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Bu Dan in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Bu Dan calligraphy wall scroll here!

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

  1. Dan

  2. Nidan

  3. Sandan

  4. Shihan

  5. Japanese Snapping Turtle / Chinese Soft Shell Turtle


Dan

China dān
Dan Vertical Wall Scroll

丹 is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Dan

Dan

Japan dan
Dan Vertical Wall Scroll

ダン is the name Dan written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Nidan

Japan ni dan
Nidan Vertical Wall Scroll

二段 is a Japanese Kanji word that literally means, "second degree."

二段 is the second black belt rank in Japanese martial arts.

The first Kanji means two or second in Japanese.

The second Kanji means step, grade, rank, or level.


二段 can also be written as 弐段. This version just uses a more complicated Kanji for the number two.

Sandan

Japan san dan
Sandan Vertical Wall Scroll

This Japanese Kanji word literally means, "third degree." 三段 is the third black belt rank in Japanese martial arts.

The first Kanji means three or third in Japanese.

The second Kanji means step, grade, rank, or level.

Shihan

China shī fàn
Japan shi han
Shihan Vertical Wall Scroll

Shihan is a Japanese term, often used in Japanese martial arts.

In typical Japanese language, it can refer to a teacher or instructor. However, in martial arts, it's often an honorific title for an expert or master instructor.

Example: In Aikido the title can refer to someone with the rank of 7th dan. But other schools us it to mean a master who has earned the right to award black belts.

This term is also used in Chinese, where it refers to teacher-training or the art of teaching by example. It's used within the proper name of certain types of universities in China.

Japanese Snapping Turtle / Chinese Soft Shell Turtle

China biē
Japan suppon
Japanese Snapping Turtle / Chinese Soft Shell Turtle Vertical Wall Scroll

鼈 refers to a species of turtle.

Sinensis Turtle

鼈 is Trionyx Sinensis.

鼈 refers to different turtles in different languages. See individual language notes below:

Japanese: 鼈 means "snapping turtle" or "mud turtle." But rarely used as a single Kanji like this in Japanese.

Chinese: 鼈 means soft-shelled turtle. A specific species, Trionyx Sinensis which is native to Asia.
In China, this species is related to the "wang ba," a soft-shelled turtle sometimes known in English as a banjo turtle (due to its long neck, and general shape). Unfortunately, there is a word, "wang ba dan" which means the egg of this species of turtle. That term has come to mean "bastard" in Chinese (a turtle hatches from an abandoned egg, and does not know who his mother or father is). 鼈 is not a good selection for a wall scroll if your audience is Chinese.

In Korean, this character can be pronounced (though most Koreans would have to look it up in a dictionary). It has not been in common use in Korea for at least a few hundred years.

General notes: You may notice that the bottom half of this character is the same as some other turtle-related titles. That bottom half is actually an ancient character that means "toad." 黽 Though not see in this way today, most turtle-related characters hold the meaning of "a toad with a shell" in their ancient origin. That toad character is rarely used alone anymore but you can see what it looks like in the image to the right.

Search for Bu Dan in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Dandān / dan1 / dantan
Danダンdan
Nidan二段ni dan / nidan
Sandan三段san dan / sandan
Shihan師範
师范
shi han / shihanshī fàn / shi1 fan4 / shi fan / shifanshih fan / shihfan
Japanese Snapping Turtle
Chinese Soft Shell Turtle
suppon / suponbiē / bie1 / biepieh
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.



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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.

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