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| 1. Infinity / Infinite / Unlimited / Unbounded
2. Strong / Robust
3. Infinite Love
4. Heaven Rewards Hard Work
5. Eternal Life / Future Life
| 7. No Surrender|
8. Love Binds Us Together
9. An Open Book Benefits Your Mind
10. A Bright Future
無限 is the Chinese and Japanese word meaning infinity, unlimited or unbounded.
無限 literally translates as "without limits" or "without [being] bound."
The first character means "never" or "not" or like a prefix "un-."
The second means "limited," "restricted," or "bound."
Please note that the Japanese definition leans more toward "infinity" and the Chinese is more about being "boundless" or "without limits."
In Korean, this means infinity, infinitude, or boundlessness. But in Korean, this term has many interpretations or contexts, so your intended meaning might come out a little vague or ambiguous.
This "strong" character means "to strengthen" or robust. This brings images of a muscle-bound hulk of a weight lifter or body builder to an Asian person who sees this character.
Note that in Korean and Japanese, this character is normally part of compound words, and is not seen alone too often.
Note that the this character was simplified in Japan after WWII (also simplified in mainland China but not for calligraphy). If you want the modern Japanese/simplified version, please click on the Kanji shown to the right.
This word can be used in many different ways. It is often used to express the next life (life in heaven or wherever your soul is bound for). So it does have a religious overtone. However, it can also be used to express your life in the future - perhaps during your present lifetime. It can also be translated as "the next world," "the next generation," "the time that is to come," "otherworld," or simply "posterity."
The dictionary definition is:
relation, relationship, connection, participation, involvement, concern, influence, effect, related to, connected to, or as a suffix to sexual it can mean sexual relations or relationship.
But there's more to it...
In Japan, your relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having this relationship with someone also means they would never rip you off but instead are honor-bound to treat you fairly.
See our Chinese Guanxi entry for more information. This term is used in very similar ways in China, Japan, and Korea.
See Also: Guanxi
This Chinese proverb can be translated a few different ways. Here are some examples:
Honor does not allow one to glance back.
Duty-bound not to turn back.
To pursue justice with no second thoughts.
Never surrender your principles.
This proverb is really about having the courage to do what is right without questioning your decision to take the right and just course.
This Japanese phrase suggests that we (or a couple) are bound together by love.
I searched the web and found all of these English translation variations for this phrase:
Have love; The only way in which you may be completely joined together.
Love is the sash that perfectly binds us together.
Love is what binds us together
Love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.
This same Japanese phrase is used as part of Colossians 3:14 in at least one version of the Japanese Bible.
A few Biblical versions include:
...Charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (KJV)
...Love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (NIV)
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
There are several ways to translate this ancient proverb. Translated literally and directly it says, "Open roll has/yields benefit."
To understand that, you must know a few things...
First, Chinese characters and language have deeper meanings that often are not spoken but are understood - especially with ancient text like this. Example: It's understood that the "benefit" referred to in this proverb is to the mind of the reader. Just the last character expresses that whole idea.
Second, Chinese proverbs are supposed to make you think, and leave a bit of mystery to figure out.
Third, for this proverb, it should be noted that roll = book. When this proverb came about (about two thousand years ago) books were really rolls of bamboo slips strung together. The first bound books like the ones we use today did not come about until about a thousand years after this proverb when they invented paper in China.
開卷有益 is a great gift for a bookworm who loves to read and increase their knowledge. Or for any friend that is or wants to be well-read.
Some other translations of this phrase:
Opening a book is profitable
The benefits of education.
鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times to wish someone a long and successful career.
It's really about the 10,000 Flight of the Peng (Peng, also known as Roc is a mythical fish that can turn into a bird and take flight).
庄子 - Zhuangzi
Breaking down each character:
1. Peng or Roc (a kind of bird).
2. Journey (in this case, a flight).
3. 10,000 (Ten Thousand).
4. Li is a unit of distance often referred to as a "Chinese Mile," though the real distance is about half a kilometer.
Direct Translation: "Peng's Journey [of] 10,000 Li."
Literal meaning: "The 10,000-Li Flying Range Of The Roc."
Perceived meaning: "To have a bright future" or "To go far."
This proverb/idiom comes from the book of Zhuangzi. It tells the tale of a huge fish which could turn into a gigantic bird. This bird was called "peng" and was many miles long. This legendary size allowed the Peng to fly from the Northern Sea to the Southern Sea in a single bound.
Wishing someone "a Peng's Journey of 10,000 Li," will imply that they will be able to travel far without stopping, and will have great success, a long career, and a prosperous future.
The dictionary definition is:
relations / relationship / to concern / to affect / to have to do with / connection.
But there's more to it...
In China, your relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having guanxi with someone also means they would never defraud you but instead are honor-bound to treat you fairly (of course, this goes both ways). Sometimes it is suggested that guanxi is the exchange of favors. I would say this is more having a relationship that allows you to ask for, and expect favors without shame.
There is no concept in western culture that exactly matches guanxi but perhaps having a social or professional network is similar.
Note that there are some variations common within Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja for this word...
Japanese tend to use a Chinese alternate form as shown to the right for
the first character.
There's also another alternate form of that first character (currently used as the official Simplified form in mainland China) which looks like the character shown to the right. It's basically the central radical of the alternate version shown above but without the "door radical" around it. In more free-flowing calligraphy styles, this version would be the likely choice for a calligrapher.
In Modern Japanese, they use the character shown to the right.
They also tend to use this same form in Korean Hanja (I've only checked this word in my Korean dictionary but it has not been confirmed by a translator's review).
If that was not confusing enough, there is another alternate form of that second character. See right.
An Asian calligrapher of any nationality may use any of these forms at their discretion. However, They would tend to stick to the most common form used in their respective languages.
If you have any preference on any of these issues, please give us a special note with your order, and we'll make sure it's done the way you want.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|mu gen / mugen||wú xiàn / wu2 xian4 / wu xian / wuxian||wu hsien / wuhsien|
|sou / so||zhuàng / zhuang4 / zhuang||chuang|
|mu gen ai / mugenai||wú xiàn ài
wu2 xian4 ai4
wu xian ai
|wu hsien ai
|Heaven Rewards Hard Work||皇天不負苦心人|
|huáng tiān bù fù kǔ xīn rén
huang2 tian1 bu4 fu4 ku3 xin1 ren2
huang tian bu fu ku xin ren
|huang t`ien pu fu k`u hsin jen
huang tien pu fu ku hsin jen
|rai-se||lái shì / lai2 shi4 / lai shi / laishi||lai shih / laishih|
|Relationship||關繫 / 関繫 / 關係|
|kan kei / kankei||guān xì / guan1 xi4 / guan xi / guanxi||kuan hsi / kuanhsi|
|yì wú fǎn gù
yi4 wu2 fan3 gu4
yi wu fan gu
|i wu fan ku
|Love Binds Us Together||愛は全てを完全に結ぶ帯である||ai ha subete o kanzen ni musubu obi de aru|
|An Open Book Benefits Your Mind||開卷有益|
|kāi juàn yǒu yì
kai1 juan4 you3 yi4
kai juan you yi
|k`ai chüan yu i
kai chüan yu i
|A Bright Future||鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡|
|péng chéng wàn lǐ
peng2 cheng2 wan4 li3
peng cheng wan li
|p`eng ch`eng wan li
peng cheng wan li
|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 Bound Kanji, Bound Characters, Bound in Mandarin Chinese, Bound Characters, Bound in Chinese Writing, Bound in Japanese Writing, Bound in Asian Writing, Bound Ideograms, Chinese Bound symbols, Bound Hieroglyphics, Bound Glyphs, Bound in Chinese Letters, Bound Hanzi, Bound in Japanese Kanji, Bound Pictograms, Bound in the Chinese Written-Language, or Bound in the Japanese Written-Language.