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Circle in Chinese / Japanese...

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Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

Japan en sou
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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.

Enso Circle

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: 円相

Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls

China lún huí
Japan rin ne
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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.

廻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).

See Also...  Buddhism | Rebirth


Japanese Currency
China yuán
Japan yen
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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.


Japan mai
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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).

Not the results for circle that you were looking for?

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
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Mandarin líng / ling2
Taiwan ling
Japanese maru まる
Chinese zero
Japanese (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-sound
More info / calligraphy:
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle
see styles
Mandarin wán / wan2
Taiwan wan
Japanese maru まる
 gan がん
Chinese ball; pellet; pill
Japanese (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 swords, armour, musical instruments, etc.; suffix for names of dogs, horses, etc.; (n,n-suf) (1) fishball; meatball; (2) pill; Wani (surname)
a pill

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Mandarin quān / quan1
Taiwan ch`üan / chüan
Japanese ken けん
Chinese Japanese variant of 圈
Japanese (n,n-suf) (1) sphere; circle; range; (2) (mathematics term) category (only in the context of "category theory")

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Mandarin yuán // huán / yuan2 // huan2
Taiwan yüan // huan
Chinese circle; round; circle; encircle

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Mandarin quān // juàn // juān / quan1 // juan4 // juan1
Taiwan ch`üan // chüan / chüan // chüan
Chinese 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

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Mandarin yuán / yuan2
Taiwan yüan
Japanese en えん
Chinese circle; round; circular; spherical; (of the moon) full; unit of Chinese currency (Yuan); tactful; to justify
Japanese (out-dated kanji) (1) yen; Japanese monetary unit; (2) circle; Maru (personal name)
Round, all-round, full-orbed, inclusive, all-embracing, whole, perfect, complete.

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Mandarin zhōu / zhou1
Taiwan chou
Japanese shuu / shu しゅう
Chinese 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)
Japanese (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.

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Mandarin yuán / yuan2
Taiwan yüan
Japanese maru まる
 en えん
Chinese yen (Japanese currency); Japanese variant of 圓|圆
Japanese (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 swords, armour, musical instruments, etc.; suffix for names of dogs, horses, etc.; (1) yen; Japanese monetary unit; (2) circle; Meguru (female given name)
More info / calligraphy:
see styles
Mandarin dōu / dou1
Taiwan tou
Japanese kabuto かぶと
Chinese 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)
Japanese helmet (of armor, armour); headpiece; Kabuto (place-name/surname)
Helmet, hood; pocket, bag; translit. tu.

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Mandarin huí / hui2
Taiwan hui
Japanese kai かい
Chinese 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)
Japanese (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)

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Japanese suji すじ
 jou / jo じょう
 kudari くだり
Chinese See:
Japanese (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)

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Mandarin kuàng / kuang4
Taiwan k`uang / kuang
Japanese waku わく
 kamachi かまち
Chinese 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]
Japanese (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

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Mandarin lín / lin2
Taiwan lin
Japanese hayashi はやし
Chinese woods; forest; CL:片[pian4]; circle(s) (i.e. specific group of people); a collection (of similar things); surname Lin
Japanese woods; forest; copse; thicket; Rin (s,f)
A grove, or wood; a band.
More info / calligraphy:
Small Forest
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Mandarin xuàn // xuán / xuan4 // xuan2
Taiwan hsüan
Japanese sen
Chinese to whirl; immediately; variant of 鏇|镟[xuan4]; to revolve; a loop; a circle
Revolve, turn round, whirl.

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Mandarin tuán / tuan2
Taiwan t`uan / tuan
Chinese to roll up into a ball with one's hands; spiral; circle; variant of 團|团[tuan2]

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Mandarin jīn / jin1
Taiwan chin
Japanese suji すじ
 kin きん
Chinese muscle; tendon
Japanese (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; channel; (11) well-informed person (in a transaction); (12) logical move (in go, shogi, etc.); (13) ninth vertical line (shogi); (14) seam on a helmet; (15) (abbreviation) gristly fish paste (made of muscle, tendons, skin, etc.); (16) (archaism) social position; status; (n-suf,n,adj-no) (17) on (a river, road, etc.); along; (suf,ctr) (18) counter for long thin things; counter for roads or blocks when giving directions; (19) (archaism) (Edo period) counter for hundreds of mon (obsolete unit of currency); muscle; Suji (surname)

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Mandarin jué / jue2
Taiwan chüeh
Chinese half-circle jade ring

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Mandarin huán / huan2
Taiwan huan
Japanese wa
 tamaki たまき
 kan かん
Chinese ring; hoop; loop; (chain) link; classifier for scores in archery etc; to surround; to encircle; to hem in; surname Huan
Japanese (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; rim; (2) (mathematics term) (chem) ring; (prefix noun) (3) circum-; Tamami (female given name)
a jade ring or bracelet

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Mandarin qióng // jué / qiong2 // jue2
Taiwan ch`iung // chüeh / chiung // chüeh
Chinese (red stone); half-circle jade ring

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Mandarin lún / lun2
Taiwan lun
Japanese wa
 rin りん
Chinese wheel; disk; ring; steamship; to take turns; to rotate; by turn; classifier for big round objects: disk, or recurring events: round, turn
Japanese (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.

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Mandarin zhuàn // zhuǎn / zhuan4 // zhuan3
Taiwan chuan
Japanese ten うたた
Chinese 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
Japanese Utata (surname)
vartana; pravartana; vṛtti. Turn, transform, revolve, evolve, change, the process of birth and rebirth; again, re-.

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Mandarin zhuì / zhui4
Taiwan chui
Chinese circle shrines and make sacrifices

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〇 &#×;
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〇× Japanese marubatsu まるばつ
Japanese circle and cross; right and wrong (answers); true-false

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丸一 Japanese maruichi まるいち
Japanese bisected-circle seal; Maruichi (surname)

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丸十 Japanese marujuu / maruju まるじゅう
Japanese cross in a circle; Marujuu (surname)

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丸形 Japanese marugata まるがた
Japanese (1) round shape; circle; (2) circular form; Marugata (surname)

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丸型 Japanese marugata まるがた
Japanese (1) round shape; circle; (2) circular form

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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 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 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.

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...

Beautiful Girl
Best Friends
Forever Family
Forever in My Heart
Indomitable Spirit
Strong and Beautiful
Together Forever
Yin Yang

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!!!

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

Japanese Romaji
(Romanized Japanese)
Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle〇 / 円相
〇 / 円相
en sou
en so
Reincarnation / Transmigration of Souls轮回
輪回 / 輪廻
rin ne
lún huí
lun hui
lun2 hui2
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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