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| 1. Danger
3. Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?
4. Tiger Rumor
5. Better Late Than Never
6. Hide / Shelter / Shield
| 7. Geisha / Geigi|
8. Bravery / Courage
9. Whore / Mysterious Woman
10. Geisha of Unequalled Talent
11. Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose
12. Return From Death’s Door
This means danger, peril or "to endanger". If you live a dangerous life, or want to subtly warn others that you are a dangerous person, this may be the selection for you.
This also means "danger" and sometimes "fear" in Japanese and Korean, but is seldom seen outside of compound words in those languages (as a single character, it's kind of like an abbreviation for danger in Japanese and Korean). This is also a rather odd selection for a wall scroll anyway. It's only here because people search for danger on our website.
If you lead a life of adventure (like I do), this wall scroll is for you.
Alone, the first character can mean "to explore", "to search out" or "to scout". The second character holds the meanings of "dangerous" and "rugged". Together these two character create the word that means "adventure" or "to explore".
There is a modern Japanese Kanji version of this word (shown to the right), but it more specifically means exploration or expedition rather than adventure. The version shown at the upper left is actually the old/ancient Japanese version used before WWII. Let us know if you want the modern Japanese version.
This is a common Japanese way to say "Adventure".
The first character can mean "to risk", "to defy" or "to dare". The second character means "inaccessible place" or "impregnable position". Together, you get the idea of why these two characters mean adventure when put them together in Japanese.
Note: The second character is a morphed Japanese Kanji. The original Chinese version is also available, and holds the same root meaning.
This is another Chinese and Korean word for "Adventure". This is more of a "risk-taking" version of adventure.
The first character can mean "brave" and "bold". The second character means "dangerous" and "rugged". Together they can be defined as a word meaning "adventure" in Chinese and Korean.
Note: Some dictionaries translate these two characters as "take a risk".
Separately, the first character here does mean "danger" or "to endanger" and the second character can mean "opportunity".
However, I want to debunk a myth that was propagated by some westerners who did not have a clear understanding of Asian languages...
While often, Chinese/Japanese/Korean compound words (words of two or more characters) are the sum of their parts, this is not always the case. The compound is often understood with a completely different meaning than the two characters individually.
Many have said that the Chinese/Japanese/Korean word for Crisis is made up of the characters for "danger" and "opportunity". This is true when phrased this way.
However, it's not absolutely correct to say that "danger + opportunity = crisis" in Asian cultures.
If I tell you that...
Bovine creature + Guy behind the plate in baseball = Locomotive protection
...you would think I was mad. But consider that "cow + catcher = cowcatcher", which is the device that used to be found on steam engines to protect them if they hit an animal on the tracks. When we hear the word "cowcatcher" we don't separate the words into their individual meanings (necessarily).
The same is true with the word for crisis in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. While you can separate the characters, few Asian people would automatically do so in their minds.
The final answer:
It is a half-truth to say, "danger plus opportunity equals crisis" in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. Use this statement and concept with caution.
Also, the second character can mean "secret" or "machine" depending on context so I guess you have to say "a dangerous machine = crisis" or "danger + a secret = crisis". Both of these are only slightly more ridiculous than the first premise.
PS: This is probably not a great word for a scroll, unless you have a special use for it.
These four characters together relay the meaning that can be expressed in English as, "When three people say there's a tiger running in the street, you believe it".
Of course, there is an ancient story behind this idiom...
This is actually a proverb that resulted from a conversation that occurred around 300 B.C.
The conversation was between the king of the Wei kingdom and one of the king's ministers named Pang Cong.
It was near the end of one of many wars, this time with the Zhao kingdom. Pang Cong was to be sent by the king to the Zhao kingdom with the king's son who was to be held hostage. It was common at the time for a king to make his son a hostage to secure stable peace between warring kingdoms.
Before minister Pang Cong departed, he asked his king, "If one person told you there was a tiger running in the street, would you believe it?".
"No", the king said.
The minister continued, "What if two people told you?"
The king replied, "Well, I would have my doubts, but I might believe it".
The minister continued, "So, what if three people told you that there is a tiger running in the streets?"
The king replied, "Yes, I would believe it, it must be true if three people say it".
The minister then reminded the king, "Your son and I are now traveling far away to live in the distant Zhao kingdom - much farther from your palace than the street. Rumors may fly about me in my absence, so I hope your majesty will weight such rumors appropriately".
The king replied, "I have every trust in you, do not worry"
While the minister was gone, the king's enemies gossiped about minister Pang Cong on many occasions. At first, the king thought nothing of these comments and rumors. But slowly as the rumors mounted, the king began to suspect ill of his minister.
Some time later when peace was well-established, the minister and prince were freed and returned to the kingdom of Wei. The king received his son, BUT DID NOT EVEN SUMMON MINISTER PANG CONG TO THE PALACE!
Hopefully this story will help you see how dangerous words can be when used to promote rumors, or create ill will. And perhaps will inspire you to not believe everything you hear.
There is also a secondary suggestion in this idiom that gossip is as ferocious as a tiger. Some Chinese people who don't know the ancient story above may believe that this scroll means that rumors are as vicious as three tigers.
Note: This proverb appears in my Korean dictionary, but is not well-known in Korea.
Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.
Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large, but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King’s court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.
The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.
One of the King’s ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins".
This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu, but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation". The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin’s words.
Seeing the King’s displeasure with him and the King’s fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.
Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.
The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"
Zhuang Xin told the King this story:
A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.
The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it’s never too late to mend the fence".
This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.
I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.
Note: This does have Korean pronunciation, but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.
This character means to hide, shelter, or shield.
If you imagine a safe place shielded from danger and trouble, this could be the character for you.
NOT APPROPRIATE FOR
This is how to refer to a geisha that offers "special services". Please don't order this, it's only here for reference. This is not appropriate for custom calligraphy!
This word is about courage is bravery in the face of fear. You do the right thing even when it is hard or scary. When you are courageous, you don't give up. You try new things. You admit mistakes. This kind of courage is the willingness to take action in the face of danger and peril.
These characters can also be translated as: braveness, valor, heroic, fearless, boldness, prowess, gallantry, audacity, daring, dauntless and/or courage in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. This version of bravery/courage can be an adjective or a noun. The first character means bravery and courage by itself. The second character means "daring" by itself. The second character just emphasizes the meaning of the first, but adds an idea that you are not afraid of taking a dare, and you are not afraid of danger.
This is about brave behavior versus the mental state of being brave. You'd more likely use this to say, "He fought courageously in the battle", rather than "He is very courageous".
This literally means "Mysterious Person/Woman". In Japanese this is associated with a "geisha", which matches this definition of "mysterious woman". However, this is the colloquial way to say "professional geisha" or "expert prostitute" in Japanese. It therefore might not be what you want on your wall.
Notes: This is a "Japanese only" term, though a Chinese person who sees these characters will think of a geisha or an alluring Japanese female musician.
While not often seen in Korean Hanja, this would mean a "dark woman", as in a woman that you cannot easily see through.
In Japanese this means "distinguished/talented/beautiful geisha". The meaning in Chinese (and the deeper meaning in Japanese) would be "distinguished/talented/beautiful prostitute".
I am not sure that our master calligrapher will even write this, so please note that fact if you decide to place the order. Of course we'll refund your money if he refuses.
This is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself, and thus with this complete understanding, you cannot lose.
This proverb is often somewhat-directly translated as, "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without defeat".
It can also be translated as, "If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can come out of hundreds of battles without danger", or "Know your enemy, know yourself, and your victory will not be threatened".
This is a Chinese proverb/idiom that talks of coming back from death's door, or an unexpected rescue from danger.
Figuratively, this can be to recover from a seemingly impossible situation, or to find a way out of a predicament.
If you have survived from a near-death experience, or serious illness, this might be an appropriate wall scroll for you.
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...
No Pain No Gain
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|
|Adventure||探险 / 探険|
|Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?||危机|
|n/a||sān rén chéng hǔ|
san ren cheng hu
san jen ch`eng hu
|san1 ren2 cheng2 hu3|
san jen cheng hu
|Better Late Than Never||亡羊补牢犹未为晚|
|n/a||wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn|
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
|wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3|
|Hide / Shelter / Shield||匿|
|Geisha / Geigi||芸妓|
|Bravery / Courage||勇敢|
|Whore / Mysterious Woman||玄人|
|Geisha of Unequalled Talent||名妓|
|Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose||知彼知己百战不殆|
|n/a||zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài|
zhi bi zhi ji bai zhan bu dai
chih pi chih chi pai chan pu tai
|zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1 bai3 zhan4 bu2 dai4|
|Return From Death’s Door||绝处逢生|
|n/a||jué chǔ féng shēng|
jue chu feng sheng
chüeh ch`u feng sheng
|jue2 chu3 feng2 sheng1|
chüeh chu feng sheng
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 "dangerous" 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 Dangerous Kanji, Dangerous Characters, Dangerous in Mandarin Chinese, Dangerous Characters, Dangerous in Chinese Writing, Dangerous in Japanese Writing, Dangerous in Asian Writing, Dangerous Ideograms, Chinese Dangerous symbols, Dangerous Hieroglyphics, Dangerous Glyphs, Dangerous in Chinese Letters, Dangerous Hanzi, Dangerous in Japanese Kanji, Dangerous Pictograms, Dangerous in the Chinese Written-Language, or Dangerous in the Japanese Written-Language.
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