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Broken Jade in Chinese / Japanese...

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Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì
knob
ribbon top
knob

This 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.

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".

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
knob
ribbon top
knob

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.


Not the results for broken jade that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your broken jade search...

Character Images Characters / Kanji
If shown, second row is Simplified Chinese
Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition
寧為玉碎,不為瓦全
see styles
寧為玉碎,不為瓦全
宁为玉碎,不为瓦全
Mandarin nìng wéi yù suì , bù wéi wǎ quán / ning4 wei2 yu4 sui4 , bu4 wei2 wa3 quan2
Taiwan ning wei yü sui , pu wei wa ch`üan / ning wei yü sui , pu wei wa chüan
Chinese Better broken jade than intact tile.; Death is preferable to dishonor. (idiom)
More info / calligraphy:
Death Before Dishonor


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 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 scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)

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.




If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Accomplishment
Brave Warrior
Courage
Family
God is Love
Good Fortune
Good Health
Honor
Mountain
Nature
Overcome
Strength Courage
Thunder
Water

With so many searches, we had to upgrade to our own Linux server.
Of course, only one in 500 searches results in a purchase - Hey buy a wall scroll!!!



See: Our list of specifically Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls. And, check out Our list of specifically old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese

Title
Characters 
Simplified
Traditional
Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Death Before Dishonor宁为玉碎
寧為玉碎
níng wéi yù suì
ning wei yu sui
ning wei yü sui
ning2 wei2 yu4 sui4
ningweiyusui
Death Before Dishonor宁为玉碎不为瓦全
寧為玉碎不為瓦全
níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
ning wei yu sui bu wei wa quan
ning wei yü sui pu wei wa ch`üan
ning2 wei2 yu4 sui4 bu2 wei2 wa3 quan2
ningweiyusuibuweiwaquan
ning wei yü sui pu wei wa chüan

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