Buy a Custom Fortune Chinese or Japanese Calligraphy Wall Scroll

We have many options to create artwork with the Chinese characters / Asian symbols / Japanese Kanji for Fortune on a wall scroll or portrait.
If you want to create a cool Fortune Asian character tattoo, you can purchase that on our Chinese and Japanese Tattoo Image Service page and we'll help you select from many forms of ancient Asian symbols that express the idea of Fortune.

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Wealth / Fortune / Riches / Abundance
  2. Fortune favors the brave
  3. Good Luck / Good Fortune
  4. House of Good Fortune
  5. Happiness / Fortune / Lucky
  6. Fortune flavors the brave
  7. Soldier of Fortune
  8. Wealth / Riches / Fortune
  9. Destiny / Fate
10. Destiny Determined by Heaven
11. The Karma/Fate/Destiny...
12. Even a fool may sometimes come up with a good idea
13. Five Red Bats
14. Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance
15. Abundance / Prosperous
16. Abundance and Prosperity
17. Optimism / Happy With Your Fate
18. Bat
19. Best Friends
20. Bright and Promising Future
21. Word of God / The Gospel
22. Fate / Chance Meeting
23. Predestined Love / Love by Fate
24. Dragon and Phoenix Brings Luck
25. Eat Drink and Be Merry
26. Everything Happens for a Reason
27. The Mysterious Bond Between People
28. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
29. Fire and Water Have No Mercy
30. A Bright Future
31. Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs
32. Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall
33. Foresight
34. Free Will
35. Good Luck
36. Love and Happiness
37. Double Happiness
38. Home of the Auspicious Golden Dragon
39. Safety and Well-Being of the Family
40. Karma Connection
41. Keegan
42. Life Force
43. A Life of Happiness and Prosperity
44. Live in Prosperity
45. Longevity / Long Life Wishes
46. Lucky / Auspicious
47. Once in a Lifetime
48. Opportunity / Good Luck
49. Prosperity
50. The Red String
51. Red Color
52. Serendipity / Happy Coincidence
53. Serendipity / Lucky Coincidence
54. Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo
55. Smooth Sailing
56. Spiritual Soul Mates
57. Tea Fate
58. Boar / Pig

Wealth / Fortune / Riches / Abundance

Japan tomi
Wealth / Fortune / Riches / Abundance Wall Scroll

The title says it all; this word is clearly understood in Chinese and Japanese as well as Korean Hanja.

Fortune favors the brave

Japan yuusha ha kouun ni megumareru
Fortune favors the brave Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb suggests that in history, the brave or courageous tend to be the ones who win.

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

Good Luck / Good Fortune

Japan fuku
Good Luck / Good Fortune Wall Scroll

This Character is pronounced "fu" in Chinese.

The character "fu" is posted by virtually all Chinese people on the doors of their homes during the Spring Festival (closely associated with the Chinese New Years).

One tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (beginning in 256 B.C.) holds that putting a fu symbol on your front door will keep the goddess of poverty away.

This character literally means good fortune, prosperity, blessed, happiness, and fulfillment.

See Also:  Lucky

House of Good Fortune

China fú zhái
House of Good Fortune Wall Scroll

Perhaps the Chinese equivalent of "This blessed house" or perhaps "home sweet home."

This phrase literally means "Good fortune house" or "Good luck household." It makes any Chinese person who sees it feel that good things happen in the home in which this calligraphy is hung.

Happiness / Fortune / Lucky

China xìng
Japan saki / sachi / rei / rē
Happiness / Fortune / Lucky Wall Scroll

This can mean happiness, good fortune, good luck, and in the old days, good harvest or bounty.

Note: From Japanese, this character is sometimes romanized as "sachi," and is often pronounced "kou" or sometimes "rei" when used in compound words with other Kanji.

Fortune flavors the brave

China Mìng yùn zhōng qíng yú yǒng shì
Fortune flavors the brave Wall Scroll

命運鐘情於勇士 means, "fortune favors the brave," in Chinese.

Soldier of Fortune

China gù yōng bīng
Soldier of Fortune Wall Scroll

雇佣兵 is "soldier of fortune" in Chinese. It can also be read as, "mercenary" or "hired gun."

Soldier of Fortune

Japan fuu un ji
Soldier of Fortune Wall Scroll

風雲児 is "soldier of fortune" in Japanese. It can also be read as, "lucky adventurer" or "adventurer who takes advantage of troubled times."

Wealth / Riches / Fortune

China cái fù
Wealth / Riches / Fortune Wall Scroll

財富 means wealth or riches in Chinese.

Hanging this on your wall will label you as a "lover of money" or a "greedy person." Order this, only if you don't mind being seen in this light.

Destiny / Fate

China mìng
Japan inochi / mei
Destiny / Fate Wall Scroll

This character is often translated as "destiny."

Sometimes this character is simply translated as "life" but more in terms of one's lot in life. In certain context, this can mean command or decree (generally from a king or emperor). Of course, such a decree are part of fate and lead you to fulfill your destiny.

In Chinese, this word leans toward the fate or destiny definition.
In Korean, it is usually read simply as "life."
In Japanese, it can mean all definitions shown above, depending on context.

See Also:  Good Fortune

Destiny / Fate

China mìng yùn
Destiny / Fate Wall Scroll

These two characters contain the ideas of "fate," "destiny," "fortune" and "luck." You can also say that it means "what life throws at you" or "your lot in life" because the first character contains the idea of "life" or "living."

This version is really only used in Chinese. There's another version with just the characters reversed that is more universal. In fact, just skip this one. The opposite character order is better.

Destiny / Fate

China yùn mìng
Japan un mei
Destiny / Fate Wall Scroll

These two characters contain the ideas of "fate," "destiny," "fortune" and "luck" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

運命 is often defined as "a person's fate" in various dictionaries.

These two characters can be reversed (written in either order) and yield roughly the same meaning.

This particular character order happens to be more common in old Korean and less common in modern Chinese.

See Also:  Good Fortune | Good Luck

Destiny Determined by Heaven

China tiān yì
Japan teni
Destiny Determined by Heaven Wall Scroll

天意 is a way to express destiny in a slightly religious way. Literally this means "Heaven's Wish" or "Heaven's Desire" with the idea of fate and destiny being derived as well. It suggests that your destiny comes from God / Heaven and that your path has already been chosen by a higher power.

My Japanese dictionary defines this word as "divine will" or "providence" but it also holds the meaning of "the will of the emperor." Therefore, I don't suggest this phrase if your audience is Japanese - it feels a little strange in Japanese anyway.

The Karma/Fate/Destiny
that Brings Lovers Together

China yīn yuán
The Karma/Fate/Destiny / that Brings Lovers Together Wall Scroll

These two characters mean, "Destiny that brings lovers together." It can also be translated technically as, "Predestined matrimonial affinity" (wow, talk about taking the romance out of this word - that was from the Oxford C-E dictionary).

Basically, this is talking about the fate (or karma) that brings a husband and wife together. I would translate this as "Together by fate" or "Joined by destiny" but in the context of marriage. You could use this for non-married lovers but the first character has a suggestion that this refers to those that are married.

Even a fool may sometimes come up with a good idea

China qiān lǜ yī dé
Japan senryonoittoku
Even a fool may sometimes come up with a good idea Wall Scroll

千慮一得 means, "1000 tries, one success," or "[a] thousand tries [leads to] one success."

This proverb is a humble way to speak of your success, ideas, or accomplishments. As if you are a fool who just got lucky in inventing or creating something.

Translations for this proverb include:
Even without any notable ability on my part, I may still get it right sometimes by good luck.
Even a fool may sometimes come up with a good idea.

Five Red Bats

China hóng wǔ fú
Five Red Bats Wall Scroll

紅五蝠 is a play on words in Chinese because of some homophones.

The first thing you need to know is that the word for bat, 蝠, sounds exactly like the word for good fortune, 福. Thus, bats are often associated with good luck and good fortune in Chinese culture.

Five bats (五福 / 五蝠) means "five fortunes" referring to luck, prosperity, wealth, happiness, and longevity.

The word red, 红, has the same sound as 宏 meaning vast, great, or magnificent. Therefore, a red bat means "vast fortune."

Altogether, five red bats represent vast reaches of the five fortunes.

Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance

China nián nián yǒu yú
Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance Wall Scroll

年年有餘 is a common proverb or wish of prosperity you'll hear around the time of Chinese New Years.

Directly translated character by character it means, "Year Year Have Surplus." A more natural English translation including the deeper meaning would be "Every Year may you Have Abundance in your life."

On a side note, this phrase often goes with a gift of something related to fish. 年年有餘 is because the last character "yu" which means surplus or abundance has exactly the same pronunciation in Mandarin as the word for "fish."

年年有餘 is also one of the most common titles for traditional paintings that feature koi fish.

In China, this phrase might make an odd wall scroll - a customer asked especially for this common phrase which is why it appears here. See my other abundance-related words if you want a wall scroll that will seem more comfortable in Chinese culture.

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

See Also:  Prosperity | Good Fortune

Abundance / Prosperous

China fù yù
Japan fu yuu
Abundance / Prosperous Wall Scroll

This word means prosperous, having abundance, well-to-do, or well-off.

It's a simple word that suggests that "you have made it" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja.

See Also:  Good Fortune

Abundance and Prosperity

China fán róng fù yù
Japan hanei yuuhuku
Abundance and Prosperity Wall Scroll

繁榮富裕 is a proverb about "Prosperity and Abundance."

These characters present and reinforce the ideas of being prosperous, a booming economy, well-to-do, well-off, wealth, riches, and opulence.

繁榮富裕 is the ancient/traditional Chinese way to write this but most Japanese can fully read and understand it. It's also the correct form of old Korean Hanja (though few Koreans of the current generation will be able to read this).

See Also:  Good Fortune

Optimism / Happy With Your Fate

China lè tiān
Japan raku ten
Optimism / Happy With Your Fate Wall Scroll

樂天 is about being optimistic and also making the best of whatever life throws at you.

This word is hard to define. One dictionary defines this as, "acceptance of fate and happy about it." There is one English word equivalent which is sanguinity or sanguinary.

You can also say that this means, "Be happy with whatever Heaven provides," or "Find happiness in whatever fate Heaven bestows upon you." 樂天 suggests being an optimist in life.

Note: 樂天 / 楽天 is sometimes a given name in China.

楽 Please note that Japanese tend to write the first character in a slightly-different form (as seen to the right). Let us know if you have a preference when you place your order.


Bat Wall Scroll

蝠 is the simplest way to write bat in Chinese and old Korean Hanja.

This also means bat in Japanese but is almost never written alone like this (it's often part of other titles for vampire bats or fruit bats).

In Chinese culture, the bat is a good luck charm, as the pronunciation is very similar to the word for "good luck" or "good fortune." The character for bat even looks like the good luck character.

Best Friends

China zhì jiāo
Best Friends Wall Scroll

This an alternate way to say best friend in Chinese.

The first character can mean "most," "extreme" or "best." The second character means "making friends" or "building friendship." There's sort of a suggestion with the second character that fate caused you to intersect in life and become friends (that character can mean intersection in some context).

This can also mean "most intimate friend," "very good friend of long standing," or "closest friend."

See Also:  Friendship | Soulmates

Bright and Promising Future

Japan akarui mirai
Bright and Promising Future Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "Bright Future." It suggests a lot of possibility and potential awaits in your future. A great gift for a graduate.

The first part of this proverb literally means bright or light. The second part means future but can also be translated as, "the world to come."

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

Word of God / The Gospel

China fú yīn
Japan fukuin
Word of God / The Gospel Wall Scroll

福音 is the Chinese, Korean and Japanese word for "Gospel" or "Word of God." 福音 is a specifically Christian word in Asia (not used for any other religion).

The first character means "blessing," "good fortune" or "good luck." This first character is a special character used throughout China to bring good tidings and fortune - especially during Chinese New Years. The second character means "sound," "noise" or "news."

Together, these characters create a word that means "The Good News" or "The Sound of Good Fortune."

When read by a Chinese or Japanese person, this word is always perceived as "The Christian Gospel," "Word of God," or even "The Voice of God."

See Also:  Christianity | Jesus Christ | God of Abraham

Fate / Chance Meeting

China yuán fèn
Fate / Chance Meeting Wall Scroll

These two characters contain the ideas of fate. But this is specifically the fate or destiny that brings two people together.

緣份 / 緣分 is like the chance meeting of two people that leads some time later to marriage.

This could also be the chance meeting of two business people, who become partners and build a huge and successful company.

Basically, this is an idea often associated with a fateful meeting leading to good fortune.

Some will define this word as, "The destiny brings you two together," or "Meant to be."

分 Note: The second character can also be written without the left radical, as shown to the right. If you have a preference, please let use know in the special instructions for your project. There is no difference in meaning or pronunciation, just two (alternate) ways to write the same character.

See Also:  Soulmates | Good Fortune

Predestined Love / Love by Fate

China qíng yuán
Predestined Love / Love by Fate Wall Scroll

This Chinese word means predestined love, or love affinity.

This can be the fate, karma, or bond that brings two lovers together.

Dragon and Phoenix Brings Luck

China lóng fèng chéng xiáng
Dragon and Phoenix Brings Luck  Wall Scroll

龍鳳呈祥 is often seen at weddings and other celebrations in China.

It suggests that the dragon and phoenix will bring you auspicious tidings.

The first character is dragon.
The second is phoenix.
The third is presents or brings.
And the last means auspicious, propitious, or luck.

Throughout China, the dragon and phoenix are symbols of good fortune. You will see these auspicious figures as decorative symbols on everything from buildings, furniture, wedding costumes, sculptures in public parks, to caskets and items used in ceremonies.

Eat Drink and Be Merry

China chī hē wán lè jí shí xíng lè
Eat Drink and Be Merry Wall Scroll

喫喝玩樂及時行樂 is just about the closest proverb to match the western idea of "Eat, drink, and be merry."

This Chinese proverb more literally means, "Eat, drink, play, be merry, enjoy everything as long as you can."

It's basically a suggestion that you try to enjoy everything in life, as long as you live, or as long as you are able.

Everything Happens for a Reason

China wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ
Everything Happens for a Reason Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "all things" or "everything."

The middle character kind of means, "in all cases."

The last two characters create a complex word that can be defined many ways such as, "karma," "cause and effect," "fate," "every cause has its effect, as every effect arises from a cause."

Keep in mind, Chinese grammar is a bit different than English, so trust me that this makes a natural proverb that means, "Everything happens for a reason" in Chinese.

Everything Happens for a Reason

Japan monogoto ha subete riyuu ga at te okiru
Everything Happens for a Reason Wall Scroll

物事は全て理由があって起きる is a work in progress. We're still trying to decide the best way to express this in Japanese. If you order this, we might have a discussion about the best version that fits you. Here's how the characters break down by meaning (keep in mind, Japanese grammar and sentence construction is very different from English, so it doesn't make complete sense in English)...

物事 = things, everything
は particle
全て all, the whole, entirely
理由 reason
が particle
あっ be, exist, have, take place, happens
て particle
起きる to occur, to happen; to take place (usually unfavorable incidents)

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

The Mysterious Bond Between People

The invisible force that brings people together forever
China yuán
Japan en
The Mysterious Bond Between People Wall Scroll

緣 / 縁 is a complicated single character. It can mean a lot of different things depending on how you read it.

In Japanese, it can mean fate; destiny; a mysterious force that binds two people together; a relationship between two people; bond; link; connection; family ties; affinity; opportunity; chance (to meet someone and start a relationship). It can also mean "someone to rely on," relative, reminder, memento, or the female given name, Yori.

It's basically the same in Chinese, where it's defined as cause, reason, karma, fate, or predestined affinity.

In Buddhist context, it's Pratyaya. 緣 / 縁 is the concept of indirect conditions, as opposed to direct causes. It's when something happens (meeting someone) by circumstance, or a contributing environment. Instead of a direct cause or act, it is a conditioning cause without direct input or action by the involved people.

Occasionally, this character is used in a facetious way to say hem, seam, or edge of clothing. In this case, it's the seam that brings or holds the clothing together.

縁Note: Japanese will tend to use the variant of this Kanji shown to the right. If you want this version (and are ordering this from the Japanese master calligrapher), click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above.

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.

This word 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:  Buddhism | Opportunity

Fire and Water Have No Mercy

China shuǐ huǒ wú qíng
Fire and Water Have No Mercy Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "fire [and] water have-not mercy." This serves to remind us that the forces of nature are beyond human control.

Some may also translation this as, "implacable fate."

A Bright Future

Incredible 10,000-Mile Flight of the Peng
China péng chéng wàn lǐ
A Bright Future Wall Scroll

鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times to wish someone a long and successful career.

It's really about the 10,000 Flight of the Peng (Peng, also known as Roc is a mythical fish that can turn into a bird and take flight).


庄子 - Zhuangzi

Breaking down each character:
1. Peng or Roc (a kind of bird).
2. Journey (in this case, a flight).
3. 10,000 (Ten Thousand).
4. Li is a unit of distance often referred to as a "Chinese Mile," though the real distance is about half a kilometer.

Direct Translation: "Peng's Journey [of] 10,000 Li."
Literal meaning: "The 10,000-Li Flying Range Of The Roc."
Perceived meaning: "To have a bright future" or "To go far."

This proverb/idiom comes from the book of Zhuangzi. It tells the tale of a huge fish which could turn into a gigantic bird. This bird was called "peng" and was many miles long. This legendary size allowed the Peng to fly from the Northern Sea to the Southern Sea in a single bound.

Wishing someone "a Peng's Journey of 10,000 Li," will imply that they will be able to travel far without stopping, and will have great success, a long career, and a prosperous future.

Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs

Japan ei ko sei sui
Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb can be translated as, "flourish and wither, prosper and perish," "life is full of fortune and misfortune," or simply "vicissitudes of life."

栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰 is about the rise and fall of human affairs, or the ups and downs of life. Prosperity comes and goes, everything is fleeting and temporary but like waves, another swell of prosperity may come.

Here's how the Kanji break down in this proverb:
栄 = prosper. thrive. flourish. boom.
枯 = wither. die.
盛 = prosperous. flourishing. thriving. successful. active. energetic. vigorous. lively. enthusiastic. popular.
衰 = become weaker. decline. get weak. die down. subside. abate. fail.

榮The original version of the first character looks like the image to the right. In modern Japan, they simplified that Kanji a bit into the version shown above. If you have a preference for which style is used for your calligraphy, please let me know when you place your order.

Apparently, with that original version of the first character, this is also used in Korean Hanja. However, I have not confirmed that it's used in the same way or is widely-known in Korean. Korean pronunciation is shown above for reference only.

Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall

Japan hana wa sa ki hana wa chi ru
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb is about the cycle of life, or how things come and go in life.

This can be used to suggest that youth, fortune, and life can come and go (everything is temporary).

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


China xiān jiàn
Japan senken
Foresight Wall Scroll

Seeing the potential benefits or troubles that may lie ahead in the future.

Can also be defined as "presupposition" or "forethought."

See Also:  Fate

Free Will

China zì yóu yì zhì
Japan jiyuu ishi
Free Will Wall Scroll

This concept has existed for thousands of years that humans have the ability to understand right and wrong, then make a decision one way or the other (thus affecting their own fate).

Sources such as Confucius, Buddhist scriptures, the Qur'an and the Bible all address this idea.

As for the characters shown here, the first two mean free, freedom, or liberty. The last two simply mean "will."

See Also:  Freedom | Strong Willed | Fate

Good Luck

China xìng yùn
Japan kou un
Good Luck Wall Scroll

This can be translated as "good luck," "fortunate," "lucky" and/or "good fortune" in Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Occasionally, this is also translated as a type of happiness or a short way to write serendipity.

Love and Happiness

China xìng fú yǔ ài
Love and Happiness Wall Scroll

幸福與愛 is "happiness and love" in Chinese.

There is a suggestion of "good fortune" in the version of happiness used here.

Double Happiness

(Happy wedding and marriage)
Double Happiness Wall Scroll

囍 is a common gift for Chinese couples getting married or newly married couples.

As we say in the west, "Two heads are better than one" Well, in the east, two "happinesses" are certainly better than one.

Some will suggest this is a symbol of two happinesses coming together. Others see it as a multiplication of happiness because of the union or marriage.

囍 is not really a character that is pronounced very often - it's almost exclusively used in written form. However, if pressed, most Chinese people will pronounce this "shuang xi" (double happy) although literally there are two "xi" characters combined in this calligraphy (but nobody will say "xi xi").

Double Happiness Portrait Red If you select this character, I strongly suggest the festive bright red paper for your calligraphy. Part of my suggestion comes from the fact that red is a good luck color in China, and this will add to the sentiment that you wish to convey with this scroll to the happy couple.

See Also:  Happiness

Home of the Auspicious Golden Dragon

China jīn ruì xiáng lóng zhī jiā
Home of the Auspicious Golden Dragon Wall Scroll

This "home golden auspicious dragon" title was added by special request of a customer.

The first character means gold or golden.
The second and third characters hold the meaning of auspiciousness and good luck.
The fourth character is dragon.
The fifth is a possessive modifier (like making "dragon" into "dragon's").
The last character means home (but in some context can mean "family" - however, here it would generally be understood as "home").

Note: The word order is different than the English title, because of grammar differences between English and Chinese. This phrase sounds very natural in Chinese in this character order. If written in the English word order, it would sound very strange and lose its impact in Chinese.

Note: Korean pronunciation is included above, but this has not been reviewed by a Korean translator.

Safety and Well-Being of the Family

Kanai Anzen
Japan ka nai an zen
Safety and Well-Being of the Family Wall Scroll

家內安全 is kind of the Japanese way of saying, "Family First." It's really a Japanese proverb about the safety and well-being of your family, and/or, peace and prosperity in the household.

Some Japanese will hang an amulet in their home with these Kanji on it. The purpose being to keep your family safe from harm.

According to Shinto followers, hanging this in your home is seen as an invocation to God to always keep members of the family free from harm.

We were actually looking for a way to say "family first" in Japanese when this proverb came up in the conversation and research. While it doesn't literally say "family first," it shows that the safety and well-being of your family is your first or most important priority. So, this proverb is the most natural way to express the idea that you put your family first.

See Also:  Peace and Prosperity

Karma Connection

China yǒu yuán
Japan uen
Karma Connection Wall Scroll

有緣 means: related; brought together by fate; same karma; those who have the cause, link, or connection.

有緣 is a common word in Chinese but usually only used in the context of Buddhism in Japanese.

Buddhists will say this refers to those that are influenced by and responsive to the Buddha.


China jí gēn
Keegan Wall Scroll

We like this way to transliterate the name Keegan into Mandarin Chinese because it has a nice meaning. It kind of means, "The root of luck."

Life Force

China shēng mìng
Japan seimei / inochi
Life Force Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Korean and Japanese word means "life force" or simply "life." The first character means "life" or "birth." The second means "life" or "fate." Together they create the meaning of "life force," though some will translate this as "existence" and sometimes "vitality."

See Also:  Vitality | Birth

A Life of Happiness and Prosperity

China xìng fú chéng gōng de yì shēng
A Life of Happiness and Prosperity Wall Scroll

幸福成功的一生 means, "A life of happiness and prosperity" or "A life of happiness and success." It's a great and very positive and inspirational wall scroll selection.

See Also:  Prosperity

A Life of Happiness and Prosperity

Japan kou fuku to ha nei no jin sei
A Life of Happiness and Prosperity Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "A life of happiness and prosperity" or "A life of happiness and success."

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

See Also:  Prosperity

Live in Prosperity

China shēng huó yú fán róng zhōng
Live in Prosperity Wall Scroll

生活于繁榮中 means, "live in prosperity." It's kind of a suggestion to be prosperity the center of your world.

生活于繁榮中 is the way some people want to live (and you should always live for what you love). However, this phrase does not suggest a peaceful life - rather one that is always busy. It's not for everyone but it might be for you.

See Also:  Prosperity

Longevity / Long Life Wishes

A wish for a long and prosperous life
China fú rú dōng hǎi shòu bǐ nán shān
Longevity / Long Life Wishes Wall Scroll

福如東海壽比南山 is a phrase that means "May you have good fortune as great as the eastern oceans, and may your life last as long as the southern mountains."

In ancient Chinese mythology, the eastern oceans and southern mountains are where God resides (basically it is the same as saying "heaven"). So it's like saying, "May your good fortune and life be as vast as the heavens."

There is also a longer, 14-character version of this phrase. Also, this can be cut into two scrolls (with half the phrase on each side - great for hanging on either side of a doorway). Just let me know if you'd like a special version (there is an additional cost).

Longevity / Long Life Wishes

Japan nan zan no jyu
Longevity / Long Life Wishes Wall Scroll

南山之壽 is a wish for long life for someone. The first part of this Japanese phrase is, "Nan Zan," which literally means "south mountain." This mountain is one of good wishes, good fortune, and prosperity. The title is often used as a salutation of good wishes.

The third Kanji is just a connector, and the last Kanji means long life or longevity.

I guess you could translate this phrase as "May your life be as long as Nan Zan is tall."

Lucky / Auspicious

Japan kichi
Lucky / Auspicious Wall Scroll

A simple way to express the state of being lucky. Also used in conversation to hope that all is well with someone. 吉 is more often seen as part of a compound word with a lucky association (especially in Korean).

Not as often used in Japanese but still means "good luck" but can also mean "joy" in Japanese.

See Also:  Good Luck

Once in a Lifetime

China yī qī yī huì
Japan ichigoichie
Once in a Lifetime Wall Scroll

This Japanese title can be translated as "for this time only," "chance meeting," "one meeting, one opportunity," "never again," or "one chance in a lifetime."

The characters literally mean "one time one meeting" - of course, the Kanji characters have meaning far beyond a direct translation like this.

Some might use this proverb to talk of an opportunity that presents itself just once in your life. It could also be the single chance-meeting with your true soul mate. Basically an expression for any event that might happen once in a lifetime.

This is primarily a Japanese title, however, there is also a Traditional Chinese (and old Korean) version of this proverb. Just the last character is different.
會The traditional form was used in Japan before WWII and in Korea prior to 1900. This title is somewhat known in China.

If you want the older traditional form, just click on the character to the right.

Opportunity / Good Luck

China jī yù
Opportunity / Good Luck Wall Scroll

機遇 is the kind of opportunity that comes via good luck or good fortune.

This word is sometimes translated as "stroke of good luck."

While there are other ways to express "opportunity," I think this version is best for a calligraphy wall scroll or portrait.

Note: In Korean Hanja, this would also mean "Meeting someone under strange circumstances."

See Also:  Good Luck


(also means salary)
Japan fuchi
Prosperity Wall Scroll

This character is occasionally used in China to mean prosperity or good fortune.
This character once meant the "official's salary" in old feudal China and Korea (obviously, the officials lived well, so you can imagine how this was associated with the idea of being prosperous).

祿 is only used in Korean historical documents for "salary." In old Japanese, this means fief, allowance, stipend, reward, pension, grant and sometimes happiness depending on context. It's very obscure in modern Japanese.

We have other entries that are better-suited for a prosperity wall scroll. This entry just addresses "the coffee cup issue" where this character has been used on coffee cups and tee-shirts. However, without context, the meaning is ambiguous to some.

The Red String

Thread of Lover's Destiny / Fate
Japan akai ito
The Red String Wall Scroll

This literally translates as, "the red string" in Japanese but the real meaning is much deeper...

In Japanese culture, it's believed that fate, destiny, or karma joins lovers by an unseen string, tied around one little finger of each. 赤い糸 is how soul mates fine and are drawn to each other.

Red Color

China hóng
HK hung
Japan beni
Red Color Wall Scroll

紅 is a single character that means red in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

The perceived meaning of this character can be ambiguous. Most will see it as the color red but it can also mean Communist (just like it can in English). In Japanese, it can be a female given name "Rena," or refer to red silk lining. In Chinese, red is a good luck color, and can refer to a bonus or revolutionary.

Serendipity / Happy Coincidence

Japan shiawa se na guu zen
Serendipity / Happy Coincidence Wall Scroll

幸せな偶然 is one of many ways to express serendipity in Japanese.

The first two characters mean happiness, good fortune, luck, or blessing.

In the middle is a Japanese Hiragana character that serves to connect these words/ideas together.

The last two Kanji mean incidentally, by chance, randomly, unexpectedly, suddenly, accident, fortuity, or by coincidence.

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

Serendipity / Lucky Coincidence

Japan kou un na guu zen
Serendipity / Lucky Coincidence Wall Scroll

幸運な偶然 is one of many ways to express serendipity in Japanese.

The first two Kanji mean fortunate, lucky, fortune, or good luck.

In the middle is a Japanese Hiragana character that serves to connect these words/ideas together.

The last two Kanji mean incidentally, by chance, randomly, unexpectedly, suddenly, accident, fortuity, or by coincidence.

Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo

Japan shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou
Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo Wall Scroll

四拳波羅蜜大光明 is "shiken haramitsu daikōmyō," a famous Japanese Buddhist mantra.

四拳 = shi-ken = four fist (many translate this as "four hearts").
波羅蜜 = ha-ra-mitsu = A loanword representing pāramitā, or entrance into Nirvana. Awkwardly, it also means jackfruit.
大光明 = dai-kou-myo = big/great light bright (great bright light).

Shiken represents four hearts:
1. The Merciful Heart - Love and caring for all living things.
2. The Sincere Heart - Pursues righteousness, or the right path - sincerely trying to do what is right.
3. The Attuned Heart - Knows that nature and fate have their ways, and thus stays in tune with the universe.
4. The Dedicated Heart - Steadfast on the chosen path to the end.

Smooth Sailing

China yī fán fēng shùn
Smooth Sailing Wall Scroll

一帆風順 is just what you think it means. It suggests that you are on a trouble-free voyage through life, or literally on a sailing ship or sail boat. It is often used in China as a wish for good luck on a voyage or as you set out on a new quest or career in your life. Some may use this in lieu of "bon voyage."

The literal meaning is roughly, "Once you raise your sail, you will get the wind you need, and it will take you where you want to go." Another way to translate it is "Your sail and the wind follow your will."

一帆風順 is a great gift for a mariner, sailor, adventurer, or someone starting a new career.

Note: Can be understood in Korean Hanja but rarely used.

See Also:  Bon Voyage | Adventure | Travel

Spiritual Soul Mates

China jīng shén bàn lǚ
Japan sei shin han ryo
Spiritual Soul Mates Wall Scroll

精神伴侶 is title means "Spiritual Soul Mates." The first two characters mean "spiritual" or "soul." The second two characters mean "mates," "companions" or "partners."

精神伴侶 is more about the spiritual connection between partners rather than a "fate-brought-us-together" kind of soul mates.

Both halves of this title have meaning in Japanese but I've not yet confirmed that this is a commonly used title in Japan.

Tea Fate

China chá yuán
Tea Fate Wall Scroll

茶緣 is a special title for the tea lover. This kind of means "tea fate" but it's more spiritual and hard to define. Perhaps the tea brought you in to drink it. Perhaps the tea will bring you and another tea-lover together. Perhaps you were already there, and the tea came to you. Perhaps it's the ah-ha moment you will have when drinking the tea.

I've been told not to explain this further, as it will either dilute or confuse the purposefully-ambiguous idea embedded in this enigma.

I happen to be the owner of a piece of calligraphy written by either the son or nephew of the last emperor of China, and this is the title he wrote. It was given to me at a Beijing tea house in 2001. 茶緣 is where I learned to love tea after literally spending weeks tasting and studying everything I could about Chinese tea. I did not understand the significance of the authorship, or meaning of the title at all. Some 10 years later, I realized the gift was so profound and had such providence. Only now I realize the value of a gift that it is too late to give proper thanks for. It was also years later that I ended up in this business, and could have the artwork properly mounted as a wall scroll. It has been borrowed for many exhibitions and shows, and always amazes native Chinese and Taiwanese who read the signature. This piece of calligraphy which I once thought just a bit of ink on a thin and wrinkled piece of paper is now one of my most valued possessions. And by fate, it has taught me to be more thankful of seemingly simple gifts.

Boar / Pig

Year of the Pig / Zodiac Sign
China zhū
Japan inoshishi
Boar / Pig Wall Scroll

豬 is the character for boar, pig, or swine in Chinese and old Korean.

If you were born in the year of the boar / year of the pig, you...

Are optimistic.
Have good luck with wealth and money.
Are honest, generous, and warm-hearted.

猪The character shown to the right is the Japanese Kanji for "wild boar."
It's an alternate/simplified form of pig/boar in Chinese (can be read by both Chinese and Japanese people). Click on that character instead of the button above if you want this version.

See also our Chinese Zodiac page.

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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
tomifù / fu4 / fu
Fortune favors the brave 勇者は幸運に恵まれるyuusha ha kouun ni megumareru
yusha ha koun ni megumareru
Good Luck
Good Fortune
fukufú / fu2 / fu
House of Good Fortune 福宅fú zhái / fu2 zhai2 / fu zhai / fuzhai fu chai / fuchai
saki / sachi / rei / rēxìng / xing4 / xing hsing
Fortune flavors the brave 命運鐘情於勇士
Mìng yùn zhōng qíng yú yǒng shì
ming4 yun4 zhong1 qing2 yu2 yong3 shi4
ming yun zhong qing yu yong shi
ming yün chung ch`ing yü yung shih
ming yün chung ching yü yung shih
Soldier of Fortune 雇佣兵gù yōng bīng
gu4 yong1 bing1
gu yong bing
ku yung ping
Soldier of Fortune 風雲児fuu un ji / fuuunji / fu un ji / fuunji
cái fù / cai2 fu4 / cai fu / caifu ts`ai fu / tsaifu / tsai fu
inochi / meimìng / ming4 / ming
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.