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Bruce in Chinese / Japanese...

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Bruce Lee
  2. Bruce
  3. Be Like Water
  4. Little Dragon
  5. Jeet Kune Do
  6. Kung Fu / Gong Fu
  7. The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering
  8. Ip Man
  9. Unbreakable

Bruce Lee

China lǐ xiǎo lóng
Japan bu ruu su ri
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<mark>Bruce</mark> Lee

Bruce LeeMany people have no idea that Bruce Lee had a "real" Chinese name. In mainland China and Hong Kong he is known as "Li Xiao-Long". He kept his family name pronunciation (Li = Lee). This is a common family name that also means "plum".

His given name "Xiao-Long" literally means "little dragon". This is why you often see the character for dragon associated with Bruce Lee on various posters etc.

For a pronunciation lesson, the "X" in Romanized Chinese is pronounced like a "sh" sound but with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth. The vowel sound in "Long" is like the English "oh", not like the "ah" sound in the English word "long".

If you are a big Bruce Lee fan, you should know this information, and you should have this wall scroll hanging in your room or martial arts studio.

Note: Japanese use these same exact Chinese characters / Kanji to write Bruce Lee's real name (with different pronunciation - which is a bit like how the name "Bruce Lee" sounds in English).

See Also...  Kung Fu | Marital Arts


China bù lǔ sī
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This is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Bruce


Japanese Katakana
Japan buruusu
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This is the name Bruce written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).

This name is written in Katakana, a specifically-Japanese character set.
This selection MUST be written by our Japanese master calligrapher
(sorry, no economy calligraphy service/pricing for this selection).

Be Like Water

Quote from Bruce Lee
China xiàng shuǐ yí yàng
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Be Like Water

This is a short quote from a much longer statement by Bruce Lee. He was summarizing how people should be flexible to all circumstances/attacks/situations. At the end, he exclaims, "Be like water my friend". This is the, "Be like water" part alone, since that seems to be what most people want.

Little Dragon

China xiǎo lóng
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Little Dragon

This literally means "little dragon" or "young dragon". This is often used as a given name in Chinese. In fact, Bruce Lee's real given name is "Little Dragon".

Jeet Kune Do

China jié quán dào
HK jeet kune do
Japan sekken dou
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Jeet Kune Do

In Cantonese, this is Jeet Kune Do. Often it is explained as the "Way of the Intercepting Fist". This is a martial art style founded by Bruce Lee.

The first character means to cut-off or sever.
The second character is fist.
The last character means way or method.

Kung Fu / Gong Fu

China gōng fu
HK gung fu
Japan kan fu / ku fu
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Kung Fu / Gong Fu

One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.

Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort". I think this is partially true, but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man". The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter", but in this case, it can only mean "man". However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.

This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.

What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G". Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound". And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.

Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh".

The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken".

Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.

Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー". Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.

The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering

China huò dé yǒng shēng de yào shí shì xiān yào huó dé jīng cǎi
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The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering

This is a famous quote from Bruce Lee. However, when quoted, he was speaking in English. So this is a translation of his English quote into Chinese. Since Bruce spoke both Chinese and English, his quotes sometimes go both ways.

Ip Man

China yè wèn
HK Yip Man
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Ip Man

This is the name of "Ip Man" or "Yip Man" (1893-1972). He was a martial arts practitioner and master. He is perhaps most famous for being the master of Bruce Lee.


China jiān bù kě cuī
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This means "unbreakable" in Chinese. It can also mean invulnerable, indestructible, or impregnable.

You may be searching for this because you like the 2000 film, Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis. This is the title of that film in Chinese.

Check dictionary for bruce
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...

Trust No Man

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

Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Bruce Lee李小龙
bu ruu su ri
bu ru su ri
lǐ xiǎo lóng
li xiao long
li hsiao lung
li3 xiao3 long2
n/abù lǔ sī
bu lu si
pu lu ssu
bu4 lu3 si1
Be Like Water象水一样
n/axiàng shuǐ yí yàng
xiang shui yi yang
hsiang shui i yang
xiang4 shui3 yi2 yang4
Little Dragon小龙
n/axiǎo lóng
xiao long
hsiao lung
xiao3 long2
Jeet Kune Do截拳道
sekken dou
seken do
jié quán dào
jie quan dao
chieh ch`üan tao
jie2 quan2 dao4
chieh chüan tao
Kung Fu / Gong Fu功夫
kan fu / ku fu
kanfu / kufu
gōng fu
gong fu
kung fu
gong1 fu
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering获得永生的钥匙是先要活得精彩
n/ahuò dé yǒng shēng de yào shí shì xiān yào huó dé jīng cǎi
huo de yong sheng de yao shi shi xian yao huo de jing cai
huo te yung sheng te yao shih shih hsien yao huo te ching ts`ai
huo4 de2 yong3 sheng1 de yao4 shi2 shi4 xian1 yao4 huo2 de2 jing1 cai3
huo te yung sheng te yao shih shih hsien yao huo te ching tsai
Ip Man叶问
n/ayè wèn
ye wen
yeh wen
ye4 wen4
n/ajiān bù kě cuī
jian bu ke cui
chien pu k`o ts`ui
jian1 bu4 ke3 cui1
chien pu ko tsui

Some people may refer to this entry as Bruce Kanji, Bruce Characters, Bruce in Mandarin Chinese, Bruce Characters, Bruce in Chinese Writing, Bruce in Japanese Writing, Bruce in Asian Writing, Bruce Ideograms, Chinese Bruce symbols, Bruce Hieroglyphics, Bruce Glyphs, Bruce in Chinese Letters, Bruce Hanzi, Bruce in Japanese Kanji, Bruce Pictograms, Bruce in the Chinese Written-Language, or Bruce in the Japanese Written-Language.

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