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千慮一得 means, "1000 tries, one success," or "[a] thousand tries [leads to] one success."
This proverb is a humble way to speak of your success, ideas, or accomplishments. As if you are a fool who just got lucky in inventing or creating something.
Translations for this proverb include:
Even without any notable ability on my part, I may still get it right sometimes by good luck.
Even a fool may sometimes come up with a good idea.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Without being knocked around a bit, [one's] bones won't become hard.
Figuratively, this means: One can't become strong without first being tempered by "hard knocks."
While true for everyone, this sounds like the "Iron Body" form of Kung Fu, where practitioners bodies are beaten (and often bone fractured) in order to become stronger.
For the rest of us, this is just about how we can be tempered and build character through the hardships in our lives.
This is not a common title for a wall scroll in China.
This literally means, "when three people meet, one becomes the teacher."
This famous Chinese philosophy suggests that when people come together, they can always learn from each other.
One person must be the teacher and others learn. And in turn, the others become the teachers of the knowledge they posses.
It is important to remember that we all have something to teach, and we all have something to learn as well.
This proverb is the tattoo worn on the back of Yue Fei, a famous Chinese warrior who lived until 1142 A.D.
The tattoo can be translated as "Serve the country with the utmost loyalty." More literally, it means, "[The] Ultimate Loyalty [is too] Duty [of] Country."
Legend has it that this tattoo once saved his life when he was accused of treason.
The first two characters have come to create a word that means "serve the country faithfully" or "die for the country." Note: It's more a willingness to die for one's country than the actual act of dying.
The last two characters have come to mean, "Dedicate oneself to the service of one's country."
Both of these words are probably only in the Chinese lexicon because of this famous tattoo.
If you break it down, character-by-character, here is what you get:
1. To the utmost, to the limit of something, the ultimate.
2. Loyalty or duty (a sense of duty to one's master, lord, country, job).
3. Report, recompense, give back to (in this case, you are giving yourself to your country as payback).
4. Country, state, nation, kingdom.
This proverb is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself. There is a secondary four characters that come after this in the Art of War (not included here) which suggest you cannot lose a battle when you follow this philosophy.
In a very literal and somewhat-boring way, this can also be translated as, "Estimate correctly one's strength as well as that of one's opponent."
叩頭 is the term that seems to be known worldwide as kowtow. In Japanese and Chinese, it simply means a deep bow, especially one so low that one's head touches the ground in submission. However, in western culture, it has sometimes come to mean "giving in" or "surrendering to someone else's will." Sometimes even said of a person who stoops to flattery at the expense of their own dignity.
I don't know if you would really want this on a wall scroll but enough people have searched for this term on our website, that I guess it was time to add it. It just feels strange to see such a word on a wall scroll, so please order with caution. 叩頭 is antiquated in both Japanese and Chinese. The act is seldom done anymore, and seen as an ancient ritual of sorts.
覺醒武士 is not a commonly used title in Chinese but sometimes used in Martial arts and military context to refer to a warrior who seems to always be fully aware, enlightened, knowledgeable, noble, and just.
The first two characters are a word that means: to awaken; to come to realize; awakened to the truth; the truth dawns upon one; scales fall from the eyes; to become aware.
The last two characters mean warrior but can also refer to a samurai, soldier, or fighter.
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.
Even if you are poor, you should still feel satisfied in your life...
...Satisfaction, happiness, and the meaning of your life come from within yourself and not from money or riches of the world.
In Chinese, there are a lot of four-character proverbs which express some very old philosophies.
Though there are only four characters on this scroll, in Chinese the meanings often surpass the dictionary definition of each character.
In this case, you should not set your expectations too high for the amount to money or riches you wish to have. One who sets their expectations too high is almost always disappointed. Instead, you should cherish what you have, and seek to improve yourself from within, and not measure your personal worth by the size of your bank account.
This is a nice Asian proverb if you know a vintner or wine seller - or wine lover - although the actual meaning might not be exactly what you think or hope.
The literal meaning is that someone drinking wine is more likely to let the truth slip out. It can also be translated as, "People speak their true feelings after drinking alcohol."
It's long-believed in many parts of Asia that one can not consciously hold up a facade of lies when getting drunk, and therefore the truth will come out with a few drinks.
I've had the experience where a Korean man would not trust me until I got drunk with him (I was trying to gain access to the black market in North Korea which is tough to do as an untrusted outsider) - so I think this idea is still well-practiced in many Asian countries.
Please note that there are two common ways to write the second character of this phrase. The way it's written will be left up to the mood of the calligrapher, unless you let us know that you have a certain preference.
Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.
Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King's court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.
The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.
One of the King's ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins."
This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation." The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin's words.
Seeing the King's displeasure with him and the King's fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.
Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.
The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"
Zhuang Xin told the King this story:
A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.
The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it's never too late to mend the fence."
This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.
I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.
Note: This does have Korean pronunciation but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.
A husband and wife separated and reunited.
About 1500 years ago in China, there lived a beautiful princess named Le Chang. She and her husband Xu De Yan loved each other very much. But when the army of the Sui Dynasty was about to attack their kingdom, disposed of all of their worldly possessions and prepared to flee into exile.
They knew that in the chaos, they might lose track of each other, so the one possession they kept was a bronze mirror which is a symbol of unity for a husband and wife. They broke the mirror into two pieces, and each of them kept half of the mirror. They decided that if separated, they would try to meet in the fair during the 15th day of the first lunar month (which is the lantern festival). Unfortunately, the occupation was brutal, and the princess was forced to become the mistress of the new commissioner of the territory, Yang Su.
At the Lantern Festival the next year, the husband came to the fair to search for his wife. He carried with him, his half of the mirror. As he walked through the fair, he saw the other half of the mirror for sale at a junk market by a servant of the commissioner. The husband recognized his wife's half of the mirror immediately, and tears rolled down his face as he was told by the servant about the bitter and loveless life that the princess had endured.
As his tears dripped onto the mirror, the husband scratched a poem into his wife's half of the mirror:
You left me with the severed mirror,
The mirror has returned but absent are you,
As I gaze in the mirror I seek your face,
I see the moon but as for you, I see not a trace.
The servant brought the inscribed half of the mirror back to the princess. For many days, the princess could not stop crying when she found that her husband was alive and still loved her.
Commissioner Yang Su, becoming aware of this saga realized that he could never obtain the love of the princess. He sent for the husband and allowed them to reunite.
This proverb in Chinese is now used to describe a couple who has been torn apart for some reason (usually divorce) but have come back together (or remarried).
It seems to be more common these days in America for divorced couples to reconcile and get married to each other again. This would be a great gift if you know someone who is about to remarry their ex.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Dream Come True|
|dé zhì / de2 zhi4 / de zhi / dezhi||te chih / techih|
|Even a fool may sometimes come up with a good idea||千慮一得|
|senryonoittoku||qiān lǜ yī dé|
qian1 lv4 yi1 de2
qian lv yi de
|ch`ien lü i te
chien lü i te
|Strong bones come from hard knocks||不磕不碰骨頭不硬|
|bù kē bù pèng gǔ tóu bù yìng|
bu4 ke1 bu4 peng4 gu3 tou2 bu4 ying4
bu ke bu peng gu tou bu ying
|pu k`o pu p`eng ku t`ou pu ying
pu ko pu peng ku tou pu ying
|When Three People Gather, One Becomes a Teacher||三人行必有我師|
|sān rén xíng bì yǒu wǒ shī|
san1 ren2 xing2 bi4 you3 wo3 shi1
san ren xing bi you wo shi
|san jen hsing pi yu wo shih
|A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step||千里之行始於足下|
|qiān lǐ zhī xíng shǐ yú zú xià|
qian1 li3 zhi1 xing2 shi3 yu2 zu2 xia4
qian li zhi xing shi yu zu xia
|ch`ien li chih hsing shih yü tsu hsia
chien li chih hsing shih yü tsu hsia
|Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country||盡忠報國|
|jìn zhōng bào guó|
jin4 zhong1 bao4 guo2
jin zhong bao guo
|chin chung pao kuo
|Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself||知彼知己||zhí bǐ zhí jī|
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1
zhi bi zhi ji
|chih pi chih chi
|Kowtow - The deepest bow||叩頭|
|koutou / koto||kòu tóu / kou4 tou2 / kou tou / koutou||k`ou t`ou / koutou / kou tou|
|jué xǐng wǔ shì|
jue2 xing3 wu3 shi4
jue xing wu shi
|chüeh hsing wu shih
|hóng hú zhī zhì|
hong2 hu2 zhi1 zhi4
hong hu zhi zhi
|hung hu chih chih
|Better to be Happy than Rich||安貧樂道|
|ān pín lè dào|
an1 pin2 le4 dao4
an pin le dao
|an p`in le tao
an pin le tao
|In Wine there is Truth||酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言|
|jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán|
jiu3 hou4 tu3 zhen1 yan2
jiu hou tu zhen yan
|chiu hou t`u chen yen
chiu hou tu chen yen
|Better Late Than Never||亡羊補牢猶未為晚|
|wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn|
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
|wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
|Broken Mirror Rejoined||破鏡重圓|
|pò jìng chóng yuán|
po4 jing4 chong2 yuan2
po jing chong yuan
|p`o ching ch`ung yüan
po ching chung yüan
|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.
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 Be Come One Kanji, Be Come One Characters, Be Come One in Mandarin Chinese, Be Come One Characters, Be Come One in Chinese Writing, Be Come One in Japanese Writing, Be Come One in Asian Writing, Be Come One Ideograms, Chinese Be Come One symbols, Be Come One Hieroglyphics, Be Come One Glyphs, Be Come One in Chinese Letters, Be Come One Hanzi, Be Come One in Japanese Kanji, Be Come One Pictograms, Be Come One in the Chinese Written-Language, or Be Come One in the Japanese Written-Language.