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1. Other similar-meaning words.
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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Buddhist"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine
  2. Buddhist Monk
  3. Mercy / Compassion...
  4. Dharma / The Law
  5. Shin Buddhism
  6. True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence
  7. Koan
  8. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha
  9. Walk in the Way
10. True Religion / Buddha Truth
11. Four Elements
12. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism
13. Shakyamuni / The Buddha
14. Karma
15. Namo Amitabha Buddha
16. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
17. Buddhism / Buddha
18. Buddha / Buddhism
19. Shakyamuni / The Buddha
20. Buddha Seeking
21. Buddhism
22. The Aura of Buddha
23. Buddhism
24. The Eye of the Buddha
25. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha
26. Amitabha Buddha
27. Happy Buddha
28. Dharma / Damo / Daruma
29. Namu Amida Butsu

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."

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.

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

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.

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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."

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).

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.

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.


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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.


(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.

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.


(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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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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
Buddhist Doctrine
佛法fó fǎ / fo2 fa3 / fo fa / fofa
Buddhist Monk 僧侶 / 僧侶
sou ryo / souryo / so ryo / soryo
Buddhist Loving Kindness
慈悲ji hi / jihicí bēi / ci2 bei1 / ci bei / cibei tz`u pei / tzupei / tzu pei
The Law
hou / hofǎ / fa3 / fa
Shin Buddhism 浄土真宗jou do shin shuu
jo do shin shu
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence 眞空妙有shin kuu myou u
shin ku myo u
zhēn kōng miào yǒu
zhen1 kong1 miao4 you3
zhen kong miao you
chen k`ung miao yu
chen kung miao yu
Koan 公案kouan / koangōng àn / gong1 an4 / gong an / gongan kung an / kungan
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha 南無釋迦牟尼佛
namu shakamuni butsu
nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
nan2 wu2 shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2 fo2
nan wu shi jia mou ni fo
nan wu shih chia mou ni fo
Walk in the Way 行道yukimichixíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdao hsing tao / hsingtao
True Religion
Buddha Truth
jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do / jitsudoshí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidao shih tao / shihtao
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
God Loves You
Good Luck
I Love You
Keep Calm
Live for What You Love
Love and Protect
Love Forever
Never Give Up
Noble Eightfold Path
Once in a Lifetime
Semper Fi
Tae Kwon Do
Wing Chun

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