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The Name Bodhisattva in Chinese / Japanese...

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Bodhisattva
  2. Buddhism / Buddha
  3. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion
  4. Goddess of Compassion
  5. Light / Bright and Promising Future
  6. Namo Amitabha Buddha
  7. Namu Amida Butsu


Bodhisattva

China pú sà
Japan bosatsu
Bodhisattva Wall Scroll

菩薩 is the title of a deity in Buddhism that exists to help you reach enlightenment.

In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is a being who is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally means enlightenment truth which is bodhi sattva in Sanskrit.

This term is sometimes used to refer to a kindhearted person, one who will sacrifice himself/herself for others, and lacks ego or desire but is instead devoted to the good and well-being of others.


See Also:  Buddha | Namo Amitabha

Buddhism / Buddha

China
Japan hotoke
Buddhism / Buddha Wall Scroll

佛 is the essence of the Buddha or Buddhism. Depending on context, this word and character can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

It is interesting to note that this word is separate from all others in the Chinese language. The sound of "fo" has only this meaning. 佛 is in contrast to many sounds in the Chinese language which can have one of four tones, and more than 20 possible characters and meanings. This language anomaly shows just how significant Buddhism has affected China since the ancient times.

More about Buddhism

佛 is also used with the same meaning in Korean Hanja.

It's used in the very religious context of Buddhism in Japan. It should be noted that there are two forms of this Kanji in use in Japan - this is the more formal/ancient version but it's rarely seen outside of religious artwork, and may not be recognized by all Japanese people.

It also acts as a suffix or first syllable for many Buddhist-related words in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


See our Buddhism & Zen page


See Also:  Enlightenment

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

China guān yīn
HK kwun yum
Japan kan non
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion Wall Scroll

觀音 / 観音 is the Buddhist deity known as the Goddess of Mercy or Bodhisattva of Compassion.

In Chinese, the proper name of this being is Guan Yin. There is some debate as to whether Guan Yin is female. The argument comes from some scripture that suggests Buddhist deities take on the male form. Others say that Guan Yin has no sex. And still others are okay with the female representation of Guan Yin.

This bodhisattva is also known or Romanized in the following ways:
Mandarin Chinese: Guan Yin, Kuan Yin, Kwan Yin.
Japanese: Kannon, Kwannon.
Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Korean: Gwan-eum.
Vietnamese: Quan Âm.
Thai: Kuan Eim.
English: Bodhisattva of Mercy and Salvation, Goddess of Compassion, Buddha of Mercy, et al.

Note: The first character has a slight variation in Japanese. If your audience is specifically Japanese, you may want to select that version.


See Also:  Buddhism | Goddess | Namo Amitabha

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

This is the long or more formal version of this title
China guān shì yīn
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion Wall Scroll

觀世音 is the longer, and perhaps more formal title for the Buddhist deity known as the Goddess of Mercy or Bodhisattva of Compassion.

The longer title of this bodhisattva is Romanized in the following ways:
Mandarin Chinese: Guanshi Yin, Kuan-shih Yin.
Japanese: Kanzeon.
Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Korean: Gwan-se-eum.
Vietnamese: Quan Thế Âm.
Thai: Prah Mae Kuan Eim.
English: Bodhisattva of Mercy and Salvation, Goddess of Compassion, Buddha of Mercy, et al.

Please view our more common and shorter version "Guan Yin" before you make a decision. Also, note that the first character has a slight variation in Japanese. If your audience is specifically Japanese, you may want to select that version.


See Also:  Buddhism | Goddess

Goddess of Compassion

China guān yīn
Japan kan non
Goddess of Compassion Wall Scroll

観音 is the specifically Japanese version of Bodhisattva of Compassion or Guan Yin.

In Japanese, this is pronounced Kannon, and occasionally spelled Kwannon. The Chinese version is a bit more commonly-seen in Asia. However, in Japanese, there is a slight variation with the first character.

Some time ago, a camera company in Japan named their company after this Buddhist deity. That camera company is still known as Canon (they chose a "C" instead of a "K" when they Romanized this name).

Goddess of Compassion

Long or more formal Japanese version of this title
China guān shì yīn
Japan kan ze on
Goddess of Compassion Wall Scroll

観世音 is the longer and more formal Japanese version of Bodhisattva of Compassion or Guan Yin.

In Japanese, this is pronounced Kanzeon. The Chinese version is a bit more common in Asia but in Japanese they use a slight variation of the first character. Choose this version only if your intended audience is specifically Japanese.

Light / Bright and Promising Future

China guāng míng
Japan kou mei / mitsu haru
Light / Bright and Promising Future Wall Scroll

光明 is a nice way to say "light" in Chinese, and old Korean Hanja. 光明 is because the word also suggests a bright future or refers so someone who is very promising (great future potential).

The first character means light or bright.

The second character means bright and clear (in this context).

光明 appears in most Japanese dictionaries but it not the most common Japanese Kanji word for light (more commonly used for the name Mitsuharu).

In old Korean Hanja, this can have a meaning of brightness or brilliancy.

In the context of Buddhism, this means, "Light emanating from a Buddha or Bodhisattva, symbolizing their wisdom and compassion"

Namo Amitabha Buddha

China nā mó ē mí tuó fó
Japan namu amida butsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha Wall Scroll

This is how to express "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha" (especially for the Pure Land Buddhist Sect).

Some will translate as, "Homage to Amitâbha Buddha" or "I seek refuge in the Amitâbha Buddha."

This is valid in Chinese characters Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes modern Japanese use a different version of the 4th and last Kanji but the version shown here is the most universal.

This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Buddhism | Nirvana

Namu Amida Butsu

Japan namu amida butsu
Namu Amida Butsu Wall Scroll

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.


See Also:  Buddhism | Nirvana




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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
Bodhisattva 菩薩
菩萨
bosatsupú sà / pu2 sa4 / pu sa / pusa p`u sa / pusa / pu sa
Buddhism
Buddha
hotokefó / fo2 / fo
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion 觀音 / 観音
观音
kan non / kannonguān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyin kuan yin / kuanyin
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion 觀世音
观世音
guān shì yīn
guan1 shi4 yin1
guan shi yin
guanshiyin
kuan shih yin
kuanshihyin
Goddess of Compassion 観音kan non / kannonguān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyin kuan yin / kuanyin
Goddess of Compassion 観世音kan ze on / kanzeonguān shì yīn
guan1 shi4 yin1
guan shi yin
guanshiyin
kuan shih yin
kuanshihyin
Light
Bright and Promising Future
光明kou mei / mitsu haru
koumei / mitsuharu
ko mei / mitsu haru
komei/mitsuharu
guāng míng
guang1 ming2
guang ming
guangming
kuang ming
kuangming
Namo Amitabha Buddha 南無阿彌陀佛
南无阿弥陀佛
namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
nā mó ē mí tuó fó
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
namoemituofo
na mo o mi t`o fo
namoomitofo
na mo o mi to fo
Namu Amida Butsu 南無阿弥陀仏namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
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...

A Life of Serenity
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Chase
Cherry
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Forgive Me of My Sins
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Purple
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Queen
Reality
Reason
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Resolve
Respect
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Right Mindfulness
Sacred Fire
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Salvation
Satori
Self-Confidence
Self-Discipline
Selflessness
Semper Fidelis
Seven Rules of Happiness
Shine
Shogun
Shotokan Karate
Sifu
Sincere
Sing
Space
Spiritual Soul Mates
Steel
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Strive
Study
Sun Tzu
Surrender
Sushi
Taekwondo Tenets
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Talent
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Tenacious
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The Red String
The Way of the Warrior
Training
Trustworthy
United
Vampire

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