See also: Zen
Wooden Buddha

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Chinese & Japanese Buddhism Calligraphy Wall Scrolls

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Buddhism / Buddha
  2. Buddha / Buddhism
  3. Buddhism
  4. Karma
  5. Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment
  6. Kensho - Initial Enlightenment
  7. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha
  8. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion
  9. Nirvana
10. Namo Amitabha Buddha
11. Four Noble Truths
12. Four Noble Truths: Suffering
13. Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment
14. Four Noble Truths: Elimination of Desire
15. The Noble Eightfold Path
16. 1. Right Understanding / Right Perspective...
17. 2. Right Resolve / Right Thought...
18. 3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech
19. 4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct
20. 5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood
21. 6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort
22. 7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
23. 8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration
24. Ten perfect Mahayana rules
25. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation
26. Dharma / Damo / Daruma
27. Bodhisattva
28. The Aura of Buddha
29. The Eye of the Buddha
30. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism
31. Happy Buddha
32. Buddha Seeking
33. Koan
34. Mercy / Compassion / Love
35. Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine
36. Dharma / The Law
37. Amitabha Buddha
38. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
39. Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering
40. Goddess of Compassion
41. Impermanence
42. Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation
43. Karma
44. Karma - Cause and Effect
45. Meditation
46. Mercy / Compassion...
47. Mindfulness
48. Buddhist Monk
49. Namu Amida Butsu
50. Namu Myoho Renge Kyo / Homage to Lotus Sutra
51. All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path
52. Nothingness
53. Pure Land / Jodo
54. Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism
55. Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation
56. Reincarnation
57. Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls
58. Sangha / Order of Monks
59. Sangha
60. Seeking Truth
61. Shakyamuni / The Buddha
62. True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence
63. Sit in Meditation
64. Shin Buddhism
65. True Religion / Buddha Truth
66. Truth Flashed Through The Mind
67. Zen Buddhism
68. Zen Contemplation
69. Zen Understanding
70. Zen / Chan / Meditation
71. Three Treasures of Buddhism
72. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha


Buddhism / Buddha

China
Japan hotoke
Buddhism / Buddha Wall Scroll

佛 is the essence of the Buddha or Buddhism. Depending on context, this word and character can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

It is interesting to note that this word is separate from all others in the Chinese language. The sound of "fo" has only this meaning. 佛 is in contrast to many sounds in the Chinese language which can have one of four tones, and more than 20 possible characters and meanings. This language anomaly shows just how significant Buddhism has affected China since the ancient times.

More about Buddhism

佛 is also used with the same meaning in Korean Hanja.

It's used in the very religious context of Buddhism in Japan. It should be noted that there are two forms of this Kanji in use in Japan - this is the more formal/ancient version but it's rarely seen outside of religious artwork, and may not be recognized by all Japanese people.

It also acts as a suffix or first syllable for many Buddhist-related words in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


See our Buddhism & Zen page


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Enlightenment

Buddha / Buddhism

Hotoke
Japan hotoke / butsu
Buddha / Buddhism Wall Scroll

This single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.

This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write Buddha in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).

This is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.

Buddhism

(2 characters)
China fó jiào
Buddhism Wall Scroll

佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism. It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings." 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.

Buddhism

(2 Kanji)
Japan bukkyou
Buddhism Wall Scroll

This can mean Buddha or Buddhism. Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write Buddha in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.

The first character is also a rare form of Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.

Karma

Single character for Buddhist Karma
China
Japan gou
Karma Wall Scroll

業 is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. 業 is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.

Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.

The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).

Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

China pú tí
Japan bodai
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment Wall Scroll

The Bodhi is the moment of completion in Buddhism. It is when all things become known, and you have completed your journey to enlightenment.

The reference is to the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment" but if you want the full version with the character for tree on the end, please see our other entry.


See Also:  Buddha | Nirvana | Enlightenment

Kensho - Initial Enlightenment

China jiàn xìng
Japan ken shou
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment Wall Scroll

Generally the same meaning as Satori but referring to the initial state or initial experience of enlightenment. This is a Zen Buddhist term that is not widely known outside of the religion. Used more in Japan than China.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people. Some Japanese people will dispute whether this title is valid in the Japanese language. Only order this if you are sure this title is right for you.


See Also:  Enlightenment

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Wall Scroll

見性成佛 is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成佛 is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.


See Also:  Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

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

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:  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 Wall Scroll

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:   Goddess

Nirvana

China niè pán
Japan ne han
Nirvana Wall Scroll

These are the Chinese characters that mean Nirvāṇa. I will let you decide what Nirvana means to you.

涅槃 / 涅盤 can also be translated as "Buddha's death and salvation" or "death of a Buddhist monk" depending on context. However, this is not seen with any bad meaning. You could replace "death" with "moving on," as that is how it's seen in a Buddhist context.


More info from our dictionary: Nirvana

Namo Amitabha Buddha

China nā mó ē mí tuó fó
Japan namu amida butsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha Wall Scroll

This is how to express "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha" (especially for the Pure Land Buddhist Sect).

Some will translate as, "Homage to Amitâbha Buddha" or "I seek refuge in the Amitâbha Buddha."

This is valid in Chinese characters Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes modern Japanese use a different version of the 4th and last Kanji but the version shown here is the most universal.

This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Nirvana

Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)

China sì dì
Japan shitai
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism) Wall Scroll

四諦 is the title of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).

The suggestion behind these truths is that all things in nature suffer. All things in nature have desire. The enlightened can release themselves from the bonds of desire. And finally, once they release all desire and attachment, the enlightened will find a path that leads away from suffering.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

Four Noble Truths: Suffering

Dukkha
China kǔ dì
Japan kutai
Four Noble Truths: Suffering Wall Scroll

Part of life in this universe is suffering. All living things experience some form of suffering according to Buddhist teaching.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment

Samudaya
China jí dì
Japan jittai
Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment Wall Scroll

At the core of suffering is often the concept of desire or attachment. This can be carnal desire, monetary desire, or the attachment you have to something that you are unwilling to part with (such as a fancy car). This is a simplification of the second noble truth which is really and exploration into the root causes of suffering - it's deeper than I can go in a few sentences.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

Four Noble Truths: Elimination of Desire

Nirodha
China miè dì
Japan mettai
Four Noble Truths: Elimination of Desire Wall Scroll

Once you eliminate desire or attachment to worldly things, only then can you achieve enlightenment.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese, Korean, and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

The Noble Eightfold Path

Ashtangika Marga / Astangika-Marga / Atthangika Magga
China bā zhèng dào
Japan ha sshou dou
The Noble Eightfold Path Wall Scroll

八正道 is a complex set of steps that Buddhists much take to cleanse karma, achieve enlightenment, eventually cease the cycle of rebirth and live in a state of Nirvana.


If the idea of 8 separate wall scrolls plus this title is too much for you, we can custom-arrange all eight of these concepts on a single wall scroll. Just post your request on our Asian calligraphy forum, and we can discuss options.

Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

1. Right Understanding / Right Perspective
Right View / Perfect View

Samyag Dristhi / Samyag Drsti / Samma Ditthi
China zhèng jiàn
Japan sei ken
1. Right Understanding / Right Perspective / Right View / Perfect View Wall Scroll

正見 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right View, along with Right Thought constitutes the path to Wisdom.

To get to the right view of the world, you must first understand and follow Four Noble Truths.


Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

2. Right Resolve / Right Thought
Right Intention / Perfect Resolve

Samyak Samkalpa / Samma Sankappa
China zhèng sī wéi
Japan sei shi yui
2. Right Resolve / Right Thought / Right Intention / Perfect Resolve Wall Scroll

正思唯 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Thought, along with Right View constitute the path to Wisdom.

In Buddhism, Right Thought in simple terms means to free yourself from having ill-will towards anyone or anything. It also suggests that you remain harmless to other living creatures.

This can also be defined as, "Resolve in favor of renunciation, good will, and non-harming of sentient beings."


惟There is an ancient/alternate version of the third character for this selection. You can see that alternation third character to the right. If you want your selection to use that older character, just click on the character to the right, instead of the button above.

Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech

Samyag Vaca / Samma Vaca / Samma Vacha
China zhèng yǔ
Japan sei go
3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech Wall Scroll

正語 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Speech, along with Right Action and Right Living constitute the path to Virtue.

Simply stated, Right Speech is abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter, abstaining from slander, abstaining from gossip, or any form of harmful or wrong speech.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct

Samyak Karmanta / Samma Kammanta
China zhèng yè
Japan sei gyou
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct Wall Scroll

正業 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Action, along with Right Speech and Right Living constitute the path to Virtue.

The five precepts of Right Action are:
1. To refrain from destroying living beings (no murder, or any form of taking a life).
2. To refrain from stealing.
3. To refrain from sexual misconduct (adultery, rape, etc.).
4. To refrain from false speech (lying or trickery).
5. To refrain from intoxicants which lead to heedlessness (no drugs or alcohol).

This concept can be summarized as, "Avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline."

Note: In Japanese, when read by a non-Buddhist, this will mean "the right job/vocation."


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood

Samyag Ajiva / Samma Ajiva
China zhèng mìng
Japan sei myou
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood Wall Scroll

正命 (right living) is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism.

Right Living, along with Right Speech and Right Action constitute the path to Virtue.

Right Living means that a Buddhist should only take a job or pursue a career in a field that does no harm. Buddhists should not work in the arms trade, as pimps or in the field of prostitution, as a butcher or in a shop that kills or sells meat, in a laboratory that does animal research, or any other business that involves scheming or unethical behavior.

Another definition: Avoidance of professions that are harmful to sentient beings, such as slaughterer, hunter, dealer in weaponry or narcotics, etc.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

Samyag Vyayama / Samma Vayama
China zhèng jīng jìn
Japan sei shou jin
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort Wall Scroll

正精進 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Effort, along with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake in each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and defilement, the effort to make each activity of our day meditation. This concept is about pursuing wholesome things that promote good karma.

Another definition: Cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

Samyak Smriti / Samyak Smrti / Samma Sati
China zhèng niàn
Japan sei nen
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness Wall Scroll

正念 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Mindfulness, along with Right Effort and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Mindfulness is about remaining focused on one's body, feelings, mind and mental qualities. It's also about being ardent, aware, and mindful, and supposes that you've already put aside worldly desire and aversion.

Monk Bhikkhu Bodhi described this as: The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event.

Another definition: Ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and objects of thought.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Samyak Samadhi / Samma Samadhi
China zhèng dìng
Japan sei jou
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration Wall Scroll

正定 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Concentration, along with Right Effort and Right Mindfulness constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Concentration has to do with leaving behind sensuality, unwholesome states, as well as pleasure and pain. 正定 is a complex idea but once you have achieved the shedding of worldly sensation, you can truly concentrate and find a higher level of awareness.

Another definition: Concentration of mind that finds its highpoint in the four absorptions.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

Ten perfect Mahayana rules

China shí fǎ
Japan jippou
Ten perfect Mahayana rules Wall Scroll

十法 is the title of the ten perfect or perfecting Mahāyāna rules.

The order of rules are as follows:
1. right belief.
2. right conduct.
3. right spirit.
4. joy of the bodhi mind.
5. joy in the dharma.
6. joy in meditation.
7. pursuing the correct dharma.
8. obedience to, or accordance with dharma.
9. departing from pride, desire, etc.
10. comprehending the inner teaching of Buddha and taking no pleasure attaining such knowledge or noting the ignorance of others.

This title is only used in the context of Buddhism. Japanese and Chinese people who are not familiar with Buddhism will not recognize this title.

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

China xīn yìn
Japan shin nin
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation Wall Scroll

心印 is a Buddhist concept that simply stated is "appreciation of truth by meditation."

It's a deep subject, but my understanding is that you can find truth through meditation, and once you've found the truth, you can learn to appreciate it more through further meditation. This title is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist community (your Asian friends may or may not understand it). The literal translation would be something like "the mind seal," I've seen this term translated this way from Japanese Buddhist poetry. But apparently, the seal that is stamped deep in your mind is the truth. You just have to meditate to find it.

Soothill defines it this way: Mental impression, intuitive certainty; the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, which can seal or assure the truth; the term indicates the intuitive method of the Chan (Zen) school, which was independent of the spoken or written word.


Reference: Soothill-Hodous Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism


See Also:  Zen

Dharma / Damo / Daruma

China dá mó
Japan daru ma
Dharma / Damo / Daruma Wall Scroll

達摩 / 達磨 is the Chinese and Japanese title for Dharma (a short name for Bodhidharma). He's known in Chinese as Damo, and in Japanese as Daruma.


Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as 磨 versus 摩. If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.

Bodhisattva

China pú sà
Japan bosatsu
Bodhisattva Wall Scroll

菩薩 is the title of a deity in Buddhism that exists to help you reach enlightenment.

In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is a being who is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally means enlightenment truth which is bodhi sattva in Sanskrit.

This term is sometimes used to refer to a kindhearted person, one who will sacrifice himself/herself for others, and lacks ego or desire but is instead devoted to the good and well-being of others.


See Also:  Buddha | Namo Amitabha

The Aura of Buddha

China fó guāng
Japan bukkou
The Aura of Buddha Wall Scroll

This title means Buddha's teachings, or Buddha's Light.

This often refers to the aura around the head of Buddha.

Alternate meanings include: Spiritual Enlightenment (from Buddha), Buddha's Halo, or Buddha's Glory.

The Eye of the Buddha

China wǔ yǎn
Japan butsugen
The Eye of the Buddha Wall Scroll

The eye of Buddha, the enlightened one who sees all and is omniscient.


仏In modern Japan, they also write the first Kanji as shown to the right. Both versions are correct but if you want the modern Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.

Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

Japan ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Wall Scroll

The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

This is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Happy Buddha

Buddha of Joyful Light
China huān xǐ guāng fó
Japan kan gi kou butsu
Happy Buddha Wall Scroll

This title is Buddha of Joyful Light. This is Amitābha from Sanskrit but pronounced very different in Chinese and Japanese.

Buddha Seeking

China qín qiú
Japan gongu
Buddha Seeking Wall Scroll

勤求 is a complex word. In the simplest terms, it means inquiring the Buddha way. To put it another way, it is seeking something in the right way, at the right time, and diligently seeking only truth or the good.

Koan

China gōng àn
Japan kouan
Koan Wall Scroll

In Buddhist context, this is a Zen question for meditation.

From the Buddhist dictionary this is:
Problems set by Zen masters, upon which thought is concentrated as a means to attain inner unity and illumination.

The secular meaning of this word can mean a judge's desk, complex legal case, contentious issue, a dossier, case record, public laws, regulations, or case-law.

Mercy / Compassion / Love

China
Japan ji
Mercy / Compassion / Love Wall Scroll

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

Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine

China fó fǎ
Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine Wall Scroll

This can be defined as "The Law of Buddha," "The Power of Buddha," or simply "Dharma."

Dharma / The Law

China
Japan hou
Dharma / The Law Wall Scroll

法 is the simple way to write "law" or in a Buddhist context "Dharma."

This can also mean method, way or Buddhist teaching. It's also an abbreviation for the country of France.

The Buddhist context exists in Chinese and Korean Hanja but I have not yet confirmed that this means more than "law" when used alone in Japanese.

Amitabha Buddha

China ē mí tuó fó
Japan amida butsu
Amitabha Buddha Wall Scroll

This title can mean the Buddha of the Western paradise. But it's more a chant that means, "May the lord Buddha preserve us!" or "Merciful Buddha!."

This is also a translation to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for, "Amitâbha Buddha."

Asian Buddhists will often greet and say goodbye to each other with this phrase/chant/title.

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
China yīn yuán
Japan in nen
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Wall Scroll

因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.

Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.

It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.

因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.

The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things."

This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.


Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji: 縁
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.


See Also:  Opportunity

Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering

Magga
China dào dì
Japan doutai
Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering Wall Scroll

Once you have dealt with your desires, and left all desire and attachment behind, only then are on you the path away from suffering (and on your way to enlightenment). This is also called the path to liberation in some English texts on Buddhism.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Enlightenment

Goddess of Compassion

China guān yīn
Japan kan non
Goddess of Compassion Wall Scroll

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 Wall Scroll

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.

Impermanence

China wú cháng
Japan mujou
Impermanence Wall Scroll

無常 is the state of being "not permanent," "not enduring," transitory, or evolving.

It can also mean variable or changeable. In some context, it can refer to a ghost that is supposed to take a soul upon death. Following that, this term can also mean to pass away or die.

In the Buddhist context, this is a reminder that everything in this world is ever-changing, and all circumstances of your life are temporary.
If you take the Buddhist philosophy further, none of these circumstances are real, and your existence is an illusion anyway. Thus, the idea of the eternal soul is perhaps just the attachment you have to your ego. Once you release your attachment to all impermanent things, you will be on your way to enlightenment and Buddhahood.

Language notes for this word when used outside the context of Buddhism:
In Korean Hanja, this means uncertainty, transiency, mutability, or evanescent.
In Japanese, the definition orbits closer to the state of being uncertain.

Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

China chán yuè
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation Wall Scroll

This term transcends a few religions, including Taoism and Buddhism. This title refers to the inner bliss and peace that you can achieve from meditation. It can also be translated as "joy of the mystic trance" or simply "meditative bliss."

Amazing that such a complex idea can be expressed in just two Chinese characters. Note that the first character is Chan/Zen (Chinese/Japanese) which means "meditation" in both languages.

Karma (of your past lives)

China sù yè
Japan shukugou
Karma (of your past lives) Wall Scroll

宿業 is the Buddhist concept of Past Karma. To put it simply, it's the sum of all the good and bad from all previous lives (and perhaps earlier in your current life). This term is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist faith (you'll have a tough time finding a non-Buddhist Asian person that knows this word).

Other ways to translate this: "The karma of previous existence," "The karma remaining from prior existences," or simply "Former karma."

Karma - Cause and Effect

China yīn guǒ
Japan inga
Karma - Cause and Effect Wall Scroll

因果 is a label that is used inside and outside of the Buddhist faith to speak of Karma.

Along with the meaning of Karma, this word can be translated as "retribution" or "chain of cause and effect."

Meditation

China míng xiǎng
Japan mei sou
Meditation Wall Scroll

This encompasses the idea of meditation. It's also a term used to describe a deep form of day-dreaming, exploring one's imagination, the act of contemplating, or the idea of contemplation. This is often associated with Buddhism, however, the word "Zen" in Japanese (or "Chan" in Chinese) is probably more commonly used (or better known in the west).


See Also:  Zen

Mercy / Compassion
Buddhist Loving Kindness

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

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

Mindfulness

China niàn
Japan nen
Mindfulness Wall Scroll

念 is the simplest way to write "mindfulness" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

念 can be defined these ways: To read; to study (a degree course); to read aloud; to miss somebody (keeping them in your mind); idea; remembrance; sense; thought; feeling; desire; concern; attention; recollection; memory; to think on/about; reflect; repeat, intone; a moment.

Obviously, the context in which the character is used determines which definition or meaning is perceived. As a single character, it's open and perhaps ambiguous. Thus, it can be read with any or all of these meanings.

念 is used in a Buddhist context (often written as 正念 or "right mindfulness") with similar meanings of thought and contemplation.

In Japanese, this character is sometimes used as a name "Nen."


See Also:  Enlightenment

Buddhist Monk

Japan sou ryo
Buddhist Monk Wall Scroll

The first Kanji means Buddhist priest or monk by itself.
The second Kanji means follower or companion.


僧Note, if you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will look a bit more like the Kanji shown to the right than the Kanji shown above. Let us know if you have a preference, as both versions are technically-correct in both Chinese and Japanese.

Namu Amida Butsu

Japan namu amida butsu
Namu Amida Butsu Wall Scroll

This is the modern Japanese version of "Namu Amida Butsu" or "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha."

Some will translate this as, "I sincerely believe in Amitabha; Lord have mercy on me."

This phrase especially applies to Japanese Pure Land Buddhists.

There is a more universal version using ancient characters (with more strokes) for the 4th and last characters. That version is also used in Chinese, Korean, and occasionally Vietnamese. This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Nirvana

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo / Homage to Lotus Sutra

China nán wú miào fǎ lián huá jīng
Japan na mu myou hou ren ge kyou
Namu Myoho Renge Kyo / Homage to Lotus Sutra Wall Scroll

This is sometimes translated as the "Devotion to the Law of the Lotus Flower Scripture."

This is a meditation chant and homage to the Lotus Sutra, used by Nichiren Buddhists in Japan.
This is also a chant used in China by certain sects of Buddhism that celebrate the deity Guanyin.

Also romanized as "Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō" or without accents as "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo."


經
Original
Traditional
Version

The last character was originally written as seen on the left. Sometimes, you will see it written in the Japanese variant form as shown on the right. If you want this Japanese variant, click on the "Modern Japanese Variant" text instead of the button up by the main title of this entry.

All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path

China zhèng jiàn zhèng sī wéi zhèng yǔ zhèng yè zhèng mìng zhèng jīng jìn zhèng niàn zhèng dìng
Japan shouken shoushiyui shougo shougo shoumyou shoushoujin shounen shoujou
All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path Wall Scroll

These are the eight tenets of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path written altogether.

Here's this list of tenets in English:
1. Right View / Right Understanding / Right Perspective / Perfect View
2. Right Resolve / Right Thought / Right Intention / Perfect Resolve
3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Nothingness

China kōng wú
Japan kuu mu
Nothingness Wall Scroll

空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.

The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).

The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.

Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness."

I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery." Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).

Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature."

Pure Land / Jodo

Also a sect of Buddhism
China jìng tǔ
Japan jou do
Pure Land / Jodo Wall Scroll

This literally means "pure land" or "clean earth."

This is also the abbreviated title of a Buddhist sect which involves faith in rebirth of Buddha Amitabha (Amitābha) in the Western Heaven. Sometimes this sect is translated as "Paradise of the West." Other titles of this school of Buddhism include Amidism or Elvsium.


See Also:  Nirvana | Shin Buddhism

Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

China jìng tǔ zōng
Japan jou do shuu
Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism Wall Scroll

淨土宗 is the title of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism." This form is also romanized/known as "Jodo Shu" (jōdo shū).

Also known as Amidism for the fact that this is a branch of Mahayana (Mahāyāna) Buddhism which focuses on Amitabha (Amitābha) Buddha. This form of Buddhism, along with Chinese characters, came to Japan via China in the 5th century according to most historians.


Notes:
Pure Land Buddhism is also known as 浄土仏教 (jōdo bukkyō).
Some will just express it with just 浄土 (Pure Land).


See Also:  Shin Buddhism

Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

China ān chán
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation Wall Scroll

These two Chinese characters create a title that means to reach peace and calm through meditation. This is an excellent wall scroll for your relaxation or meditation room.

This is also a Buddhist-related term that encompasses the idea of entering into dhyana meditation.

Reincarnation (Buddhism)

China zhuǎn shì
Japan ten sei
Reincarnation (Buddhism) Wall Scroll

轉世 is the Buddhist idea of reincarnation or transmigration.

Other definitions of this term: "Attainer of Nirvana from within the desire realm," "A practitioner who enters directly into Nirvana from the desire realm, without traversing the form and formless realms. One of the 27 kinds of Hinayana sages," or simply, "to return again to this life."

轉世 is also a Japanese title but the first Kanji was slightly simplified after WWII. Just let us know if you want the modern Japanese version when you order.


See Also:  Rebirth

Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls

China lún huí
Japan rin ne
Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls Wall Scroll

輪回 / 輪廻 is a universal word in Japanese and Chinese that expresses the Buddhist idea of "reincarnation," "transmigration of souls" or "the eternal cycle of birth and death."

In some context, this can also mean "karma," and others will say it represents "samsara."

The first character means wheel, ring, turn, circle, loop or rotate.
The second character can be thought of as a suffix meaning "-times." This second character can also refer to something that revolves, returns, goes back, or a counter for the number of occurrences of some event.
Together the sum supersedes the parts and it means reincarnation. But knowing the seeing the essence of each character may help you understand some of the meaning behind the word.


廻Shown to the right is the more common way to write the second character in Japanese. It's an alternate form of this character in Chinese (so neither way is technically wrong in either language). If you select a Japanese calligrapher, expect that is will look like the Kanji to the right.


See Also:  Rebirth

Sangha / Order of Monks

China sēng
Japan sou
Sangha / Order of Monks Wall Scroll

僧 is the single-character or short form of Sangha, the Buddhist idea of community or order (of monks, nuns, or followers of the Buddha). Alone, this character can simply mean "monk" (Just means monk in Japanese).


僧僧 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write this in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form.

Sangha

China sēng qié
Japan sougya
Sangha Wall Scroll

In Buddhism, this term refers to a community of monks and/or nuns (one of the "Three Jewels"). In general terms, it can simply mean "all followers of the Buddha."

Notes: Though there are not vast numbers of Chinese Hindus, in the Hindu faith, this term means "community together."
The original Sanskrit word is also Romanized as samgha.
The first character means "monk." The second character means Buddha or Shakyamuni.
This is really a transliteration of the original Sanskrit but it uses two very profound Chinese characters related to Buddhism.

Some may pronounce this as "seng qie" or "seng jia" in Mandarin (two possible pronunciations for second character). Note that "qie" would sound a bit like "chee-ah" using typical English pronunciation. Chinese Romanization is not actually designed to match English sounds.


僧僧Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form. However, it should also be noted that this is not a common term in Japanese (except by certain sects of Buddhism or perhaps devout Buddhists in Japan).

Seeking Truth

China qiú dào
Japan gu dou
Seeking Truth Wall Scroll

This means seeking for truth, or to seek (practice for, strive for) enlightenment.

This is used mostly in a Buddhist context, so some non-Buddhists may not recognize it.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

China shì jiā móu ní
Japan sha ka mu ni
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Wall Scroll

釋迦牟尼 is a transliteration of "Shakyamuni" or "Sakyamuni" in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

The perceived meaning of the name is roughly translated as, "Sage of the Sakyas."

This same Buddha is also known as "Siddhartha Gautama," "Gotama Buddha," "Tathagata," or simply, "The Supreme Buddha."

This is the legendary man and prince who eventually established the Buddhist religion.

Note: Occasionally Romanized as "Siddhattha Gotama."

This combination of characters is sometimes seen and used in South Korea and Japan as well (with the same meaning).


Note: 釋迦牟尼 came from the Sanskrit शाक्यमुनि and can also be romanized with diuretics as Śākyamuni.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

China shì jiā
Japan sha ka
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Wall Scroll

釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.

It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.

This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.

This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.

True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence

China zhēn kōng miào yǒu
Japan shin kuu myou u
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence Wall Scroll

According to Soothill 眞空妙有 means:
The true void is the mysteriously existing; truly void, or immaterial, yet transcendentally existing.

This is the state of being absolutely nonexistent after removing all errant worldly influences. This is achieved when all forms of existence is seen for their real nature.


This is a complex Buddhist concept. Feel free to add to the conversation about this concept here: Asian Forum: Shinku Myou

Sit in Meditation

Zazen
China zuò chán
Japan za zen
Sit in Meditation Wall Scroll

This describes the act of sitting in the state of deep meditation. You'll notice that the second character is Chan/Zen, which is often used to title the meditative form of Buddhism. In Korean Hanja, this means "religious meditation" (basically the same as the Chinese definition). This can also be defined as abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, or contemplation.

Buddhists may define this as, sitting in dhyāna, abstract meditation, fixed abstraction, or contemplation.


座禅Japanese note: This will make sense in Japanese but the Kanji shown to the left are partially in ancient/traditional Japanese form. Japanese Buddhists may use 坐禪, 坐禅, 座禪, or 座禅. The most standard/modern Japanese form of this word is shown to the right. Click on the Kanji to the right (instead of the button above) if you want this specifically Japanese version.

Shin Buddhism

True Pure Land Buddhism
Japan jou do shin shuu
Shin Buddhism Wall Scroll

Known in the west as "Shin Buddhism," this is a school of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism." This form is also known as "True Pure Land Buddhism" or "Jodoshinshu" (jōdoshinshū).

If you are looking for this title, you probably already know the rest of the story.


See Also:  Pure Land Buddhism

True Religion / Buddha Truth

The way of the truth
China shí dào
Japan jitsu dou
True Religion / Buddha Truth Wall Scroll

This Buddhist title means, "The true way," "The true religion," "The way of the truth," or "The absolute Buddha-truth."

Truth Flashed Through The Mind

China cān wù
Truth Flashed Through The Mind Wall Scroll

參悟 is a Chan / Zen Buddhism concept that means "to understand (mystery) from meditation," or "to see truth flash through the mind."

參悟 is a pretty deep idea, therefore, your own study and contemplation may be required before you can fully appreciate it.

Zen Buddhism

China chán zōng
Japan Zen shuu
Zen Buddhism Wall Scroll

禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism." Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.

From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.

Zen Contemplation

China rù dìng
Zen Contemplation Wall Scroll

This title can be defined as Zen contemplation in Japanese, or sit quietly in (Buddhist) meditation in Chinese. It also carries a similar meaning in Korean Hanja. Therefore, this is a rather universal term for meditation in the context of Buddhism throughout the Orient.

Can also be translated as "Meditatively equipoised" or "enter into meditation by stilling the karmic activities of deed, speech, and thought."

The original Sanskrit word is samapanna. In Tibetan: snyoms par zhugs pa.

Zen Understanding

China cān chán
Zen Understanding Wall Scroll

This title speaks of reaching an understanding (of Zen or the world). It also means "to practice meditation." The two concepts lead you to the idea that meditation leads to understanding. This is pretty deep, so you can do your own research, or decide what this means for you.

This can also be defined in a more complex way as "thoroughly penetrating with meditative insight."

Zen / Chan / Meditation

...as in Zen Buddhism
China chán
Japan zen
Zen / Chan / Meditation Wall Scroll

First let's correct something: The Japanese romanization for this character, "Zen" has penetrated the English language. In English, it's almost always incorrectly used for phrases like "That's so zen." Nobody says "That's so meditation" - right? As the title of a sect, this would be like saying, "That's soooo Baptist!"

禪 by itself just means "meditation." In that context, it should not be confined to use by any one religion or sect.

Regardless of the dictionary definition, more often than not, this character is associated with Buddhism. And here is one of the main reasons:
Zen is used as the title of a branch of Mahayana Buddhism which strongly emphasizes the practice of meditation.
However, it should be noted that Buddhism came from India, and "Chan Buddhism" evolved and developed in medieval China. The Chinese character "Chan" was eventually pronounced as "Zen" in Japanese. Chan Buddhists in China have a lot in common with Zen Buddhists in Japan.

More about the history of Zen Buddhism here.

Please also note that the Japanese Kanji character for Zen has evolved a little in Japan, and the two boxes (kou) that you see at the top of the right side of the character have been replaced by three dots with tails. Japanese Zen Kanji The original character would still be generally understood and recognized in Japanese (it's considered an ancient version in Japan) but if you want the specifically modern Japanese version, please click on the zen Kanji to the right. Technically, there is no difference in Tensho and Reisho versions of Zen since they are ancient character styles that existed long before Japan had a written language.

Chinese Zen/Chan CharacterThere is also an alternate/shorthand/simplified Chinese version which has two dots or tails above the right-side radical. This version is also popular for calligraphy in China. If you want this version, just click the character to the right.


Further notes: Zen is just one of seven sects of Buddhism practiced in Japan. The others are 律 Ritsu (or Risshū), 法相 Hossō, 論 Sanron 華嚴 Kegon, 天台 Tendai, and 眞言 Shingon.

Three Treasures of Buddhism

China sān bǎo
Japan san bou
Three Treasures of Buddhism Wall Scroll

三寶 is the title for "Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism."

These three treasures are the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (teachings or the law of the Buddha), and the Sangha 僧 (the community of monks or followers).

This term is used by most (perhaps not all) Buddhists in China, Japan, and South Korea (written the same it the original form, but pronounced differently in each language). Non-Buddhists may just read this as, "Three Treasures," without the religious context. For instance, there is also a, "Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine," that is sometimes titled the same way.


In modern Japanese and Simplified Chinese, this is written 三宝 instead of 三寶.

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

China nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
Japan namu shakamuni butsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha Wall Scroll

南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.

Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.

The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in," or "homage to."
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in," while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.




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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
Buddhism
Buddha
hotokefó / fo2 / fo
Buddha
Buddhism
仏 / 佛
hotoke / butsu
Buddhism 佛教fó jiào / fo2 jiao4 / fo jiao / fojiao fo chiao / fochiao
Buddhism 仏教bukkyou / bukyo
Karma
gou / goyè / ye4 / ye yeh
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment 菩提bodaipú tí / pu2 ti2 / pu ti / puti p`u t`i / puti / pu ti
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment 見性
见性
ken shou / kenshou / ken sho / kenshojiàn xìng
jian4 xing4
jian xing
jianxing
chien hsing
chienhsing
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha 見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jyo butsu
kenshoujyobutsu
ken sho jyo butsu
kenshojyobutsu
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
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.