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Be Your Self in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Be Your Self calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Be Your Self" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Be Your Self" title below...

  1. Self-Discipline / Will-Power
  2. Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself
  3. Discipline
  4. Military Discipline
  5. Moderation
  6. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
  7. Gentleness
  8. Integrity
  9. Mistress / Concubine / Servant
10. Non-Violence
11. Heijoshin / Presence of Mind
12. Death Before Dishonor
13. Live Free or Die
14. Death Before Dishonor
15. Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do
16. Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial
17. Nothingness
18. Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

Self-Discipline / Will-Power

China zì lǜ
Japan jiritsu
Self-Discipline / Will-Power

Self-discipline means self-control. It is doing what you really want to do, rather than being tossed around by your feelings like a leaf in the wind. You act instead of react. You get things done in an orderly and efficient way. With self-discipline, you take charge of yourself.


Not sure if this one works for a Japanese audience.


See Also:  Discipline | Self-Control

Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself

Japan do kuritsu do ppo
Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself

This Japanese proverb, Dokuritsu-Doppo, is an indication of your independence, self-reliance, standing on one's own two feet, or making one's own way in life.

Discipline

China jì lǜ
Discipline

Discipline: There are a few different ways to define this word in English. This Asian word conveys the idea of extreme self-control and perhaps self-sacrifice, and obedience. This matches what I was taught as the meaning of "discipline" when I was in the Marine Corps. There is also an additional idea of maintaining order or being orderly in your tasks.

This idea would also fit an athlete training for the Olympics who gives up many pleasures to stay focused on their training.


See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

Military Discipline

China jūn jì
Japan gun ki
Military Discipline

軍紀 means military discipline or military principles.

If maintaining your military discipline is important to you personally, or important to your military unit, this is the wall scroll to have up behind your desk. In fact, it's the kind of thing I expect to see behind the desk of a First Sergeant or maybe a hardcore NCO.

Note: In some rare context, it could be extended to mean "morale" but "discipline" is much closer to the commonly-held definition.

Note: This term is not well-known outside of the military services in Asia (not used by the common person).


See Also:  Self-Discipline

Moderation

China jié zhì
Japan sessei
Moderation

Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don't overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.

節制 can also be translated as sobriety, self-restraint, or temperance.

節制 is often used as part of the Seven Heavenly Virtues to represent sobriety and/or temperance.


See Also:  Prudence | Ethics | Humble | Humility

Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

(complete bodily devotion)
China xiàn shēn
Japan ken shin
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

獻身 is used to describe being so devoted to something that you will make sacrifices for that goal/thing/person. You can also translate this word as any of the following:

Give one's life for...
Sacrifice one's life for...
To dedicate oneself to...
Self-devotion
Dedication
Commit ones energy to...
Devote to...
Self-sacrifice
Giving your whole body to...

This can be a dedication to or for someone but more often is used in reference to a dedication or making sacrifices for your country, public service, or a cause. For instance, an Olympic athlete makes great sacrifices to train in his/her sport for their country and compatriots.


献
身
While the form shown to the upper-left is considered an ancient Japanese version, in modern Japan, they use the simplified version of the first Kanji (shown to the right). Click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version.

If you are looking for a more religious meaning of devotion, see Faith.


See Also:  Confidence | Dedication

Gentleness

China wēn róu
Gentleness

Gentleness is moving wisely, touching softly, holding carefully, speaking quietly and thinking kindly. When you feel mad or hurt, use your self-control. Instead of harming someone, talk things out peacefully. You are making the world a safer, gentler place.


See Also:  Kindness | Caring

Integrity

China zhèng zhí
Japan shoujiki
Integrity

Integrity is living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere. Integrity helps you to listen to your conscience, to do the right thing, and to tell the truth. You act with integrity when your words and actions match. Integrity gives you self-respect and a peaceful heart.

Japanese jikiPlease note that the second Kanji sometimes has an alternate form in Japanese. Let us know if you want the alternate form shown to the right.

Note: This entry is cross-listed as "honesty" because it also fits that definition.


Beyond Integrity, this word also means "upright" and "honest" in Chinese. Means "integrity," "honesty" or "frankness" in Japanese.


See Also:  Honor | Honesty | Truth | Trust

Mistress / Concubine / Servant

China qiè
Japan mekake / sobame / onname
Mistress / Concubine / Servant

妾 is the most simple way to say concubine or mistress in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes this can mean servant. Occasionally, a woman may use this title in place of "I" or "me" to say "your humble servant" in a self-deprecating way.

Non-Violence

China fēi bào lì
Japan hibouryoku
Non-Violence

非暴力 is fairly self-explanatory.

The first character means "not," "non-" or "un-"
The middle and last character together mean "violence," "use of force" or simply "violent."

Together, these three characters would normally be translated as "nonviolence." A great gift for your favorite peace-lover.


See Also:  Peace

Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

China píng cháng xīn
Japan hei jou shin
Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

平常心 is the title Heijoshin, as associated with Kendo and Aikido schools of Japanese martial arts.

平常心 is also a word in Japanese which can be translated as "one's self-possession" or "presence of mind."

In Chinese and Korean, this means "simplicity heart," "composure," "calmness," or a "sense of orderliness." In Chinese and Korean, this implies that you enjoy what you have, keep your heart in balance, and have no over-blown ambitions.

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
Death Before Dishonor

This is the long version of a Chinese proverb which means, "rather be shattered piece of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery."

A little more explanation:
Death is implied with the "broken" meaning. Jade is one of the most precious materials in Chinese history, and in this case is compared with one's honor and self-worth. Pottery is just something you eat off of, it has no deep value, just as a person who has lost their honor, or had none to begin with.
Thus, this means, "better to die with honor than to live in shame" or words to that effect.

This is often translated in English as "Death Before Dishonor," the famous military slogan.

I would also compare this to the English proverb, "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."


This is an idiom. It therefore doesn't directly say exactly what it means. If you think about the English idiom, "The grass is always greener," it does not directly say "jealousy" or "envy" but everyone knows that it is implied.

Live Free or Die

Give me liberty or give me death
China bú zì yóu wú nìng sǐ
Live Free or Die

不自由毋寧死 means, "Give me liberty or give me death," in Chinese.

This is also the best way to say, "Live free or die."

The characters break down this way:
不 = Not; none; without.
自由 = Freedom; liberty; freewill; self-determination.
毋寧 = Rather; would rather; rather be.
死 = Dead; death.

This will go nicely next to your, "Don't tread on me," flag. This phrase is known well enough in China that it's listed in a few dictionaries. Though I doubt you will find too many Chinese citizens willing to yell this on the steps of the capital in Beijing.


See Also:  Death Before Dishonor

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì
Death Before Dishonor

寧為玉碎 is the short version of a longer Chinese proverb which means, "rather be shattered piece of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery." The characters shown above just say the "rather be a broken piece of jade" part (the second half is implied - everyone in China knows this idiom).

A little more explanation:
Death is implied with the "broken" meaning. Jade is one of the most precious materials in Chinese history, and in this case is compared with one's honor and self-worth. Pottery is just something you eat off of, it has no deep value, just as a person who has lost their honor, or had none to begin with.
Thus, this means, "better to die with honor than to live in shame" or words to that effect.

寧為玉碎 is often translated in English as "Death Before Dishonor," the famous military slogan.

I would also compare this to the English proverb, "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

China tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū
Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

Taekwondo TenetsThis is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do." The actual title would be translated as, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo." It was originally written in Korean Hanja (Chinese characters used in Korea for about 1600 years).

General Choi's original calligraphy is shown to the right. Your custom calligraphy will be unique, and not an exact match, as each calligrapher has their own style.

In modern times, the common form of written Korean is Hangul (a phonetic character set). The table below shows the text in Hangul and Hanja along with a pronunciation guide and a brief English translation:

Traditional Korean HanjaModern Korean HangulPronunciationEnglish
跆拳道精神태권도정신tae gweon do jeong sinTaekwondo Spirit
禮儀예의ye yiCourtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality
廉耻염치yeom ciIntegrity / Sense of Honor
忍耐인내in naePatience / Perseverance / Endurance
克己극기geug giSelf-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation
百折不屈백절불굴baeg jeor bur gurIndomitable Spirit (Undaunted even after repeated attacks from the opponent)
Note that the pronunciation is the official version now used in South Korea. However, it is different than what you may be used to. For instance, "Taekwon-do" is "tae gweon do." This new romanization is supposed to be closer to actual Korean pronunciation.

Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial

China dà gōng wú sī
Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial

This Chinese proverb comes from an old story from some time before 476 BC. About a man named Qi Huangyang, who was commissioned by the king to select the best person for a certain job in the Imperial Court.

Qi Huangyang selected his enemy for the job. The king was very confused by the selection but Qi Huangyang explained that he was asked to find the best person for the job, not necessarily someone that he personally liked or had a friendship with.

Later, Confucius commented on how unselfish and impartial Qi Huangyang was by saying "Da Gong Wu Si" which if you look it up in a Chinese dictionary, is generally translated as "Unselfish" or "Just and Fair."

If you translate each character, you'd have something like,

"Big/Deep Justice Without Self."

Direct translations like this leave out a lot of what the Chinese characters really say. Use your imagination, and suddenly you realize that "without self" means "without thinking about yourself in the decision" - together, these two words mean "unselfish." The first two characters serve to really drive the point home that we are talking about a concept that is similar to "blind justice."

One of my Chinese-English dictionaries translates this simply as "just and fair." So that is the short and simple version.

Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used term.


See Also:  Selflessness | Work Unselfishly for the Common Good | Altruism

Nothingness

China kōng wú
Japan kuu mu
Nothingness

空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.

The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).

The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.

Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness."

I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery." Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).

Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature."

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

Japan te ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

This is the Japanese version of "know your enemy, know yourself." There is a longer version of this proverb which adds, "...and you can win 100 battles."


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

Search for Be Your Self in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Self-Discipline
Will-Power
自律jiritsuzì lǜ / zi4 lv4 / zi lv / zilvtzu lü / tzulü
Standing by Oneself
Walking by Oneself
獨立獨步
独立独步
do kuritsu do ppo
dokuritsudoppo
do kuritsu do po
dokuritsudopo
Discipline紀律
纪律
jì lǜ / ji4 lv4 / ji lv / jilvchi lü / chilü
Military Discipline軍紀
军纪
gun ki / gunkijūn jì / jun1 ji4 / jun ji / junjichün chi / chünchi
Moderation節制
节制
sessei / seseijié zhì / jie2 zhi4 / jie zhi / jiezhichieh chih / chiehchih
Sacrifice
Devotion
Dedication
獻身
献身
ken shin / kenshinxiàn shēn
xian4 shen1
xian shen
xianshen
hsien shen
hsienshen
Gentleness溫柔
温柔
wēn róu / wen1 rou2 / wen rou / wenrouwen jou / wenjou
Integrity正直shoujiki / shojikizhèng zhí
zheng4 zhi2
zheng zhi
zhengzhi
cheng chih
chengchih
Mistress
Concubine
Servant
mekake / sobame / onnameqiè / qie4 / qiech`ieh / chieh
Non-Violence非暴力hibouryoku / hiboryokufēi bào lì
fei1 bao4 li4
fei bao li
feibaoli
fei pao li
feipaoli
Heijoshin
Presence of Mind
平常心hei jou shin
heijoushin
hei jo shin
heijoshin
píng cháng xīn
ping2 chang2 xin1
ping chang xin
pingchangxin
p`ing ch`ang hsin
pingchanghsin
ping chang hsin
Death Before Dishonor寧為玉碎不為瓦全
宁为玉碎不为瓦全
níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
ning2 wei2 yu4 sui4 bu2 wei2 wa3 quan2
ning wei yu sui bu wei wa quan
ningweiyusuibuweiwaquan
ning wei yü sui pu wei wa ch`üan
ning wei yü sui pu wei wa chüan
Live Free or Die不自由毋寧死
不自由毋宁死
bú zì yóu wú nìng sǐ
bu2 zi4 you2 wu2 ning4 si3
bu zi you wu ning si
buziyouwuningsi
pu tzu yu wu ning ssu
putzuyuwuningssu
Death Before Dishonor寧為玉碎
宁为玉碎
níng wéi yù suì
ning2 wei2 yu4 sui4
ning wei yu sui
ningweiyusui
ning wei yü sui
ningweiyüsui
Taekwondo Tenets
Spirit of Taekwon-do
跆拳道精神禮義廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈
跆拳道精神礼义廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈
tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū
tai2 quan2 dao4 jing1 shen2 li3 yi4 lian2 chi3 ren3 nai4 ke4 ji3 bai3 zhe2 bu4 qu1
tai quan dao jing shen li yi lian chi ren nai ke ji bai zhe bu qu
t`ai ch`üan tao ching shen li i lien ch`ih jen nai k`o chi pai che pu ch`ü
tai chüan tao ching shen li i lien chih jen nai ko chi pai che pu chü
Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial大公無私
大公无私
dà gōng wú sī
da4 gong1 wu2 si1
da gong wu si
dagongwusi
ta kung wu ssu
takungwussu
Nothingness空無
空无
kuu mu / kuumu / ku mu / kumukōng wú / kong1 wu2 / kong wu / kongwuk`ung wu / kungwu / kung wu
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself敵を知り己を知るte ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
tekioshirionoreoshiru
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...

Angel
Balance
Bear
Bushido Code
Diamond
Dragon Soul
Dream
Energy
Enso
Family
Father
Fire Dragon
Follow Your Dreams
Follow Your Heart
Forever
Friendship
Future
Generation
Good Fortune
Grace
Hanawa
Happy Birthday
Harmony
Heaven
Honor
Independence
Inner Peace and Serenity
Justice
Kung Fu
Love
Loyalty
Mixed Martial Arts
Nature
Ninpo
Nirvana
Noble
Pain
Peace and Happiness
Peach
Power
Protect
Responsibility
River
Samurai
Shadow
Shogun
Spiritual Strength
Strength
Strong Will
Sword
Tiger
Trust
Truth
Vitality
Water
Wing Chun
Winter

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.


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 Be Your Self Kanji, Be Your Self Characters, Be Your Self in Mandarin Chinese, Be Your Self Characters, Be Your Self in Chinese Writing, Be Your Self in Japanese Writing, Be Your Self in Asian Writing, Be Your Self Ideograms, Chinese Be Your Self symbols, Be Your Self Hieroglyphics, Be Your Self Glyphs, Be Your Self in Chinese Letters, Be Your Self Hanzi, Be Your Self in Japanese Kanji, Be Your Self Pictograms, Be Your Self in the Chinese Written-Language, or Be Your Self in the Japanese Written-Language.