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Animals in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an Animals calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Animals" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Animals" title below...

See also: Chinese Zodiac / Animal Years

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Animals
  2. Lioness
  3. Giraffe
  4. Every Creature Has A Domain
  5. Animal Kingdom
  6. Bear
  7. Fox
  8. Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature
  9. Wolf


China dòng wù
Japan doubutsu
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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.


China cí shī
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This is how to write "lioness" in Chinese.

Note: This 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".


China zhǎng jǐng lù
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This is the Chinese word for Giraffe (the animal).

Not to be confused with the mythical “kirin” or “qilin” beast.

Every Creature Has A Domain

China hǎi wéi lóng shì jiè yún shì hè jiā xiāng
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Every Creature Has A Domain

Every Creature has a Domain 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".

This 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.

Animal Kingdom

China dòng wù wáng guó
Japan doubutsu oukoku
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Animal Kingdom

This 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.


China xióng
Japan kuma
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This 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.

This 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 Sly Animal
Japan kitsune
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This is Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title for the sly animal known as a fox.

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!

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).


China láng
Japan okami
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This 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 preception 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, and 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.

Check dictionary for animals

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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.

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.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Beauty of Spirit
Black Belt
Double H
Double Happiness
Dragon and Phoenix
Fear No Evil
Good Health
I Love You
Japanese Bright Future
Learning is Eternal
Life Energy Spiritual
Life Force
Loving Mother
Mono No Aware
Spiritual Peace Symbol
Where There is a Will

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 CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Animals 動物
doubutsu / dobutsudòng wù / dong4 wu4 / dong wu / dongwu tung wu / tungwu
Lioness 雌獅
cí shī / ci2 shi1 / ci shi / cishi tz`u shih / tzushih / tzu shih
Giraffe 長頸鹿
zhǎng jǐng lù
zhang3 jing3 lu4
zhang jing lu
chang ching lu
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
Animal Kingdom 動物王國
doubutsu oukoku
dobutsu okoku
dòng wù wáng guó
dong4 wu4 wang2 guo2
dong wu wang guo
tung wu wang kuo
Bear kumaxióng / xiong2 / xiong hsiung
Fox kitsunehú / hu2 / hu
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature 麒麟kirinqí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilin ch`i lin / chilin / chi lin
Wolf okamiláng / lang2 / lang

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.

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.

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