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Unicorn in Chinese / Japanese...

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Unicorn

China dú jiǎo shòu
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<mark>Unicorn</mark>

This is the Chinese name for the western unicorn (a horse with a spiral horn emerging from the head).

This is an unusual title for a Chinese wall scroll, but it's OK if you really love unicorns.

Chinese have their own ancient unicorn-like creature called a "qilin" (or kirin in Japanese).

Unicorn

Japan ikkakujuu
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<mark>Unicorn</mark>

This is the Japanese name for the western unicorn (a horse with a spiral horn emerging from the head). This can also refer to a narwhal depending on context.

This is an unusual title for a Japanese wall scroll, but it's OK if you really love unicorns.

Japanese have their own ancient unicorn-like creature called a "kirin" (or qilin in the original Chinese).

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

China qí lǐn
HK keilun
Japan kirin
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Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

This word is the title of a mythical beast of Asia.

The animal is thought to be related to the giraffe, and in some ways, it is a giraffe. However, it is often depicted with the horns of a dragon or deer and sometimes with the body like a horse, but many variations exist.

In Japanese it is pronounced “Kirin” as in “Kirin Ichiban” beer.

Kirin - Mythical Beast and Great Japanese Beer!
Notes:

1. This is sometimes spelled as “kylin”.

2. In Japanese, this is the only Kanji word for giraffe. Therefore in Japan, this word needs context to know whether you are talking about the mythical creature or the long-necked giraffe of Africa.

3. Apparently, this was the first word used for regular giraffes in China (some were brought from Africa to China during the Ming Dynasty - probably around the year 1400). Though the mythical creature may have existed before, the name “qilin” was given to the “new giraffe”. This is because, more than 600 years ago, giraffes somewhat matched the mythical creature's description when Chinese people saw them for the first time. Later, to avoid such an ambiguous title, a three-character word was devised to mean a “giraffe of Africa”. The characters for “qilin” shown here are only for the mythological version in modern Chinese.

4. More information about the qilin / kirin from Wikipedia.

5. This creature is sometimes translated as the “Chinese Unicorn”, even though it is generally portrayed with two horns. I think this is done more for the fantasy aspect of the unicorn and because most westerners don't know what a qilin or kirin is (this avoids a long explanation by the translator).

6. In Korean, this can mean kirin or simply giraffe (usually the mythological creature is what they would think of when seeing these characters alone on a wall scroll).


Not the results for unicorn that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your Unicorn search...

Characters / Kanji
If shown, second row is Simplified Chinese
Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

see styles
Mandarin zhì / zhi4
Taiwan chih
Chinese unicorn

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see styles
Mandarin/ qi2
Taiwan ch`i / chi
Chinese piebald horse; used for 麒[qi2], mythical unicorn

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see styles
Mandarin lín / lin2
Taiwan lin
Chinese variant of 麟[lin2], female unicorn

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see styles
Mandarin lín / lin2
Taiwan lin
Japanese rin りん
Chinese female unicorn; see 麒麟
Japanese (female given name) Rin
The lin, or female unicorn.

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see styles
Mandarin/ qi2
Taiwan ch`i / chi
Chinese mythical male unicorn; see 麒麟

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天祿


天禄

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Mandarin tiān lù / tian1 lu4
Taiwan t`ien lu / tien lu
Chinese auspicious sculpted animal, usu. a unicorn or deer with a long tail; possession of the empire

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四靈


四灵

see styles
Mandarin sì líng / si4 ling2
Taiwan ssu ling
Chinese four divinities; four divine emperors; four mythical creatures symbolic of propsperity and longevity, namely phoenix 鳳|凤[feng4], turtle 龜|龟[gui1], dragon 龍|龙[long2], Chinese unicorn 麒麟[qi2 lin2]; also 四象[si4 xiang4], the four division of the sky

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獬豸

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Mandarin xiè zhì / xie4 zhi4
Taiwan hsieh chih
Chinese Xiezhi, mythical Chinese unicorn

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騏驎


骐麟

see styles
Mandarin qí lín / qi2 lin2
Taiwan ch`i lin / chi lin
Chinese variant of 麒麟[qi2 lin2]; qilin (mythical Chinese animal); kylin; Chinese unicorn; commonly mistranslated as giraffe

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麟角

see styles
Mandarin lín jué / lin2 jue2
Taiwan lin chüeh
Japanese ringaku
The unicorn with its single horn is a simile for 獨覺 q.v. pratyekabuddha.

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麒麟

see styles
Mandarin qí lín / qi2 lin2
Taiwan ch`i lin / chi lin
Japanese kirin きりん
Chinese qilin (mythical Chinese animal); kylin; Chinese unicorn; commonly mistranslated as giraffe
Japanese (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (3) Kirin (brand of beer); (f,s) Kirin
Male and female unicorns; the qilin in general.
More info / calligraphy:
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

キリン

see styles
Japanese kirin キリン
Japanese (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (female given name) Kirin; (c) Kirin

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一角獣

see styles
Japanese ikkakujuu / ikkakuju いっかくじゅう
Japanese (1) unicorn; (2) narwhal; (3) qilin (Chinese unicorn)
More info / calligraphy:
Unicorn

獨角獸


独角兽

see styles
Mandarin dú jiǎo shòu / du2 jiao3 shou4
Taiwan tu chiao shou
Chinese unicorn
More info / calligraphy:
Unicorn

薄葉剥

see styles
Japanese usubahagi うすばはぎ
Japanese (kana only) unicorn leatherjacket (Aluterus monoceros)

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一角仙人

see styles
Mandarin yī jué xiān rén / yi1 jue2 xian1 ren2
Taiwan i chüeh hsien jen
Japanese ikkaku sennin いっかくせんいん
Japanese (person) Ikkaku Sen'in
Ekaśṛṅga ṛṣi; also 獨角仙人 The unicorn ṛṣi, an ascetic born of a deer; ensnared by a woman, he lost his power, and became a minister of state; he is one of the previous incarnations of Śākyamuni.

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一角獣座

see styles
Japanese ikkakujuuza / ikkakujuza いっかくじゅうざ
Japanese Monoceros (constellation); the Unicorn

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獨角仙人


独角仙人

see styles
Mandarin dú jué xiān rén / du2 jue2 xian1 ren2
Taiwan tu chüeh hsien jen
Japanese dokkaku sennin
Ekaśṛṅga, or Unicorn ṛṣi, cf. 一角, the ascetic who fell through the wiles of a woman.

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鳳毛麟角


凤毛麟角

see styles
Mandarin fèng máo lín jiǎo / feng4 mao2 lin2 jiao3
Taiwan feng mao lin chiao
Chinese lit. phoenix feather and unicorn horn, fig. an extremely rare object (idiom)

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ユニコーン

see styles
Japanese yunikoon ユニコーン
Japanese unicorn

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ウスバハギ

see styles
Japanese usubahagi ウスバハギ
Japanese (kana only) unicorn leatherjacket (Aluterus monoceros)

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テングハギ属

see styles
Japanese tenguhagizoku テングハギぞく
Japanese Naso (genus of tropical marine surgeonfishes in the family Acanthuridae known as unicorn fishes due to a spike protruding from the forehead)

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いっかくじゅう座

see styles
Japanese ikkakujuuza / ikkakujuza いっかくじゅうざ
Japanese Monoceros (constellation); the Unicorn

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テングハギモドキ

see styles
Japanese tenguhagimodoki テングハギモドキ
Japanese sleek unicornfish (Naso hexacanthus, species of Indo-Pacific tang); sleek unicorn; blacktongue unicorn; Thorpe's unicornfish; nohorn unicorn

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キビレボウズハギ

see styles
Japanese kibirebouzuhagi / kibirebozuhagi キビレボウズハギ
Japanese slender unicorn (Naso minor, species of Indo-West Pacific tang found from Mozambique to the Philippines); blackspine unicornfish; little unicorn

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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.

A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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)

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.




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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With so many searches, we had to upgrade to our own Linux server.
Of course, only one in 500 searches results in a purchase - Hey buy a wall scroll!!!



See: Our list of specifically Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls. And, check out Our list of specifically old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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

Title
Characters 
Simplified
Traditional
Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Unicorn独角兽
獨角獸
n/adú jiǎo shòu
du jiao shou
tu chiao shou
du2 jiao3 shou4
dujiaoshou
Unicorn一角獣
一角獣
ikkakujuu
ikakuju
n/a
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature麒麟
麒麟
kirinqí lǐn
qi lin
ch`i lin
qi2 lin3
qilin
chilin
chi lin

Some people may refer to this entry as Unicorn Kanji, Unicorn Characters, Unicorn in Mandarin Chinese, Unicorn Characters, Unicorn in Chinese Writing, Unicorn in Japanese Writing, Unicorn in Asian Writing, Unicorn Ideograms, Chinese Unicorn symbols, Unicorn Hieroglyphics, Unicorn Glyphs, Unicorn in Chinese Letters, Unicorn Hanzi, Unicorn in Japanese Kanji, Unicorn Pictograms, Unicorn in the Chinese Written-Language, or Unicorn in the Japanese Written-Language.

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