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This 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.
This is a typical appearance of Enso with an inscription by master calligrapher Michiko 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, to do so, would remove the art from the symbol.
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:
This 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".
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.
If you request this selection from our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect that the second Kanji will look like the one shown to the right. This is the more common way to write this in Japanese. It's an alternate form of this character in Chinese (so neither way is technically wrong in either language).
This is Yen, the Japanese currency.
This is actually the Japanese variant of the original Chinese 圓 or 圆. It means circle, entirety, whole, full, or complete. It was actually the slang usage that became money, dough, or moola.
Occasionally, this is used as a given name, or other interesting uses. This version of the character is almost never used in Chinese, unless referring to Japanese money.
Unless you have a specific reason to request it, this is a strange selection for a wall scroll.
This is the simplest way to write dance in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. It can also be translated as to dance, to wield, to brandish or to circle. It's meaning of dance is more clearly defined in Chinese than it is in Japanese (see our two-character word for dancing if you want to be absolutely clear in both languages).
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your circle search...
|Character Images||Characters / Kanji
If shown, second row is Simplified Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
|〇|| líng / ling2
(1) circle (sometimes used for zero); (2) 'correct' (when marking); (3) symbol used as a placeholder (either because a number of other words could be used in that position, or because of censorship); (4) period; full stop; (5) maru mark; semivoiced sound; p-
More info / calligraphy:
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle
|丸|| wán / wan2
| ball; pellet; pill
(1) circle; (n,n-pref) (2) entirety; whole; full; complete; (3) (slang) money; dough; moola; (4) enclosure inside a castle's walls; (5) (ksb:) soft-shelled turtle; (suffix) (6) suffix for ship names; suffix for names of people (esp. infants); suffix for names of sw; (n,n-suf) (1) fishball; meatball; (2) pill; Wani (surname)
|圏|| quān / quan1
ch`üan / chüan
| Japanese variant of 圈
(n,n-suf) (1) sphere; circle; range; (2) (mathematics term) category (only in the context of "category theory")
|圜|| yuán // huán / yuan2 // huan2
yüan // huan
| circle; round; circle; encircle
|圈|| quān // juàn // juān / quan1 // juan4 // juan1
ch`üan // chüan / chüan // chüan
| circle; ring; loop; classifier for loops, orbits, laps of race etc; CL:個|个[ge4]; to surround; to circle; pen (pig); a fold; to confine; to lock up; to pen in
| yuán / yuan2
| circle; round; circular; spherical; (of the moon) full; unit of Chinese currency (Yuan); tactful; to justify
(out-dated kanji) (1) yen; Japanese monetary unit; (2) circle; Maru (personal name)
Round, all-round, full-orbed, inclusive, all-embracing, whole, perfect, complete.
|周|| zhōu / zhou1
shuu / shu しゅう
| to make a circuit; to circle; circle; circumference; lap; cycle; complete; all; all over; thorough; to help financially; surname Zhou; Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC)
(1) Zhou (dynasty of China); Chou; (2) (geometric) perimeter; (n-suf,ctr) (3) counter for laps or circuits; Meguru (female given name)
Around, on every side, complete.
|円|| yuán / yuan2
| yen (Japanese currency); Japanese variant of 圓|圆
(1) circle; (n,n-pref) (2) entirety; whole; full; complete; (3) (slang) money; dough; moola; (4) enclosure inside a castle's walls; (5) (ksb:) soft-shelled turtle; (suffix) (6) suffix for ship names; suffix for names of people (esp. infants); suffix for names of sw; (1) yen; Japanese monetary unit; (2) circle; Meguru (female given name)
More info / calligraphy:
|兜|| dōu / dou1
| pocket; bag; to wrap up or hold in a bag; to move in a circle; to canvas or solicit; to take responsibility for; to disclose in detail; combat armor (old)
helmet (of armor, armour); headpiece; Kabuto (place-name/surname)
Helmet, hood; pocket, bag; translit. tu.
|回|| huí / hui2
| to circle; to go back; to turn around; to answer; to return; to revolve; Hui ethnic group (Chinese Muslims); time; classifier for acts of a play; section or chapter (of a classic book)
(counter) (1) counter for occurrences; (2) counter for games, rounds, etc.; counter for innings (baseball); (n,n-pref) (3) Islam; (4) (abbreviation) Hui (people); Meguri (surname)
|条|| suji すじ
jou / jo じょう
| See: 條
(1) muscle; tendon; sinew; (2) vein; artery; (3) fiber; fibre; string; (4) line; stripe; streak; (5) reason; logic; (6) plot; storyline; (7) lineage; descent; (8) school (e.g. of scholarship or arts); (9) aptitude; talent; (10) source (of information, etc.); circle; channe; (1) article (in document); provision; (2) stripe; streak; line; passage; paragraph; Nagashi (given name)
|框|| kuàng / kuang4
k`uang / kuang
| frame (e.g. door frame); casing; fig. framework; template; to circle (i.e. draw a circle around something); to frame; to restrict; Taiwan pr. [kuang1]
(n,n-suf) (1) frame; framework; (2) border; box; (3) limit; restriction; quota; (kana only) door frame; window frame; frame sections of the door or window that provide most of its structural integrity
|林|| lín / lin2
| woods; forest; CL:片[pian4]; circle(s) (i.e. specific group of people); a collection (of similar things); surname Lin
woods; forest; copse; thicket; Rin (s,f)
A grove, or wood; a band.
More info / calligraphy:
|旋|| xuàn // xuán / xuan4 // xuan2
| to whirl; immediately; variant of 鏇|镟[xuan4]; to revolve; a loop; a circle
Revolve, turn round, whirl.
| tuán / tuan2
t`uan / tuan
| to roll up into a ball with one's hands; spiral; circle; variant of 團|团[tuan2]
|筋|| jīn / jin1
| muscle; tendon
(1) muscle; tendon; sinew; (2) vein; artery; (3) fiber; fibre; string; (4) line; stripe; streak; (5) reason; logic; (6) plot; storyline; (7) lineage; descent; (8) school (e.g. of scholarship or arts); (9) aptitude; talent; (10) source (of information, etc.); circle; channe; muscle; Suji (surname)
|玦|| jué / jue2
| half-circle jade ring
| huán / huan2
| ring; hoop; loop; (chain) link; classifier for scores in archery etc; to surround; to encircle; to hem in; surname Huan
(1) ring; circle; loop; (2) hoop; (3) wheel; (4) circle (e.g. of friends); (1) (archaism) bracelet (made of stringed jewels or bells and worn at the elbow); (2) bracer (for the elbow of an archer); (1) ring; band; (2) (mathematics term) ring; Tamami (female given name)
a jade ring or bracelet
|璚|| qióng // jué / qiong2 // jue2
ch`iung // chüeh / chiung // chüeh
| (red stone); half-circle jade ring
| lún / lun2
| wheel; disk; ring; steamship; to take turns; to rotate; by turn; classifier for big round objects: disk, or recurring events: round, turn
(1) ring; circle; loop; (2) hoop; (3) wheel; (4) circle (e.g. of friends); (counter) counter for wheels and flowers; Run (female given name)
The two wheels of a cart compared by the Tiantai school to 定 (or to its Tiantai form 止觀) and 慧 meditation and wisdom; see 止觀 5. Also 食 food and 法 the doctrine, i. e. food physical and spiritual.
| zhuàn // zhuǎn / zhuan4 // zhuan3
| to revolve; to turn; to circle about; to walk about; classifier for turns: revs; classifier for repeated actions; to convey; to forward (mail); to transfer; to turn; to shift
vartana; pravartana; vṛtti. Turn, transform, revolve, evolve, change, the process of birth and rebirth; again, re-.
|餟|| zhuì / zhui4
| circle shrines and make sacrifices
|〇×|| marubatsu まるばつ
|| circle and cross; right and wrong (answers); true-false
|丸一|| maruichi まるいち
|| bisected-circle seal; Maruichi (surname)
|丸十|| marujuu / maruju まるじゅう
|| cross in a circle; Marujuu (surname)
|丸形|| marugata まるがた
|| (1) round shape; circle; (2) circular form; Marugata (surname)
|丸型|| marugata まるがた
|| (1) round shape; circle; (2) circular form
Your Price: $24.95More Info
Your Price: $24.95More Info
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 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
A Vast Sky Full of Stars|
Bless and Protect
Cause and Effect
Dragon Tiger Spirit
God is Always With You
God is Love
Grace from Heaven
Heart of Judo
I Need You
Life in One Breath
Live for Today
Live in Prosperity
Love for Humanity
One Life One Chance
Power of the Dragon
Rain and Wind
Strong and Beautiful
Year of the Dragon
With so many searches, we had to upgrade to our own Linux server.
Of course, only one in 500 searches results in a purchase - Hey buy a wall scroll!!!
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
|Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Enso - Japanese Zen Circle||〇 / 円相|
〇 / 円相
|Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls||轮回|
輪回 / 輪廻
|Yen||円 / 圆|
円 / 圓
If you have not set up your computer to display Chinese, the characters in this table probably look like empty boxes or random text garbage.
This is why I spent hundreds of hours making images so that you could view the characters in the "circle" listings above.
If you want your Windows computer to be able to display Chinese characters you can either head to your Regional and Language options in your Win XP control panel, select the [Languages] tab and click on [Install files for East Asian Languages]. This task will ask for your Win XP CD to complete in most cases. If you don't have your Windows XP CD, or are running Windows 98, you can also download/run the simplified Chinese font package installer from Microsoft which works independently with Win 98, ME, 2000, and XP. It's a 2.5MB download, so if you are on dial up, start the download and go make a sandwich.
Some people may refer to this entry as Circle Kanji, Circle Characters, Circle in Mandarin Chinese, Circle Characters, Circle in Chinese Writing, Circle in Japanese Writing, Circle in Asian Writing, Circle Ideograms, Chinese Circle symbols, Circle Hieroglyphics, Circle Glyphs, Circle in Chinese Letters, Circle Hanzi, Circle in Japanese Kanji, Circle Pictograms, Circle in the Chinese Written-Language, or Circle in the Japanese Written-Language.
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