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Bushido in Chinese / Japanese...

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

See also: Bushido - Code of the Samurai Warrior

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Bushido / The Way of the Samurai
  2. Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision
  3. Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted
  4. Benevolence
  5. Honor
  6. Respect
  7. Honesty / Fidelity
  8. Daoism / Taoism
  9. Filial Piety
10. Warrior
11. Strength and Honor
12. Loyalty
13. Bravery / Courage
14. Honesty
15. Wisdom


Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

China wǔ shì dào
Japan bu shi do
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This is the title for, "The Code of the Samurai".

Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai", "The Bushido Code", or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry".

This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior", "The Warrior's Way", or "The Warrior's Code".

It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan, and thought of as being of Japanese origin.

The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Benevolence 仁, Courage 勇, Honesty 誠, Honour 名誉, Loyalty 忠実, Respect 礼(禮), and Rectitude 義. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Samurai | Warrior

Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

Also means: honor loyalty morality righteousness
China
Japan gi
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ribbon top
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This is about doing the right thing or making the right decision, not because it's easy, but because it's ethically and morally correct.
No matter the outcome or result, one does not lose face if tempering proper justice.

This character can also be defined as righteousness, justice, morality, honor, or "right conduct". In more a more expanded definition, it can mean loyalty to friends, loyalty to the public good, or patriotism. This idea of loyalty and friendship comes from the fact that you will treat those you are loyal to with morality and justice.

This is also one of the five tenets of Confucius doctrine.

儀There's also an alternate version of this character sometimes seen in Bushido or Korean Taekwondo tenets. It's just the addition of a radical on the left side of the character. If you want this version, click on the image to the right instead of the button above.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Judgement | Impartial | Confucius Tenets

Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted

Japan chuujitsu
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ribbon top
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This is a Japanese way to write "Loyalty" - it also contains the ideas of being faithful, devoted, true, and obedient.

The second character is a modified form only used in the Japanese lexicon, however, Chinese speakers can easily guess the meaning.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

Benevolence

China rén
Japan jin
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ribbon top
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Beyond "benevolence" this character can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.

The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).

This is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.

I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, good will, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.

This word is so important to me that I named my second daughter with this character. Her name is "Renni" which means "Benevolent Girl".
-Gary.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Love | Altruism | Kindness | Charity | Confucius

Honor

Japanese / Simplified version
China míng yù
Japan meiyo
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This version of honor is about having or earning the respect of others and about your reputation. It is the status of being worthy of honor (not to be confused with doing honorable things or specific actions - see our other "honor" listing for that).

譽Both modern Japanese and modern mainland Chinese use the same simplified version of the second character of honor. You can make special request for the traditional second character as shown to the right (just click on that character to the right of you want to order that version). Before WWII, both Japan and China used the traditional form, but modern Japanese and Chinese use this simplified form. Koreans still use the traditional form when they are not writing in their modern Hangul glyphs.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

Respect

Can also be a sign of gratitude
China
Japan rei
knob
ribbon top
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We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

This is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

This character can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.

Chinese RespectPlease note that Japanese use a simplified version of the character for respect - it also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. Click on the character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese version.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Confucius

Honesty / Fidelity

China xìn
Japan shin
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This is another character that expresses the idea of honesty. It can also mean truth, faith, believe in, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although "makoto" is probably more common/popular.

Note: In some context, this character can mean letter; news or envoy. However, alone, it will generally be read with the honesty-meaning.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Loyalty Trustworthiness Trustworthy

Daoism / Taoism

Literally: The Way or Road
China dào
Japan michi / -do
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ribbon top
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This is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.

This is the base of what is known as "Taoism". If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path".

Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)

The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.

More about Taoism / Daoism here.

Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese, but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.

Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.

Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.


See our Taoism Page

Filial Piety

China xiào
Japan kou
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This character represents filial piety. Some will define this in more common English as "respect for your parents and ancestors".

This is a subject deeply emphasized by the ancient philosophy and teachings of Confucius.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although generally not considered part of the 7 core virtues of the warrior.

Note: This character is not the best of meanings when seen along as a single character. Some will read the single character form to mean "missing my dead ancestors". However, when written at part of Confucian tenets, or in the two-character word that means filial piety, the meaning is better or read differently (context is important for this character).

We suggest one of our other two-character filial piety entries instead of this one.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Filial Piety | Confucius

Warrior

China wǔ shì
Japan bu shi
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ribbon top
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The first character is the spirit or essence of a warrior. The second character means soldier, officer, or official. This character is also used appropriately enough to describe a piece of a chess game. This can also be translated as soldier, cavalier, palace guard, or samurai and sometimes as knight. I've occasionally seen this translated as strong man or tough man (gender not necessarily implied).

By far, this is the most common way to write warrior in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Note: In Japanese, this is Bushi, as in Bushido.


See Also...  Knight | Army | Marines | Samurai

Strength and Honor

Japanese only
Japan chikara to mei yo
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This is, "strength and honor" in Japanese Kanji (with one Hiragana).

The first Kanji is understood as strength, power, or force.

The second character is a connecting particle like, "and" or "with".

The last two Kanji mean honor, honour, credit, or prestige. This last word is also used in the Bushido code to mean honor.

Loyalty

Japanese Chinese Korean
China zhōng chéng
Japan chuu sei
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ribbon top
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Loyalty is staying true to someone. It is standing up for something you believe in without wavering. It is being faithful to your family, country, school, friends or ideals, when the going gets tough as well as when things are good. With loyalty, you build relationships that last forever.

Notes:
1. This written form of loyalty is universal in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

2. There is also a Japanese version that is part of the Bushido Code which may be more desirable depending on whether your intended audience is Japanese or Chinese.

3. This version of loyalty is sometimes translated as devotion, sincerity, fidelity, or allegiance.


See Also...  Honor | Trust | Integrity | Sincerity

Bravery / Courage

Single Character for Courage
China yǒng
Japan isamu / yu-
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This character can be translated as bravery, courage, valor, or fearless in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. This is the simplest form to express courage or bravery, as there is also a two character form which starts with this same character.

This character can also be translated as brave, daring, fearless, plucky or heroic.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Bravery | Courage

Honesty

China chéng
Japan makoto
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This character means truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

As a single-character wall scroll, this suggests that you believe "honesty is the best policy", as your personal philosophy.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also...  Sincerity | Sincere

Wisdom

(single character)
China zhì
Japan chi / tomo
knob
ribbon top
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This is the simplest way to write wisdom in Chinese, Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.
Being a single character, the wisdom meaning is open to interpretation, and can also mean intellect, knowledge or reason, resourcefulness, or wit.

This character is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

This character is sometimes included in the Bushido code, but usually not considered part of the seven key concepts of the code.


See our Wisdom in Chinese, Japanese and Korean page for more wisdom-related calligraphy.


See Also...  Learn From Wisdom | Confucius


Check dictionary for bushido


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.


A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.




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

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

Title
Characters 
Simplified
Traditional
Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai武士道
武士道
bu shi do
bushido
wǔ shì dào
wu shi dao
wu shih tao
wu3 shi4 dao4
wushidao
Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision
gi
yi
i
yi4
Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted忠実
忠實
chuujitsu
chujitsu
n/a
Benevolence
jinrén
ren
jen
ren2
Honor (Japanese / Simplified version)名誉
名譽
meiyomíng yù
ming yu
ming yü
ming2 yu4
mingyu
Respect (Japanese / Simplified version)
rei
li
li3
Honesty / Fidelity
shinxìn
xin
hsin
xin4
Daoism / Taoism
michi / -dodào
dao
tao
dao4
Filial Piety
kou
ko
xiào
xiao
hsiao
xiao4
Warrior武士
武士
bu shi
bushi
wǔ shì
wu shi
wu shih
wu3 shi4
wushi
Strength and Honor力と名誉
力と名譽
chikara to mei yo
chikaratomeiyo
n/a
Loyalty忠诚
忠誠
chuu sei
chuusei
chu sei
zhōng chéng
zhong cheng
chung ch`eng
zhong1 cheng2
zhongcheng
chungcheng
chung cheng
Bravery / Courage
isamu / yu-yǒng
yong
yung
yong3
Honesty
makotochéng
cheng
ch`eng
cheng2
cheng
cheng
Wisdom
chi / tomozhì
zhi
chih
zhi4

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

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