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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Emperor
  2. Emperor of Japan
  3. Dragon / Emperor Symbol
  4. Empress
  5. Queen / Empress
  6. Queen
  7. Yellow
  8. Grace from Heaven / Grace from God
  9. Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened,...
10. King
11. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good
12. Christmas
13. Grace / Favor
14. Qin / Chin
15. Samurai
16. Boys be Ambitious
17. Neptune / Poseidon
18. Dragon and Phoenix
19. Qin / Chin / Yasushi
20. Goldfish
21. Genghis Khan
22. Fujin
23. Banzai / Wansui
24. Glory and Honor
25. Destiny Determined by Heaven
26. Banzai
27. Blue Dragon / Azure Dragon
28. Five Ancestors Fist
29. Destiny / Fate
30. Dragon
31. Phoenix
32. Words Have Enormous Weight...
33. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks
34. Shaolin
35. Master / Skilled Worker
36. Tea Fate
37. A sly rabbit has three openings to its den
38. Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu


Emperor

China huáng
Japan kou
Emperor Wall Scroll

皇 is the simple, single-character way to write emperor in Chinese and Japanese.


See Also:  Empress | King | Queen

Emperor

China huáng dì
Japan koutei
Emperor Wall Scroll

From times of old, the emperors of Asia ruled under the authority of God himself. In fact, one definition of an emperor is a ruler put in power by God. This definition separates emperors from the various kings in Chinese history (although defining who is a king versus an emperor gets vague sometimes).

Occasionally, the emperor's wife was widowed, and she took the role of empress until her death (see our entry for empress if that is what you are looking for).


See Also:  Empress | King | Queen

Emperor of Japan

China tiān huáng
Japan ten nou
Emperor of Japan Wall Scroll

天皇 is the title for the Emperor of Japan. This title is used in China, Korea, and Japan with referring specifically to the Emperor of Japan.

Dragon / Emperor Symbol

China lóng
Japan ryuu / tatsu
Dragon / Emperor Symbol Wall Scroll

竜 is an alternate form of dragon. Still pronounced the same in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

This particular Kanji is often associated as an imperial symbol as well as representing the mythical Asian dragon. You may have seen it on the chest or flag of the emperor in old Japanese and Chinese movies.

Note: I would rate this as a non-universal alternate form. The other dragon character is by far more common, and universally understood.


We strongly recommend symbol of dragon if you are looking for the symbol of dragon.


See Also:  Phoenix | King

Empress

China huáng hòu
Japan kou gou
Empress Wall Scroll

皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor. 皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's first born son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.

The first character means emperor by itself.

The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress, and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.

Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.

皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).


See Also:  King | Queen | Phoenix

Queen / Empress

Wife of the King
China wáng hòu
Japan ou kou
Queen / Empress Wall Scroll

王后 is another way to write queen in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

王后 is sometimes used for the title of empress.

The first character means "king" and the second means "wife," or a short form to say "wife of the king / emperor." So this is literally, "king's wife" or "emperor's wife." Some will translate this as "queen consort."


See Also:  Queen | Goddess | King

Queen

China nǚ wáng
Japan jo ou
Queen Wall Scroll

女王 is one way to write queen in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

女王 is not the same thing as an empress.

The first character means "woman" or "female," and the second means "king." So this is literally, "woman king."


See Also:  Empress | Goddess | King

Yellow

Yellow Color
China huáng
Japan hon / kou
Yellow Wall Scroll

黃 is the single character for the color yellow in Chinese.

In China, yellow is traditionally the color of the emperor. In fact, there was a time when only the emperor could wear yellow clothing, or own yellow pet fish. Note: Goldfish were breed originally in China for the emperor. When the perfect yellow fish was breed, all but the emperor were banned from owning any. Thus a more orange-colored goldfish dominated the market.

This character is not a common selection for a wall scroll. Even if your Chinese surname is Huang (Yellow) or your Korean surname is Hwang (yellow), it's still probably not appropriate.


黄This character is written with a slight variation in Simplified Chinese and modern Japanese. Click on the image to the right if you want this alternate version.

Grace from Heaven / Grace from God

China tiān ēn
Grace from Heaven / Grace from God Wall Scroll

天恩 is the deepest way to say "Heaven's Grace" or "God's Grace" in Chinese.

The first character means Heaven or sky (referring in this case to the domain of God).
The second character means grace, blessings, benevolence, favor/favour, acts of kindness, merits, or beneficial influence.

This title can also be defined as:
Blessings of Heaven, Favor of the Emperor, Divination's luckiest day, or blessings of nature. Note: When you see "Emperor" above, keep in mind that the Emperor, like the Pope is theoretically chosen by God, or seen as an emissary or conduit of God in ancient Asian culture. It would only be read that way in a certain context such as, "The Emperor, in his mercy, bestowed upon him Heaven's Grace and the prisoner was set free."


Note: Technically, this is a Japanese word too (pronounced "ten-on") but it's rarely used in Japan anymore. Therefore, this title is best if your audience is Chinese.

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.

King

China wáng
HK wong
Japan ou
King Wall Scroll

王 is wang which means king. It is not pronounced the way you think in Chinese. It is more like English-speakers would want to pronounce wong. It has roughly the same vowel sound as tong, song, or long in English.

Note that this means king only, not emperor. An emperor is higher than a king, and theoretically is chosen by God, according to ancient Chinese culture. However, the definition is often blurred at various points in Asian history.

This word can also be defined as ruler, sovereign, monarch or magnate. It is also can refer to a game piece in the chess-like Japanese strategic game of shoji.

Note: This can also be a family name in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese (in Vietnamese it's Vương).


See Also:  Queen

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

Christmas

China shèng dàn
Christmas Wall Scroll

聖誕 is how to write Christmas in Chinese. The original meaning was the Emperor's Birthday (and sometimes Confucius' birthday) but in modern times, this is almost exclusively used to refer to the western religious holiday of Christmas.

Grace / Favor

China ēn chǒng
Japan on chou
Grace / Favor Wall Scroll

恩寵 means grace or favor in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

In ancient China, this was a special favor bestowed from a ruler. It could also be the Emperor's generosity towards a favorite person or concubine.

Qin / Chin

China qīn
Japan kin
Qin / Chin Wall Scroll

欽 is one of a few Chinese characters that can be a surname romanized as Qin or Chin.

The actual meaning of this characters is: reverence; to respect; to admire; to venerate; by the emperor himself; imperial.

In Japanese, this can be the name Makoto.

Samurai

China shì
Japan samurai
Samurai Wall Scroll

In Japanese, this character represents the warriors that attempted to hold peace when there was no Emperor in Japan. Be cautious though, as it is an old way to express "servant" or "waiter" in Chinese and Korean. Of course, if you are a samurai, you are a servant to your Shogun-ate, Lord, or the people (which is the root meaning).


See Also:  Warrior

Boys be Ambitious

Quote from William S. Clark in Japan
Japan shou nen yo tai shi o ida ke
Boys be Ambitious Wall Scroll

This was a sort of motto or proverb invoked by William S. Clark, after being hired by the Emperor of Japan in 1876 to establish a university in Hokkaido, Japan.

This phrase is famous across all generations of Japan since that time.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Neptune / Poseidon

Sea God
China hǎi shén
Japan wadatsumi
Neptune / Poseidon Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese title means "Emperor of the Sea," or "God of the Sea."

This would be the Chinese and Japanese equivalent of Neptune or Poseidon.

In Japanese, this can also be the given names Watatsumi or Kaijin, and the surname Umikami.

Dragon and Phoenix

China lóng fèng
Japan ryuu hou
Dragon and Phoenix Wall Scroll

龍鳳 is the simplest way to express "Dragon and Phoenix" in Chinese and Japanese.

This title can be used to represent, "The emperor and empress," or a metaphor for an outstanding personage.

It should be noted that this is most often used as a given name "Ryuuhou" in Japanese. It may be read more as the name than by meaning in Japanese.

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.

Goldfish

China jīn yú
Japan kin gyo
Goldfish Wall Scroll

金魚 is the title for goldfish in Chinese and Japanese.

There was a time in ancient China when only the Emperor could possess the true yellow-gold colored fish. 金魚 is why alternate coloration such as orange, black, red, and white were bred. Many believe this is why colors other than yellow-gold are more common for "goldfish" found in pet shops today.

Genghis Khan

China chéng jí sī hán
Japan jin gi su kan
Genghis Khan Wall Scroll

成吉思汗 is the full title for Genghis Khan (1162-1227).

Khan is the title of his position as emperor. Genghis is actually his name.

In Japan, this also means Genghis Khan but is sometimes used to refer to a certain Japanese mutton and vegetable dish or the slotted dome cast iron grill for preparing this dish.

Fujin

China fū ren
Japan fu jin
Fujin Wall Scroll

夫人 is a Japanese word that romanizes as Fujin.

I added this because several people have searched for "Fujin." This word can mean: lady; madam; Mrs.; consort of the emperor; wife; wife of a nobleman (aristocrat, etc.); the wife of a king. These characters mean the same thing in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

夫人 is an odd choice for a wall scroll but I have fulfilled your search for "Fujin" I think.

Banzai / Wansui

Old Japanese / Traditional Chinese & Korean
China wàn suì
Japan banzai / manzai
Banzai / Wansui Wall Scroll

We've made two almost identical entries for this word. 萬歲 is the traditional Chinese, Korean Hanja, and ancient Japanese way to write banzai. In modern times, the first character was simplified in Japan and China. So you might want to select the other entry for more universal readability.

While it has become a popular if not an odd thing to scream as you jump out of an airplane (preferably with a parachute attached), banzai is actually a very old Asian way to say "hooray." The Japanese word "banzai" comes from the Chinese word "wan sui" which means "The age of 10,000 years." It is actually a wish that the Emperor or the Empire live that long.

Imagine long ago as the Emperor made a rare public appearance. 萬歲 is what all of the people would yell to their leader in respect.

So if you like is as a hooray, or you want to wish someone that they live for 10,000 years, this is the calligraphy for you.

Other translations include: Cheers! (not the drinking kind), hurrah!, long live [name]!, congratulations!

To other things with banzai in their names; I am still waiting for the promised sequel to Buckaroo Banzai.

Notes: Sometimes people confuse banzai with bonsai. A bonsai is a miniature tree. They have nothing to do with each other. Further, bonzai is not a word at all - although it would make a great name for a calcium supplement for older people.

Glory and Honor

China róng
Japan ei
Glory and Honor Wall Scroll

This character relates to giving someone a tribute or praise. It's a little odd as a gift, so this may not be the best selection for a wall scroll.

I've made this entry just because this character is often misused as "honorable" or "keeping your honor." It's not quite the same meaning, as this usually refers to a tribute or giving an honor to someone.

榮 is often found in tattoo books incorrectly listed as the western idea of personal honor or being honorable. Check with us before you get a tattoo that does not match the meaning you are really looking for. As a tattoo, this suggests that you either have a lot of pride in yourself or that you have a wish for prosperity for you and/or your family.

栄In modern Japanese Kanji, glory and honor looks like the image to the right.

There is a lot of confusion about this character, so here are some alternate translations for this character: prosperous, flourishing, blooming (like a flower), glorious beauty, proud, praise, rich, or it can be the family name "Rong." The context in which the character is used can change the meaning between these various ideas.

In the old days, this could be an honor paid to someone by the Emperor (basically a designation by the Emperor that a person has high standing).

To sum it up: This character has a positive meaning, however, it's a different flavor than the idea of being honorable and having integrity.

Destiny Determined by Heaven

China tiān yì
Japan teni
Destiny Determined by Heaven Wall Scroll

天意 is a way to express destiny in a slightly religious way. Literally this means "Heaven's Wish" or "Heaven's Desire" with the idea of fate and destiny being derived as well. It suggests that your destiny comes from God / Heaven and that your path has already been chosen by a higher power.

My Japanese dictionary defines this word as "divine will" or "providence" but it also holds the meaning of "the will of the emperor." Therefore, I don't suggest this phrase if your audience is Japanese - it feels a little strange in Japanese anyway.

Banzai

Modern Japanese Version
China wàn suì
Japan banzai
Banzai Wall Scroll

We've made two almost identical entries for this word. 萬歲 is the modern Japanese way to write banzai. In the last century, the first character was simplified in Japan and China. The new generation will expect it to be written this way but the old generation can still read the more traditional form. You must make your own determination as to what version is best for you. If your audience is mostly Japanese, I suggest this form.

While it has become a popular if not an odd thing to scream as you jump out of an airplane (preferably with a parachute attached), banzai is actually a very old Asian way to say "hooray." The Japanese word "banzai" comes from the Chinese word "wan sui" which means "The age of 10,000 years." It is actually a wish that the Emperor or the Empire live that long.

Imagine long ago as the Emperor made a rare public appearance. 萬歲 is what all of the people would yell to their leader in respect.

So if you like is as a hooray, or you want to wish someone that they live for 10,000 years, this is the calligraphy for you.

To other things with banzai in their names; I am still waiting for the promised sequel to Buckaroo Banzai.

Other translations: hurrah, long life, congratulations, cheers, live long.

Notes: Sometimes people confuse banzai with bonsai. A bonsai is a miniature tree. They have nothing to do with each other. Further, bonzai is not a word at all - although it would make a great name for a calcium supplement for older people.

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.

Five Ancestors Fist

China wǔ zǔ quán
Five Ancestors Fist Wall Scroll

五祖拳 is a martial arts concept (some would say "school") known as Five Ancestors' Fist.

The first character means five.
The second means ancestor, forefather, or grandparents.
The third means fist.


The ancestors referred to by this title and whose attributes contribute to this style are as follows:
1. Grace of the White Crane.
2. Agility of the Monkey.
3. Precision and skill of Emperor Taizu (great mythical ancestor).
4. Power of Luohan (Buddhist arhat).
5. Breath of Damo (founder of Buddhism, or the first Buddha).

Destiny / Fate

China mìng
Japan inochi / mei
Destiny / Fate Wall Scroll

This character is often translated as "destiny."

Sometimes this character is simply translated as "life" but more in terms of one's lot in life. In certain context, this can mean command or decree (generally from a king or emperor). Of course, such a decree are part of fate and lead you to fulfill your destiny.

In Chinese, this word leans toward the fate or destiny definition.
In Korean, it is usually read simply as "life."
In Japanese, it can mean all definitions shown above, depending on context.


See Also:  Good Fortune

Dragon

Year of the Dragon / Zodiac Sign
China lóng
Japan ryuu / tatsu
Dragon Wall Scroll

龍 is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.

From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .

Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face."


See also our Chinese Zodiac or Dragon Calligraphy pages.

Phoenix (female)

China huáng
Japan ou
Phoenix (female) Wall Scroll

凰 is another simple way to write "Phoenix" in Chinese. 凰 is the specifically female element of phoenix, so this is how you write "female phoenix." This character is sometimes used to represent the female empress (many times in history, China was ruled by a woman, in much the same way queens came to power in Europe).

Note that the emperor is always represented as a dragon (not the male version of phoenix).

If you see yourself as a strong woman, this might be scroll for you to express "woman power" or "powerful woman" in a cool way.

Words Have Enormous Weight
One Word Worth Nine Caldrons

China yī yán jiǔ dǐng
Words Have Enormous Weight / One Word Worth Nine Caldrons Wall Scroll

Highly-Valued Bronze Tripod Caldron 一言九鼎 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times talk of profound or powerful words.

The literal meaning is, "one word [worth] nine [sacred] tripods." The tripod is a highly-prized three-legged (sometimes four-legged) metal pot or kettle of ancient China. They are often made of bronze, and the Emperor would have very large ones gilded in gold. See the image to the right for an example.

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence

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.

Master / Skilled Worker

Secondary version of Sifu
China shī fu
HK si fu
Master / Skilled Worker Wall Scroll

師傅 is “sifu” as in the “master” in the context of martial arts.

But there are two sifu titles floating around. This one can simply mean “skilled worker.”

Historically, this term has been used for a lot of things, such as, “The tutor of a king or emperor.” But now it's more commonly used to mean, master worker, or qualified worker.

Currently, within the field of skilled labor, a master (shifu) is higher than a journeyman, and is considered to be one worthy to teach others.

Note: In the 1970's and 1980's this term was used as a common form of polite address between people. You might say, "master, do you know were Tian'anmen Square is?" to just a person on the street at that time. This usage has almost passed, however, for some reason, people still often refer to taxi cab drivers as "master" in China (though I think/hope this is fading).

In Mandarin Chinese, this is pronounced like "Sure Foo," and in Cantonese like, "See Foo."

The second character is the difference between this sifu and the other. In this case, the second character by itself means tutor, instructor, or teacher.

Tea Fate

China chá yuán
Tea Fate Wall Scroll

茶緣 is a special title for the tea lover. This kind of means "tea fate" but it's more spiritual and hard to define. Perhaps the tea brought you in to drink it. Perhaps the tea will bring you and another tea-lover together. Perhaps you were already there, and the tea came to you. Perhaps it's the ah-ha moment you will have when drinking the tea.

I've been told not to explain this further, as it will either dilute or confuse the purposefully-ambiguous idea embedded in this enigma.

I happen to be the owner of a piece of calligraphy written by either the son or nephew of the last emperor of China, and this is the title he wrote. It was given to me at a Beijing tea house in 2001. 茶緣 is where I learned to love tea after literally spending weeks tasting and studying everything I could about Chinese tea. I did not understand the significance of the authorship, or meaning of the title at all. Some 10 years later, I realized the gift was so profound and had such providence. Only now I realize the value of a gift that it is too late to give proper thanks for. It was also years later that I ended up in this business, and could have the artwork properly mounted as a wall scroll. It has been borrowed for many exhibitions and shows, and always amazes native Chinese and Taiwanese who read the signature. This piece of calligraphy which I once thought just a bit of ink on a thin and wrinkled piece of paper is now one of my most valued possessions. And by fate, it has taught me to be more thankful of seemingly simple gifts.

A sly rabbit has three openings to its den

-or- The crafty rabbit has three different entrances to its lair
China jiǎo tù sān kū
A sly rabbit has three openings to its den Wall Scroll

This speaks to the cunning character of a sly rabbit. Such a rabbit will not have just one hole but rather a few entrances and exits from his liar.

About 2,250 years ago a very rich man told his assistant to go and buy something wonderful that he did not yet posses. He was a man that already had everything, so the assistant went to a local village that owed a great deal of money to the rich man. The assistant told the village elders that all debts were forgiven. All the villagers rejoiced and praised the rich man's name. The assistant returned to the rich man and told him he had purchased "benevolence" for him. The rich man was mildly amused but perhaps a bit confused by the action.

Some time later, the rich man fell from the favor of the Emperor, and was wiped out without a penny to his name. One day he was walking aimlessly and stumbled into the village in which the debts had been forgiven. The villagers recognized the man and welcomed him with open arms, clothed, fed, and gave him a place to live.

Without trying, the man had become like the sly and cunning rabbit. When his exit was blocked, he had another hole to emerge from - and was reborn. This story and idiom comes from a book titled "The Amendment" - it's unclear whether this man actually existed or not. But the book did propel this idiom into common use in China.

Still today this idiom about the rabbit is used in China when suggesting "backup plans" alternate methods, and anyone with a good escape plan.

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.




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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Emperor kou / kohuáng / huang2 / huang
Emperor 皇帝koutei / koteihuáng dì / huang2 di4 / huang di / huangdi huang ti / huangti
Emperor of Japan 天皇ten nou / tennou / ten no / tennotiān huáng
tian1 huang2
tian huang
tianhuang
t`ien huang
tienhuang
tien huang
Dragon
Emperor Symbol
ryuu / tatsu
ryu / tatsu
ryu/tatsu
lóng / long2 / long lung
Empress 皇后kou gou / kougou / ko go / kogohuáng hòu
huang2 hou4
huang hou
huanghou
Queen
Empress
王后ou kou / oukou / o ko / okowáng hòu / wang2 hou4 / wang hou / wanghou
Queen 女王jo ou / joou / jo o / joonǚ wáng / nv3 wang2 / nv wang / nvwang nü wang / nüwang
Yellow
hon / kou / hon / ko / hon/kohuáng / huang2 / huang
Grace from Heaven
Grace from God
天恩tiān ēn / tian1 en1 / tian en / tianen t`ien en / tienen / tien en
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark 兼聽則明偏聽則暗
兼听则明偏听则暗
jiān tīng zé míng, piān tīng zé àn
jian1 ting1 ze2 ming2, pian1 ting1 ze2 an4
jian ting ze ming, pian ting ze an
chien t`ing tse ming, p`ien t`ing tse an
chien ting tse ming, pien ting tse an
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...

Adventure
Alison
Apollo
Balance
Billy
Caleb
Calm Mind
Cassie
Cheyenne
Chloe
Clint
Colin
Courage
Dillon
Dragon
Dylan
Empty
Ethan
Family
Fire
Fire Dragon
Fist
Flower
Freedom
Friendship
Golden Dragon
Goldfish
Honor
Hope
Horse
Humble
I Miss You
Illusion
Independence
Indomitable Spirit
Inner Power
Inner Strength
Jack
Jade
Jeanine
Jesus
Jose
Juliet
Kirin
Kristin
Kyokushinkai
Life Force
Live in the Moment
Lotus Flower
Love
Mackenzie
Maddie
Monkey
Nothingness
Paladin
Peace
Power of Understanding
Priyanka
Rafael
Renee
Respect
River
Saint
Sara
Sarah
Success
Susan
Tai Chi Chuan
Three
Vermillion Dragon
Water
Wisdom

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 Emperor Kanji, Emperor Characters, Emperor in Mandarin Chinese, Emperor Characters, Emperor in Chinese Writing, Emperor in Japanese Writing, Emperor in Asian Writing, Emperor Ideograms, Chinese Emperor symbols, Emperor Hieroglyphics, Emperor Glyphs, Emperor in Chinese Letters, Emperor Hanzi, Emperor in Japanese Kanji, Emperor Pictograms, Emperor in the Chinese Written-Language, or Emperor in the Japanese Written-Language.