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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Buddha"...

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  1. Buddha / Buddhism
  2. Buddhism / Buddha
  3. The Aura of Buddha
  4. Amitabha Buddha
  5. Shakyamuni / The Buddha
  6. Namo Amitabha Buddha
  7. Shakyamuni / The Buddha
  8. The Eye of the Buddha
  9. Happy Buddha
10. Buddha Seeking
11. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha
12. True Religion / Buddha Truth
13. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha
14. Buddhism
15. Dharma / Damo / Daruma
16. Bodhisattva
17. Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment
18. Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine
19. Walk in the Way
20. Siddhartha
21. Eternal Wheel of Life
22. Namu Amida Butsu
23. Three Treasures of Buddhism
24. Avatar
25. Gautama
26. Thirst for Truth
27. Sangha
28. Sangha / Order of Monks
29. Divine Light
30. Open Mind
31. Nichiren
32. The World
33. Pure Land / Jodo
34. Fragrant / Good Smell
35. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism
36. Karma Connection
37. Divine Spirit
38. Blue Lotus
39. Zen Buddhism
40. Overcome the Devil
41. Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism
42. Halo
43. Nirvana
44. Immortal
45. Lao Tzu / Laozi
46. Diamond
47. Ten perfect Mahayana rules
48. Light / Bright and Promising Future
49. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion
50. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation
51. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude
52. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion
53. Ardent / Fierce
54. Believe / Faith / Trust
55. Brown
56. Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality
57. Flowers / Blooming / Splendid / China
58. Karma
59. Mindfulness
60. Purity
61. Wise and Virtuous
62. Dew
63. Lamp / Lantern
64. The Saint
65. Choice / Choose / Select
66. Mercy / Compassion / Love
67. Dharma / The Law
68. Dynamic
69. Silent / Solitary
70. Super
71. The Mysterious Bond Between People
72. True / Real / Genuine
73. Big Dream
74. Confidence / Faithful Heart
75. Deities / Gods
76. Goddess of Compassion
77. Do No Harm / Harmless
78. Shadow of Karma...
79. Karma
80. Namaste - Greeting
81. 4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct
82. Samsara / Endless Cycle of Rebirth
83. Shogyu
84. Shugyo
85. Thinking Heart
86. Wheel of Karma
87. Body and Mind
88. Inner Light / Intelligence
89. Iron Heart
90. Prosperity and Happiness
91. Adorable / Cute / Lovely
92. Koan
93. Dojo / Martial Arts Studio
94. Impermanence
95. Karma
96. Karma - Cause and Effect
97. Musashi
98. Ninpo
99. 5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood
100. Nothingness
101. Ksaya / Omega / Finality
102. One Mind / Unity
103. Reality and Illusion
104. Tathata / Ultimate Nature of All Things
105. Shin Buddhism
106. Wisdom / Intelligence
107. Yoga
108. Zen Contemplation
109. The Way of Tea
110. Four Noble Truths: Suffering
111. Kensho - Initial Enlightenment
112. Nothingness / Empty / Void
113. Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation
114. Reincarnation
115. Seek
116. Stillness / Quiet / Calm
117. The Three Truths
118. Endless / Without Limit
119. Monshu / Gate Keeper
120. Gaman
121. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa
122. Love and Devotion
123. Mercy / Compassion...
124. No Fear
125. Re-Birth / Renaissance
126. Seeking Truth
127. Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself
128. Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient
129. Selflessness
130. Shaolin
131. Shidai / Sida / Mahabhuta
132. Venus / Gold Star
133. Inner Wisdom
134. Rago
135. Sadness / Sorrow
136. Mind Like Water
137. Uechi-Ryu
138. The Tree of Enlightenment...
139. Goddess of Compassion
140. Warrior of Heaven
141. Purity of Mind
142. Buddhist Monk
143. Shaolin Temple
144. Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls
145. Dark Sister
146. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
147. Religious Seeker
148. Shaolin Chuan / Shao Lin Quan
149. Sacrifice
150. Four Elements
151. Never Forget
152. Eternal Energy / Eternal Matter
153. Beware of the Lawyers
154. Bodhicitta: Enlightened Mind
155. Enso - Japanese Zen Circle
156. Holding Flowers with Subtle Smile
157. Life Is But A Dream
158. Marishiten / Marici
159. True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence
160. The Law of Creation and Destruction
161. Pain of Seperation from Your Loves
162. Evil Cause, Evil Result
163. Good and Evil
164. Spiritual Peace / Enlightened Peace
165. Free Will
166. Intuitive Wisdom / Inner Light
167. Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do
168. Stay Strong / Indestructible / Unbreakable
169. Om Mani Padme Hum
170. Heart Sutra Title
171. To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It
172. Bodhidharma
173. Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo
174. When Three People Gather,...
175. No Pain No Gain
176. All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path
177. Heart Sutra

Buddha / Buddhism

Japan hotoke / butsu
Buddha / Buddhism Wall Scroll

This single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.

This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write Buddha in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).

仏 / 佛 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.

Buddhism / Buddha

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

This character 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:  Bodhisattva | Enlightenment

The Aura of Buddha

China fó guāng
Japan bukkou
The Aura of Buddha Wall Scroll

This title means Buddha's teachings, or Buddha's Light.

This often refers to the aura around the head of Buddha.

Alternate meanings include: Spiritual Enlightenment (from Buddha), Buddha's Halo, or Buddha's Glory.

Amitabha Buddha

China ē mí tuó fó
Japan amida butsu
Amitabha Buddha Wall Scroll

This title can mean the Buddha of the Western paradise. But it's more a chant that means, "May the lord Buddha preserve us!" or "Merciful Buddha!."

阿彌陀佛 is also a translation to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for, "Amitâbha Buddha."

Asian Buddhists will often greet and say goodbye to each other with this phrase/chant/title.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

China shì jiā móu ní
Japan sha ka mu ni
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Wall Scroll

釋迦牟尼 is a transliteration of "Shakyamuni" or "Sakyamuni" in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

The perceived meaning of the name is roughly translated as, "Sage of the Sakyas."

This same Buddha is also known as "Siddhartha Gautama," "Gotama Buddha," "Tathagata," or simply, "The Supreme Buddha."

釋迦牟尼 is the legendary man and prince who eventually established the Buddhist religion.

Note: Occasionally Romanized as "Siddhattha Gotama."

This combination of characters is sometimes seen and used in South Korea and Japan as well (with the same meaning).

Note: 釋迦牟尼 came from the Sanskrit शाक्यमुनि and can also be romanized with diuretics as Śākyamuni.

Namo Amitabha Buddha

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

南無阿彌陀佛 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."

南無阿彌陀佛 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.

南無阿彌陀佛 is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.

See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

China shì jiā
Japan sha ka
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Wall Scroll

釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.

It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.

This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.

This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.

The Eye of the Buddha

China wǔ yǎn
Japan butsugen
The Eye of the Buddha Wall Scroll

The eye of Buddha, the enlightened one who sees all and is omniscient.

仏In modern Japan, they also write the first Kanji as shown to the right. Both versions are correct but if you want the modern Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.

Happy Buddha

Buddha of Joyful Light
China huān xǐ guāng fó
Japan kan gi kou butsu
Happy Buddha Wall Scroll

This title is Buddha of Joyful Light. 歡喜光佛 is Amitābha from Sanskrit but pronounced very different in Chinese and Japanese.

Buddha Seeking

China qín qiú
Japan gongu
Buddha Seeking Wall Scroll

勤求 is a complex word. In the simplest terms, it means inquiring the Buddha way. To put it another way, it is seeking something in the right way, at the right time, and diligently seeking only truth or the good.

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

China nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
Japan namu shakamuni butsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha Wall Scroll

南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.

Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.

The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in," or "homage to."
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in," while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.

True Religion / Buddha Truth

The way of the truth
China shí dào
Japan jitsu dou
True Religion / Buddha Truth Wall Scroll

This Buddhist title means, "The true way," "The true religion," "The way of the truth," or "The absolute Buddha-truth."

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Wall Scroll

見性成佛 is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成佛 is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment


(2 Kanji)
Japan bukkyou
Buddhism Wall Scroll

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

Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write Buddha in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.

The first character is also a rare form of Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.


(2 characters)
China fó jiào
Buddhism Wall Scroll

佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism. It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings." 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.

Dharma / Damo / Daruma

China dá mó
Japan daru ma
Dharma / Damo / Daruma Wall Scroll

達摩 / 達磨 is the Chinese and Japanese title for Dharma (a short name for Bodhidharma). He's known in Chinese as Damo, and in Japanese as Daruma.

Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as 磨 versus 摩. If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.


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:  Namo Amitabha

Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

China pú tí
Japan bodai
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment Wall Scroll

The Bodhi is the moment of completion in Buddhism. It is when all things become known, and you have completed your journey to enlightenment.

The reference is to the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment" but if you want the full version with the character for tree on the end, please see our other entry.

See Also:  Buddhism | Nirvana | Enlightenment

Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine

China fó fǎ
Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine Wall Scroll

This can be defined as "The Law of Buddha," "The Power of Buddha," or simply "Dharma."

Walk in the Way

The Way of Buddha Truth
China xíng dào
Japan yukimichi
Walk in the Way Wall Scroll

In Taoist and Buddhist context, this means to "Walk in the Way." In Buddhism, that further means to follow the Buddha truth. In some Buddhist sects, this can mean to make a procession around a statue of the Buddha (always with the right shoulder towards the Buddha).

Outside of that context, this can mean route (when going somewhere), the way to get somewhere, etc.

In Japanese, this can be the surname or given name Yukimichi.


China xī dá duō
Japan shiddatta / shiddaruta
Siddhartha Wall Scroll

悉達多 is the name Siddhartha (as in Siddhartha Gautama), the personal name for Śākyamuni.

This same Buddha is also known as "Shakyamuni Gautama," "Gotama Buddha," or "Tathagata."

Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent who founded Buddhism. He is generally seen by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha (Sammāsambuddha) of known human history.

The actual meaning of this name in Chinese is the realization of all aims, or simply being prosperous.

This name is sometimes romanized from the original Sanskrit or Pali as Siddhattha (from Siddhattha Gotama), Siddharth, Siddhārtha, or Sarvāthasiddha.

Siddhārtha or Sarvāthasiddha can also be written as 悉達, 悉多, 悉多頞他, or 悉陀.

Eternal Wheel of Life

China fǎ lún
Japan hourin / horin
Eternal Wheel of Life Wall Scroll

法輪 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title, "The Eternal Wheel of Life," in Buddhism.

Also known as the wheel of the law, or Buddha-truth which is able to crush all evil and all opposition. It is likened to Indra's wheel which rolls on from man to man, place to place, age to age.

Colloquially used in some sects to mean preaching or spreading Buddha-truth.

Namu Amida Butsu

Japan namu amida butsu
Namu Amida Butsu Wall Scroll

南無阿弥陀仏 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. 南無阿弥陀仏 is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.

See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

Three Treasures of Buddhism

China sān bǎo
Japan san bou
Three Treasures of Buddhism Wall Scroll

三寶 is the title for "Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism."

These three treasures are the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (teachings or the law of the Buddha), and the Sangha 僧 (the community of monks or followers).

This term is used by most (perhaps not all) Buddhists in China, Japan, and South Korea (written the same it the original form, but pronounced differently in each language). Non-Buddhists may just read this as, "Three Treasures," without the religious context. For instance, there is also a, "Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine," that is sometimes titled the same way.

In modern Japanese and Simplified Chinese, this is written 三宝 instead of 三寶.


China huà shēn
Japan keshin
Avatar Wall Scroll

化身 is a way to say avatar in Chinese characters, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

化身 is the original Buddhist idea of avatar (not the movie). This word can also mean: incarnation; reincarnation; embodiment; personification; impersonation.

化身 is the Chinese word used for the original Sanskrit, nirmāṇakāya. Alternates for nirmāṇakāya include 應身, 應化身, or 變化身. In the context of Buddhism, this is a Buddha's metamorphosic body, which has the power to assume any shape to propagate the Truth. This title, 化身, is used for the appearance of a Buddha's many forms.


China qiáo dā mó
Japan Kou tou ma
Gautama Wall Scroll

喬答摩 is one of a few ways to transliterate the name Gautama, and variations such as Gautham or Gauthama into Chinese and Japanese. This also represents the surname of the Siddhartha, the historical Buddha Gautama.

Thirst for Truth

China kě fǎ
Japan katsuhō
Thirst for Truth Wall Scroll

渴法 means to thirst for the truth, or for the Buddha-way. 渴法 is the internal need to seek the way of the truth in Buddhism.


China sēng qié
Japan sougya
Sangha Wall Scroll

In Buddhism, this term refers to a community of monks and/or nuns (one of the "Three Jewels"). In general terms, it can simply mean "all followers of the Buddha."

Notes: Though there are not vast numbers of Chinese Hindus, in the Hindu faith, this term means "community together."
The original Sanskrit word is also Romanized as samgha.
The first character means "monk." The second character means Buddha or Shakyamuni.
僧伽 is really a transliteration of the original Sanskrit but it uses two very profound Chinese characters related to Buddhism.

Some may pronounce this as "seng qie" or "seng jia" in Mandarin (two possible pronunciations for second character). Note that "qie" would sound a bit like "chee-ah" using typical English pronunciation. Chinese Romanization is not actually designed to match English sounds.

僧僧Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form. However, it should also be noted that this is not a common term in Japanese (except by certain sects of Buddhism or perhaps devout Buddhists in Japan).

Sangha / Order of Monks

China sēng
Japan sou
Sangha / Order of Monks Wall Scroll

僧 is the single-character or short form of Sangha, the Buddhist idea of community or order (of monks, nuns, or followers of the Buddha). Alone, this character can simply mean "monk" (Just means monk in Japanese).

僧僧 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write this in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form.

Divine Light

China líng guāng
Divine Light Wall Scroll

This Chinese word means "divine light."

This can refer to the glow or halo around the Buddha. It can also be a miraculous column of light.

In slang, it can be like saying "jolly good!".

Open Mind

China kāi jué
Japan kaikaku
Open Mind Wall Scroll

開覺 is a Buddhist term meaning "open mind."

The more full definition as used in Buddhism is, "To arouse, awaken; to allow the original Buddha-nature to open and enlighten the mind."


China rì lián
Japan nichi ren
Nichiren Wall Scroll

日蓮 is the title Nichiren.

This title refers to a Buddhist priest, who lived from 1222 to 1282. He is the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism.
According to historical documents, the Nichiren sect was established in 1252. Adding the character for sect, this would be 日蓮宗 (Nichiren sect), which is also known as the 法華宗 or Lotus sect.

According to Soothill-Hodous...
Nichiren's chief tenets are the three great mysteries 三大祕法, representing the trikāya:
1. 本尊 or chief object of worship, being the great maṇḍala of the worlds of the ten directions, or universe, i.e. the body or nirmāṇakāya of Buddha.
2. 題目 the title of the Lotus Sutra 妙法蓮華經 Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo, preceded by Namo, or, "Adoration to the scripture of the lotus of the wonderful law," for it is Buddha's spiritual body.
3. 戒壇 the altar of the law, which is also the title of the Lotus as above; the believer, wherever he is, dwells in the Pure-land of calm light 寂光淨土, the saṃbhogakāya.

The World

China shì jiè
Japan sei kai
The World Wall Scroll

世界 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for world.

Beyond the world, this can refer to society, the universe, space, a sphere or circle.

In Buddhism, this would mean the realm governed by one Buddha.

Pure Land / Jodo

Also a sect of Buddhism
China jìng tǔ
Japan jou do
Pure Land / Jodo Wall Scroll

This literally means "pure land" or "clean earth."

淨土 is also the abbreviated title of a Buddhist sect which involves faith in rebirth of Buddha Amitabha (Amitābha) in the Western Heaven. Sometimes this sect is translated as "Paradise of the West." Other titles of this school of Buddhism include Amidism or Elvsium.

See Also:  Nirvana | Shin Buddhism

Fragrant / Good Smell

China xiāng
Japan ka / kou
Fragrant / Good Smell Wall Scroll

香 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja that means: fragrant; sweet smelling; aromatic; savory; appetizing; perfume; incense; aroma; fragrance; scent; good smell.

Fragrance or incense is known to be one of the Buddha's messengers to stimulate faith and devotion.

Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

Japan ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Wall Scroll

The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.

Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Karma Connection

China yǒu yuán
Japan uen
Karma Connection Wall Scroll

有緣 means: related; brought together by fate; same karma; those who have the cause, link, or connection.

有緣 is a common word in Chinese but usually only used in the context of Buddhism in Japanese.

Buddhists will say this refers to those that are influenced by and responsive to the Buddha.

Divine Spirit

China yù yǐng
Japan goei
Divine Spirit Wall Scroll

御影 is a Japanese word that means divine spirit, or honorific language for "spirit of the dead."

This can also refer to an image of a deity, buddha, royal, noble, etc.)

In Buddhist context, it can mean (wooden) images of saints or deities.

御影 is also a Japanese name, Mikage.

Note: This is also a word in Chinese but not used very often in China (except perhaps by certain Buddhists).

Blue Lotus

China qing lián
Japan seiren
Blue Lotus Wall Scroll

靑蓮 is a common title for Blue Lotus. 靑蓮 is often used in a Buddhist context for blue lotus from the Sanskrit "utpala." This often refers to the clarity and purity of the lotus blue eyes possessed by a Living Buddha. It can also represent purity of mind (without desire, suffering, fear etc).

Zen Buddhism

China chán zōng
Japan Zen shuu
Zen Buddhism Wall Scroll

禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism." Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.

From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.

Overcome the Devil

China xiáng mó
Japan gou ma
Overcome the Devil Wall Scroll

降魔 means to overcome the Devil, Satan, Demons or Evil. There's a lot of ways to translate this including conquering the devil, evil spirits, evil influences, or someone who habitually performs negative/evil acts.

In Buddhist context, it means to overcome demons, e.g. as the Buddha did at his enlightenment.

Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

China jìng tǔ zōng
Japan jou do shuu
Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism Wall Scroll

淨土宗 is the title of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism." This form is also romanized/known as "Jodo Shu" (jōdo shū).

Also known as Amidism for the fact that this is a branch of Mahayana (Mahāyāna) Buddhism which focuses on Amitabha (Amitābha) Buddha. This form of Buddhism, along with Chinese characters, came to Japan via China in the 5th century according to most historians.

Pure Land Buddhism is also known as 浄土仏教 (jōdo bukkyō).
Some will just express it with just 浄土 (Pure Land).

See Also:  Shin Buddhism


China yuán guāng
Japan Enkou
Halo Wall Scroll

圓光 is one of many ways to express "halo" in Chinese. 圓光 means, radiance emanating from the head.

This can refer to the halo surrounding the head of a Buddha.

圓光 is occasionally used to mean "halo" in Japanese but it more commonly the surname Enkō in Japan.

You may want to check our dictionary for many more versions of halo.


China niè pán
Japan ne han
Nirvana Wall Scroll

These are the Chinese characters that mean Nirvāṇa. I will let you decide what Nirvana means to you.

These characters can also be translated as "Buddha's death and salvation" or "death of a Buddhist monk" depending on context. However, this is not seen with any bad meaning. You could replace "death" with "moving on," as that is how it's seen in a Buddhist context.

More info from our dictionary: Nirvana


China xiān
Japan sento / sen
Immortal Wall Scroll

This character means immortal (as in a being or person).

In some context, it can mean hermit, ascetic, man of the hills, or wizard. The Buddha is often put in this category.

In Chinese mythology and folklore, there is a famous group of eight immortals (八仙).

The 楞嚴經 (Śūraṅgama Sūtra) speaks of many kinds of immortals including walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will (into space or into the deva heavens), beings with the ability to transform themselves into any form, etc.

Lao Tzu / Laozi

China lǎo zǐ
HK 노자
Japan roushi
Lao Tzu / Laozi Wall Scroll

Depending on the romanization scheme you use, this man's name can be spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tze. In older English usage, he was known as Laocius. He is believed to have lived around 500 B.C.

He was a Chinese philosopher, founder of Daoism/Taoism, credited with being the author of the sacred and wise book of Daoism/Taoism.

There is a theory that Lao Tzu's soul traveled to India and was reborn as the Buddha.


China jīn gāng
Japan kon gou
Diamond Wall Scroll

金剛 is a common way to call diamonds in Chinese and Japanese. Traditionally, there were not that many diamonds that made their way to Asia, so this word does not have the deep cultural significance that it does in the west (thanks mostly to De Beers marketing). Therefore, this word was kind of borrowed from other uses.

This title can also refer to vajra (a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond that originally refers to an indestructible substance); hard metal; pupa of certain insects; Vajrapani, Buddha's warrior attendant; King Kong; adamantine; Buddhist symbol of the indestructible truth.

Ten perfect Mahayana rules

China shí fǎ
Japan jippou
Ten perfect Mahayana rules Wall Scroll

十法 is the title of the ten perfect or perfecting Mahāyāna rules.

The order of rules are as follows:
1. right belief.
2. right conduct.
3. right spirit.
4. joy of the bodhi mind.
5. joy in the dharma.
6. joy in meditation.
7. pursuing the correct dharma.
8. obedience to, or accordance with dharma.
9. departing from pride, desire, etc.
10. comprehending the inner teaching of Buddha and taking no pleasure attaining such knowledge or noting the ignorance of others.

This title is only used in the context of Buddhism. Japanese and Chinese people who are not familiar with Buddhism will not recognize this title.

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).

This word 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"

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

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

China xīn yìn
Japan shin nin
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation Wall Scroll

心印 is a Buddhist concept that simply stated is "appreciation of truth by meditation."

It's a deep subject, but my understanding is that you can find truth through meditation, and once you've found the truth, you can learn to appreciate it more through further meditation. This title is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist community (your Asian friends may or may not understand it). The literal translation would be something like "the mind seal," I've seen this term translated this way from Japanese Buddhist poetry. But apparently, the seal that is stamped deep in your mind is the truth. You just have to meditate to find it.

Soothill defines it this way: Mental impression, intuitive certainty; the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, which can seal or assure the truth; the term indicates the intuitive method of the Chan (Zen) school, which was independent of the spoken or written word.

Reference: Soothill-Hodous Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism

See Also:  Zen

Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

A Japanese martial arts title/concept
China xǐ xīn
Japan sen shin
Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude Wall Scroll

The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.

The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.

洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.

This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.

This word does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.

先心 There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.

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 | Bodhisattva

Ardent / Fierce

China liè
Japan retsu
Ardent / Fierce Wall Scroll

This Chinese word means ardent; intense; fierce; stern; upright; to give one's life for a noble cause.

In another context, this character can refer to one's exploits or achievements.

In Buddhist context, this is burning, fierce, virtuous and/or heroic.

While technically, it had the same meaning in Japanese, it's usually a female given name, Retsu in Japanese these days.

Believe / Faith / Trust

China xìn
Japan shin
Believe / Faith / Trust Wall Scroll

This character can mean to believe, truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and confidence in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.

This single character is often part of other words with similar meanings.

It is one of the five basic tenets of Confucius.

In Chinese, it sometimes has the secondary meaning of a letter (as in the mail) depending on context but it will not be read that way when seen on a wall scroll.

In Buddhist context, this is śraddhā (faith through hearing or being taught).

See Also:  Faith | Trust | Confucius


Single character for brown color
Japan katsu
Brown Wall Scroll

褐 is the most simple way to express brown in Chinese. It also means brown in Japanese but this character is not often written alone in Japanese (they would tend to write 褐色 (brown color) to refer to brown, or the color of tanned skin.

In some context, this can refer to gray or a dark color, or coarse hemp cloth.

In Buddhist context, it can refer to a coarse serge (cheaply sewn clothing) hence poverty.

Note: In Taiwanese Mandarin, this is spoken with the 2nd or rising tone instead of the 4th or falling tone used in the mainland.

Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality

(Used in Japanese version of five elements)
China kōng
Japan kuu / kara / sora / ron
Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality Wall Scroll

This single character means empty, void, hollow, vacant, vacuum, blank, nonexistent, vacuity, voidness, emptiness, non-existence, immateriality, unreality, the false or illusory nature of all existence, being unreal.

In Buddhist context, this relates to the doctrine that all phenomena and the ego have no reality but are composed of a certain number of skandhas or elements, which disintegrate. The void, the sky, space. The universal, the absolute, complete abstraction without relativity. The doctrine further explains that all things are compounds, or unstable organisms, possessing no self-essence, i.e. are dependent, or caused, come into existence only to perish. The underlying reality, the principle of eternal relativity, or non-infinity, i.e. śūnya, permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution.

From Sanskrit and/or Pali, this is the translation to Chinese and Japanese of the title śūnya or śūnyatā.

In Japanese, when pronounced as "ron" (sounds like "roan") this can be a given name. It should be noted that this Kanji has about 5 different possible pronunciations in Japanese: kuu, kara, sora, ron, and uro. 空 is also an element in the Japanese version of the five elements.

Flowers / Blooming / Splendid / China

China huá
Japan ririka
Flowers / Blooming / Splendid / China Wall Scroll

This character is really open to interpretation. This character meant flowers or blooming in ancient China. It still has that meaning in Japanese, and Buddhist context.

In modern China, this means glorious, beautiful, splendid, magnificent, or the best part of something. It can also refer to the country of China or something Chinese (such as people - overseas Chinese are often called "hua ren"). 華 is also a surname in China.

In Japanese, this can be the female given name "Ririka." It's also the short name for a certain kind of playing cards in Japan.

In Korean, This can be the surname "Hwa." While it also means splendid, flowery, or the country of China in Korean.


Single character for Buddhist Karma
Japan gou
Karma Wall Scroll

業 is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. 業 is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.

Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.

The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).

See Also:  Buddhism


China niàn
Japan nen
Mindfulness Wall Scroll

念 is the simplest way to write "mindfulness" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

This character can be defined these ways: To read; to study (a degree course); to read aloud; to miss somebody (keeping them in your mind); idea; remembrance; sense; thought; feeling; desire; concern; attention; recollection; memory; to think on/about; reflect; repeat, intone; a moment.

Obviously, the context in which the character is used determines which definition or meaning is perceived. As a single character, it's open and perhaps ambiguous. Thus, it can be read with any or all of these meanings.

This character is used in a Buddhist context (often written as 正念 or "right mindfulness") with similar meanings of thought and contemplation.

In Japanese, this character is sometimes used as a name "Nen."

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment


Clean and Pure
China jìng
Japan jou
Purity Wall Scroll

淨 is the most simple way to express purity or cleanliness in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. As a single character, the concept is broad: This can be a verb (the act of cleaning, purifying, or to cleanse) but it can also be the state of being clean, pure, and chaste. In some context, it can be a place to clean (like a bathing room for the soul in a Buddhist context). In Japanese, this can be a female given name "Jou" or "jō" (the Japanese equivalent of the English girl's name "Chastity").

Wise and Virtuous

China xián
Japan ken
Wise and Virtuous Wall Scroll

This character is used to refer to being a wise, trustworthy and virtuous person. But it also contains the ideas of intelligence, genius, scholarship, virtue, sage, saint, good, excellent in character.

賢 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. Also used in a Buddhist context with same meaning.

Note: Can also be male given name, Masaru, in Japanese.


China lòu
Japan ro
Dew Wall Scroll

露 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for dew.

Depending on the context in which this character is used, it can also mean: tears; syrup; nectar; outdoors (not under cover); to show; to reveal; to betray; to expose; scanty; bare; unconcealed; naked; public.

露 can be a Chinese surname Lu. 露 can also be the Japanese surname Tsuyuzaki or Tsuyusaki, and the given names Tsuyu or Akira.

Oddly, 露 is sometimes used as an abbreviation for Russia.

In Buddhist context, 露 also means dew, but can be a symbol of transience. Sometimes used as a metaphor to expose or disclose knowledge and truth.

Lamp / Lantern

China dēng
Japan tou
Lamp / Lantern Wall Scroll

This Chinese character, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja means lamp, light, or lantern.

This can also be the Japanese female given name Hikaru.

In Buddhist context, this is used to express the Sanskrit word, dīpa (same meaning of a lamp or lantern).

The Saint

China shèng
Japan sei
The Saint Wall Scroll

聖 is the simple, single-character religious form of "saint" in Chinese (also holds same meaning in Japanese and Korean, though rarely used alone like this).

This can also mean: holy, sage, master, or priest.
Note: This character is often used in compound words (words of more than one character) to create further meanings. In compounds, it can mean holy, sacred or divine.

This character is also used as the first word for Spanish and English place names such as "San Diego" and "St. Louis" in Chinese (not Japanese).

In Buddhist context, this can represent ārya or sādhu. And mean a sage; wise and good; upright, or correct in all his character; sacred, holy, or saintly.

Choice / Choose / Select

China xuǎn
Japan sen
Choice / Choose / Select Wall Scroll

This single Chinese character, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji means: to choose; to pick; to select; to elect; selection; choice; choosing; picking; election.

In Japanese, it can also be the male given name Hitoshi.

In Buddhist context, it means to choose, or a myriad.

Mercy / Compassion / Love

Japan ji
Mercy / Compassion / Love Wall Scroll

慈 is the simplest way to express the idea of compassion. It can also mean love for your fellow humans, humanity, or living creatures. Sometimes this is extended to mean charity.

This term is often used with Buddhist or Christian context. The concept was also spoken of by Laozi (Lao Tzu) in the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching).

慈 is considered the direct translation of the Sanskrit word मैत्री (maitrī) Pali word मेत्ता (mettā). In this context, it means benevolence, loving-kindness, and good will.

This Chinese character is understood in Japanese but is usually used in compound words (not seen alone). Also used in old Korean Hanja, so it's very universal.

See Also:  Mercy | Benevolence | Forgiveness | Kindness

Dharma / The Law

Japan hou
Dharma / The Law Wall Scroll

法 is the simple way to write "law" or in a Buddhist context "Dharma."

This can also mean method, way or Buddhist teaching. It's also an abbreviation for the country of France.

The Buddhist context exists in Chinese and Korean Hanja but I have not yet confirmed that this means more than "law" when used alone in Japanese.


Moving / Motion / Ever-Changing
China dòng
Japan dou
Dynamic Wall Scroll

動 is the only Chinese/Japanese/Korean word that can encompass the idea of "dynamic" into one character.

This word can also mean:
to use; to act; to move; to change; motion; stir.

In Buddhist context, it means: Movement arises from the nature of wind which is the cause of motion.

The key point of this word is that it represents motion or always moving. Some might say "lively" or certainly the opposite of something that is stagnant or dead.

Note: In Japanese, this can also be a female given name, Yurugi.

Silent / Solitary

Japan jaku
Silent / Solitary Wall Scroll

This character means silent, solitary, quiet, calm, still, rest, or tranquil.

This also has a strong Buddhist association where it can mean "entering into Nirvana." In that context, this is sometimes used to refer to the passing of a Buddhist monk (he is silent, as he has entered Nirvana). For the living, this is about tranquility (especially of mind).

Some will also use this to mean "elegant simplicity."

From Sanskrit, this can represent praśama, vivikta, śānti, or nibbāna (nirvāṇa).


China chāo
Japan chou
Super Wall Scroll

超 is "super" in Chinese and Japanese Kanji. It can also mean: to exceed; to overtake; to surpass; to transcend; to pass; to cross; to jump over. It can also be a suffix like ultra- hyper- super-

From Sanskrit, this can be the Buddhist "vikrama," meaning to leap over; surpass; exempt from; to save.

The Mysterious Bond Between People

The invisible force that brings people together forever
China yuán
Japan en
The Mysterious Bond Between People Wall Scroll

緣 / 縁 is a complicated single character. It can mean a lot of different things depending on how you read it.

In Japanese, it can mean fate; destiny; a mysterious force that binds two people together; a relationship between two people; bond; link; connection; family ties; affinity; opportunity; chance (to meet someone and start a relationship). It can also mean "someone to rely on," relative, reminder, memento, or the female given name, Yori.

It's basically the same in Chinese, where it's defined as cause, reason, karma, fate, or predestined affinity.

In Buddhist context, it's Pratyaya. 緣 / 縁 is the concept of indirect conditions, as opposed to direct causes. It's when something happens (meeting someone) by circumstance, or a contributing environment. Instead of a direct cause or act, it is a conditioning cause without direct input or action by the involved people.

Occasionally, this character is used in a facetious way to say hem, seam, or edge of clothing. In this case, it's the seam that brings or holds the clothing together.

縁Note: Japanese will tend to use the variant of this Kanji shown to the right. If you want this version (and are ordering this from the Japanese master calligrapher), click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above.

True / Real / Genuine

China zhēn
Japan shin / makoto
True / Real / Genuine Wall Scroll

真 is a simple way to express the idea that something is real, true, truth or genuine.

Occasionally, this character is used to refer to a Buddhist sect that originated in the 13th century.

真 is commonly used as a compound with other characters to create ideas like "true love." It's also used like the English "really" or "truly," to say "really good" or "He is really knowledgeable." Those phrases start with "他真的是..." (note second character is this one).

There are two ways to write this character, shown here is the most common way in China; however, a slight stroke variation is used in Korean Hanja. If you want that version, just let us know when you place your order.

See Also:  Honesty

Big Dream

China dà mèng
Japan daimu
Big Dream Wall Scroll

大夢 means, "Big Dream" in Chinese and Japanese. 大夢 is mostly a Buddhist term referring to the great dream that represents a long and winding life that feels like a dream (since reality is an illusion anyway in Buddhism).

This can also be a female given name, Hiromu or Oomu in Japanese. Also more rare unisex given names Daimu or Taimu.

Confidence / Faithful Heart

China xìn xīn
Japan shin jin
Confidence / Faithful Heart Wall Scroll

信心 is a Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word that means confidence, faith, or belief in somebody or something.

The first character means faith, and the second can mean heart or soul. Therefore, you could say this means "faithful heart" or "faithful soul."

In Korean especially, this word has a religious connotation.

In old Japanese Buddhist context, this was a word for citta-prasāda (clear or pure heart-mind).
In modern Japan (when read by non-Buddhists), this word is usually understood as, "faith," "belief" or "devotion."

See Also:  Self-Confidence

Deities / Gods

China shén míng
Japan jin myou
Deities / Gods Wall Scroll

In Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja, this title refers to deities or gods (can be singular or plural form). Depending on context, it could also mean "divine."

Specifically in Japanese, this can refer to Amaterasu (as an enshrined deity).

In some Buddhist context, this also means deity but can also refer to "intelligence" (as in all-knowing).

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).

Do No Harm / Harmless

China bù hài
Japan fu gai
Do No Harm / Harmless Wall Scroll

This Buddhist term comes from the Sanskrit "ahiṃsā" meaning harmlessness, not injuring, or doing harm to no one.

Shadow of Karma
Dogged by Karma

Karma is a Bitch
China yè yǐng
Japan gou you
Shadow of Karma / Dogged by Karma Wall Scroll

業影 is a Buddhist title that literally means "Karma Shadow."

It figuratively means karma dogging one's steps like a shadow.

It's similar to the western idea of, "karma is a bitch."

Karma (of your past lives)

China sù yè
Japan shukugou
Karma (of your past lives) Wall Scroll

宿業 is the Buddhist concept of Past Karma. To put it simply, it's the sum of all the good and bad from all previous lives (and perhaps earlier in your current life). This term is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist faith (you'll have a tough time finding a non-Buddhist Asian person that knows this word).

Other ways to translate this: "The karma of previous existence," "The karma remaining from prior existences," or simply "Former karma."

See Also:  Buddhism

Namaste - Greeting

China hé shí
Japan gou juu
Namaste - Greeting Wall Scroll

The word namaste comes from Sanskrit and is a common greeting in the Hindi and Nepali languages exchanged by devout Hindu or Buddhist people in Southern Asia (especially India).

Here you can see the Chinese form (and Japanese but not well-known in Japan) of this word which is used describe a Buddhist (or Hindu) greeting with palms closed together in a prayerful manner, generally at chest level. However, this selection of characters describes the act, and is not a word spoken during the greeting. In fact, words or a greeting is seldom spoken when two Chinese or Japanese Buddhists meet. The greeting is silent, and respectful but composed completely of body language.

Note that the greeting namaste as well as the act of placing palms together are used both as a hello and goodbye (kind of like the word aloha in Hawaiian).

If you are looking for a welcoming hello and goodbye, you may want to consider gassho or a simple welcome.

4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct

Samyak Karmanta / Samma Kammanta
China zhèng yè
Japan sei gyou
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct Wall Scroll

正業 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Action, along with Right Speech and Right Living constitute the path to Virtue.

The five precepts of Right Action are:
1. To refrain from destroying living beings (no murder, or any form of taking a life).
2. To refrain from stealing.
3. To refrain from sexual misconduct (adultery, rape, etc.).
4. To refrain from false speech (lying or trickery).
5. To refrain from intoxicants which lead to heedlessness (no drugs or alcohol).

This concept can be summarized as, "Avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline."

Note: In Japanese, when read by a non-Buddhist, this will mean "the right job/vocation."

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Samsara / Endless Cycle of Rebirth

China lún huí
Japan rinne
Samsara / Endless Cycle of Rebirth Wall Scroll

輪廻 is one of a few ways to express संसार or Saṃsāra in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

The Buddhist term can be translated several ways, including:
Endless cycle of death and rebirth.
The turning of the wheel.
To revolve.
Transmigration in the six ways.
The wheel of transmigration.
The round of existence.


China zhèng yù
Japan shougyo
Shogyu Wall Scroll

This word that romanizes as shōgyo means, "to properly direct."

正御 is an obscure Buddhist terms sometimes used in martial arts.


China xiū xíng
Japan shu gyou
Shugyo Wall Scroll

修行 is shugyō or shugyou in Japanese. It refers to ascetic practices, training, practice, discipline, and study.

修行 is also a word in the original Chinese, where it refers more to religious studies and practices.

In Buddhist context, this represents caryā. In Buddhism, this refers to conduct; to observe and do; to end one's ways; to cultivate oneself in right practice; to be religious; to be pious.

Thinking Heart

China zhí duō
Japan chitta
Thinking Heart Wall Scroll

質多 is a Buddhist term that means, "the heart considered as the seat of intellect" and "the thinking and reflecting mind."

Wheel of Karma

China yè lún
Japan gōrin
Wheel of Karma Wall Scroll

業輪 is the Chinese and Japanese Kanji for "The wheel of karma." This wheel is the metaphorical Buddhist mechanism that turns people into the six paths of transmigration.

Body and Mind

China shēn xīn
Japan shin shin
Body and Mind Wall Scroll

身心 means, "body and mind" or "mental and physical" in Chinese and Japanese.

In the Buddhist context, body and mind encompass the five elements (skandha) of a sentient being.
The body is the physical material (rūpa) of life. Mind embraces the other four skandhas which are consciousness, perception, action, and knowledge.

Inner Light / Intelligence

China xīn dēng
Japan shin tou
Inner Light / Intelligence Wall Scroll

心燈 is the Buddhist concept of "The Lamp of the Mind" or "Inner Light."

It's kind of the Buddhist way to express intelligence.

Directly translated, this means, "heart light" or "heart lamp."
Note: In ancient China, the ideas of heart and mind are interchangeable.

Iron Heart

China tiě xīn
Japan tetsu kokoro / tesshin
Iron Heart Wall Scroll

This can be translated as "iron heart," "steel core," "iron mind" in Chinese and Japanese Kanji.

鐵心 is not a common term, but I added it here since so many were looking for "iron heart." 鐵心 is almost like saying you are without emotions or feeling - a very stoic person. 鐵心 is not a Buddhist trait.

Prosperity and Happiness

China fù lè
Japan furaku
Prosperity and Happiness Wall Scroll

富樂 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for a title meaning prosperity and happiness.

If you have a desire to live in prosperity and happiness, this is for you.

Note: This title is often used in a Buddhist context.

Adorable / Cute / Lovely

China kě ài
Japan ka wai
Adorable / Cute / Lovely Wall Scroll

可愛 is a Chinese word that means adorable, cute, and lovely.

It also has a similar meaning in Japanese, but it's more often used as the given name Kawai.

In the Buddhist context, it can mean agreeable.


China gōng àn
Japan kouan
Koan Wall Scroll

In Buddhist context, this is a Zen question for meditation.

From the Buddhist dictionary this is:
Problems set by Zen masters, upon which thought is concentrated as a means to attain inner unity and illumination.

The secular meaning of this word can mean a judge's desk, complex legal case, contentious issue, a dossier, case record, public laws, regulations, or case-law.

Dojo / Martial Arts Studio

China dào cháng
Japan dou jou
Dojo / Martial Arts Studio Wall Scroll

道場 is the Japanese term for a room or hall in which martial arts are taught. This word is often spelled "dojo" which has become a word in the English lexicon. However, the true Romaji is "doujou" or "dōjō."

Please note: The Chinese definition of these characters is quite different. In Chinese, this is a place where Buddhist or Taoist mass is held. It could also be the place where spiritual or psychic events are performed.


China wú cháng
Japan mujou
Impermanence Wall Scroll

無常 is the state of being "not permanent," "not enduring," transitory, or evolving.

It can also mean variable or changeable. In some context, it can refer to a ghost that is supposed to take a soul upon death. Following that, this term can also mean to pass away or die.

In the Buddhist context, this is a reminder that everything in this world is ever-changing, and all circumstances of your life are temporary.
If you take the Buddhist philosophy further, none of these circumstances are real, and your existence is an illusion anyway. Thus, the idea of the eternal soul is perhaps just the attachment you have to your ego. Once you release your attachment to all impermanent things, you will be on your way to enlightenment and Buddhahood.

Language notes for this word when used outside the context of Buddhism:
In Korean Hanja, this means uncertainty, transiency, mutability, or evanescent.
In Japanese, the definition orbits closer to the state of being uncertain.


Transliterated personal name
China kǎ mǎ
Karma Wall Scroll

卡瑪 is the most common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Karma.

Note: This sounds like Karma but does not have the meaning of Karma in Chinese. See our other entry if you are looking for the Buddhist idea of Karma.

In fact, if your name is Karma, I strongly suggest that you use a word that means Karma, rather than this one which sounds like Karma (meaning is more important and universal in Chinese/Japanese/Korean).

Karma - Cause and Effect

China yīn guǒ
Japan inga
Karma - Cause and Effect Wall Scroll

因果 is a label that is used inside and outside of the Buddhist faith to speak of Karma.

Along with the meaning of Karma, this word can be translated as "retribution" or "chain of cause and effect."

See Also:  Buddhism


The most famous Samurai
Japan mu sashi
Musashi Wall Scroll

武蔵 is the short title for a man long in legend. Miyamoto Musashi is probably the most famous Samurai in all of Japanese history. While coming from a lower class, his new sword and fighting techniques put him on par with the best that feudal Japan had to offer. His long career started with his first duel was at age 13!

He is credited both with using two swords at once, and never losing a single battle in his career. After becoming a Buddhist, and getting older, like many old warriors, he took up a peaceful and solitary life until his death around 1645 A.D.

Note: Technically, Musashi is his given name, and Miyamoto is his surname. However, it's suggested that he assumed both of these names, and also had a few other names at childhood, as well as being given a Buddhist name. It's hard to know what to call him, as with most Kanji, there are multiple pronunciations. The characters for Musashi can also be pronounced "Takezō." But, everyone in modern times seems to know him by the name Musashi.


China rěn fǎ
Japan nin pou
Ninpo Wall Scroll

忍法 is Ninpo which can be translated as "Ninja Arts" from Japanese.

If you want this to mean "Ninja Arts," you should consider this to be Japanese only. In Chinese, someone might read this as "patience law" or "the art of patience."

The first character can be associated with "Ninja" since it is the "Nin" of "Ninja." But the literal meaning is patience or perseverance. The second character means "law" or "method." Often this is extended to mean or be translated as "arts."

Within a Buddhist context (especially Chinese Buddhism), this is the method or stage of patience, the sixth of the seven stages of the Hīnayāna in the attainment of arhatship, or sainthood.

5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood

Samyag Ajiva / Samma Ajiva
China zhèng mìng
Japan sei myou
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood Wall Scroll

正命 (right living) is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism.

Right Living, along with Right Speech and Right Action constitute the path to Virtue.

Right Living means that a Buddhist should only take a job or pursue a career in a field that does no harm. Buddhists should not work in the arms trade, as pimps or in the field of prostitution, as a butcher or in a shop that kills or sells meat, in a laboratory that does animal research, or any other business that involves scheming or unethical behavior.

Another definition: Avoidance of professions that are harmful to sentient beings, such as slaughterer, hunter, dealer in weaponry or narcotics, etc.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment


China kōng wú
Japan kuu mu
Nothingness Wall Scroll

空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.

The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).

The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.

Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness."

I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery." Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).

Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature."

Ksaya / Omega / Finality

China qǐ sǎ
Japan kisha
Ksaya / Omega / Finality Wall Scroll

乞灑 is the Chinese and Japanese version of the Buddhist term, "kṣaya."

乞灑 is used in the sense of omega, or the end. This implies finality or nirvāṇa.

This term is only used in the context of Buddhism. Non-Buddhists may not recognize this word.

One Mind / Unity

China hé hé
Japan wagou / wago
One Mind / Unity Wall Scroll

和合 means to blend, unite, or be of one mind.

和合 is usually used as a Buddhist term. It can also be defined as: harmony; concord; agreement; unity; union; harmonize.

Reality and Illusion

Buddhism Concept
China zhēn wàng
Reality and Illusion Wall Scroll

真妄 is a specifically Buddhist term that means, "reality and illusion." Out of Buddhist context, it might be read as, "The real and the absurd."

Separately, the first character means real, true, and genuine, and the second character means absurd, fantastic, or related to fantasy.

Tathata / Ultimate Nature of All Things

China zhēn rú
Japan shinnyo
Tathata / Ultimate Nature of All Things Wall Scroll

This comes from the Sanskrit and Pali word often romanized as "tathata" or "tathatā." Originally written, "तथता."

It's a Buddhist term that is often translated as "thusness" or "suchness" but this does not explain it.
A better explanation may be, "the ultimate nature of all things." However, this gives it too strong of a feeling. This concept is sometimes described as being in awe of the simple nature of something - like a blade of grass blowing in the wind, or ripples on water. It is what it is supposed to be, these things are following their nature. Amazing in their mundane simplicity.

Every sect of Buddhism will have a slightly different flavor, or explanation, so don't get fixated on one definition.

Notes: Sometimes Buddhists use the word dharmatā, a synonym to tathatā.

In Japan, this can also be the female given name Mayuki, or the surname Majo.

Shin Buddhism

True Pure Land Buddhism
Japan jou do shin shuu
Shin Buddhism Wall Scroll

Known in the west as "Shin Buddhism," this is a school of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism." This form is also known as "True Pure Land Buddhism" or "Jodoshinshu" (jōdoshinshū).

If you are looking for this title, you probably already know the rest of the story.

See Also:  Pure Land Buddhism

Wisdom / Intelligence

Japan chie
Wisdom / Intelligence Wall Scroll

This Japanese word means wisdom; wit; sagacity; sense; intelligence.

In Buddhist context, this is prajna (insight leading to enlightenment).

This can also be the Japanese female given name Norie.


China yú jiā
Japan yu ga
Yoga Wall Scroll

瑜伽 is probably the most common and universal title for Yoga.

In Chinese and Japanese, this is considered a Buddhist practice. 瑜伽 is really a loanword from an original Buddhist Sanskrit word.

Yoga can also be written 瑜誐 or 遊迦. The literal meaning is yoke, yoking, union, especially an ecstatic union of the individual soul with a divine being, or spirit, also of the individual soul with the universal soul.

Note: Yoga is sometimes written incorrectly as 瑜珈 in Chinese. Watch out for that.

Zen Contemplation

China rù dìng
Zen Contemplation Wall Scroll

This title can be defined as Zen contemplation in Japanese, or sit quietly in (Buddhist) meditation in Chinese. It also carries a similar meaning in Korean Hanja. Therefore, this is a rather universal term for meditation in the context of Buddhism throughout the Orient.

Can also be translated as "Meditatively equipoised" or "enter into meditation by stilling the karmic activities of deed, speech, and thought."

The original Sanskrit word is samapanna. In Tibetan: snyoms par zhugs pa.

The Way of Tea

China chá dào
Japan cha dou
The Way of Tea Wall Scroll

茶道 means The Way of Tea (literally, "tea way") in Chinese and Japanese.

This may refer to a tea ceremony or a general lifestyle of tea preparing and drinking.

In Japanese, this can be pronounced sadō or chadō (seems that sadō refers more often to a tea ceremony, and chadō when it's the Way of Tea).

茶道 is also used in Buddhist context with the same meaning of the Way of Tea.

Four Noble Truths: Suffering

China kǔ dì
Japan kutai
Four Noble Truths: Suffering Wall Scroll

Part of life in this universe is suffering. All living things experience some form of suffering according to Buddhist teaching.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Kensho - Initial Enlightenment

China jiàn xìng
Japan ken shou
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment Wall Scroll

Generally the same meaning as Satori but referring to the initial state or initial experience of enlightenment. 見性 is a Zen Buddhist term that is not widely known outside of the religion. Used more in Japan than China.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people. Some Japanese people will dispute whether this title is valid in the Japanese language. Only order this if you are sure this title is right for you.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Nothingness / Empty / Void

China xū kōng
Japan kokuu
Nothingness / Empty / Void Wall Scroll

虛空 means empty space, empty sky, or void.

In the Buddhist context, it can mean "emptiness of the material world." This can also be used as an adjective to modify other words with a meaning of unreal or insubstantial.

Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation

China ān chán
Reach Peace and Calm by Meditation Wall Scroll

These two Chinese characters create a title that means to reach peace and calm through meditation. 安禪 is an excellent wall scroll for your relaxation or meditation room.

安禪 is also a Buddhist-related term that encompasses the idea of entering into dhyana meditation.

Reincarnation (Buddhism)

China zhuǎn shì
Japan ten sei
Reincarnation (Buddhism) Wall Scroll

轉世 is the Buddhist idea of reincarnation or transmigration.

Other definitions of this term: "Attainer of Nirvana from within the desire realm," "A practitioner who enters directly into Nirvana from the desire realm, without traversing the form and formless realms. One of the 27 kinds of Hinayana sages," or simply, "to return again to this life."

轉世 is also a Japanese title but the first Kanji was slightly simplified after WWII. Just let us know if you want the modern Japanese version when you order.

See Also:  Buddhism | Rebirth


China xún qiú
Japan jingu
Seek Wall Scroll

尋求 means to seek or to look for something. Occasionally used in a Buddhist context for seeking something (enlightenment, knowledge, truth, meaning, etc).

This word is rarely used in Japanese, and almost exclusively in a Buddhist context (most Japanese will not recognize it as a Japanese word).

Stillness / Quiet / Calm

China jì jìng
Japan sekisei / jakujou
Stillness / Quiet / Calm Wall Scroll

寂靜 is the Chinese and old Japanese word for calmness, stillness, and tranquility.

In Buddhist context, this can refer to the calmness of the heart, enlightenment, or the state of being calm and quiet - free from temptation and distress. Basically a state of earthly nirvāṇa.

Note: The second character is written just slightly differently in modern Japanese (静 instead of 靜). Expect a slight variation if you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher. The version shown here is considered the ancient Japanese and original Chinese form.

The Three Truths

China sān dì
Japan san dai / san tai
The Three Truths Wall Scroll

三諦 is a Buddhist term that means "threefold truth" or "three dogmas."

The three truths are:
1. All things are void (卽空).
2. All things are temporary (卽假).
3. All things are in the middle state between these two (卽中).

Endless / Without Limit

China wú jìn
Japan mu jin
Endless / Without Limit Wall Scroll

無盡 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for endless; inexhaustible; without limits; infinite.

In Buddhist context, this can refer to the infinitude of living beings, of worlds, of space, of the dharmadhātu, of nirvāṇa, etc.

Monshu / Gate Keeper

China mén zhǔ
Japan monshu
Monshu / Gate Keeper Wall Scroll

In modern Japanese, 門主 is the title of a head priest of temple or monastery.

This can also refer to the spiritual leader of the sect and/or direct descendant of its founder.
In the past, this could refer to the founder of a Buddhist sect.

The literal meaning of 門主 is gatekeeper or keeper of the gate.

When I look in the Chinese Buddhist dictionary, this entry comes up as, the controller of a gate, or sect. However, this term is not commonly used in Chinese.


China wǒ màn
Japan ga man
Gaman Wall Scroll

Gaman is a Zen Buddhist term from Japan that means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity."

This title can also be translated as patience, perseverance, tolerance, or self-denial.

我慢 is also a Chinese Buddhist term with a different pronunciation. It comes from Sanskrit abhimāna or ātma-mada. Chinese Buddhism defines this very differently as, "Egoism exalting self and depreciating others," "self-intoxication," or "pride." Alone, the first character means "Me, I, or Self," and the second character in a Buddhist context comes from Sanskrit māna and means pride, arrogance, self-conceit, looking down on others, supercilious, etc.

I'm currently working with Japanese and Chinese translators to try and reconcile the true meaning or any commonality of this word between languages. For now, please only consider this if your audience is Japanese.

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

China quán fǎ
Japan kenpou
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Wall Scroll

This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist," or even "law of the fist." The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.

Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.

These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).

The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).

Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:

1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.

2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist."

3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense." I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.

Love and Devotion

China cí ài
Japan jiai
Love and Devotion Wall Scroll

This title refers to the kind of love and devotion you might have to your children, or any loved one. This especially applied to your children but could also be any member of your family - spouse, etc.

This can also be translated as affection, kindness, love, to love affectionately.

慈愛 is also used in a Buddhist context with the same meaning.

In Japanese, this can also be a female given name romanized as Yasue.

Mercy / Compassion
Buddhist Loving Kindness

China cí bēi
Japan ji hi
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Wall Scroll

Besides the title above, 慈悲 can also be defined as clemency or lenience and sometimes the act of giving charity.

In Buddhist context, it can be defined as, "benevolence," "loving kindness and compassion," or "mercy and compassion."

Even if you do not understand the Four Noble Truths, or Eightfold Path, this Buddhist virtue is perhaps the most important to employ in your life. All sentient beings that you encounter should be given your loving kindness. And trust me, however much you can give, it comes back. Make your life and the world a better place!

This Chinese/Japanese Buddhist term is the equivalent of Metta Karuna from Pali or Maitri Karuna from Sanskrit.

慈 can mean loving-kindness by itself.
悲 adds a component of sorrow, empathy, compassion, and sympathy for others.

See Also:  Benevolence

No Fear

(2 characters)
China wú wèi
Japan mui
No Fear Wall Scroll

This literally means "No Fear." But perhaps not the most natural Chinese phrase (see our other "No Fear" phrase for a more complete thought). However, this two-character version of "No Fear" seems to be a very popular way to translate this into Chinese, when we checked Chinese Google.

Note: This also means "No Fear" in Japanese and Korean but this character pair is not often used in Japan or Korea.

This term appears in various Chinese dictionaries with definitions like "without fear," intrepidity, fearless, dauntless, and bold.

In Buddhist context, this is a word derived from abhaya meaning: Fearless, dauntless, secure, nothing and nobody to fear. Also from vīra meaning: courageous, bold.

See Also:  Never Give Up | No Worries | Undaunted | Bravery | Courage | Fear No Man

Re-Birth / Renaissance

China chóng shēng
Re-Birth / Renaissance Wall Scroll

重生 is the Chinese word for rebirth. This can be used literally or metaphorically. As a metaphor, you could use this to say something like "We are watching the rebirth of New Orleans after the disaster of Katrina."

重生 is sometimes translated as "renaissance."

Note: 重生 is not the Buddhist concept of reincarnation or re-birth.

See Also:  Reincarnation

Seeking Truth

China qiú dào
Japan gu dou
Seeking Truth Wall Scroll

求道 means seeking for truth, or to seek (practice for, strive for) enlightenment.

求道 is used mostly in a Buddhist context, so some non-Buddhists may not recognize it.

Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself

China zì ài
Japan ji ai
Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself Wall Scroll

This title means: self-love; self-regard; regard for oneself; to cherish one's good name; taking care of oneself.

In Buddhist context, this is the cause of all pursuit or seeking, which in turn causes all suffering. All Buddhas discharge themselves from self-love and all pursuits of personal gratification. Such elimination of self-love is a step towards nirvāṇa.

This title can be taken as positive or negative, depending on how you read it. Some will see it as arrogant, others will read it as a token of self-respect. Because of this ambiguity, I do not recommend this title for a wall scroll.

Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient

China zì lì
Japan jiriki
Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient Wall Scroll

自力 is a word in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean, and Buddhist term meaning: power within oneself; self-sufficient; by oneself; self-made; self-power; inner ability.


China wú wǒ
Japan muga
Selflessness Wall Scroll

無我 is a more common way to say selflessness in Japanese. This literally means "no self" or a better translation might be "not thinking of oneself." 無我 is also understood in Chinese and Korean. 無我 is a very old word in CJK languages.

無我 is the word a Buddhist would use express the idea of selflessness or unselfishness. For Korean Buddhists it can mean self-renunciation.

See Also:  Altruism


Little Forest
China shǎo lín
Japan sho rin
Shaolin Wall Scroll

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years. While there are many schools of Kung Fu in China, Shaolin are one of the more religiously devout and disciplined.

The title of Shaolin actually refers to a specific Buddhist monastery. It should be noted that the Shaolin were famous in China long before the Kung Fu TV show. Their fame in China is due to the monks' heroic and swift rescue an emperor during the Tang Dynasty. Most Chinese people are not keenly aware of the Kung Fu TV show, and have no idea who David Carradine is or anything about his character, Kwai Chang Caine.

Note: The literal meaning of these two characters is "little forest."

The fame of the Shaolin has spread all over Asia, as even though this is a Chinese title, the same characters are used in Japanese with the same meaning.

Shidai / Sida / Mahabhuta

China sì dà
Japan shi dai
Shidai / Sida / Mahabhuta Wall Scroll

In Buddhism, this is mahābhūta, the four elements of which all things are made: earth, water, fire, and wind.

This can also represent the four freedoms: speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates, and writing big-character posters.

In some context, this can be a university or college offering four-year programs.

To others, this can represent the Tao, Heaven, Earth and King.

Going back to the Buddhist context, these four elements "earth, water, fire, and wind" represent 堅, 濕, 煖, 動, which is: solid, liquid, heat, and motion.

Venus / Gold Star

China jīn xīng
Japan kinboshi / kinsei
Venus / Gold Star Wall Scroll

This literally means gold star. Most of the time, in the context of the sky, this refers to the planet Venus.

Away from the sky, this can refer to a dazzling victory (e.g. win of a rank-and-file wrestler over the grand champion), or be the Japanese surname Kinboshi.

In Buddhist context, this is Śukra, from Sanskrit for the planet Venus.

Inner Wisdom

China nèi zhì
Japan nai chi
Inner Wisdom Wall Scroll

內智 is a Buddhist term that means, "inner wisdom."


China luó hóu
Japan ragou
Rago Wall Scroll

羅喉 is a Japanese personal name, Rago.

The meaning can be the intersection of the Moon's orbit with the ecliptic in Vedic astronomy (from Sanskrit Rāhu). In Buddhist context, this can be, "the demon who is supposed to seize the sun and moon and thus cause eclipses."

羅喉 is a variant of the Chinese 羅睺. It can also be written 羅護 or 羅虎. If you need the more ancient Chinese version, just let me know.

Sadness / Sorrow

China bēi āi
Japan hi ai
Sadness / Sorrow Wall Scroll

悲哀 means grieved, sorrowful, sorrow, grief, and sadness in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji. In Buddhist context, it suggests the kind feeling in your heart toward others (as the result of feeling sorrow).

Note: This is a strange selection for a calligraphy wall scroll.

Mind Like Water

Mizu No Kokoro
Japan mizu no kokoro
Mind Like Water Wall Scroll

水の心 is the Japanese Buddhist and martial arts phrase, "mizu no kokoro," which means, "mind like water" or "heart of water."

The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects it’s surroundings when calm but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.


Japan ue chi ryuu
Uechi-Ryu Wall Scroll

上地流 is the short title of the Uechi-Ryu school of Okinawan karate. Uechi actually means "higher stages of practice" in a Buddhist context. Ryu means method or style in this context.

The Tree of Enlightenment
The Bodhi Tree

China pú tí shù
Japan bodaiju
The Tree of Enlightenment / The Bodhi Tree Wall Scroll

These three characters are the full title of the Bodhi tree (a fig tree) under which Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment." If you don't have a Bodhi tree to sit under, maybe you can achieve your enlightenment under a wall scroll with this title.

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.

Warrior of Heaven

China tiān lì shì
Japan ten riki shi
Warrior of Heaven Wall Scroll

天力士 means "Heavenly Warrior," or "Hero of Heaven," in Chinese, old Korean, and Japanese.

Often used in a Buddhist context.

Purity of Mind

China xīn chéng jìng
Japan shin chou jou
Purity of Mind Wall Scroll

心澄淨 is the Buddhist concept of the pure and calm mind. It is believed that once you achieve a meditative state of pure focused thought, the mind becomes clear and calm. Although, others will say this means that achieving a calm mind will allow you to reach pure thought.

From Sanskrit, this is known as citta-prasāda. The concept of citta-prasāda is sometimes defined as, "clear heart-mind," or "the single and definitive aspiration."

Buddhist Monk

Japan sou ryo
Buddhist Monk Wall Scroll

The first Kanji means Buddhist priest or monk by itself.
The second Kanji means follower or companion.

僧Note, if you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will look a bit more like the Kanji shown to the right than the Kanji shown above. Let us know if you have a preference, as both versions are technically-correct in both Chinese and Japanese.

Shaolin Temple

China shào lín sì
Japan shou rin ji
Shaolin Temple Wall Scroll

少林寺 is the full title of the Shaolin Temple.

This refers to the Buddhist monastery famous for its kung fu monks.

少林寺 is also known in Japanese where they use the same characters but romanize it as Shourinji or Shōrinji.

Some believe this monastery and temple represent the place where Bodhidharma sat with his face to a wall for nine years leading to his discovery of enlightenment and establishment of Buddhism.

Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls

China lún huí
Japan rin ne
Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls Wall Scroll

輪回 / 輪廻 is a universal word in Japanese and Chinese that expresses the Buddhist idea of "reincarnation," "transmigration of souls" or "the eternal cycle of birth and death."

In some context, this can also mean "karma," and others will say it represents "samsara."

The first character means wheel, ring, turn, circle, loop or rotate.
The second character can be thought of as a suffix meaning "-times." This second character can also refer to something that revolves, returns, goes back, or a counter for the number of occurrences of some event.
Together the sum supersedes the parts and it means reincarnation. But knowing the seeing the essence of each character may help you understand some of the meaning behind the word.

廻Shown to the right is the more common way to write the second character in Japanese. It's an alternate form of this character in Chinese (so neither way is technically wrong in either language). If you select a Japanese calligrapher, expect that is will look like the Kanji to the right.

See Also:  Buddhism | Rebirth

Dark Sister

China hēi àn nǚ
Japan koku an nyo
Dark Sister Wall Scroll

This Buddhist title means "dark sister," "dark one," or "dark woman."

There are two sisters:
One is the deva, 功德女 ("merit" or "achieving"), who causes people to acquire wealth.
The other is the "dark one," 黑闇女, who causes people to spend and waste.

These sisters always accompany each other.

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
China yīn yuán
Japan in nen
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Wall Scroll

因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.

Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.

It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.

This word can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.

The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things."

This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.

Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji: 縁
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.

See Also:  Buddhism | Opportunity

Religious Seeker

China qǐ qiú zhě
Japan kotsugusha
Religious Seeker Wall Scroll

乞求者 is a rare Buddhist-only term for a seeker (one who seeks religion or enlightenment).

Shaolin Chuan / Shao Lin Quan

China shǎo lín quán
Shaolin Chuan / Shao Lin Quan Wall Scroll

少林拳 is the title of the martial art (style of Kung Fu) that is taught to the monks and students in the Shaolin Buddhist Monastery. The addition of Chuan or Quan which means fist is what signifies that you are talking about this school or form of martial arts.


China xī shēng
Japan gi sei
Sacrifice Wall Scroll

犧牲 / 犠牲 means sacrifice in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

There is a suggestion in this word that this regards sacrificing your life.

Note: Depending on context, this can also mean victim or scapegoat in Japanese.

In original and ancient Chinese, this word referred to sacrificial animals. It can still have this meaning in a Buddhist context.

犠The version of the first character used in modern Japan looks like the image to the right. If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, it will be written in this Japanese version.

Four Elements

Buddhist Term
China dì shuǐ huǒ fēng
Japan chisuikafuu
Four Elements Wall Scroll

地水火風 is a Buddhist term that means "earth, water, fire, wind." 地水火風 is often just referred to as "the four elements." There is a more common title (the five elements) which adds wood to the mix. These four elements are used in some sects of Japanese Buddhism (not so much in Chinese).

Never Forget

Never forget your vow or path
China cháng bù wàng shī
Japan jou fu bou shitsu
Never Forget Wall Scroll

This title is used almost exclusively in a Buddhist context (not all Chinese or Japanese people will recognize it).

常不忘失 means, "Never forget your vow/path" in Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji.

Eternal Energy / Eternal Matter

China bù lái bù qù
Japan furai fuko
Eternal Energy /  Eternal Matter Wall Scroll

不來不去 is a Buddhist term, originally anāgamana-nirgama from Sanskrit.

This implies that things are neither coming into nor going out of existence.

This can also mean, "all things are eternal," or others will call this the Buddhist concept of the eternal conservation of energy.

This theory predates Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.

Note: 不來不去 is not a well-known word for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists, so not all will recognize it.

Beware of the Lawyers

China xiǎo xīn lǜ shī
Beware of the Lawyers Wall Scroll

提防律師 is kind of a joke. The first two characters mean "guard yourself against (an attack)" or simply "beware." The last two characters can be translated as lawyer, attorney, or solicitor. Separately, those characters mean law/regulation/control and master/expert/teacher. Here, you can see the attorney meaning is pretty clear in the individual characters.

Please note, this is Chinese only (it won't make sense in Japanese, and the last two characters are sometimes translated together as "Buddhist Priest" in Japanese).

Bodhicitta: Enlightened Mind

China mào dì zhì duō
Japan boujiishitta
Bodhicitta: Enlightened Mind Wall Scroll

冒地質多 is a Chinese and Japanese way to write Bodhicitta.

冒地質多 is often translated as "the enlightened mind" or "enlightened heart."

This title is strictly Buddhist, and won't make sense to Chinese or Japanese people who do not have an expansive background in Buddhist terms, concepts, and scripture.

Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

Japan en sou
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Wall Scroll

〇 / 円相 is Enso, which is really NOT a regular Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. In this case, it can be considered a religious symbol, as it is strongly-associated with Japanese Zen Buddhism.

Enso Circle

〇 / 円相 is a typical appearance of Enso with an inscription by master calligrapher Bishou Imai.

Some call this "The Circle of Enlightenment." Others call it the "Infinity Circle." If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji that make up the word "Enso," you could read it as "Mutual Circle" or "Circle of Togetherness." I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.

Please note when you start making your customizations for an Enso wall scroll, you will see some possible ways it might be written, listed under the different calligraphy styles that we normally offer. However, Enso does not really conform to normal Asian calligraphy styles. Therefore, do not expect that you can make a style selection and expect the actual result to be identical. The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc. You cannot control or constrain that, as you cannot constrain art, without removing some of the artistic quality. Note: Our calligraphy selection process does not take this into account, as it was designed for Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji selection.

Please ignore the part where you are invited to pick a calligraphy style in the following pages.

Both our Japanese and Chinese master calligraphers are Buddhist (not as devout as monks but Buddhist none the less). Therefore, you can be assured that your Enso symbol will be written with the utmost effort and feeling.

By the way, when "Enso" is written in Kanji, it looks like this: 円相

Holding Flowers with Subtle Smile

An idiom for heart-to-heart communication
China niān huá wéi xiào
Japan nenge misho
Holding Flowers with Subtle Smile Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhist title relays the idea of "heart-to-heart communication," or "thought transference."

The literal translation is, "holding a flower and subtly smiling," or "the holding of a flower with a subtle smile." It is the visual act and emotion that communicates more volumes than words can say.

Life Is But A Dream

China rén shēng rú mèng
Life Is But A Dream Wall Scroll

人生如夢 is an old Chinese proverb that suggests, "life is but a dream."

This kind of follows the Buddhist idea that the world is a temporal place, where reality may not be as real as you think.

Marishiten / Marici

China Mó lì zhī tiān
Japan ma ri shi ten
Marishiten / Marici Wall Scroll

摩利支天 is the title for Maricī (Buddhist god of war) also known as Marishiten in Japan or Molizhitian in China.

True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence

China zhēn kōng miào yǒu
Japan shin kuu myou u
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence Wall Scroll

According to Soothill 眞空妙有 means:
The true void is the mysteriously existing; truly void, or immaterial, yet transcendentally existing.

眞空妙有 is the state of being absolutely nonexistent after removing all errant worldly influences. 眞空妙有 is achieved when all forms of existence is seen for their real nature.

This is a complex Buddhist concept. Feel free to add to the conversation about this concept here: Asian Forum: Shinku Myou

The Law of Creation and Destruction

China shì shēng miè fǎ
Japan zeshoumeppou
The Law of Creation and Destruction Wall Scroll

是生滅法 is a Buddhist term for, "the law of arising and ceasing," or, "the law of creation and destruction."

All things have a beginning and an end, birth and death, etc. All things follow this law.

Pain of Seperation from Your Loves

China ài bié lí kǔ
Japan ai betsu ri ku
Pain of Seperation from Your Loves Wall Scroll

愛別離苦 is a Buddhist term that refers to "the pain of separation from loved ones," or "the suffering of being separated from those whom one loves."

If you translate each character separately, you get, "love(s) separated [and] departed [yields] pain."

The pain character can also be defined as: anguish; suffering; distress; anxiety; worry; trouble; difficulty; hardship; bitterness; to suffer; anguish; distress; anxiety; worry; trouble; difficulty; bitterness; unhappiness; misery.

Evil Cause, Evil Result

Meaning: You reap what you sow
Japan akuin akka
Evil Cause, Evil Result Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "Evil cause, evil effect" or "Bad causes bring bad results."

The English equivalent is probably, "Sow evil and reap evil" or more commonly, "You reap what you sow."

Note: 悪因悪果 is also considered to be a Buddhist phrase encompassing the idea of karmic retribution.

Good and Evil

Japan zenakufuni
Good and Evil Wall Scroll

善悪不二 is a Japanese Buddhist expression that states, "Good [and] evil [are] not two [separate things]." A more natural way to express this in English is, "Good and evil are but two faces of the same coin."

Spiritual Peace / Enlightened Peace

Japan an shin ritsu mei
Spiritual Peace / Enlightened Peace Wall Scroll

These Japanese Kanji can be translated as "religious enlightenment" or "spiritual peace gained through faith."

Other dictionaries define as, "spiritual peace and enlightenment" or "keeping an unperturbed mind through faith."

My Buddhist dictionary defines it as, "spiritual peace and realization of enlightenment."

Free Will

China zì yóu yì zhì
Japan jiyuu ishi
Free Will Wall Scroll

This concept has existed for thousands of years that humans have the ability to understand right and wrong, then make a decision one way or the other (thus affecting their own fate).

Sources such as Confucius, Buddhist scriptures, the Qur'an and the Bible all address this idea.

As for the characters shown here, the first two mean free, freedom, or liberty. The last two simply mean "will."

See Also:  Freedom | Strong Willed | Fate

Intuitive Wisdom / Inner Light

China yī dào shén guāng
Japan ichidou no shinkou
Intuitive Wisdom / Inner Light Wall Scroll

一道神光 is a Buddhist term that means, "inner light," or "intuitive wisdom."

This actually reads, "[the] one path/way [of] spiritual light." It implies that your spirit knows the way, and will light the path for you.

Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do

Japan ue chi ryuu kara te dou
Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Wall Scroll

上地流空手道 is the title of the Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do school of Okinawan martial arts. Uechi actually means "higher stages of practice" in a Buddhist context.

Stay Strong / Indestructible / Unbreakable

China jīn gāng bù huài
Japan kon gou fu e
Stay Strong / Indestructible / Unbreakable Wall Scroll

金剛不壞 / 金剛不壊 is originally a Buddhist term for, "The diamond indestructible." Sometimes, it's written 金剛不壞身, The diamond indestructible body. Outside that context, it still means firm and solid, sturdy and indestructible, unshakable, or adamantine (a mythological indestructible material).

壊 Note: If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the last Kanji will look like the one shown to the right.

Om Mani Padme Hum

oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ
China ǎn mó nǐ bō míng hǒu
Japan on mani padomei un
Om Mani Padme Hum Wall Scroll

唵麼抳鉢訥銘吽 is one of the earliest and best known mantras in the Buddhist tradition.

It can be heard in temples from Tokyo to Tibet.

This mantra is an expression of the basic attitude of compassion. It translates literally as, "oṃ the jewel in the lotus hūṃ".

There are several titles and transliterations for this mantra, including, 六字大明呪 (Great 6-syllable mantra), 六字真言 (6-syllable Sanskrit mantra of Avalokiteshvara bodhisattva), 唵嘛呢叭咪吽, 唵嘛呢叭咪哞, and 唵嘛咪叭呢哞.
Contact me if you need any of these alternates on your wall scroll.

Heart Sutra Title

China bō rě bō luó mì duō xīn jīng
Heart Sutra Title Wall Scroll

般若波羅蜜多心經 is the title of the Heart Sutra.

The Heart Sutra is a popular Buddhist writing that includes a famous mantra.

To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It

China bù dāng hé shàng bù zhī tóu lěng
To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [One who has] not been a monk [does] not know [the feeling of a] cold head.
I need to explain that a Chinese Buddhist monk always has a shaved head, and thus a cold head in winter.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot know the true meaning of hardship until one has experienced it oneself.

This is an idiom in Chinese, so the figurative meaning is what people perceive when they hear or read this phrase. Just as in English, when someone says, "The grass is always greener," one will think about the idea of jealousy, rather than the quality of one's lawn.


China pú tí dá mó
Japan bo dai daru ma
Bodhidharma Wall Scroll

菩提達摩 / 菩提達磨 is the Chinese and Japanese title for Bodhidharma. This refers to a man commonly known as Damo, reputed as the founder of the Chan (Zen) Buddhism. His original name is believed to be Bodhitara (菩提多羅).

Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as 磨 versus 摩. If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.

Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo

Japan shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou
Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo Wall Scroll

四拳波羅蜜大光明 is "shiken haramitsu daikōmyō," a famous Japanese Buddhist mantra.

四拳 = shi-ken = four fist (many translate this as "four hearts").
波羅蜜 = ha-ra-mitsu = A loanword representing pāramitā, or entrance into Nirvana. Awkwardly, it also means jackfruit.
大光明 = dai-kou-myo = big/great light bright (great bright light).

Shiken represents four hearts:
1. The Merciful Heart - Love and caring for all living things.
2. The Sincere Heart - Pursues righteousness, or the right path - sincerely trying to do what is right.
3. The Attuned Heart - Knows that nature and fate have their ways, and thus stays in tune with the universe.
4. The Dedicated Heart - Steadfast on the chosen path to the end.

When Three People Gather,
Wisdom is Multiplied

Japan san nin yore ba monju no chie
When Three People Gather, / Wisdom is Multiplied Wall Scroll

This literally means, "when three people meet, wisdom is exchanged."

Some will suggest this means when three people come together, their wisdom is multiplied.

That wisdom part can also be translated as wit, sagacity, intelligence, or Buddhist Prajna (insight leading to enlightenment).

In the middle of this proverb is "monju," suggesting "transcendent wisdom." 三人寄れば文殊の知恵 is where the multiplication of wisdom idea comes from.

Note: This is very similar to the Chinese proverb, "When 3 people meet, one becomes a teacher."

Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

No Pain No Gain

Japan itami naku shite erumono wa nashi
No Pain No Gain Wall Scroll

This Japanese phrase means "no pain, no gain."

Literally, this suggests that with pain, a gain must follow.

The pain Kanji here can also be translated as sorrow or suffering. The gain can also mean profit, advantage, or benefit. In Japanese Buddhist context, that gain Kanji can mean rebirth in paradise, entering nirvana.

The character break down:
痛みなく (itami naku) pain; ache; sore; grief; distress. The naku part adds a meaning of "a lot of" or "extended"
して (shite) and then. (indicates a causative expression; acts as a connective particle)
得る (eru) to get; to acquire; to obtain; to procure; to earn; to win; to gain; to secure; to attain.
もの (mono) conjunctive particle indicating a cause or reason.
なし (nashi) none of; -less; without; no.

Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path

China zhèng jiàn zhèng sī wéi zhèng yǔ zhèng yè zhèng mìng zhèng jīng jìn zhèng niàn zhèng dìng
Japan shouken shoushiyui shougo shougo shoumyou shoushoujin shounen shoujou
All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path Wall Scroll

These are the eight tenets of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path written altogether.

Here's this list of tenets in English:
1. Right View / Right Understanding / Right Perspective / Perfect View
2. Right Resolve / Right Thought / Right Intention / Perfect Resolve
3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Heart Sutra

Heart Sutra Wall Scroll

觀自在菩薩行深般若波羅蜜多時照見五蘊皆空度一切苦厄舍利子色不異空空不異色色即是空空即是色受想行識亦復如是舍利子是諸法空相不生不滅不垢不淨不增不減是故空中無色無受想行識無眼耳鼻舌身意無色聲香味觸法無眼界乃至無意識界無無明亦無無明盡乃至無老死亦無老死盡無苦集滅道無智亦無得以無所得故菩提薩埵依般若波羅蜜多故心無罣礙無罣礙故無有恐怖遠離顛倒夢想究竟涅盤三世諸佛依般若波羅蜜多故得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提故知般若波羅蜜多是大神咒是大明咒是無上咒是無等等咒能除一切苦真實不虛故說般若波羅蜜多咒即說咒曰揭諦揭諦波羅揭諦波羅僧揭諦菩提薩婆訶 is the short version of the Heart Sutra as translated by Xuanzang. It is often cited as the best-known and most popular of all Buddhist scriptures.

Notes: There are too many characters for this to be done by the economy calligrapher. You must choose Master Calligrapher Xing An-Ping.

With this many characters, and the fact that one tiny mistake wipes out hours of work, keep in mind that writing the Heart Sutra is usually a full day of work for a calligrapher. This work and personal energy should be cherished and respected. In other words, the calligrapher is not charging enough money for the value that you are getting here.

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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
仏 / 佛
hotoke / butsu
hotokefó / fo2 / fo
The Aura of Buddha 佛光bukkou / bukofó guāng / fo2 guang1 / fo guang / foguang fo kuang / fokuang
Amitabha Buddha 阿彌陀佛
amida butsu
ē mí tuó fó
e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
e mi tuo fo
o mi t`o fo
o mi to fo
The Buddha
sha ka mu ni
shì jiā móu ní
shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
shi jia mou ni
shih chia mou ni
Namo Amitabha Buddha 南無阿彌陀佛
namu amida butsu
nā mó ē mí tuó fó
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
na mo o mi t`o fo
na mo o mi to fo
The Buddha
釈迦sha ka / shakashì jiā / shi4 jia1 / shi jia / shijia shih chia / shihchia
The Eye of the Buddha 佛眼
佛眼 / 仏眼
butsugen / butsugenwǔ yǎn / wu3 yan3 / wu yan / wuyan wu yen / wuyen
Happy Buddha 歡喜光佛
kan gi kou butsu
kan gi ko butsu
huān xǐ guāng fó
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
huan hsi kuang fo
Buddha Seeking 勤求gonguqín qiú / qin2 qiu2 / qin qiu / qinqiu ch`in ch`iu / chinchiu / chin chiu
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...

Beautiful Princess
Flowers Bloom
God Loves You
Martial Arts
Never Give Up
Semper Fi
Tae Kwon Do
Wing Chun
Yin Yang

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