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See also: Chinese Zodiac / Animal Years
Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Animals
2. Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature
7. Every Creature Has A Domain
9. Animal Kingdom
|11. Dragon Snake Tiger...|
12. Water Dragon / Rain Dragon
15. Fire Tiger
16. Tooth for a tooth
Like animals? These two characters are the way to write "animals" in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
The first character means "moving" and the second means "things." So animals are "moving things" in these Asian languages.
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.
1. 麒麟 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”. 麒麟 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).
狐 is Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title for the sly animal known as a fox.
雌獅 is how to write "lioness" in Chinese.
Note: 雌獅 is not a very common title for a wall scroll in China. Perhaps because lions are not indigenous to China. Though oddly enough, rarity of lions made them very prized - and lion dances are a popular festival attraction.
If you do see name of this species of animal written on a wall scroll, it's more likely to be the masculine form of "lion."
熊 is the way to write "bear" (as in the animal) in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. If you are a bear fanatic, this is the wall scroll for you.
熊 is not specific to species, such as panda bear, polar bear, brown bear, etc.
If you need a more specific title, just post a special Asian calligraphy title request on our forum.
See Also: Panda
The first line (which is the column on the right) says, "The Ocean is the World of the Dragon." The next column says, "The Clouds are the Domain of the Cranes."
海為龍世界雲是鶴家鄉 is a somewhat poetic way to say that everyone and everything has its place in the world.
The image to the right is what this calligraphy can look like in xing-kaishu style by Master Calligrapher Xing An-Ping.
狼 is the character used to represent the elusive animal known as the wolf in both Chinese and Japanese.
If you are a fan of the wolf or the wolf means something special to you, this could make a great addition to your wall.
Do keep in mind, that much like our perception of wolves in the history of western culture, eastern cultures do not have a very positive view of wolves (save the scientific community and animal lovers). The wolf is clearly an animal that is misunderstood or feared the world over.
This character is seldom used alone in Korean Hanja, but is used in a compound word that means utter failure (as in a wolf getting into your chicken pen - or an otherwise ferocious failure). Not a good choice if your audience is Korean.
動物王國 is literally what it says.
There is even a TV show in China that is similar to Wild Kingdom or what you would currently see on the Discovery Channel that has this same title.
For your information: In the Chinese way of thinking, the Tiger is the king of the animal kingdom (lions are not native to China, so the tiger took the role that we have given to the lion in our western way of thinking).
The Japanese version has a slight variation on the last character. Let me know if your audience is Japanese, and we will have it written in that form for you.
龍蛇虎豹鶴 is a list of the Chinese characters for the five animals of Shaolin Kung Fu in a comfortable order (meaning that they are in the proper order and will simply "feel right" to a Chinese person who views this arrangement).
This title for water dragon is the hornless or scaled dragon. 蛟龍 is the king of all aquatic animals with the ability to control rain and floods.
In Japanese, the rain dragon can represent hidden genius. This dragon's domain is the deep murky water, thus with hidden potential. This can also be the Japanese given name Kouryuu.
犧牲 / 犠牲 means sacrifice in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
There is a suggestion in this word that this regards sacrificing your life.
Note: Depending on context, this can also mean victim or scapegoat in Japanese.
In original and ancient Chinese, this word referred to sacrificial animals. It can still have this meaning in a Buddhist context.
丑 can refer to the astrological time of the ox, or a Chinese surname, Chou.
丑 represents the 2nd earthly branch. In daily time, 1:00-3:00 AM, or the 12th/last month in the Chinese calendar.
In an ancient year-naming scheme, this can represent the year of the Ox (one of twelve animals paired with one of five element characters yielding a 60-year cycle).
火虎 is the Chinese and Japanese title for "fire tiger".
If you were born between 9 Feb 1986 and 28 Jan 1987, or between 13 Feb 1926 and 1 Feb 1927, you are a fire tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac.
There are 12 animals and 5 elements in the cycle. Therefore, the fire tiger comes around once every 60 years. The next will be in 2046.
The branch of the zodiac for tiger is written 寅 when dating ancient documents and artwork, but 虎 is the way to write the character for an actual tiger.
This phase often goes with "An eye for an eye," even in Chinese. Revenge seems to cross all languages, cultures, and even species (animals are known to take revenge too).
If a Chinese person uses just one part of the full proverb, it will be this "tooth for a tooth" one. Although, we are more likely to say "eye for an eye" alone in English.
Chinese people may also read this with a meaning of "Bite me and I will bite you back." However, it literally means "tooth for a tooth" or "you take my tooth, I take yours."
虎 is the character for tiger in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
Since you already know what a tiger is, here's some trivia: If you look at the Japanese pronunciation, you might remember a movie called "Tora Tora Tora" which was the code word used to initiate the attack on Pearl Harbor. It simply means "Tiger Tiger Tiger."
In Chinese culture, the tiger is considered to be the king of all animals (in much the way we see the lion in western culture).
From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the tiger, you . . .
Have a strong personality.
Are full of self-confidence.
Don't like to obey others.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|doubutsu / dobutsu||dòng wù / dong4 wu4 / dong wu / dongwu||tung wu / tungwu|
|麒麟||kirin||qí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilin||ch`i lin / chilin / chi lin|
|Fox||狐||kitsune||hú / hu2 / hu|
|cí shī / ci2 shi1 / ci shi / cishi||tz`u shih / tzushih / tzu shih|
|zhǎng jǐng lù
zhang3 jing3 lu4
zhang jing lu
|chang ching lu
|Bear||熊||kuma||xióng / xiong2 / xiong||hsiung|
|Every Creature Has A Domain||海為龍世界雲是鶴家鄉|
|hǎi wéi lóng shì jiè yún shì hè jiā xiāng
hai3 wei2 long2 shi4 jie4 yun2 shi4 he4 jia1 xiang1
hai wei long shi jie yun shi he jia xiang
|hai wei lung shih chieh yün shih ho chia hsiang|
|Wolf||狼||okami||láng / lang2 / lang|
|dòng wù wáng guó
dong4 wu4 wang2 guo2
dong wu wang guo
|tung wu wang kuo
|Hunter||獵人 / 猟人|
|ryou jin / ryoujin / ryo jin / ryojin||liè rén / lie4 ren2 / lie ren / lieren||lieh jen / liehjen|
|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.
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Animals Kanji, Animals Characters, Animals in Mandarin Chinese, Animals Characters, Animals in Chinese Writing, Animals in Japanese Writing, Animals in Asian Writing, Animals Ideograms, Chinese Animals symbols, Animals Hieroglyphics, Animals Glyphs, Animals in Chinese Letters, Animals Hanzi, Animals in Japanese Kanji, Animals Pictograms, Animals in the Chinese Written-Language, or Animals in the Japanese Written-Language.