Buy a Determination Chinese/Japanese Wall Scroll

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Determination
  2. Determination to Achieve
  3. Esprit de Corps / Determination
  4. Unswerving Determination / Firm and Persistent
  5. Determination to Achieve / Will-Power
  6. Perseverance / Fortitude
  7. Patience / Perseverance
  8. Patience / Perseverance / To Endure / Tolerant
  9. Perseverance
10. Perseverance / Will-Power
11. Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude
12. Perseverance is the Key
13. Dedication
14. Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused
15. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
16. Bounce Back...
17. Commitment
18. Dependable
19. Diligence
20. Failure is the Origin of Success
21. Failure is the Mother of Success
22. Faith / Trusting in the Unseen
23. Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight
24. Fortitude / Strength of Character
25. Gaman
26. Industrious / Hard Working
27. Heaven Blesses the Diligent
28. Indomitable / Unyielding
29. Indomitable Spirit
30. Never Give Up
31. Never Give In / Never Succumb...
32. No Pain No Gain
33. Passion for a Cause
34. Enthusiasm / Passion for a Cause
35. Patience Yields Peace of Mind
36. Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle
37. Persistence
38. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks
39. Phoenix Rise from the Ashes
40. There is no pleasure without pain
41. Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams
42. Pursuit of Happiness
43. Resilience / Restoration / Recovery
44. Spare No Effort
45. Always Striving for Inner Strength
46. Strong bones come from hard knocks
47. Strong Hearted / Strong Willed
48. Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success
49. Tenacious / Tenacity
50. Unwavering
51. Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind
52. Regardless of the Weather,...
53. To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible
54. Where there’s a will there’s a way
55. Stay Strong / Iron Will
56. Each Time You Stumble and Fall,...


Determination

China jué xīn
Japan kesshin
Determination Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word holds the dictionary definition of "determination" but literally means, "determined heart."

The first character means "to determine" or "determined."

The second character means "heart," "mind" or "soul," so you can imagine that this form of "determination" partially means to put your heart into something. It can also be translated as resolve, resolution, or decision (as in a decision made and followed).


See Also:  Devotion | Tenacious | Passion | Dedication | Will-Power

Determination to Achieve

Japan ichi nen ho kki
Determination to Achieve Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb, "Ichinen Hokki," suggests being resolved to do something or having a wholehearted intention to accomplish something.

Some will translate this as, "the determination to accomplish something," "turning over a new leaf and being determined to find success."

Esprit de Corps / Determination

Japan shi ki / shi ge
Esprit de Corps / Determination Wall Scroll

This Japanese word can mean, "esprit de corps" or "determination to achieve."

When this is pronounced "Shige," it can refer to a place in Japan. It can also be a Japanese surname "Shiki."

Unswerving Determination / Firm and Persistent

China jiān yì
Unswerving Determination / Firm and Persistent Wall Scroll

The title really says it all. This single Chinese word means, "firm and persistent" and/or "unswerving determination."

Determination to Achieve / Will-Power

China yì zhì
Japan ishi
Determination to Achieve / Will-Power Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Korean, and Japanese word means, "determination to achieve." It can also be translated as: will; willpower; determination; volition; intention; intent.

In Japanese, this can also be the given name Ishi.

Perseverance / Fortitude

China jiǎn rěn
Japan ken nin
Perseverance / Fortitude Wall Scroll

The first character means "strong," "solid," "firm," "unyielding" or "resolute."
The second character means "to beat," "to endure," or "to tolerate."
Together they speak of the strength from within yourself. Some may also translate this as "long-suffering" in a more Biblical sense.

This is a common term in Chinese and Korean Hanja but a little less commonly used in modern Japanese Kanji. For that reason, this selection is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean.


忍忍 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the second Kanji a little differently. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect the form where the little horizontal stroke crosses the vertical stroke. See differences in the images to the right. Technically, they are both the same character, and will be read the same in either language.

Patience / Perseverance

China rěn
Japan nin
Patience / Perseverance Wall Scroll

忍 contains the ideas of patience, equanimity, perseverance, forbearance, and endurance. Alone, this single character can be a bit ambiguous or flexible. It can also mean to endure, to bear, to put up with or to conceal. If you want to simply decide what this character means to you within the general meaning but keep it a mystery to others, this is a good choice.

If you want to be more direct, you may want to choose one of our other selections that mean perseverance or patience (you will see this character within those larger words/phrases).

There is a secondary meaning in Japanese, since this is the first character of the word ninja.

忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write it in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this Kanji form (yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).


See Also:  Perseverance | Patience | Tenacious

Patience / Perseverance / To Endure / Tolerant

China rěn nài
Japan nin tai
Patience / Perseverance / To Endure / Tolerant Wall Scroll

Patience is quiet hope and trust that things will turn out right. You wait without complaining. You are tolerant and accepting of difficulties and mistakes. You picture the end in the beginning and persevere to meet your goals.

These characters can also mean "to endure," "restrain oneself," "forbearance," and in some context it can mean "perseverance" or "endurance."

This is also used as a tenet of Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, and other Korean martial arts where it's titled "Endurance" and romanized as "In Neh."


忍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 Kanji form (yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).


See Also:  Peace | Harmony | Perseverance

Perseverance

China jiān rèn bù bá
Perseverance Wall Scroll

Perseverance is being steadfast and persistent. You commit to your goals and overcome obstacles, no matter how long it takes. When you persevere, you don't give up...you keep going. Like a strong ship in a storm, you don't become battered or blown off course. You just ride the waves.

The translation of this proverb literally means, "something so persistent or steadfast, that it is not uprootable / movable / surpassable."


See Also:  Tenacious | Devotion | Persistence | Indomitable

Perseverance

(2 characters)
China jiān rèn
Perseverance Wall Scroll

堅韌 is a simpler version that just holds the meaning of "fortitude," "steadfast" and "persistent."

Perseverance

China
Japan see note
Perseverance Wall Scroll

毅 is the simplest way to express perseverance in Chinese and Korean Hanja.
This single-character version leaves a bit of mystery about what kind of perseverance you might want to convey.

In Korean, this is usually associated with "strength of character."

In Japanese, this character can be pronounced about a dozen different ways (so we have left out the Japanese pronunciation guide that normally appears above). In Japanese this Kanji would usually be translated "strong" (perhaps strong-willed).


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Perseverance / Will-Power

China yì lì
Perseverance / Will-Power Wall Scroll

These two characters are a way to express "perseverance" with the idea of "willpower" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. It can also mean "strong willed."

The first character means "strong" and "persistent," while the second means "strength" and "power."

Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude

China jiān rěn bù bá
Japan kenninfubatsu
Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude Wall Scroll

This means determined, steadfast, unswerving, or unshakable in Japanese.

This is the Japanese version of an old Chinese 4-character perseverance proverb.
This would be understood in Chinese but it's not commonly written this way in Chinese.


忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese calligraphers sometimes write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. Yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in this alternate Japanese Kanji form. If you have a preference, let us know when you order.

Due to some odd computer coding conventions, these two character forms were combined/merged into the same code point - thus, you will not see Kanji images of more Japanese form as you select options for your scroll.

Perseverance is the Key

Skills cannot be perfected without perseverance in practice
China bú pà liàn bù chéng jiù pà xīn bù héng
Perseverance is the Key Wall Scroll

This literally translates as: Do not worry about not being able to master [a skill]; What [one should] be concerned about is lack of perseverance.

Figuratively, this means: One's skills cannot be perfected without perseverance in practice.

For me, I've learned that you can only get so much from school or studying. You've really got to do "on-the-job training" to perfect your ability and skill.

For martial arts students: You can read about a kick in a book, or someone can tell you about a certain kick but until you practice the kick, there's no way you'll master it.

Dedication

Dedicated to One Thing
China zhuān yòng
Dedication Wall Scroll

專用 is the kind of dedication you might have to your job, or a person.

Trivia: It is the same word used as an adjective in front of the word for "network" to say "dedicated network" in Chinese.

Please note: While this is a word in Korean, the meaning is private or "exclusive use." So this is best if your audience is Chinese.


See Also:  Devotion | Passion | Tenacious | Commitment

Dedication

Japan sennen
Dedication Wall Scroll

専唸 is the Japanese word for dedication. It means "give undivided attention" or "devote oneself to (something)."

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


See Also:  Devotion | Passion | Tenacious | Commitment

Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused

China zhuān xīn
Japan sen shin
Devotion / Dedication / Attentive / Focused Wall Scroll

The first character means "for a particular person, occasion, or purpose," "focused on one single thing," "concentrated" and sometimes, "special."

The second character means "heart" or "mind" by itself.

Together, these two characters make a word that means, "paying attention with your heart." It's often translated as, "dedication," as in "be absorbed in" or "concentrate one's efforts." It's also used to mean, "with single mind," "whole-heartedly," "paying attention," "undivided attention," "concentration (-ed)," "engrossed," "devotionally (listening/watching)," and/or "attentive."

My favorite translation, which comes from the Oxford Advanced Chinese/English Dictionary is, "wholehearted devotion."

If it seems like the meaning of this word is quite open, you are correct. The context in which the word is used matters a lot. It can mean different things depending on how you use it. This makes it kind of nice as you can decide what this means to you (within some limits). This word is always positive in meaning, so even if a Chinese person reads it differently than you, it will still have a good meaning.


専In Japanese, they tend to use a variation of the second character which has one less stroke. If you want your calligraphy written this Japanese form, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note: Japanese and Chinese people will recognize either form.


See Also:  Faith | Devotion

Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

(complete bodily devotion)
China xiàn shēn
Japan ken shin
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication Wall Scroll

獻身 is used to describe being so devoted to something that you will make sacrifices for that goal/thing/person. You can also translate this word as any of the following:
Give one's life for...
Sacrifice one's life for...
To dedicate oneself to...
Self-devotion
Dedication
Commit ones energy to...
Devote to...
Self-sacrifice
Giving your whole body to...

This can be a dedication to or for someone but more often is used in reference to a dedication or making sacrifices for your country, public service, or a cause. For instance, an Olympic athlete makes great sacrifices to train in his/her sport for their country and compatriots.


献
身
While the form shown to the upper-left is considered an ancient Japanese version, in modern Japan, they use the simplified version of the first Kanji (shown to the right). Click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version.

If you are looking for a more religious meaning of devotion, see Faith.


See Also:  Confidence | Dedication

Bounce Back
Stage a Comeback

China dōng shān zài qǐ
Bounce Back / Stage a Comeback Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "make a comeback," or "resuming after a failure." It's sometimes used in terms of losing a job and then getting it back. However, it applies to any kind of comeback after difficulty.

The literal meaning of this Chinese idiom is, "[The] Eastern Mountain Again [will] Rise."

Commitment

China chéng nuò
Japan shoudaku
Commitment Wall Scroll

Commitment is caring deeply about something or someone. It is deciding carefully what you want to do, and then giving it 100%, holding nothing back. You give your all to a friendship, a task, or something you believe in. You finish what you start. You keep your promises.

In Chinese, this word directly means to undertake something or to make a promise to do something.

Within the idea of commitment, this word also means to make a big effort, or undertaking a great task. Outside of the commitment idea, this particular word can also mean approval, acceptance, consent, assent, acquiescence, or agreement depending on context (especially in Japanese and Korean). Therefore, this word is probably best if your audience is Chinese.


See Also:  Partnership | Hard Work | Dedication

Dependable

China jiān yì kě kào
Dependable Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean resolute with firm determination.
The second two characters mean reliable.

Together, this creates a 4-character expression that clearly means dependable.

Diligence

China qín miǎn
Japan kinben
Diligence Wall Scroll

Diligence is working hard and doing your absolute best. You take special care by doing things step by step. Diligence helps you to get things done with excellence and enthusiasm. Diligence leads to success.

勤勉 can also be translated as industry, industrious, assiduity, assiduous, diligent, or sedulity.


See Also:  Hard Work | Tenacity | Commitment | Passion for a Cause

Failure is the Origin of Success

Japan shippai wa seikou no moto
Failure is the Origin of Success Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally reads, "failure/mistake/blunder/defeat is the origin of success."

Basically, it suggests that failures or defeats are a necessary part of success.

This is often translated as, "Failure is a stepping stone to success."


Note: There are a few similar variations of this idiom in Japanese.


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


See Also:  Failure Is a Stepping Stone to Success

Failure is the Mother of Success

China shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ
Failure is the Mother of Success Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Korean proverb means, "Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success."

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


See Also:  Experience Is the Mother of Wisdom

Failure is the Mother of Success

Japan shippai wa seikou no haha
Failure is the Mother of Success Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means exactly what you think.

Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success.

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


Note: This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb.


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


See Also:  Experience Is the Mother of Wisdom

Faith / Trusting in the Unseen

China xìn niàn
Japan shinnen
Faith / Trusting in the Unseen Wall Scroll

信念 express the idea of "having a belief," or "trusting in the unseen."

信念 could also be translated as beliefs or convictions.


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


See Also:  Devotion | Dedication | Trust

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

Always rising after a fall or repeated failures
Japan shichi ten hakki / nana korobi ya oki
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb relays the vicissitudes of life, with the meaning "seven times down eight times up."

Some would more naturally translate it into English as "Always rising after a fall or repeated failures" or compare it to the English, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

The first Kanji is literally "7." The second means "fall down" (sometimes this Kanji means "turn around," "revolve" or "turn over" but in this case, it holds the meaning of "fall"). The third is "8." And the last is "get up," "rouse," or "rise."

Basically, if you fail 7 times, you should recover from those events and be prepared to rise an 8th time. This also applies if it is the world or circumstances that knock you down seven times...
...just remember that you have the ability to bounce back from any kind of adversity.

Note: This can be pronounced two ways. One is "shichi ten hakki" or "shichitenhakki." The other is "nana korobi ya oki" also written, "nanakorobi-yaoki."

Special Note: The second character is a Kanji that is not used in China. Therefore, please only select our Japanese master calligrapher for this selection.

Fortitude / Strength of Character

China gāng yì
Japan gouki
Fortitude / Strength of Character Wall Scroll

This Japanese and Chinese word means, "resolute and firm," "fortitude," "firmness of character," "hardihood," "manliness" or "macho."


See Also:  Perseverance | Strength | Tenacity

Gaman

China wǒ màn
Japan ga man
Gaman Wall Scroll

Gaman is a Zen Buddhist term from Japan that means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity."

This title can also be translated as patience, perseverance, tolerance, or self-denial.

This is also a Chinese Buddhist term with a different pronunciation. It comes from Sanskrit abhimāna or ātma-mada. Chinese Buddhism defines this very differently as, "Egoism exalting self and depreciating others," "self-intoxication," or "pride." Alone, the first character means "Me, I, or Self," and the second character in a Buddhist context comes from Sanskrit māna and means pride, arrogance, self-conceit, looking down on others, supercilious, etc.


I'm currently working with Japanese and Chinese translators to try and reconcile the true meaning or any commonality of this word between languages. For now, please only consider this if your audience is Japanese.

Industrious / Hard Working

China ài gǎng jìng yè
Industrious / Hard Working Wall Scroll

Used to refer to someone who puts forth maximum effort and achieves much. We might call this kind of person a "go-getter" in English.


See Also:  Dedication | Tenacious | Devotion

Heaven Blesses the Diligent

China tiān dào chóu qín
Heaven Blesses the Diligent Wall Scroll

This can be interpreted a few different ways:
God blesses those who work hard.
It is the way of Heaven to smile on the diligent.
God will reward those that are worthy.
Heaven blesses those who are diligent.

Whichever translation you like, a scroll like this on your wall may serve as a reminder to work hard because your diligence will pay off both in this life and the next.


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

Indomitable / Unyielding

China bù qū bù náo
Japan fukutsu futou
Indomitable / Unyielding Wall Scroll

不屈不撓 means "Indomitable" or "Unyielding."

This is a long word by Chinese standards. At least, it is often translated as a single word into English. It's actually a proverb in Chinese.

If you want to break it down, you can see that the first and third characters are the same. Both meaning "not" (they work as a suffix to make a negative or opposite meaning to whatever character follows).

The second character means "bendable."

The last means "scratched" or "bothered."

So this really means "Won't be bent, can't be bothered." I have also seen it written as "Will not crouch, will not submit." This comes from the fact that the second character can mean, "to crouch" and the last can mean "to submit" (as in "to give in" such as "submitting to the rule of someone else"). This may explain better why these four characters mean "indomitable."

Notes:
Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.
The first two characters can be a stand-alone word in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered to be two words (with very similar meanings).
The same characters are used in Korean, but the 2nd and 4th characters are swapped to create a word pronounced "불요불굴" in Korean.
Just let me know if you want the Korean version, which will also make sense in Japanese, and though not as natural, will also make sense in Chinese as well.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Indomitable Spirit

Japan ma ke ji damashii
Indomitable Spirit Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means "indomitable spirit" or "unyielding spirit."


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

Never Give Up

China yǒng bù fàng qì
Never Give Up Wall Scroll

The first character means "eternal" or "forever," the second means "not" (together they mean "never"). The last two characters mean "give up" or "abandon." Altogether, you can translate this proverb as "never give up" or "never abandon."

Depending on how you want to read this, it is also a statement that you will never abandon your hopes, dreams, family or friends.


See Also:  Undaunted | No Fear | Hope

Never Give In / Never Succumb
Never Lose

Japan kesshite akirameruna
Never Give In / Never Succumb / Never Lose Wall Scroll

This is a Japanese term that informally means "never give up." It's also a Japanese way to say "never surrender."


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


See Also:  Tenacity | Perseverance | Hope

No Pain No Gain

Literally: No Pain, No Strength
China bú tòng bù qiáng
No Pain No Gain Wall Scroll

This proverb is close to our idea of "no pain, no gain" in English. It holds this meaning in the context of working out at the gym etc.

This literally means, "no pain, no strength," meaning that if you don't experience a little pain, you will not gain any strength.

No Pain No Gain

Japan itami naku shite erumono wa nashi
No Pain No Gain Wall Scroll

This Japanese phrase means "no pain, no gain."

Literally, this suggests that with pain, a gain must follow.

The pain Kanji here can also be translated as sorrow or suffering. The gain can also mean profit, advantage, or benefit. In Japanese Buddhist context, that gain Kanji can mean rebirth in paradise, entering nirvana.

The character break down:
痛みなく (itami naku) pain; ache; sore; grief; distress. The naku part adds a meaning of "a lot of" or "extended"
して (shite) and then. (indicates a causative expression; acts as a connective particle)
得る (eru) to get; to acquire; to obtain; to procure; to earn; to win; to gain; to secure; to attain.
もの (mono) conjunctive particle indicating a cause or reason.
なし (nashi) none of; -less; without; no.


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

Passion for a Cause

China rè qíng
Japan netsujou
Passion for a Cause Wall Scroll

Depending on context, this word can mean "cordial," "enthusiastic," "passionate" or "passionately."

This version is sometimes used in Japanese but the character order is more common in Chinese and Korean Hanja. The meaning in Japanese for this Kanji order is "ardour" or "zeal" but rarely used in modern Japan. I suggest you choose a different version of "passion" if your audience is Japanese.


See Also:  Persistence | Devotion | Tenacity | Commitment | Motivation

Enthusiasm / Passion for a Cause

China qíng rè
Japan jou netsu
Enthusiasm / Passion for a Cause Wall Scroll

情熱 is the Japanese word that means enthusiasm, or "passion for a cause."

In some context, this could have a meaning of being extremely fond of something, or having fondness for a cause or person.

Can also be translated as passion, zeal, ardour, or fervor.

Note: 情熱 order is not natural in Chinese. However, a typical Chinese person can guess that this is a Japanese or Korean word and also understand the intended the meaning. This selection is best if your audience is Japanese or old-school Korean.


See Also:  Persistence | Devotion | Tenacity | Commitment | Motivation

Patience Yields Peace of Mind

China néng rěn zì ān
Patience Yields Peace of Mind Wall Scroll

This ancient Chinese proverb can be translated as, "Patience brings peace of mind," "One who has patience, finds peace," and a few other ways.

Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle

China mó chǔ chéng zhēn
Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "to grind an iron bar down to a fine needle," or "Even a bar of iron can be ground down to a needle [with perseverance]."

Figuratively, this means to persevere in a difficult task or to study diligently.

Persistence

China gù zhí
Japan koshuu
Persistence Wall Scroll

Can also mean "opinionated" or "stubborn," in Chinese and Japanese but in the nicest way possible (still bad). This just means "stubborn" in Korean (not a good scroll if your audience is Korean, in fact, we don't recommend this word at all). There are better ways to express this idea, such as tenacious or perseverance... ...see links below...


See Also:  Tenacious | Fortitude | Perseverance

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." This is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence

Phoenix Rise from the Ashes

China fèng huáng niè pán
Phoenix Rise from the Ashes Wall Scroll

This proverb suggests "Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes." Literally, it means, "Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana."

There is a legend in China of a great bird which is reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill-will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the whole world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).

500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.

There is no pleasure without pain

No pain, no gain
Japan ku wa raku no tane
There is no pleasure without pain Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "One cannot have pleasure without pain." It's one of a few Japanese ways to say, "No pain, no gain."


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

Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams

China zhuī xún mèng xiǎng
Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "to pursue," "to track down," or "to search for."

The last two mean dreams. This version of dreams refers to those with an element of reality (not the dreams you have when you sleep but rather your aspirations or goals in life).

This title will tell everyone that you want to make your dreams come true.


See Also:  Pursuit of Happiness

Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams

Japan yume wo oi tsudukeru
Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams Wall Scroll

This is the Japanese way to express "Follow Your Dreams." If you have dreams that you want to pursue and make true, this is the phrase for you.

The first character is "dream" or "dreams." The rest of the characters establish the idea of chasing or pursuing.


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


See Also:  Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness

China zhuī xún xìng fú
Pursuit of Happiness Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "to pursue," "to track down," or "to search for."

The last two mean happiness, happy, or blessed.

This is the best way to translate the English phrase "pursuit of happiness" into Chinese.


See Also:  Follow Your Dreams

Resilience / Restoration / Recovery

China huī fù lì
Resilience / Restoration / Recovery Wall Scroll

This title suggests having the power to recover, restore, rehabilitate. This can refer to yourself, someone else, or even to something, like rehabilitating a burned forest. This is the essence of resilience in life.

The first two characters are a word that means to reinstate, to resume, to restore, to recover, to regain, to rehabilitate, restoration, rehabilitation, recovery, return, improvement, recovery (from an illness), recuperation, or convalescence.

The last character means strength or power.


See Also:  Tenacity | Perseverance

Spare No Effort

China bù yí yú lì
Spare No Effort Wall Scroll

This is a Chinese proverb that can be translated many ways. Here's some of them: go to any lengths; with all one's might; spare no pain; do one's utmost.

If you feel hard work and holding nothing back is your philosophy, then this is the phrase for you.

Always Striving for Inner Strength

China zì qiáng bú xī
Always Striving for Inner Strength Wall Scroll

This proverb or idiom suggests that the pursuit self-improvement is eternal. It can also be a suggestion to strive unremittingly in life.

The first two characters mean inner-strength with the idea of self-improvement. The last two characters mean "never rest" or "striving without giving up."

Some will translate these four characters as, "Exert and strive hard without any let up."

Strong bones come from hard knocks

China bù kē bù pèng gǔ tóu bù yìng
Strong bones come from hard knocks Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Without being knocked around a bit, [one's] bones won't become hard.

Figuratively, this means: One can't become strong without first being tempered by "hard knocks."

While true for everyone, this sounds like the "Iron Body" form of Kung Fu, where practitioners bodies are beaten (and often bone fractured) in order to become stronger.
For the rest of us, this is just about how we can be tempered and build character through the hardships in our lives.

This is not a common title for a wall scroll in China.

Strong Hearted / Strong Willed

China yì zhì jiān qiáng
Strong Hearted / Strong Willed Wall Scroll

This phrase can mean either "strong hearted," "strong willed" or "determination."

The first two characters can be translated as "will," "willpower," "determination," "volition," "intention," or "intent." But, it should be noted that this first part possess the element of "heart" in the lower portion of both characters (they also partially carry the meaning "with whole heart").

The last two characters mean "strong" or "staunch."

Chinese word order and grammar is a bit different than English, so in this case, they are in reverse order of English but have the correct meaning in a natural form.


See Also:  Strong Willed | Discipline | Will-Power

Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success

Japan sittpai wa seikou no moto
Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally reads, "failures/mistakes/blunders are the yeast-starter/yeast-mash of success."

Basically, it suggests that failures are a necessary part of success; Just as bread or beer requires yeast to successfully rise or brew/ferment.


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

Tenacious / Tenacity

China wán qiáng
Japan gan kyou
Tenacious / Tenacity Wall Scroll

These two characters together mean "Tenacious," "Hard to Defeat," or "Dogged."

Alone, the first character means mischievous, obstinate or stubborn. But it loses some of the mischievous meaning when the second character is added.

The second character means strength, force, powerful or better.


See Also:  Dedication | Devotion | Never Give Up

Unwavering

Japan haragasuwaru
Unwavering Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means to have guts, or to be unwavering in one's resolution.


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

Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind

China fēng yǔ wú zǔ
Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind Wall Scroll

This proverb is often translated as, "Go ahead as planned regardless of the weather" or, "[Overcome] despite the rain and wind."

This Chinese proverb suggests that you are willing (or should be willing) to overcome any adversity, and accomplish your task at hand.

There is a second/optional part to this phrase which suggests that you should do this together with someone (see our other 8-character version if you want the full phrase).

Regardless of the Weather,
We Overcome Troubles Together

China fēng yǔ wú zǔ tóng zhōu gòng jì
Regardless of the Weather, / We Overcome Troubles Together Wall Scroll

The first four characters are often translated as, "Go ahead as planned regardless of the weather" or, "[Overcome] despite the rain and wind." The last four characters can mean, "Stick together" but literally means "Take the same boat [together]."

This Chinese proverb suggests that you are willing (or should be willing) to overcome any adversity, and accomplish your task at hand. The second part (last four characters) is sometimes left off but this second part strongly suggests that you should overcome that adversity together.

To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible

Where there is a will, there is a way
China yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng
To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible Wall Scroll

This old Chinese proverb has been translated many different ways into English. As you read the translations below, keep in mind that in Chinese, heart=mind.

Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.
Nothing is difficult to a willing heart.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Nothing in the world is impossible if you set your mind to do it.
A willful man will have his way.
If you wish it, you will do it.
A determined heart can accomplish anything.
All things are possible to a strong mind.


Where there’s a will there’s a way

persevere and you will succeed
China yǒu zhì jìng chéng
Where there’s a will there’s a way Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "persevere and you will succeed."

It's very much like the English idiom, "where there's a will, there's a way."

Stay Strong / Iron Will

Japan tesshin sekichou
Stay Strong / Iron Will Wall Scroll

鉄心石腸 is a Japanese proverb which suggest you should have the inner-strength and will as hard and steadfast as iron. It's the Japanese way to say, "stay strong." 鉄心石腸 is an especially uplifting thing to say to a person in distress or recovering from a disaster. It's kind of the survivor's creed.

If you literally translate this, it means, "iron will, stone guts" or "iron heart, rock-hard bowels."

Each Time You Stumble and Fall,
You Gain Experience and Wisdom

China chī yí qiàn, zhǎng yí zhì
Each Time You Stumble and Fall, / You Gain Experience and Wisdom Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means:

"Fall into a moat and you will gain wisdom from the experience"

It really suggests that the failures, troubles, frustrations, and setbacks that you encounter in your life are actually helping you to find wisdom. Some would also translate this proverb as:

"Learn from your mistakes" or "Learn from your experience."

If you are studying Chinese, you will recognize the first character as "eat" but in this case, it means to "experience" (as used in this proverb, it is suggesting that you have fallen into a moat and/or had a hard time crossing it).
Literally translated character by character, this whole proverb is:

"Experience one moat, gain one wisdom/knowledge."

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




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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
Determination 決心
决心
kesshin / keshinjué xīn / jue2 xin1 / jue xin / juexin chüeh hsin / chüehhsin
Determination to Achieve 一念発起ichi nen ho kki
ichinenhokki
ichi nen ho ki
ichinenhoki
Esprit de Corps
Determination
志気shi ki / shi ge
shiki / shige
Unswerving Determination
Firm and Persistent
堅毅
坚毅
jiān yì / jian1 yi4 / jian yi / jianyi chien i / chieni
Determination to Achieve
Will-Power
意志ishiyì zhì / yi4 zhi4 / yi zhi / yizhi i chih / ichih
Perseverance
Fortitude
堅忍
坚忍
ken nin / kenninjiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren chien jen / chienjen
Patience
Perseverance
ninrěn / ren3 / ren jen
Patience
Perseverance
To Endure
Tolerant
忍耐nin tai / nintairěn nài / ren3 nai4 / ren nai / rennai jen nai / jennai
Perseverance 堅韌不拔
坚韧不拔
jiān rèn bù bá
jian1 ren4 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
jianrenbuba
chien jen pu pa
chienjenpupa
Perseverance 堅韌
坚韧
jiān rèn / jian1 ren4 / jian ren / jianren chien jen / chienjen
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.



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