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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Aspiration"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Desire / Wish / Aspiration
  2. Hope
  3. Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition
  4. Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions
  5. Aspire / Burning Desire
  6. Retro / Old School
  7. Realize Your Ambitions...
  8. Fear not long roads;...
  9. Purity of Mind
10. Great Expectations
11. Desire / Craving
12. Big Dream...
13. Great Aspirations / Ambition
14. Dream Come True / Enjoy Success
15. Reiki
16. Motivation
17. Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams
18. Great Aspirations / Ambition
19. Realize Your Ambitions...
20. Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams
21. Without a big net, how can you catch fish?
22. Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33

Desire / Wish / Aspiration

China yuàn wàng
Japan gan bou
Desire / Wish / Aspiration Wall Scroll

願望 means desire, wish, or aspiration in Chinese and Japanese.


China xī wàng
Japan ki bou
Hope Wall Scroll

Besides "to hope" this also means "to wish for" or "to desire." It can also mean expectation or aspiration depending on context.

Note: Also considered to be one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

See Also:  Faith | Desire

Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition

China xióng xīn
Japan yuushin
Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition Wall Scroll

雄心 is the Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji for great ambition, lofty aspiration, or heroic spirit.

Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions

China bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: It is not poverty that is to be feared; It is low ambition.

Figuratively, this means: It is not poverty but lack of lofty aspiration that is to be regretted.

Aspire / Burning Desire

China rè wàng
Japan netsubou
Aspire / Burning Desire Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja word means, to aspire, longing for, or burning desire.

The first character means hot, heated, or burning.

The second character means hope, expectations, aspiration, or desire.

Retro / Old School

China fù gǔ
Japan fukko
Retro / Old School Wall Scroll

The meaning of this title can vary depending on context. It used to just mean a return to the old ways.

It can also mean, "to turn back the clock," "retro" (fashion style based on nostalgia, esp. for 1960s), "revival," or "restoration."

The return to "the old ways" was also an aspiration of Confucius about 2500 years ago. This proves that "going retro" or "old school" has been cool since at least 500 B.C.

Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition

Japan taishi wo Idaku
Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb suggests that you should embrace, pursue, and realize your ambitions.

The first part means ambitions or aspirations.

The last part means to embrace, or to hold in your arms.

Here's the character breakdown:
大志 (taishi) ambition; aspiration.
を (o) particle
抱く (idaku) to embrace; to hold in the arms (e.g. a baby); to hug; to harbor (harbour); to bear (e.g. a grudge); to entertain (e.g. suspicion); to sleep with; to sit on eggs.

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

Fear not long roads;
fear only short ambition

China bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
Fear not long roads; / fear only short ambition Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as, "Fear not a long roads; fear only short ambition," or "Don't fear that the road is long, only fear that your will/ambition/aspiration is short."

Figuratively, this means: However difficult the goal is, one can achieve it as long as one is determined to do so.

Others may translate the meaning as, "Don't let a lack of willpower stop you from pressing onwards in your journey."

Purity of Mind

China xīn chéng jìng
Japan shin chou jou
Purity of Mind Wall Scroll

心澄淨 is the Buddhist concept of the pure and calm mind. It is believed that once you achieve a meditative state of pure focused thought, the mind becomes clear and calm. Although, others will say this means that achieving a calm mind will allow you to reach pure thought.

From Sanskrit, this is known as citta-prasāda. The concept of citta-prasāda is sometimes defined as, "clear heart-mind," or "the single and definitive aspiration."

Great Expectations

China wàng
Japan bou / nozomi
Great Expectations Wall Scroll

This character holds the ideas of ambition, hope, desire, aspiring to, expectations, looking towards, to gaze (into the distance), and in some context full moon rising.

望 is one of those single characters that is vague but in that vagueness, in also means many things.

望 is a whole word in Chinese and old Korean but is seldom seen alone in Japanese. Still, it holds the meanings noted above in all three languages.

Desire / Craving

China yù wàng
Japan yokubou
Desire / Craving Wall Scroll

The first character of this word means desire, longing, hunger, covetousness, greed, passion, desire, craving, or wish. The second character means to hope for, ambition, to desire, to aspire, to expect, to gaze (into the distance) or to look for something.

Together, they create a word that means strong desire, while some might translate it as "lust."

Big Dream
Great Hope

Japan tai mou
Big Dream / Great Hope Wall Scroll

大望 is one of a few ways to write "dream big" in Japanese.

大望 is a good title if you want that to inspire ambition or high aspirations. 大望 is also a way to say "great expectations."

Great Aspirations / Ambition

Japan tai shi wo idaku
Great Aspirations / Ambition Wall Scroll

大志を抱 is a single Japanese word that kind of reads like a short proverb. It suggests that you should have "high aims," "ambitions," or "aspirations" in your life.

Dream Come True / Enjoy Success

China dé zhì
Dream Come True / Enjoy Success Wall Scroll

This Chinese word means to accomplish one's ambition, a dream come true, or to enjoy your success.


China líng qì
Japan reiki
Reiki Wall Scroll

靈氣 is the title of a healing practice that is now found throughout the world but with origins in Japan.

Special note: Outside of the context of the healing practice of Reiki, this means "aura" or "spiritual essence that surrounds all living things." A Japanese person not familiar with the practice will take the "aura" meaning.

Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also heals. It can be compared to massage but is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If your life force energy is low, you'll be more likely to get sick or feel stress. If your life force energy is abundant and flowing well, you become more capable of being happy and healthy.

There is a lot of information available if you want to Google this term - my job is to offer the calligraphy, while you can decide if it is right for you.

Note: We are showing the ancient (traditional) form of the Reiki Kanji. I have seen Reiki written with both the slightly simplified version and this more classic form. If you want the form of Reiki with the two strokes in the shape of an X on the second character and the modern first character, simply click on the Kanji characters to the right.

Note: 靈氣 is also a Chinese word but in Chinese, these characters create a word that refers to a smart person or someone with high aspirations. It is not read as a healing method in Chinese.
In Korean Hanja, this can be read as "mysterious atmosphere" by a Korean who is not familiar with the practice of Reiki (still has a cool meaning in Korean).


Japan yaruki
Motivation Wall Scroll

This word means motivation in Japanese. It also can be translated as willingness (e.g. to do something), eagerness, inspiration, determination, totally willing, fully motivated, and high aspirations.

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

See Also:  Enthusiasm | Passion

Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams

China zhuī xún mèng xiǎng
Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "to pursue," "to track down," or "to search for."

The last two mean dreams. This version of dreams refers to those with an element of reality (not the dreams you have when you sleep but rather your aspirations or goals in life).

This title will tell everyone that you want to make your dreams come true.

See Also:  Pursuit of Happiness

Great Aspirations / Ambition

China hóng hú zhī zhì
Great Aspirations / Ambition Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb implies that having great ambitions also means that others will not understand your great expectations and ideas.

Though the actual words come from a longer saying of Confucius which goes, "The little swallows living under the eaves wouldn't understand the lofty ambitions of a swan (who flies far and wide)."

This Confucius quote has led to this idiomatic expression in China that means "think big." What you'd really be saying is "The lofty ambitions of a swan."

Note that Chinese people sometimes refer to the little swallow, as one who does not "think big" but is, instead, stuck in a rut, or just leading a mundane life. Therefore, it's a compliment to be called a swan but not a good thing to be called a swallow.

Realize Your Ambitions
Ride on the Crest of Success

China dà jiǎn hóng tú
Realize Your Ambitions / Ride on the Crest of Success Wall Scroll

This four-character proverb is used in Chinese to mean "realize your ambitions" or "exhibit your ambition and success." It's used to talk about someone with great career ambitions. Almost literally, it expresses the idea of someone unfolding a great career like a map or a set of blueprint plans.

Very literally translated, these four characters mean, "Great unfolding of a huge map" or "Great exhibition of an colossal plan."

Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams

Japan yume wo oi tsudukeru
Pursue Your Dreams / Follow Your Dreams / Chase Your Dreams Wall Scroll

夢を追い続ける is the Japanese way to express "Follow Your Dreams." If you have dreams that you want to pursue and make true, this is the phrase for you.

The first character is "dream" or "dreams." The rest of the characters establish the idea of chasing or pursuing.

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

See Also:  Pursuit of Happiness

Without a big net, how can you catch fish?

China bù sā dà wǎng bù dé dà yú
Without a big net, how can you catch fish? Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [if one does] not cast a big net, [one can] not get big fish.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot make great accomplishments without making great efforts or taking great pains.

不撒大網不得大魚 is sort of the fishing version of, "No pain, no gain."

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33

China zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33 Wall Scroll

知人者知也自知者明也勝人者有力也自勝者強也知足者富也強行者有志也不失其所者久也死而不亡者壽也 is referred to as passage or chapter 33 of the Dao De Jing (often Romanized as "Tao Te Ching"). These are the words of the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).

The following is one translation of this passage:
To know others is wisdom;
To know oneself is acuity/intelligence.
To conquer others is power,
To conquer oneself is strength.
To know contentment is to have wealth.
To act resolutely is to have purpose.
To stay one's ground is to be enduring.
To die and yet not be forgotten is to be long-lived.

Another translation:
To understand others is to be knowledgeable;
To understand yourself is to be wise.
To conquer others is to have strength;
To conquer yourself is to be strong.
To know when you have enough is to be rich.
To go forward with strength is to have ambition.
To not lose your place is to be long lasting.
To die but not be forgotten -- that's true long life.

A third translation of the second half:
He who is content is rich;
He who acts with persistence has will;
He who does not lose his roots will endure;
He who dies physically but preserves the Dao will enjoy a long after-life.


During our research, the Chinese characters shown here are probably the most accurate to the original text of Laozi. These were taken for the most part from the Mawangdui 1973 and Guodan 1993 manuscripts which pre-date other Daodejing texts by about 1000 years.

Grammar was a little different in Laozi's time. So you should consider this to be the ancient Chinese version. Some have modernized this passage by adding, removing, or swapping articles and changing the grammar (we felt the oldest and most original version would be more desirable). You may find other versions printed in books or online - sometimes these modern texts are simply used to explain to Chinese people what the original text really means.

This language issue can be compared in English by thinking how the King James (known as the Authorized version in Great Britain) Bible from 1611 was written, and comparing it to modern English. Now imagine that the Daodejing was probably written around 403 BCE (2000 years before the King James Version of the Bible). To a Chinese person, the original Daodejing reads like text that is 3 times more detached compared to Shakespeare's English is to our modern-day speech.

Extended notes:

While on this Biblical text comparison, it should be noted, that just like the Bible, all the original texts of the Daodejing were lost or destroyed long ago. Just as with the scripture used to create the Bible, various manuscripts exist, many with variations or copyist errors. Just as the earliest New Testament scripture (incomplete) is from 170 years after Christ, the earliest Daodejing manuscript (incomplete) is from 100-200 years after the death of Laozi.

The reason that the originals were lost probably has a lot to do with the first Qin Emperor. Upon taking power and unifying China, he ordered the burning and destruction of all books (scrolls/rolls) except those pertaining to Chinese medicine and a few other subjects. The surviving Daodejing manuscripts were either hidden on purpose or simply forgotten about. Some were not unearthed until as late as 1993.

We compared a lot of research by various archeologists and historians before deciding on this as the most accurate and correct version. But one must allow that it may not be perfect, or the actual and original as from the hand of Laozi himself.

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
gan bou / ganbou / gan bo / ganboyuàn wàng
yuan4 wang4
yuan wang
yüan wang
Hope 希望ki bou / kibou / ki bo / kiboxī wàng / xi1 wang4 / xi wang / xiwang hsi wang / hsiwang
Heroic Spirit
Great Ambition
雄心yuushin / yushinxióng xīn
xiong2 xin1
xiong xin
hsiung hsin
Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions 不怕人窮隻怕志短
bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
bu2 pa4 ren2 qiong2 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa ren qiong zhi pa zhi duan
pu p`a jen ch`iung chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa jen chiung chih pa chih tuan
Burning Desire
netsubou / netsuborè wàng / re4 wang4 / re wang / rewang je wang / jewang
Old School
fukko / fukofù gǔ / fu4 gu3 / fu gu / fugu fu ku / fuku
Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition
大志を抱くtaishi wo Idaku
Fear not long roads; fear only short ambition 不怕路遠隻怕志短
bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
bu2 pa4 lu4 yuan3 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa lu yuan zhi pa zhi duan
pu p`a lu yüan chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa lu yüan chih pa chih tuan
Purity of Mind 心澄淨shin chou jou
shin cho jo
xīn chéng jìng
xin1 cheng2 jing4
xin cheng jing
hsin ch`eng ching
hsin cheng ching
Great Expectations bou / nozomi
bo / nozomi
wàng / wang4 / wang
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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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.
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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.

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