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仙 means immortal (as in a being or person).
In some context, it can mean hermit, ascetic, man of the hills, or wizard. The Buddha is often put in this category.
In Chinese mythology and folklore, there is a famous group of eight immortals (八仙).
The 楞嚴經 (Śūraṅgama Sūtra) speaks of many kinds of immortals including walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will (into space or into the deva heavens), beings with the ability to transform themselves into any form, etc.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your eight immortals search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| xiān / xian1
(kana only) cent; hermit; wizard; (personal name) Hisa; (personal name) Nori; (personal name) Sonhi; (personal name) Senji; (surname, female given name) Sen
僊 ṛṣi, 哩始 an immortal. 仙人; 人仙 the genī, of whom there is a famous group of eight 八仙; an ascetic, a man of the hills, a hermit; the Buddha. The 楞嚴經 gives ten kinds of immortals, walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will, into space, into the deva heavens, transforming themselves into any form, etc. The names of ten ṛṣis, who preceded Śākyamuni, the first being 闍提首那? Jatisena; there is also a list of sixty-eight 大仙 given in the 大孔雀咒經下 A classification of five is 天仙 deva genī, 神仙 spirit genī, 人仙 human genī, 地仙 earth, or cavern genī, and 鬼仙 ghost genī; renunciant
More info / calligraphy:
| bā xiān / ba1 xian1
| the Eight Immortals (Daoist mythology)
(given name) Hassen
More info / calligraphy:
| ní cháng / ni2 chang2
ni ch`ang / ni chang
| nichang, rainbow colored clothes worn by the Eight Immortals 八仙[Ba1 xian1]; Nichang, abbr. for the Tang Dynasty song "Raiment of Rainbows and Feathers" 霓裳羽衣曲[Ni2 chang2 yu3 yi1 qu1] or 霓裳羽衣舞[Ni2 chang2 yu3 yi1 wu3]
| lǚ dòng bīn / lu:3 dong4 bin1
lü tung pin
| Lü Dongbin (796-), Tang Dynasty scholar, one of the Eight Immortals 八仙[Ba1 xian1]
| lǐ tiě guǎi / li3 tie3 guai3
li t`ieh kuai / li tieh kuai
| Iron-Crutch Li, one of the Eight Immortals 八仙[Ba1 xian1] in Chinese mythology, walking around with an iron crutch and carrying a gourd with special medicine
| bā xiān guò hǎi , gè xiǎn shén tōng / ba1 xian1 guo4 hai3 , ge4 xian3 shen2 tong1
pa hsien kuo hai , ko hsien shen t`ung / pa hsien kuo hai , ko hsien shen tung
| lit. the Eight Immortals cross the sea, each showing his own special talent (idiom); fig. (of each individual in a group) to give full play to one's unique capabilities
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Eight Immortals||八仙||hassen / hasen||bā xiān / ba1 xian1 / ba xian / baxian||pa hsien / pahsien|
|Immortal||仙||sento / sen||xiān / xian1 / xian||hsien|
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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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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