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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Dynasty"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Dynasty
  2. Qin / Chin / Yasushi
  3. Monkey Fist
  4. Nguyen / Ruan
  5. Hanko
  6. Journey / Travel
  7. Yue Fei
  8. Tang Hand
  9. Liu Bei
10. Tran
11. We are not born with knowledge,...
12. Chow / Zhou
13. Good Luck / Good Fortune
14. Blue Dragon / Azure Dragon
15. Chen / Chan / Yo / Jin
16. Lee / Plum
17. Shogun / Japanese General
18. Northern Praying Mantis
19. Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand
20. The Whole Room Rocks With Laughter
21. Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do
22. Shaolin
23. Law of the Fist Karate / Kempo Karate
24. Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu
25. Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened,...
26. Appreciation and Love for Your Parents
27. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good
28. Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature
29. Push or Knock
30. Past experience is the teacher for the future.
31. Broken Mirror Rejoined


Dynasty

China dài
Japan dai
Dynasty Wall Scroll

代 is the word used to designate dynasties in Asia. This word alone can mean generation; age; period; historical era; eon; world; society; reign; era. This character comes after the name of the dynasty, for example, the Tang Dynasty is the "Tang Dai" in Chinese.

Some have suggested that the word dynasty comes from the this Chinese word "dai" (as "dai" sounds like the first syllable of dynasty). However, dynasty is derived from the Greek word δυναστεία (dunasteia) meaning lordship and/or domination.

Sometimes this word is used in a different context where it can mean to represent or substitute. In this case, it can mean representative of; on behalf of; acting for, e.g. to offer incense in place of another.

In ancient Japan, this could also be a "shiro" (a unit of land area equal to one-fiftieth of a tan or about 20 square miles).

Qin / Chin / Yasushi

China qín
Japan shin
Qin / Chin / Yasushi Wall Scroll

秦 is a common character that can be the surname romanized as Qin or Chin in Chinese.

秦 is the same Qin as the Qin dynasty (221-207 BC). The Qin dynasty was establishment of the first emperor and unification of China (previously a multitude of kingdoms).

秦 is also a surname in Japanese, romanized as Yasushi.

Monkey Fist

China hóu quán
Monkey Fist Wall Scroll

This literally means what you think, it's the "Monkey Fist" school of Kung Fu. A style that mimics the punches and movements of monkeys and apes.

Becoming popular during the Qing Dynasty, this style can trace its origins back to as early as the Song Dynasty. Some of the romance and popularity of this style comes from the novel "Journey to the West" which features the Monkey King and his fighting skills.

This novel and martial arts style has spawned a stream of Hong Kong movies featuring the Monkey King, and other Kung Fu style variations such as "Drunken Monkey" and "Monkey Stealing Peaches" (a technique of disabling your opponent by grabbing and yanking on his testicles).


Note: This kind of makes sense in Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji but probably unknown by all Koreans and Japanese except those who have an interest in this form of Kung Fu.

Nguyen / Ruan

China ruǎn
HK jyun
Japan Min / Gen
Nguyen / Ruan Wall Scroll

阮 / 阮 is the original Chinese character that represented the Vietnamese surname Nguyễn before Vietnam stopped using Chinese characters and romanized their language. It is probably the most common surname in all of Vietnam. While romanized as Nguyen, it sounds more like the English word "Win" or "When." This character can also represent the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam which lasted from 1802 to 1945.

阮 / 阮 is also the Chinese surname Ruan, most Chinese with this surname have ancestors from a small state named Ruan during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) located in the southeast of modern-day Gansu Province.

In Japanese, this can be the rare surnames pronounced Min, Gen, Ken, Gan, or En.

Besides a surname, this character also represents an ancient musical instrument.

Hanko

China bān gù
Japan hanko
Hanko Wall Scroll

班固 is the Japanese surname, Hanko.

Note: In Chinese, this title refers to Ban Gu, Eastern Han dynasty historian, who wrote the Dynastic History of Western Han.

Journey / Travel

China
Japan ryo / tabi
Journey / Travel Wall Scroll

旅 is the single Chinese character, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for trip, travel, or journey.

In older context, this could refer to an army brigade or a 500-man battalion from the Zhou-dynasty Chinese army.

Yue Fei

China yuè fēi
Japan gakuhi
Yue Fei Wall Scroll

岳飛 is the name of General Yue Fei (1103-1142). He was a famous General of the Song Dynasty army in China. Many legendary stories have been written about him, and passed down through the generations.

In Japanese, this can be the personal name, Gakuhi.

Tang Hand

China táng shǒu
Japan kara te
Tang Hand Wall Scroll

唐手 is a very seldom-used title for Karate. This title uses a character which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the "Tang Hand" or incorrectly, "Tang Fist." I have also seen some call it "China Hand."


There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China, and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means "Empty Hand" (as in, without weapons).

I am sure that some will suggest a different history or argue a different origin. I think that nobody can be sure.

Note: Just like the more conventional Karate title, this one can have the "way" or "method" character added to the end, as in Karate-Do.

Liu Bei

China liú bèi
Japan ryuubi
Liu Bei Wall Scroll

劉備 is the name Liu Bei (161-223AD), warlord at the end of the Han dynasty and founder of the Han kingdom of Shu.

In Japanese, this can be the name Ryuubi or Ryūbi. Most Japanese will be familiar with the Chinese historical figure, Lui Bei.

Tran

HK chan
Japan you
Tran Wall Scroll

陳 is the Chinese character that was the Vietnamese surname Trần before Vietnam romanized their language.

This can also refer to the Trần Dynasty of Vietnam (1225 to 1400).

陳 is also the Chinese surname Chin or Chan, Korean surname Jin, and Japanese Surname Yo.

We are not born with knowledge,
how does one achieve maturity?

China rén fēi shēng ér zhī zhī zhě shú néng wú huò
We are not born with knowledge, / how does one achieve maturity? Wall Scroll

This figuratively means, "Without a teacher, how can we learn/mature?"

人非生而知之者熟能無惑 is a philosophic pondering by Han Yu, a Tang Dynasty essayist and philosopher (618–907 A.D.). This Chinese proverb can be translated as, "Knowledge is not innate to man, how can we overcome doubt?" or, "We are not born with knowledge, how does one achieve maturity?."

This infers that we need the guidance of a teacher if we wish to learn, mature, and become better.

Chow / Zhou

China zhōu
Japan shuu
Chow / Zhou Wall Scroll

This character originally represents the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) of ancient China.

It has become a surname in China that romanizes as Zhou from Mandarin, Chou in Taiwan, and often written as Chow from Cantonese.

The actual meaning is circle, circumference, lap, cycle, all, thorough, or perimeter. It is used in Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja with that meaning - though it can also be used as a name in those languages as well.

Good Luck / Good Fortune

China
Japan fuku
Good Luck / Good Fortune Wall Scroll

This Character is pronounced "fu" in Chinese.

The character "fu" is posted by virtually all Chinese people on the doors of their homes during the Spring Festival (closely associated with the Chinese New Years).

One tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (beginning in 256 B.C.) holds that putting a fu symbol on your front door will keep the goddess of poverty away.

This character literally means good fortune, prosperity, blessed, happiness, and fulfillment.


See Also:  Lucky

Blue Dragon / Azure Dragon

China qīng lóng
Japan sei ryuu
Blue Dragon / Azure Dragon Wall Scroll

青龍 / 靑龍 is a scholarly title for "Blue Dragon" or "Azure Dragon."

You'll find this title used in ancient Chinese literature and astronomy. This dragon has dominion over the eastern sky or eastern heavens. The Azure Dragon is also noted for representing the spring season. Also seen as an auspicious omen.

Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty canonized the five colored dragons as "kings." The Azure Dragon representing the most compassionate of kings.

In Japanese, this title is known with the same meaning but can also be a given name, Seiryuu.


Note, the first character can be written as 青 OR 靑. Same character, just two ways to write it.

Chen / Chan / Yo / Jin

Surname
China chén
HK Chan
Japan chin
Chen / Chan / Yo / Jin Wall Scroll

陳 is the most common character for a Chinese surname that romanizes as "Chen."

陳 is also a surname You or Yo in Japanese, though it can also be pronounced as Chin in Japanese.

In Korean, it is a surname romanized as Jin.

As a word, this character means: to lay out; to exhibit; to display; to narrate; to state; to explain; to tell.

The Chen clan or family was a small kingdom from 1046 BC to 479 BC. It was one of 12 small-but-powerful vassal states during the Spring and Autumn Period 770-475 BC. This name reappeared as the Chen Dynasty (陳朝) of the Southern dynasties from 557 AD to 589 AD.

Lee / Plum (Surname)

China
HK lee
Japan ri / sumomo
Lee / Plum (Surname) Wall Scroll

李 is the most common Chinese character which sounds like "Lee" or "Li" and is used as a surname / family name in China. This character actually means "Plum." So it's really Mr. Plum and Mrs. Plum if you translated the name instead of romanizing.

李 is not the only character in Chinese that can be romanized as "Lee" or "Li." If your family name is "Lee" or "Li" please be sure this is the correct character before you order this scroll (look at your grandparents' Chinese passports or other documents if you are an ABC and are trying to create a heritage wall scroll).

Famous people with this surname include Bruce Lee (Li Xiao-Long), Minister Li Peng, and famous Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai.


Note: This also one version of Lee that is a common Korean surname. However, it's often romanized as "Yi" and sometimes as "Ri" or "Rhee."

Shogun / Japanese General

China jiāng jūn
Japan shougun
Shogun / Japanese General Wall Scroll

In the west, when someone mentions "Shogun" we may be filled with thoughts of gallant warriors. Some might even think of the TV mini-series with Richard Chamberlain. Often westerners use the words Samurai and Shogun interchangeably. So I will clear it up really quickly...

Shogun in the simplest definition is a General. You could also use words such as commander, lord, overlord, highest ranking, or commanding officer, since "Shogun" has held some slightly ambiguous meanings at times in Japanese history.

Sometimes a Shogun was a general, other times he was the leader of a military government in Japan.

Variants of the same characters are used in China for the rank and title of a General of the People's Liberation Army (and the same term and characters have been used for the last 2200 years since the Qin Dynasty).

Northern Praying Mantis

China táng láng quán
Japan tou rou ken
Northern Praying Mantis Wall Scroll

This can be translated literally as "Praying Mantis Fist."
螳螂拳 is sometimes called Shandong Praying Mantis after its place of origin. It was created by Wang Lang and was named after the praying mantis, an insect, the aggressiveness of which inspired the style.
Shaolin records document that Wang Lang was one of the 18 masters gathered by the Shaolin Abbot Fu Ju, which dates him and Northern Praying Mantis style to the Song Dynasty (960–1279).
The fact that the word "Northern" is used in the English title has more to do with where this style came from (Shandong is in northern China) but "north" is absent from this Chinese title.

Note: 螳螂拳 is also a title in Japanese - however, only a Japanese person who practices or is familiar with "Praying Mantis Fist" style would recognize it.

Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand

China kōng shǒu quán fǎ
Japan kara te ken pou
Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "karate" - technically they express "empty hand."

The last two express "fist law" which is Romanized from Japanese as "Kenpo" or "Kempo."

That "empty hand" translation can be understood better when you grasp the idea that karate is a martial art without weapons (other than the weapons organic to your body, such as your foot, hand, fist, etc). When you practice karate, you do so with empty hands (no weapons).

Note: There is also an antiquated way to write karate. It has the same pronunciation but a different first character which means "Tang" as in the Tang Dynasty. Some dojos use that form - let us know if you need that alternate form, and we'll add it for you.

The Whole Room Rocks With Laughter

The perfect scroll if you love humor…
...or as a gift for the comedian in your life
China hōng tāng dà xiào
The Whole Room Rocks With Laughter Wall Scroll

In China, this proverb is used in response to a good joke or witty comment.

The story goes that Mr. Feng and Mr. He were both senior officials in the Song Dynasty (about a thousand years ago). One day, Mr. Feng walked into their shared office wearing a new pair of boots. The boots caught the eye of Mr. He who said, "New boots! - how much were they?." Mr. Feng lifted one of the boots off the ground as if to show it off and responded, "900 coins."
Astonished, Mr. Feng explained, "900? How can that be? - I paid 1800 coins for my boots!." Mr. Feng then lifted his other foot off the ground and said, "This boot was also 900 coins."

It is said that the whole room was shaking from the laughter of all that heard Mr. Feng's joke on Mr. He.

Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do

China táng shǒu dào
Japan kara te do
Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do Wall Scroll

唐手道 is the alternate title for Karate-do. This title uses a character which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the "Tang Hand Way" or incorrectly, "Tang Fist Way." I have also seen some call it "China Hand Way."

There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China, and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means "Empty Hand" (as in, without weapons).

In Korean, this title represents a certain style of martial arts. From Korean, this is often romanized as "Tang Soo Do," "Tangsudo," "Dang Su Do," or "Dangsudo." The last two romanizations on that list are the official Korean government romanization, though martial arts schools tend to use other non-standard versions.

Shaolin

Little Forest
China shǎo lín
Japan sho rin
Shaolin Wall Scroll

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years. While there are many schools of Kung Fu in China, Shaolin are one of the more religiously devout and disciplined.

The title of Shaolin actually refers to a specific Buddhist monastery. It should be noted that the Shaolin were famous in China long before the Kung Fu TV show. Their fame in China is due to the monks' heroic and swift rescue an emperor during the Tang Dynasty. Most Chinese people are not keenly aware of the Kung Fu TV show, and have no idea who David Carradine is or anything about his character, Kwai Chang Caine.

Note: The literal meaning of these two characters is "little forest."

The fame of the Shaolin has spread all over Asia, as even though this is a Chinese title, the same characters are used in Japanese with the same meaning.

Law of the Fist Karate / Kempo Karate

China quán fǎ táng shǒu
Japan ken pou kara te
Law of the Fist Karate / Kempo Karate Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "fist law" which is Romanized from Japanese as "Kenpo" or "Kempo."

The last two are a secondary way to express "karate."

Notes:
The more common way to express "karate" is literally "empty hand" (meaning "without weapons in your hand"). This version would be translated literally as "Tang hand" (as in the Tang Dynasty) or "China hand" (sometimes "Tang" means "China" in Japanese). Even though the character for "Tang" is used instead of "empty," it's still pronounced "kara-te" in Japanese.

拳法唐手 is not commonly used in China - so please consider it to be a Japanese-only title.

Many Japanese people will say the last two Kanji are the old and antiquated way to say Karate. This fact does not stop this title from existing, as these four characters are often seen in Kenpo / Kempo Dojos around the western world.

Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu

China yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Wall Scroll

This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty. It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.

First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.

I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.

Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds peoples homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.

Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: 杜牧.
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is: 山行
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.

More about the poet:

Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.

He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.

During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.

His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.

The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.

Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened,
Listen to One Side and be in the Dark

China jiān tīng zé míng, piān tīng zé àn
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, / Listen to One Side and be in the Dark Wall Scroll

A man named Wei Zheng lived between 580-643 AD. He was a noble and wise historian and minister in the court of the early Tang Dynasty.

The emperor once asked him, "What should an emperor do to understand the real-world situation and what makes an emperor out-of-touch with reality?"

Wei Zheng replied, "Listen to both sides and you will be enlightened; listen to only one side and you will be left in the dark."

Then Wei Zheng went on to site examples of leaders in history that were victorious after heeding both sides of the story, and other leaders that met their doom because they believed one-sided stories which often came from flattering lips.

Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.

Appreciation and Love for Your Parents

China shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn bào dé sān chūn huī
Appreciation and Love for Your Parents Wall Scroll

誰言寸草心報得三春暉 is the last line of a famous poem. It is perceived as a tribute or ode to your parent's or mother from a child or children that have left home.

The poem was written by Meng Jiao during the Tang Dynasty (about 1200 years ago). The Chinese title is "You Zi Yin" which means "The Traveler's Recite."

The last line as shown here speaks of the generous and warm spring sun light which gives the grass far beyond what the little grass can could ever give back (except perhaps by showing its lovely green leaves and flourishing). The metaphor is that the sun is your mother or parents, and you are the grass. Your parents raise you and give you all the love and care you need to prepare you for the world. A debt which you can never repay, nor is repayment expected.

The first part of the poem (not written in the characters to the left) suggests that the thread in a loving mother's hands is the shirt of her traveling offspring. Vigorously sewing while wishing them to come back sooner than they left.
...This part is really hard to translate into English that makes any sense but maybe you get the idea. We are talking about a poem that is so old that many Chinese people would have trouble reading it (as if it was the King James Version of Chinese).

Work Unselfishly for the Common Good

China kè jǐ fèng gōng
Work Unselfishly for the Common Good Wall Scroll

This can also mean: "Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service."
This Chinese proverb is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)

The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
A man named Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.

Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things in an honorable way. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.

Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime, long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as "ke ji feng gong."


See Also:  Unselfish | Selflessness | Altruism

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

China qí lǐn
HK keilun
Japan kirin
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Wall Scroll

This word is the title of a mythical beast of Asia.

The animal is thought to be related to the giraffe, and in some ways, it is a giraffe. However, it is often depicted with the horns of a dragon or deer and sometimes with the body like a horse but many variations exist.

In Japanese it is pronounced “Kirin” as in “Kirin Ichiban” beer.

Kirin - Mythical Beast and Great Japanese Beer!
Notes:

1. 麒麟 is sometimes spelled as “kylin”.

2. In Japanese, this is the only Kanji word for giraffe. Therefore in Japan, this word needs context to know whether you are talking about the mythical creature or the long-necked giraffe of Africa.

3. Apparently, this was the first word used for regular giraffes in China (some were brought from Africa to China during the Ming Dynasty - probably around the year 1400). Though the mythical creature may have existed before, the name “qilin” was given to the “new giraffe”. 麒麟 is because, more than 600 years ago, giraffes somewhat matched the mythical creature's description when Chinese people saw them for the first time. Later, to avoid such an ambiguous title, a three-character word was devised to mean a “giraffe of Africa”. The characters for “qilin” shown here are only for the mythological version in modern Chinese.

4. More information about the qilin / kirin from Wikipedia.

5. This creature is sometimes translated as the “Chinese Unicorn”, even though it is generally portrayed with two horns. I think this is done more for the fantasy aspect of the unicorn and because most westerners don't know what a qilin or kirin is (this avoids a long explanation by the translator).

6. In Korean, this can mean kirin or simply giraffe (usually the mythological creature is what they would think of when seeing these characters alone on a wall scroll).

Push or Knock

To weigh one's words
China fǎn fù tuī qiāo
Push or Knock Wall Scroll

During the Tang Dynasty, a man named Jia Dao (born in the year 779), a well studied scholar and poet, went to the capital to take the imperial examination.

One day as he rides a donkey through the city streets, a poem begins to form in his mind. A portion of the poem comes into his head like this:

"The bird sits on the tree branch near a pond,
A monk approaches and knocks at the gate..."


At the same time, he wondered if the word "push" would be better than "knock" in his poem.

As he rides down the street, he imagines the monk pushing or knocking. Soon he finds himself making motions of pushing, and shaking a fist in a knocking motion as he debates which word to use. He is quite a sight as he makes his way down the street on his donkey with hands and fists flying about as the internal debate continues.

As he amuses people along the street, he becomes completely lost in his thoughts and does not see the mayor's procession coming in the opposite direction. Jia Bao is blocking the way for the procession to continue down the road, and the mayor's guards immediately decide to remove Jia Bao by force. Jia Bao, not realizing that he was in the way, apologizes, explains his poetic dilemma, and awaits his punishment for blocking the mayor's way.

The mayor, Han Yu, a scholar and author of prose himself, finds himself intrigued by Jia Dao's poem and problem. Han Yu gets off his horse, and addresses Jia Bao, stating, "I think knock is better." The relieved Jia Bao raises his head, and is invited by the mayor to join the procession, and are seen riding off together down the street exchanging their ideas and love of poetry.

In modern Chinese, this idiom is used when someone is trying to decide which word to use in their writing or when struggling to decide between two things when neither seems to have a downside.

Past experience is the teacher for the future.

Past events not forgotten serve as teachers for later events.
China qián shì bú wàng hòu shí zhī shī
Past experience is the teacher for the future. Wall Scroll

The most literal translation to English of this ancient Chinese proverb is:
"Past events not forgotten serve as teachers for later events."

However, it's been translated several ways:
Don't forget past events, they can guide you in future.
Benefit from past experience.
Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.
Past calamity is my teacher.
A good memory for the past is a teacher for the future.
The remembrance of the past is the teacher of the future.
If one remembers the lessons of the past; They will serve as a guide to avoid mistakes in the future.

The origin:
This proverb comes from the 5th century B.C. just before the Warring States Period in the territory now known as China.
The head of the State of Jin, Zhi Bo, seized power in a coup. He did this with help from the armies of the State of Han and Wei. Instead of being grateful for the help from Han and Wei, he treacherously took the land of Han and Wei. Never satisfied, Zhi Bo employed the armies of Han and Wei to attack and seize the State of Zhao.

The king of Zhao took advice from his minister Zhang Mengtan and secretly contacted the Han and Wei armies to reverse their plans and attack the army of Zhi Bo instead. The plan was successful, and the State of Zhao was not only saved but was set to become a powerful kingdom in the region.

Zhang Mengtan immediately submitted his resignation to a confused king of Zhao. When asked why, Zhang Mengtan said, "I've done my duty to save my kingdom but looking back at past experience, I know sovereign kings are never satisfied with the power or land at hand. They will join others and fight for more power and more land. I must learn from past experiences, as those experiences are the teachers of future events."
The king could not dispute the logic in that statement and accepted Zhang Mengtan's resignation.

For generations, the State of Zhao continued to fight for power and land until finally being defeated and decimated by the State of Qin (which lead to the birth of the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C.).

Broken Mirror Rejoined

Used in modern times for divorced couples that come back together
China pò jìng chóng yuán
Broken Mirror Rejoined Wall Scroll

A husband and wife separated and reunited.

About 1500 years ago in China, there lived a beautiful princess named Le Chang. She and her husband Xu De Yan loved each other very much. But when the army of the Sui Dynasty was about to attack their kingdom, disposed of all of their worldly possessions and prepared to flee into exile.

They knew that in the chaos, they might lose track of each other, so the one possession they kept was a bronze mirror which is a symbol of unity for a husband and wife. They broke the mirror into two pieces, and each of them kept half of the mirror. They decided that if separated, they would try to meet in the fair during the 15th day of the first lunar month (which is the lantern festival). Unfortunately, the occupation was brutal, and the princess was forced to become the mistress of the new commissioner of the territory, Yang Su.

At the Lantern Festival the next year, the husband came to the fair to search for his wife. He carried with him, his half of the mirror. As he walked through the fair, he saw the other half of the mirror for sale at a junk market by a servant of the commissioner. The husband recognized his wife's half of the mirror immediately, and tears rolled down his face as he was told by the servant about the bitter and loveless life that the princess had endured.

As his tears dripped onto the mirror, the husband scratched a poem into his wife's half of the mirror:


You left me with the severed mirror,
The mirror has returned but absent are you,
As I gaze in the mirror I seek your face,
I see the moon but as for you, I see not a trace.


The servant brought the inscribed half of the mirror back to the princess. For many days, the princess could not stop crying when she found that her husband was alive and still loved her.

Commissioner Yang Su, becoming aware of this saga realized that he could never obtain the love of the princess. He sent for the husband and allowed them to reunite.

This proverb in Chinese is now used to describe a couple who has been torn apart for some reason (usually divorce) but have come back together (or remarried).
It seems to be more common these days in America for divorced couples to reconcile and get married to each other again. This would be a great gift if you know someone who is about to remarry their ex.




Buy some related in-stock artwork?

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Your Price: $168.88

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Your Price: $168.88


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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Dynasty daidài / dai4 / dai tai
Qin
Chin
Yasushi
shinqín / qin2 / qin ch`in / chin
Monkey Fist 猴拳hóu quán / hou2 quan2 / hou quan / houquan hou ch`üan / houchüan / hou chüan
Nguyen
Ruan
阮 / 阮
Min / Genruǎn / ruan3 / ruan juan
Hanko 班固hankobān gù / ban1 gu4 / ban gu / bangu pan ku / panku
Journey
Travel
ryo / tabilǚ / lu:3 / lu:
Yue Fei 岳飛
岳飞
gakuhiyuè fēi / yue4 fei1 / yue fei / yuefei yüeh fei / yüehfei
Tang Hand 唐手kara te / karatetáng shǒu
tang2 shou3
tang shou
tangshou
t`ang shou
tangshou
tang shou
Liu Bei 劉備
刘备
ryuubi / ryubiliú bèi / liu2 bei4 / liu bei / liubei liu pei / liupei
Tran you / yo
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.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Anurag
Crane
Double Happiness
Dragon
Endurance
Fighter
Guardian
Happiness
Hector
Honesty
Honor
Imagination
Indomitable Spirit
Jesus Christ
Josh
Joshua
Kaizen
Love
Maggie
Nelly
Never Give Up
Nick
Peaceful Warrior
Protector
Raymond
Riley
Sultan
Tami
Teacher
Tina
Tracy
Trust
Warrior
Water Tiger

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.

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