愛 universally means love in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean Hanja, and old Vietnamese.
愛 is one of the most recognized Asian symbols in the west and is often seen on tee-shirts, coffee mugs, tattoos, and more.
愛 can also be defined as affection, to be fond of, to like, or to be keen on. It often refers to romantic love, and is found in phrases like, "I love you." But in Chinese, one can say, "I love that movie" using this character as well.
This can also be a pet-name or part of a pet-name in the way we say "dear" or "honey" in English.
More about this character:
This may be hard to imagine as a westerner but the strokes at the top of this love character symbolize family & marriage.
The symbol in the middle is a little easier to identify. It is the character for "heart" (it can also mean "mind" or "soul"). I guess you can say that no matter if you are from the East or the West, you must put your heart into your love.
The strokes at the bottom create a modified character that means "friend" or "friendship."
I suppose you could say that the full meaning of this love character is to love your family, spouse, and friends with all of your heart, since all three elements exist in this character.
愛慕 means "adoring love" in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
I suppose this is the best kind of love to have. 愛慕 has the well-known character for love. But the second character modifies and reinforces the meaning to become adore, adoring love, or to love and adore.
Ancient Chinese warning:
Adoring someone is fine until you are in the shoes of the Prince of the Kingdom of Wu. This Prince adored a certain beautiful woman (Xi Shi) so much that he neglected his duties, and soon let the kingdom fall into ruins.
It's very uncommon (some will say taboo) to say, "I love you" in Japanese culture. It's especially awkward for a man to tell a woman this in Japanese. Everyone is more likely to say "Watashi wa anata ga suki desu" or "I like you" (literally, "I regarding you, have like."
If you have to say, "I love you" in Japanese, this selection of Kanji and Hiragana shown to the left is the way.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
愛情 is a universal word in Japanese, Korean and Chinese which means love and affection.
Some may translate this as "love between a man and a woman."
Depending on context, it can mean utter devotion or favorite.
永恆的愛 is the best way to write "Eternal Love" in Chinese.
The first two characters mean eternal, eternally, everlasting, and/or perpetual.
The third character is a possessive article which sort of makes this selection mean "Love of the eternal kind."
The last character is "love."
This version is best if your audience is Chinese. We also have a Japanese version of eternal love.
永遠の愛 is a great way to write "Eternal Love" in Japanese.
The first two characters mean eternal, eternity, perpetuity, forever, immortality, and permanence.
The third character is a possessive article which sort of makes this selection mean "Love, of the eternal kind."
The last character is "love."
Cultural note: Most of the time, it is taboo to use the word "love" in Japanese. For instance, a Japanese man will say, "I like you," rather than, "I love you," to his spouse/girlfriend. However, this entry for eternal love is acceptable because of the way it is composed.
This entry is only appropriate if your audience is Japanese. We also have a Chinese version of this eternal love.
The first character here means "love"
The last two mean eternal, eternally, everlasting, and/or perpetual.
愛永恆 is the shortest way to express the idea of "love eternally" in Chinese.
See Also: Love Forever
The first character here means "love."
The last two mean forever, eternity, eternal, perpetuity, immortality, and/or permanence.
愛永遠 is the shortest and most universal way to express this idea in Chinese and Japanese.
Japanese note: This sound more like a title than a phrase in Japanese (if that makes any sense). 愛永遠 is a great title for a romantic book, title of a movie, name of a perfume, or even a name for a store.
真愛 is literally "True Love" in Chinese.
The first character means "real," "true" and "genuine." The second character means "love" and "affection."
During the customization of your calligraphy wall scroll, there is a place to add an inscription. You might want that inscription to be your names in Chinese down the side of your wall scroll, or perhaps just below these two main characters (just $9 extra). A nice gift to celebrate an anniversary or marriage!
熱愛 means love passionately, ardent love, devotion, adoration.
The literal meaning is "hot love," as the first character means heat, fervent, hot and warm. Sometimes it can mean fever, restless, or zeal. The second character is, of course, love. If you adore and are devoted to someone with all your love, this is the title for you.
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).
慈 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.
永遠的愛 refers to love that will last forever.
The first two characters mean forever, eternal, eternity, perpetuity, immortality, and/or permanence.
The third character is a possessive article which sort of makes this selection mean "The forever kind of love."
The last character is "love."
See Also: Eternal Love Always
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.
This Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title can mean, "love and respect," "kindness and respect," "to love with reverence," "charm," "amiability," "winsomeness," "courtesy," or "ingratiating behavior."
Note: The wide-ranging definitions show that this word is a bit ambiguous without the context of being used in a sentence.
This title refers to the kind of love and devotion you might have to your children, or any loved one. This especially applied to your children but could also be any member of your family - spouse, etc.
This can also be translated as affection, kindness, love, to love affectionately.
慈愛 is also used in a Buddhist context with the same meaning.
In Japanese, this can also be a female given name romanized as Yasue.
戀人 means lover, sweetheart or beloved in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
This term is gender-neutral, so anyone can use it.
In modern Japan and China, the first character has been simplified. We suggest the traditional version, as shown above if your audience is Chinese or Korean. However, this generation of Japanese are more likely to recognize the simplified version. If you want this simple (modern Japanese) version, please click on the image shown to the right, instead of the button above.
最偉大的愛 means "the greatest love," in Chinese.
Keeping in mind that Chinese is different than English, the first character is like "-est" or adding "the most" as a modifier to the next word.
The 2nd and 3rd characters are a word meaning great, mighty, and/or large.
The 4th is a possessive article.
The last is the character for love.
When you put it all together, you get a phrase that means, the greatest love, the biggest love, or the mightiest love.
情定終身 is a pledge of eternal love in Chinese.
This can also be a colloquial way to refer to the act of exchanging marriage vows.
If you and your mate want to express how committed you are to your life-long love, this will be a great piece of calligraphy for your wall. Also, a nice phrase to celebrate an anniversary.
仁慈 word is used in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Asian Buddhism to relay the important idea of loving kindness.
仁慈 can also be defined as: benevolent; charitable; kind; merciful; kind-hearted; benevolence; kindness; humanity; mercy.
In Japanese, this can also be the given name Hitoji. This would also be a good Mandarin Chinese given name romanized as Jentzu (in Taiwan) or Renci (really sounds like ren-tsuh).
This literally means "loving heart." It can also be translated as "compassion."
In Chinese, it carries more of a compassion meaning.
愛心 is rarely used in Japanese anymore, so best if your audience is Chinese.
See Also: Compassion
身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.
身土不二 literally reads, "Body [and] earth [are] not two".
Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).
Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is used often when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.
Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body rather a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, in can refer to the land or realm we live in.
Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is "healthy propaganda."
Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source for Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize 身土不二 as a native phrase and concept.
See Also: Strength and Love in Unity
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|ai||ài / ai4 / ai|
|ai bou / aibou / ai bo / aibo||ài mù / ai4 mu4 / ai mu / aimu|
|I Love You||我愛你|
|wǒ ài nǐ|
wo3 ai4 ni3
wo ai ni
|I Love You||愛してる||ai shi te ru|
|Love and Affection||愛情|
|aijou / aijo||ài qíng / ai4 qing2 / ai qing / aiqing||ai ch`ing / aiching / ai ching|
|yǒng héng de ài|
yong3 heng2 de ai4
yong heng de ai
|yung heng te ai
|Eternal Love||永遠の愛||ei en no ai|
|ài yǒng héng|
ai4 yong3 heng2
ai yong heng
|ai yung heng
|ai ei en / aieien||ài yǒng yuǎn|
ai4 yong3 yuan3
ai yong yuan
|ai yung yüan
|shinai||zhēn ài / zhen1 ai4 / zhen ai / zhenai||chen ai / chenai|
Ardent Love and Devotion
|netsu ai / netsuai||rè ài / re4 ai4 / re ai / reai||je ai / jeai|
|慈||ji||cí / ci2 / ci||tz`u / tzu|
|Divine Love||神の愛||kami no ai / kaminoai|
|yǒng yuǎn de ài|
yong3 yuan3 de ai4
yong yuan de ai
|yung yüan te ai
|mu gen ai / mugenai||wú xiàn ài|
wu2 xian4 ai4
wu xian ai
|wu hsien ai
|The Karma/Fate/Destiny that Brings Lovers Together||姻緣|
|yīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuan||yin yüan / yinyüan|
|Love and Respect|
Kindness and Respect
|aikei / aikyou|
aikei / aikyo
|ài jìng / ai4 jing4 / ai jing / aijing||ai ching / aiching|
|Love and Devotion||慈愛|
|jiai||cí ài / ci2 ai4 / ci ai / ciai||tz`u ai / tzuai / tzu ai|
|jiān ài / jian1 ai4 / jian ai / jianai||chien ai / chienai|
|Love the House and Its Crow||愛屋及烏|
|ài wū jí wū|
ai4 wu1 ji2 wu1
ai wu ji wu
|ai wu chi wu
|Love Without Reason||愛而無由|
|ài ér wú yóu|
ai4 er2 wu2 you2
ai er wu you
|ai erh wu yu
|Love Without Reason||愛に理由は無い||ai ni ri yuu wa na i|
ai ni ri yu wa na i
|koi bito / koibito||liàn rén / lian4 ren2 / lian ren / lianren||lien jen / lienjen|
|Together Forever in Love||永遠愛在一起|
|yǒng yuǎn ài zài yī qǐ|
yong3 yuan3 ai4 zai4 yi1 qi3
yong yuan ai zai yi qi
|yung yüan ai tsai i ch`i
yung yüan ai tsai i chi
|wú tiáo jiàn de ài|
wu2 tiao2 jian4 de ai4
wu tiao jian de ai
|wu t`iao chien te ai
wu tiao chien te ai
|mu jou ken no ai |
mu jo ken no ai
|zuì wěi dà de ài|
zui4 wei3 da4 de ai4
zui wei da de ai
|tsui wei ta te ai
|純愛||jun ai / junai|
|A Mother’s Love||母愛|
|mǔ ài / mu3 ai4 / mu ai / muai|
|Pledge of Lifelong Love||情定終身|
|qíng dìng zhōng shēn|
qing2 ding4 zhong1 shen1
qing ding zhong shen
|ch`ing ting chung shen
ching ting chung shen
|仁慈||jin ji / jinji||rén cí / ren2 ci2 / ren ci / renci||jen tz`u / jentzu / jen tzu|
|ài xīn / ai4 xin1 / ai xin / aixin||ai hsin / aihsin|
|Body and Earth in Unity||身土不二||shindofuni / shindofuji|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.