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This is Enso, which is really NOT a regular Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. In this case, it can be considered a religious symbol, as it is strongly-associated with Japanese Zen Buddhism.
This is a typical appearance of Enso with an inscription by master calligrapher Bishou Imai.
Some call this "The Circle of Enlightenment". Others call it the "Infinity Circle". If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji that make up the word "Enso", you could read it as "Mutual Circle" or "Circle of Togetherness". I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.
Please note when you start making your customizations for an Enso wall scroll, you will see some possible ways it might be written, listed under the different calligraphy styles that we normally offer. However, Enso does not really conform to normal Asian calligraphy styles. Therefore, do not expect that you can make a style selection and expect the actual result to be identical. The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc. You cannot control or constrain that, as you cannot constrain art, without removing some of the artistic quality. Note: Our calligraphy selection process does not take this into account, as it was designed for Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji selection.
Please ignore the part where you are invited to pick a calligraphy style in the following pages.
Both our Japanese and Chinese master calligraphers are Buddhist (not as devout as monks, but Buddhist none the less). Therefore you can be assured that your Enso symbol will be written with the utmost effort and feeling.
By the way, when "Enso" is written in Kanji, it looks like this:
This is the number zero in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. This is a strange selection for a wall scroll, so it's here mostly for reference. I guess it's OK if zero is important to you.
Note: In modern Japan and China, they will often just write a circle to represent zero in lieu of this character.
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 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 scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)
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.
If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.
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The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese
|Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Enso - Japanese Zen Circle||〇 / 円相|
〇 / 円相
|Zero||零 / 〇|
|rei / zero||líng|
Some people may refer to this entry as 〇 Kanji, 〇 Characters, 〇 in Mandarin Chinese, 〇 Characters, 〇 in Chinese Writing, 〇 in Japanese Writing, 〇 in Asian Writing, 〇 Ideograms, Chinese 〇 symbols, 〇 Hieroglyphics, 〇 Glyphs, 〇 in Chinese Letters, 〇 Hanzi, 〇 in Japanese Kanji, 〇 Pictograms, 〇 in the Chinese Written-Language, or 〇 in the Japanese Written-Language.
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