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A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins With a Single Step in Chinese / Japanese...

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A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step

China qiān lǐ zhī xíng shǐ yú zú xià
A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step Wall Scroll

千里之行始於足下 is a Chinese proverb that means, "a thousand mile journey begins with the first step."

This proverb figuratively means, "big accomplishments come from an accumulation of little achievements made one by one."

A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step

senri no michi mo ippo kara
Japan sen ri no michi mo i-ppo ka ra
A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step Wall Scroll

This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb that means, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Some will also translate this as a 1000 mile road starts with one brick (a small amount).

In this case, the real measurement is an ancient Chinese "li" or 里, which is romanized as "ri" in Japanese. It's about half a kilometer, so three 里 would be a western mile. A journey of 333 miles begins with a single step, just doesn't sound as natural.


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




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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
A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step 千里之行始於足下
千里之行始于足下
qiān lǐ zhī xíng shǐ yú zú xià
qian1 li3 zhi1 xing2 shi3 yu2 zu2 xia4
qian li zhi xing shi yu zu xia
qianlizhixingshiyuzuxia
ch`ien li chih hsing shih yü tsu hsia
chien li chih hsing shih yü tsu hsia
A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step 千里の道も一歩からsen ri no michi mo i-ppo ka ra
senrinomichimoi-ppokara
sen ri no michi mo i-po ka ra
senrinomichimoi-pokara
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.

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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 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.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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