gender-specific in Chinese.

Self-Restraint / Self-Control

China kè jǐ
Japan kokki
Self-Restraint / Self-Control

克己 / 剋己 can be translated as "self-denial," "self-abnegation," "self-restraint," "self-discipline," "self-mastery" or selflessness.

As a tenet of Korean taekwondo, and other martial arts, this is often used with the title "self-control."

Selflessness

China wú sī
Japan mushi
Selflessness

This would be literally translated as "none self" in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. It is used to express "selflessness" or "unselfish." This is a popular term for the idea of being selfless or unselfish in modern China and Japan.
This term is not as commonly used in Korea but still has good meaning.


See Also:  Unselfish

Selflessness

China wú wǒ
Japan muga
Selflessness

無我 is a more common way to say selflessness in Japanese. This literally means "no self" or a better translation might be "not thinking of oneself." 無我 is also understood in Chinese and Korean. 無我 is a very old word in CJK languages.

無我 is the word a Buddhist would use express the idea of selflessness or unselfishness. For Korean Buddhists it can mean self-renunciation.

The Tao or Dao of Being Human / Humanity

China rén dào
Japan jindou
The Tao or Dao of Being Human / Humanity

人道 is literally the "The Way of Being Human," or "The Human Way." It can also be translated as "humanity."

人道 has a secondary meaning of "sidewalk" as in "the way for people to walk" (in Japanese and Korean only). But as calligraphy artwork, nobody will read it with that translation.

Please note that there are two ways to Romanized Dao or Tao as in Daoism = Taoism. It's the same word in Chinese.

Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial

China dà gōng wú sī
Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial

This Chinese proverb comes from an old story from some time before 476 BC. About a man named Qi Huangyang, who was commissioned by the king to select the best person for a certain job in the Imperial Court.

Qi Huangyang selected his enemy for the job. The king was very confused by the selection but Qi Huangyang explained that he was asked to find the best person for the job, not necessarily someone that he personally liked or had a friendship with.

Later, Confucius commented on how unselfish and impartial Qi Huangyang was by saying "Da Gong Wu Si" which if you look it up in a Chinese dictionary, is generally translated as "Unselfish" or "Just and Fair."

If you translate each character, you'd have something like,

"Big/Deep Justice Without Self."

Direct translations like this leave out a lot of what the Chinese characters really say. Use your imagination, and suddenly you realize that "without self" means "without thinking about yourself in the decision" - together, these two words mean "unselfish." The first two characters serve to really drive the point home that we are talking about a concept that is similar to "blind justice."

One of my Chinese-English dictionaries translates this simply as "just and fair." So that is the short and simple version.

Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used term.


See Also:  Selflessness | Work Unselfishly for the Common Good

Work Unselfishly for the Common Good

China kè jǐ fèng gōng
Work Unselfishly for the Common Good

This can also mean: "Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service."
This Chinese proverb is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)

The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
A man named Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.

Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things in an honorable way. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.

Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime, long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as "ke ji feng gong."


See Also:  Unselfish | Selflessness

Doing good is the greatest source of happiness

China wéi shàn zuì lè
Doing good is the greatest source of happiness

為善最樂 can be translated as, "Doing good is the greatest source of happiness," or "doing good deeds brings the greatest joy".

The origin is not known, sometimes used in the context of Buddhism. However, this Chinese proverb or philosophy is a fairly mainstream idea of benevolence.

Search for in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Benevolence jinrén / ren2 / ren jen
Kindness
Benevolence
仁慈jin ji / jinjirén cí / ren2 ci2 / ren ci / renci jen tz`u / jentzu / jen tzu
Benevolent Heart 慈悲の心ji hi no kokoro
jihinokokoro
Compassionate Heart
Benevolent Heart
慈心jishincí xīn / ci2 xin1 / ci xin / cixin tz`u hsin / tzuhsin / tzu hsin
Benevolent and Skilled Doctor 妙手仁心懸壺濟世
妙手仁心悬壶济世
miào shǒu rén xīn xuán hú jì shì
miao4 shou3 ren2 xin1 xuan2 hu2 ji4 shi4
miao shou ren xin xuan hu ji shi
miao shou jen hsin hsüan hu chi shih
Benevolent and Skilled Doctor 妙手仁心miào shǒu rén xīn
miao4 shou3 ren2 xin1
miao shou ren xin
miaoshourenxin
miao shou jen hsin
miaoshoujenhsin
Kindheartedness
Benevolence
Humanity
仁德jintokurén dé / ren2 de2 / ren de / rende jen te / jente
Charity 慈善jizencí shàn / ci2 shan4 / ci shan / cishan tz`u shan / tzushan / tzu shan
Caring 關心
关心
guān xīn / guan1 xin1 / guan xin / guanxin kuan hsin / kuanhsin
Compassion 同情dou jou / doujou / do jo / dojotóng qíng
tong2 qing2
tong qing
tongqing
t`ung ch`ing
tungching
tung ching
Mercy
Compassion
Love
jicí / ci2 / ci tz`u / tzu
The Five Tenets of Confucius 仁義禮智信
仁义礼智信
jin gi rei tomo nobu
jingireitomonobu
rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
ren2 yi4 li3 zhi4 xin4
ren yi li zhi xin
renyilizhixin
jen i li chih hsin
jenilichihhsin
Confucius: Golden Rule
Ethic of Reciprocity
己所不欲勿施於人
己所不欲勿施于人
jǐ suǒ bú yù wù shī yú rén
ji3 suo3 bu2 yu4, wu4 shi1 yu2 ren2
ji suo bu yu, wu shi yu ren
jisuobuyu,wushiyuren
chi so pu yü, wu shih yü jen
chisopuyü,wushihyüjen
Courage to do what is right 見義勇為
见义勇为
jiàn yì yǒng wéi
jian4 yi4 yong3 wei2
jian yi yong wei
jianyiyongwei
chien i yung wei
chieniyungwei
Empathy
Humanity
人情ninjou / ninjorén qíng / ren2 qing2 / ren qing / renqing jen ch`ing / jenching / jen ching
Fair
Impartial
公平kouhei / koheigōng píng
gong1 ping2
gong ping
gongping
kung p`ing
kungping
kung ping
Forgiveness (from the top down) 容赦you sha / yousha / yo sha / yosharóng shè / rong2 she4 / rong she / rongshe jung she / jungshe
Forgiveness shù / shu4 / shu
Generosity 寬大
宽大
kandaikuān dà / kuan1 da4 / kuan da / kuanda k`uan ta / kuanta / kuan ta
Gentleness 溫柔
温柔
wēn róu / wen1 rou2 / wen rou / wenrou wen jou / wenjou
Gentleness 溫厚
温厚
on kou / onkou / on ko / onkowēn hòu / wen1 hou4 / wen hou / wenhou
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion 觀音 / 観音
观音
kan non / kannonguān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyin kuan yin / kuanyin
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion 觀世音
观世音
guān shì yīn
guan1 shi4 yin1
guan shi yin
guanshiyin
kuan shih yin
kuanshihyin
Goddess of Compassion 観音kan non / kannonguān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyin kuan yin / kuanyin
Goddess of Compassion 観世音kan ze on / kanzeonguān shì yīn
guan1 shi4 yin1
guan shi yin
guanshiyin
kuan shih yin
kuanshihyin
Goodness
Good Deed
zenshàn / shan4 / shan
Goodness
Kind-Hearted
善良zen ryou / zenryou / zen ryo / zenryoshàn liáng
shan4 liang2
shan liang
shanliang
Grace from Heaven
Grace from God
天恩tiān ēn / tian1 en1 / tian en / tianen t`ien en / tienen / tien en
Grace from Heaven
Grace from God
神の恩恵kami no on kei
kaminoonkei
Helpfulness 樂於助人
乐于助人
lè yú zhù rén
le4 yu2 zhu4 ren2
le yu zhu ren
leyuzhuren
le yü chu jen
leyüchujen
Human Race
Humanity
Mankind
人類
人类
jinruirén lèi / ren2 lei4 / ren lei / renlei jen lei / jenlei
Human Nature 人性rén xìng / ren2 xing4 / ren xing / renxing jen hsing / jenhsing
Love for Humanity
Brotherly Love
博愛
博爱
hakuaibó ài / bo2 ai4 / bo ai / boai po ai / poai
Impartial and Fair to the
Brotherhood and Sisterhood of the World
一視同仁
一视同仁
isshidoujin
ishidojin
yí shì tóng rén
yi2 shi4 tong2 ren2
yi shi tong ren
yishitongren
i shih t`ung jen
ishihtungjen
i shih tung jen
Justice
Rectitude
Right Decision

giyì / yi4 / yi i
Kindness and Forgiving Nature 仁恕jinjorén shù / ren2 shu4 / ren shu / renshu jen shu / jenshu
Kindness
Caring
親切
亲切
shin setsu / shinsetsuqīn qiè / qin1 qie4 / qin qie / qinqie ch`in ch`ieh / chinchieh / chin chieh
Love
aiài / ai4 / ai
Loving Heart
Compassion
愛心
爱心
ài xīn / ai4 xin1 / ai xin / aixin ai hsin / aihsin
Loving Heart
One’s Love
戀心
恋心
koi gokoro / koigokoro
Mercy
Compassion
Buddhist Loving Kindness
慈悲ji hi / jihicí bēi / ci2 bei1 / ci bei / cibei tz`u pei / tzupei / tzu pei
Moral and Virtuous
tokudé / de2 / de te
Oneness of Heaven and Humanity 天人合一tiān rén hé yī
tian1 ren2 he2 yi1
tian ren he yi
tianrenheyi
t`ien jen ho i
tienjenhoi
tien jen ho i
Self-Restraint
Self-Control
克己 / 剋己
克己
kokki / kokikè jǐ / ke4 ji3 / ke ji / keji k`o chi / kochi / ko chi
Selflessness 無私
无私
mushiwú sī / wu2 si1 / wu si / wusi wu ssu / wussu
Selflessness 無我
无我
mugawú wǒ / wu2 wo3 / wu wo / wuwo
The Tao or Dao of Being Human
Humanity
人道jindou / jindorén dào / ren2 dao4 / ren dao / rendao jen tao / jentao
Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial 大公無私
大公无私
dà gōng wú sī
da4 gong1 wu2 si1
da gong wu si
dagongwusi
ta kung wu ssu
takungwussu
Work Unselfishly for the Common Good 克己奉公kè jǐ fèng gōng
ke4 ji3 feng4 gong1
ke ji feng gong
kejifenggong
k`o chi feng kung
kochifengkung
ko chi feng kung
Doing good is the greatest source of happiness 為善最樂
为善最乐
wéi shàn zuì lè
wei2 shan4 zui4 le4
wei shan zui le
weishanzuile
wei shan tsui le
weishantsuile
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.

All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.