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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Antiwar / Anti-War
2. Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis
4. Believe / Faith / Trust
5. Believe in Yourself
9. Daoism / Taoism
10. Religious Devotion / Faith in God / Religious Faith
11. Faith / Trusting in the Unseen
12. Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark
13. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
14. Five Elements
17. Guan Yu
18. In Flowers the Cherry Blossom,...
19. Heart / Mind / Spirit
|21. Honesty / Fidelity
22. House of Red Delights
23. Jew / Jewish
24. John 3:16
25. Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do
26. Firm Belief...
27. Lao Tzu / Laozi
29. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
30. Journey of Life
31. Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened,...
32. Love Faith Strength
34. Namu Amida Butsu
35. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha
38. Profound / Powerful Words
39. Purity of Mind
40. The Red String
|41. Seeing is Believing|
43. Shaolin Temple
44. Sincere Heart
45. Tiger Rumor
46. Trust in God
47. Trust No One / Trust No Man
48. Trust in God / In God We Trust
49. Trust in God / Belief in God
50. Trust in God / Faith in God
51. In Wine there is Truth
53. Zen Buddhism
反戰 means antiwar, as in what a pacifist believes in.
China doesn't tend to go to war very often, and Japan has embraced a pacifist ideology, so it's rare to need this word. However, this is the kind of word that war protesters would write on their signs.
There is a modern Japanese version of the second character which has become the standard in Japan after WWII. If you want your calligraphy written in the modern Japanese form, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note: Most Japanese and all Chinese people will recognize the form shown in the upper left.
The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.
It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:
1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.
2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.
3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.
4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.
5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.
CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.
相信 is the Chinese way to say believe.
This specifically means to be convinced that something is true or to accept something as true or real.
This can also be translated as "convinced of," "have trust in," "have faith in"
信 can mean to believe, truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and confidence in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.
This single character is often part of other words with similar meanings.
It is one of the five basic tenets of Confucius.
In Chinese, it sometimes has the secondary meaning of a letter (as in the mail) depending on context but it will not be read that way when seen on a wall scroll.
In Buddhist context, this is śraddhā (faith through hearing or being taught).
This means, "believe in yourself," "have faith in yourself," or "believe in myself" (can be myself or yourself depending in if you're saying it to yourself or someone else).
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
信徒 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja word for "believer."
Just as in English, this word can be used for a follower of virtually any religion.
信徒 can also be translated into English as layman, adherent, follower, laity, disciple, or devotee.
This is the Chinese and Japanese title for Bodhidharma. This refers to a man commonly known as Damo, reputed as the founder of the Chan (Zen) Buddhism. His original name is believed to be Bodhitara (菩提多羅).
Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as versus . If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.
Commitment is caring deeply about something or someone. It is deciding carefully what you want to do, and then giving it 100%, holding nothing back. You give your all to a friendship, a task, or something you believe in. You finish what you start. You keep your promises.
In Chinese, this word directly means to undertake something or to make a promise to do something.
Within the idea of commitment, this word also means to make a big effort, or undertaking a great task. Outside of the commitment idea, this particular word can also mean approval, acceptance, consent, assent, acquiescence, or agreement depending on context (especially in Japanese and Korean). Therefore, this word is probably best if your audience is Chinese.
道 is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.
道 is the base of what is known as "Taoism." If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path."
Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)
The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.
More about Taoism / Daoism here.
Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.
Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.
Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.
See our Taoism Page
This means firm belief, faith, persuasion, conviction, and sometimes religion or creed in Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.
This word clearly fits religious connotation of the English word "devotion."
This is often used to refer to a person of faith or a religious person.
This can be directly translated as "firm belief," "creed," "conviction" or simply as "religious" depending on context.
Some will also use this to mean "trust in God" in Japanese (though the term for God is not actually in this title).
It should be noted that this word is a little strange alone on a wall scroll.
While this can be pronounced in Japanese, it's not a great selection for a wall scroll if your audience is Japanese.
This is a philosophical poem/quote from Indian Poet and Philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore.
Rabindranath Tagore, 1915
This quote is not sourced, and therefore several variations exist in English. Some suggest the original was in the Bengali language.
This, of course, is the Chinese translation which has the meaning of, "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark."
因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.
Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.
It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.
因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.
The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things."
This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.
Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji:
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.
五行 is the title of the five elements which are: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal.
The first character means "5" and the second character is simply "elements."
According to ancient Chinese science, all matter in the world is made up of these elements. One idea presented with the five elements is that when energy is added, matter is believed to expand. When energy is removed, matter contracts. Oddly, this concept is not far from Einstein's theories, and modern science. Just a few thousand years before Einstein.
More info: Wikipedia - Five Elements (Wu Xing).
This single character means "forgive" in Chinese. In Korean, this kind of means forgive but also has slightly different definitions of consider, excuse, faithful, believe.
金魚 is the title for goldfish in Chinese and Japanese.
There was a time in ancient China when only the Emperor could possess the true yellow-gold colored fish. 金魚 is why alternate coloration such as orange, black, red, and white were bred. Many believe this is why colors other than yellow-gold are more common for "goldfish" found in pet shops today.
關羽 is the name Guan Yu, Army General for the Kingdom of Shu.
He is also known as Guan Gong (like saying Duke Guan or Sir Guan)
He was immortalized in the novel, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms."
He was a fearsome fighter, also famous for his virtue and loyalty. He is worshiped by some modern-day soldiers and has the title "Warrior Saint" in China. Some believe he offers safety and protection for military servicemen.
Guan Yu lived until 219 A.D.
This Japanese proverb simply reads, "[In] Flowers it's Cherry Blossoms, [In] Men it's Warriors."
This is meant to say that of all the flowers in the world, the cherry blossom is the best. And of all men in the world, the Samurai or Warrior is the best
This proverb has been around for a long time. It's believed to have been composed sometime before the Edo Period in Japan (which started in 1603).
Some will drop one syllable and pronounce this, "hana wa sakura hito wa bushi." That's "sakura" instead of "sakuragi," which is like saying "cherry blossom" instead of "cherry tree."
The third character was traditionally written as 櫻. But in modern Japan, that became 桜. You may still see 櫻 used from time to time on older pieces of calligraphy. We can do either one, so just make a special request if you want 櫻.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
心 would often be translated as “heart”.
However, because it was believed in Chinese culture thousands of years that your consciousness and thoughts came from the big red organ in the middle of your chest, it also means “mind” or “spirit” and sometimes even “soul.”
In Korean, beyond heart, mind, and spirit, this character can mean moral, nature, mind, affections, intentions, core, and center. In fact, it is used in Chinese to mean "center" as well but only with another character in front of it. For instance, "medical center" or even "shopping center." Separately and alone, it will not be read with that "center" meaning unless thought of as "the center of your soul."
Honesty is being truthful and sincere. It is important because it builds trust. When people are honest, they can be relied on not to lie, cheat or steal. Being honest means that you accept yourself as you are. When you are open and trustworthy, others can believe in you.
This is one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do.
Note: This entry is cross-listed as "integrity" because it also fits that definition.
Please 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.
誠 means truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.
As a single-character wall scroll, this suggests that you believe "honesty is the best policy," as your personal philosophy.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
信 is another character that expresses the idea of honesty. It can also mean truth, faith, believe in, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.
Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although "makoto" is probably more common/popular.
Note: In some context, this character can mean letter; news or envoy. However, alone, it will generally be read with the honesty-meaning.
See Also: Loyalty Trustworthiness Trustworthy
怡紅院 is from "The Story of the Stone" by Cao Xueqin.
For some reason, this phrase was translated as "House of Green Delights" when the novel was published in English. The translator took some liberties, and believed that "green" had a more positive feel than red, to a western audience. Therefore, the phrase shown to the right is "House of Red Delights" (which is the most original and correct way).
猶太 is the title for Jews or the adjective for being Jewish in Chinese.
You may be surprised to learn that there are still a few native Jews in China (though many ethnic Jews moved to Israel). It's believed that they are descendants of traders who traveled the silk road between the Middle East and the Orient.
神愛世人甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們叫一切信他的不至滅亡反得永生 is the full translation of John 3:16 into Chinese.
This is from the Chinese Union Bible which comes from a revised version of the King James. This Chinese Bible was originally translated and printed in 1919 (several revisions since then).
Because of the origin being the KJV, I'll say that in English, this would be, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
As with any translation, there are interesting cultural and linguistic issues. For instance, the word used for "world" in Chinese can also mean "common people." So you could say that it means "For God so loved the common people..."
This does not take away from the text, as it will be understood with the same meaning and connotation.
There is no direct Greek to Chinese translation in print (that I know of), so this is the best available. Of course, you can ask any Greek person of faith, and they will claim that a bit is lost from the original Greek of the New Testament to any of the English versions of the Bible in print.
神は實にそのひとり子をお與えになったほどに世を愛されたそれは御子を信じる者がひとりとして滅びることなく永遠のいのちを持つためである is the full translation of John 3:16 into Japanese.
This translation comes from the Shinkaiyaku Bible (a preferred translation by many Japanese Christians).
Just for reference, from the KJV, this reads, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
唐手道 is the alternate title for Karate-do. This title uses a character which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the "Tang Hand Way" or incorrectly, "Tang Fist Way." I have also seen some call it "China Hand Way."
There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China, and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means "Empty Hand" (as in, without weapons).
In Korean, this title represents a certain style of martial arts. From Korean, this is often romanized as "Tang Soo Do," "Tangsudo," "Dang Su Do," or "Dangsudo." The last two romanizations on that list are the official Korean government romanization, though martial arts schools tend to use other non-standard versions.
Depending on the romanization scheme you use, this man's name can be spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tze. In older English usage, he was known as Laocius. He is believed to have lived around 500 B.C.
He was a Chinese philosopher, founder of Daoism/Taoism, credited with being the author of the sacred and wise book of Daoism/Taoism.
There is a theory that Lao Tzu's soul traveled to India and was reborn as the Buddha.
嫘 is one Chinese surname that romanizes as Lei.
There are other characters that romanize as Lei, and are surnames. Make sure you get the right one.
I believe this is also a surname in Korean, where it's written as 루 and pronounced like "Ru" or "Lu" in modern Korean.
This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
氣 is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is most often translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Some people will simply translate this as “spirit” but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice is shown to the right.
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like one the symbols shown to the right.
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical is shown to the right.
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the “flow” of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.
You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.
In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.
The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.
More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.
If you believe that life is a journey, this is a nice Japanese title for you wall.
人生行路 means "journey of life" in Japanese Kanji. The actual word order is more like "life (人生) journey (行路)" as Japanese grammar is a bit different than English.
Note: The "journey" part can also be translated as "road," so this is also how to say, "the road of life."
A man named Wei Zheng lived between 580-643 AD. He was a noble and wise historian and minister in the court of the early Tang Dynasty.
The emperor once asked him, "What should an emperor do to understand the real-world situation and what makes an emperor out-of-touch with reality?"
Wei Zheng replied, "Listen to both sides and you will be enlightened; listen to only one side and you will be left in the dark."
Then Wei Zheng went on to site examples of leaders in history that were victorious after heeding both sides of the story, and other leaders that met their doom because they believed one-sided stories which often came from flattering lips.
Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.
愛信強 is the shortest way to write the word list, "love faith strength."
The first characters is love, the second is faith or believe, and the third means strong or strength.
It should be noted that word lists like this are not as natural sounding in Chinese as word lists can be in English. It's more common to have a full phrase (with subject, verb, and object) or single words on calligraphy wall scrolls in Asia.
Loyalty is staying true to someone. It is standing up for something you believe in without wavering. It is being faithful to your family, country, school, friends or ideals, when the going gets tough as well as when things are good. With loyalty, you build relationships that last forever.
1. This written form of loyalty is universal in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
2. There is also a Japanese version that is part of the Bushido Code which may be more desirable depending on whether your intended audience is Japanese or Chinese.
3. This version of loyalty is sometimes translated as devotion, sincerity, fidelity, or allegiance.
This is the modern Japanese version of "Namu Amida Butsu" or "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha."
Some will translate this as, "I sincerely believe in Amitabha; Lord have mercy on me."
This phrase especially applies to Japanese Pure Land Buddhists.
There is a more universal version using ancient characters (with more strokes) for the 4th and last characters. That version is also used in Chinese, Korean, and occasionally Vietnamese. This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.
南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.
Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.
The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in," or "homage to."
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in," while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.
日蓮 is the title Nichiren.
This title refers to a Buddhist priest, who lived from 1222 to 1282. He is the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism.
According to historical documents, the Nichiren sect was established in 1252. Adding the character for sect, this would be 日蓮宗 (Nichiren sect), which is also known as the 法華宗 or Lotus sect.
According to Soothill-Hodous...
Nichiren's chief tenets are the three great mysteries 三大祕法, representing the trikāya:
1. 本尊 or chief object of worship, being the great maṇḍala of the worlds of the ten directions, or universe, i.e. the body or nirmāṇakāya of Buddha.
2. 題目 the title of the Lotus Sutra 妙法蓮華經 Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo, preceded by Namo, or, "Adoration to the scripture of the lotus of the wonderful law," for it is Buddha's spiritual body.
3. 戒壇 the altar of the law, which is also the title of the Lotus as above; the believer, wherever he is, dwells in the Pure-land of calm light 寂光淨土, the saṃbhogakāya.
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."
These four characters together translate in English to a strong form of "profound" or "written with a forceful hand."
But there is much more to the story...
The deep meaning behind this proverb comes from a man named Wan Xizhi who lived in the third century.
He was a great writer and calligrapher whose writing style influenced generations of other writers and calligraphers.
He once wrote words on a piece of wood to be taken to an engraver.
When the engraver began to carve the characters into the wood, he found that Wang Xizhi's writing had penetrated the wood about 3/8 of an inch.
Thus people believed that his words were so powerful, and so profound this it caused the ink from his brush to penetrate the wood deeply.
The proverb literally means "penetrated wood three fen" (fen is an ancient Chinese measurement a little over to 1/8 of an inch or almost 4mm).
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."
This proverb literally means "Better to see something once rather than hear about it one hundred times" or "Telling me about something 100 times is not as good as seeing it once." In English, we have the similar proverb of "Seeing is believing" but this has a bit of the "A picture paints a thousand words" meaning too.
Sometimes it's simply more prudent to verify with your own eyes.
This Japanese proverb is the rough equivalent of "seeing is believing," "one eye-witness is better than many hearsays," or "a picture is worth a thousand words."
Sometimes it's simply more prudent to verify with your own eyes.
This word is created by simply putting the character for "faith/believe/confidence" with the character for "oneself" in front of it.
The literal translation holds the same meaning in English, Chinese and Japanese.
It's like a self-affirmation to say, "you can do it."
Some may also use this to mean self-esteem or a sense of self-worth. This is also how to say, "believe in oneself."
See Also: Confidence
少林寺 is the full title of the Shaolin Temple.
This refers to the Buddhist monastery famous for its kung fu monks.
少林寺 is also known in Japanese where they use the same characters but romanize it as Shourinji or Shōrinji.
Some believe this monastery and temple represent the place where Bodhidharma sat with his face to a wall for nine years leading to his discovery of enlightenment and establishment of Buddhism.
When you take this word apart, you find the sum is a little different than the parts. The first character means blood and the second means heart. It is important to note that for thousands of years, it was believed that your heart was both your soul and your mind in Asian culture. When you add blood to the heart, it is your whole being - it is pure and clean dedication with your whole soul.
Most Chinese dictionaries define this as sincerity of heart or a MEDICAL TERM!!!
Please think carefully before ordering this selection - it was only added as others have used this for coffee cups and other novelties (though perhaps naively).
These four characters together relay the meaning that can be expressed in English as, "When three people say there's a tiger running in the street, you believe it."
Of course, there is an ancient story behind this idiom...
This is actually a proverb that resulted from a conversation that occurred around 300 B.C.
The conversation was between the king of the Wei kingdom and one of the king's ministers named Pang Cong.
It was near the end of one of many wars, this time with the Zhao kingdom. Pang Cong was to be sent by the king to the Zhao kingdom with the king's son who was to be held hostage. It was common at the time for a king to make his son a hostage to secure stable peace between warring kingdoms.
Before minister Pang Cong departed, he asked his king, "If one person told you there was a tiger running in the street, would you believe it?."
"No," the king said.
The minister continued, "What if two people told you?"
The king replied, "Well, I would have my doubts but I might believe it."
The minister continued, "So, what if three people told you that there is a tiger running in the streets?"
The king replied, "Yes, I would believe it, it must be true if three people say it."
The minister then reminded the king, "Your son and I are now traveling far away to live in the distant Zhao kingdom - much farther from your palace than the street. Rumors may fly about me in my absence, so I hope your majesty will weight such rumors appropriately."
The king replied, "I have every trust in you, do not worry"
While the minister was gone, the king's enemies gossiped about minister Pang Cong on many occasions. At first, the king thought nothing of these comments and rumors. But slowly as the rumors mounted, the king began to suspect ill of his minister.
Some time later when peace was well-established, the minister and prince were freed and returned to the kingdom of Wei. The king received his son, BUT DID NOT EVEN SUMMON MINISTER PANG CONG TO THE PALACE!
Hopefully this story will help you see how dangerous words can be when used to promote rumors, or create ill will. And perhaps will inspire you to not believe everything you hear.
There is also a secondary suggestion in this idiom that gossip is as ferocious as a tiger. Some Chinese people who don't know the ancient story above may believe that this scroll means that rumors are as vicious as three tigers.
Note: This proverb appears in my Korean dictionary but is not well-known in Korea.
The first two characters mean everyone or anyone but change to "no one" with the addition of a negative verb.
The third through fifth characters express the idea of to believe, to believe in, to place trust in, to confide in, or to have faith in.
The last character makes the sentence negative (without the last character, this would mean "trust everyone," with that last character it's "trust no one").
This is as close as you can get to the phrase "trust no man" in Japanese, though no gender is specified.
This means exactly what the title suggests. The first two characters mean "trust" or "believe" and the second two mean "God" (as in the God of Abraham and the God of Zion).
This is also how the American phrase "In God We Trust" as seen on U.S. Currency would be translated into Chinese. It would also be correct to say that this means "Believe in God," though in this arrangement/context, one would be more likely to interpret it as "trust."
神の信仰 is the simplest way to express, "Trust in God" in Japanese.
The first character means God, deity, divinity, or spirit (in this case, it will be read as God).
The second character is a particle that links the ideas.
The last two characters mean faith, belief, or creed, in religious context.
神を信ぜよ is a way to express, "Trust in God" in Japanese.
The first character is "God."
The second character is a particle that links the ideas here.
The last three characters are a word that means, "to believe," "to believe in," "to place trust in," "to confide in," "to have faith in."
Basically, this is the Japanese phrase for, "Have faith in God," "Believe in God," or "Trust in God."
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.
龜 is the generic term for turtle in Chinese, and old Korean Hanja. It's like saying "turtle" (or "tortoise") without being specific about species of turtle.
Please note that there are many special characters in Chinese and a few in Japanese that denote specific species of turtle, and do not include this character. We can't possibly cover all of these species but if you want a certain one, such as "loggerhead" or a "leatherback," just post your request for a special Chinese / Japanese Kanji / Korean Hanja calligraphy word and we'll do our best to research your special species.
If you noticed, I said species names that do not include this character. 龜 is because, in much the same way we can do it in English by just saying, "loggerhead," instead of "loggerhead turtle," the same can be done in Chinese and Japanese.
This may be hard to believe but the image shown to the right is an alternate version of this character, which is currently used in Japan. This was originally an alternate form in ancient China for turtle - but it's so obscure now, that most Chinese people would just think this is the Japanese version of turtle (I did a lot of research on this). The version shown in the upper left is traditional Chinese (also used in Korea, prior to 100 years ago). It will generally not be recognized by the new generation of Japanese people. If your audience is Japanese, please click on the Kanji image shown to the right to have the calligrapher write that version (instead of clicking the button above).
Note: In Japanese, this Kanji is also a representation of long life. This is related to the fact that a tortoise can live for hundreds of years.
禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism." Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.
From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.
白羊座 is an alternate Chinese way to write Aries (ram) of western astrology. I don't believe it is used at all in Japanese, so the other version is probably better or at least more universal.
See Also: Chinese Zodiac
摩羯座 is an alternate Chinese way to write Capricorn (horned goat) of western astrology. I don't believe it is used at all in Japanese, so the other version is probably better or at least more universal.
See Also: Chinese Zodiac
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
反战 / 反戦
|han sen / hansen||fǎn zhàn / fan3 zhan4 / fan zhan / fanzhan||fan chan / fanchan|
|Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis||道天地將法|
|dou ten chi shou hou|
do ten chi sho ho
|dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
|tao t`ien ti chiang fa
tao tien ti chiang fa
|信||shin||xìn / xin4 / xin||hsin|
|Believe in Yourself||相信自己||xiāng xìn zì jǐ
xiang1 xin4 zi4 ji3
xiang xin zi ji
|hsiang hsin tzu chi
|Believe in Yourself||自分を信じる||jibun o shinjiru |
|Believer||信徒||shinto||xìn tú / xin4 tu2 / xin tu / xintu||hsin t`u / hsintu / hsin tu|
|Bodhidharma||菩提達摩 / 菩提達磨|
菩提达摩 / 菩提达磨
|bo dai daru ma|
|pú tí dá mó
pu2 ti2 da2 mo2
pu ti da mo
|p`u t`i ta mo
pu ti ta mo
|shoudaku / shodaku||chéng nuò
|道||michi / -do||dào / dao4 / dao||tao|
|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...
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 Believer Kanji, Believer Characters, Believer in Mandarin Chinese, Believer Characters, Believer in Chinese Writing, Believer in Japanese Writing, Believer in Asian Writing, Believer Ideograms, Chinese Believer symbols, Believer Hieroglyphics, Believer Glyphs, Believer in Chinese Letters, Believer Hanzi, Believer in Japanese Kanji, Believer Pictograms, Believer in the Chinese Written-Language, or Believer in the Japanese Written-Language.