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Changing in Chinese / Japanese...

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Changing Oneself / Self Reformation
  2. Mark the boat to find the lost sword...
  3. Change
  4. Flexibility
  5. Dynamic
  6. Impermanence
  7. Dynamic


Changing Oneself / Self Reformation

Japan ji ko kai kaku
Changing Oneself / Self Reformation

This Japanese title refers to one who changes themselves or improves themselves by reforming their lives.

Another way to translate it is, "A person who changes their attitude or something about themselves."

Mark the boat to find the lost sword
Ignoring the changing circumstances of the world

China kè zhōu qiú jiàn
Japan kokushuukyuuken
Mark the boat to find the lost sword / Ignoring the changing circumstances of the world

This originally-Chinese proverb is a warning to people that things are always in a state of change. Thus, you must take that into account, and not depend on the old ways, or a way that may have worked in the past but is no longer valid.

This idiom/proverb comes from the following story:
A man was traveling in a ferry boat across a river. With him, he carried a valuable and treasured sword. Along the way, the man became overwhelmed and intoxicated by the beautiful view, and accidentally dropped his prized sword into the river. Thinking quickly, he pulled out a knife, and marked on the rail of the boat where exactly he has lost his sword.

When the boat arrived on the other side of the river, the man jumped out of the boat and searched for his sword right under where he'd made the mark. Of course, the boat had moved a great distance since he made the mark, and thus, he could not find the sword.

While this man may seem foolhardy, we have to take a great lesson from this parable: Circumstances change, so one should use methods that can handle the change. In modern China, this is used in business to mean that one should not depend on old business models for a changing market.


This proverb dates back to the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) of the territory now known as China. It has spread and is somewhat known in Japan and Korea.

Change

China gǎi biàn
Japan kaihen
Change

This can mean to change, become different, or transform. This can refer to the changing world, or a person who changes their attitude or something about themselves.


変Note: An alternate version of the second character is used in Japanese. This is actually an old alternate Chinese form which is seldom seen in China anymore. If you want this version, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the "Select and Customize" button.

Flexibility

China líng huó xìng
Flexibility

Flexibility is being open to change. You consider others' ideas and feelings and don't insist on your own way. Flexibility gives you creative new ways to get things done. Flexibility helps you to keep changing for the better. This Chinese word could also be defined as "flexible nature."


See Also:  Cooperation

Dynamic

China dòng tài
Japan dou tai
Dynamic

動態 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for a word that means "dynamic state."

動態 can also mean:
movement; motion; development; trend; dynamic (science); the state of being dynamic.

動態 can be used to describe someone or an organization that keeps up with cutting-edge trends. Always flexible, always changing, always moving.

Impermanence

China wú cháng
Japan mujou
Impermanence

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.

Dynamic

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

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

動 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.

Search for Changing in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Changing Oneself
Self Reformation
自己改革ji ko kai kaku
jikokaikaku
Mark the boat to find the lost sword
Ignoring the changing circumstances of the world
刻舟求劍
刻舟求剑
kokushuukyuuken
kokushukyuken
kè zhōu qiú jiàn
ke4 zhou1 qiu2 jian4
ke zhou qiu jian
kezhouqiujian
k`o chou ch`iu chien
kochouchiuchien
ko chou chiu chien
Change 改變 / 改変
改变
kaihengǎi biàn / gai3 bian4 / gai bian / gaibian kai pien / kaipien
Flexibility 靈活性
灵活性
líng huó xìng
ling2 huo2 xing4
ling huo xing
linghuoxing
ling huo hsing
linghuohsing
Dynamic 動態
动态
dou tai / doutai / do tai / dotaidòng tài / dong4 tai4 / dong tai / dongtai tung t`ai / tungtai / tung tai
Impermanence 無常
无常
mujou / mujowú cháng / wu2 chang2 / wu chang / wuchang wu ch`ang / wuchang / wu chang
Dynamic
dou / dodòng / dong4 / dong tung
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.

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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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

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

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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

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

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


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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