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Awareness in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an Awareness calligraphy wall scroll here!

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Awareness
  2. Perception
  3. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha
  4. Lingering Mind
  5. Mono no Aware
  6. Spirit / Spiritual Essence
  7. Mind of the Beginner
  8. 8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration
  9. Dragon


China jué / jiào
Japan gaku / satoru
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This is a character that is impossible to define in a single word. This can mean to feel; to figure out; thinking; awake; aware; bodhi; knowing; understanding; enlightenment; illumination; apprehend; perceive; realize.

This term is often associated with Buddhism where it's understood to be: Illumination, enlightenment, or awakening in regard to the real in contrast to the seeming. However, it can also refer to enlightenment in regard to morality and evil.


In Japanese, this can be the personal name Satoru.

In certain context, and only when pronounced as "jiao" in Chinese, it can refer to a nap, sleep or the state of sleeping. However, as a single character on a wall scroll, everyone will read this with the awareness or enlightenment context.

By no means is this the only way to write enlightenment. In fact, you should only choose this character if you are looking more for a word meaning awareness.

See Also...  Enlightenment | Wisdom | Knowledge


China gǎn zhī
Japan kan chi
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This is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for perception, awareness, or the act of sensing and noticing.

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
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Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

This is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. This is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

See Also...  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Lingering Mind

China cán xīn
Japan zan shin
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Lingering Mind

First off, this should only be used in context of Japanese martial arts. In Chinese, it's a rather sad title (like a broken heart). In Chinese, the first character alone means destroyed, spoiled, ruined, injured, cruel, oppressive, savage, incomplete, disabled. However, in Japanese, it's remainder, leftover, balance, or lingering.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence in both languages.

This is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining or lingering spirit. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness and mental follow-through. However, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a technique, where a link or connection between uke and nage is preserved. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker, but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.

残In modern Japan (and Simplified Chinese), they use a different version of the first character, as seen to the right. Click on this character to the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version of lingering mind / zanshin.

Mono no Aware

Japan mono no awa-re
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Mono no Aware

This literally translates as, "the pathos of things", "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera".

This is kind of a Japanese proverb for the awareness of impermanence, or transience of things.

Both things and the emotions about those things do not last forever.

Spirit / Spiritual Essence

China shén
Japan kami / shin
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Spirit / Spiritual Essence

This is the simplest form of spirit. This single character alone will conjure up ideas of the spiritual world. This character can also be translated as "vital awareness" as in the fact that one must know they exist to exist (I think, therefore I am).

Other translations include:
God, mysterious, divine essence, lively, spiritual being, divinity, supernatural, soul, mind, nerves, and energy. In some extended context it can mean genius or unusual.

Mind of the Beginner

China chū xīn
Japan sho shin
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Mind of the Beginner

This is often translated in Japanese as "beginner\'s mind" or "beginner\'s spirit". In Chinese, the dictionary definition is "one\'s original intention".

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

This is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.

8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Samyak Samadhi / Samma Samadhi
China zhèng dìng
Japan sei jou
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8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

This is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Concentration, along with Right Effort and Right Mindfulness constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Concentration has to do with leaving behind sensuality, unwholesome states, as well as pleasure and pain. This is a complex idea, but once you have achieved the shedding of worldly sensation, you can truly concentrate and find a higher level of awareness.

Another definition: Concentration of mind that finds its highpoint in the four absorptions.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also...  Buddhism | Enlightenment


Year of the Dragon / Zodiac Sign
China lóng
Japan ryuu / tatsu
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This is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.

From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .

Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face".

See also our Chinese Zodiac or Dragon Calligraphy pages.

Check dictionary for awareness
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.

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

Double Happiness
Inner Strength
Iron Fist
Live A Life of Love
Martial Arts
No Pain No Gain
Pain of Love

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

Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
gaku / satorujué / jiào
jue / jiao
chüeh chiao
jue2 / jiao4
kan chi
gǎn zhī
gan zhi
kan chih
gan3 zhi1
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成仏
ken shou jyo butsu
ken sho jyo butsu
Lingering Mind残心
zan shin
cán xīn
can xin
ts`an hsin
can2 xin1
tsan hsin
Mono no Aware物の哀れ
mono no awa-re
Spirit / Spiritual Essence
kami / shinshén
Mind of the Beginner初心
sho shin
chū xīn
chu xin
ch`u hsin
chu1 xin1
chu hsin
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration正定
sei jou
sei jo
zhèng dìng
zheng ding
cheng ting
zheng4 ding4
ryuu / tatsu
ryu / tatsu

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

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