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| 1. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
2. Dynamic Energy / Enthusiasm
3. Energy Sword Body in Concert
4. Psychic Energy
5. Supernatural Energy
6. Strength / Vigor / Energy
7. Dynamic Energy / Enthusiasm
8. Eternal Energy / Eternal Matter
9. Spirit / Soul
|11. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
13. Spirit / Spiritual Essence
15. Electricity / Lightning
16. Fighting Spirit
17. Five Elements
19. Vitality / Virility
20. Bravery / Courage
|21. Heart and Soul|
26. Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine
27. Ox / Bull / Cow
This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
This character is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is most often translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Some people will simply translate this as “spirit” but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice is shown to the right.
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like one the symbols shown to the right.
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical is shown to the right.
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the “flow” of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.
You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.
In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.
The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.
More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.
This Chinese/Japanese/Korean word can be defined as: energy; vitality; vigor; vital force; enthusiasm; energetic; dynamism.
This often gets translated as "Mind Sword Body," or "Spirit, Sword and Body as One." But I think these translations don't tell you enough about what this is really saying.
In this context, 気, which is the modern Japanese version of 氣, means spiritual and unseen energy or "life energy." In some cases, 気 can be translated as spirit, feeling, or nature. If defined as mind, it's more about invisible or intangible part of one's mind (or soul).
剣 is the Japanese version of 劍 meaning sword.
体 is the modern Japanese version of 體 meaning body.
The Kanji 一 means one, and in this case suggests "all in one." The Kanji 到 means to send, deliver, or convey. But together, 一到 suggests all these things in agreement, union cooperation, or in concert.
通靈 is used to speak of something with supernatural essence, psychic power, or having magical power in Chinese.
This word is used in both Japanese and Chinese to refer to the ability to comprehend supernatural power. Some may translate this as psychic ability, psychic power, ESP, or PSI.
This word can mean any of the words in the title above, and in some context, can also mean, effort, will-power, or talent. This word refers mostly to physical strength (as opposed to mental or spiritual).
In modern Japan, they use a simplified first character for this word. If you want to order this title with that special Japanese version, click on the character to the right instead of the button above.
不來不去 is a Buddhist term, originally anāgamana-nirgama from Sanskrit.
This implies that things are neither coming into nor going out of existence.
This can also mean, "all things are eternal," or others will call this the Buddhist concept of the eternal conservation of energy.
This theory predates Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.
Note: 不來不去 is not a well-known word for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists, so not all will recognize it.
靈 is spirit or soul in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you look in the dictionary, you'll also find definitions for this character like:
quick; alert; efficacious; effective; departed soul; coffin; spiritual; energy; effective; clever.
靈氣 is the title of a healing practice that is now found throughout the world but with origins in Japan.
Special note: Outside of the context of the healing practice of Reiki, this means "aura" or "spiritual essence that surrounds all living things." A Japanese person not familiar with the practice will take the "aura" meaning.
Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also heals. It can be compared to massage but is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If your life force energy is low, you'll be more likely to get sick or feel stress. If your life force energy is abundant and flowing well, you become more capable of being happy and healthy.
There is a lot of information available if you want to Google this term - my job is to offer the calligraphy, while you can decide if it is right for you.
Note: We are showing the ancient (traditional) form of the Reiki Kanji. I have seen Reiki written with both the slightly simplified version and this more classic form. If you want the form of Reiki with the two strokes in the shape of an X on the second character and the modern first character, simply click on the Kanji characters to the right.
Note: 靈氣 is also a Chinese word but in Chinese, these characters create a word that refers to a smart person or someone with high aspirations. It is not read as a healing method in Chinese.
In Korean Hanja, this can be read as "mysterious atmosphere" by a Korean who is not familiar with the practice of Reiki (still has a cool meaning in Korean).
This word is used to describe being so devoted to something that you will make sacrifices for that goal/thing/person. You can also translate this word as any of the following:
Give one's life for...
Sacrifice one's life for...
To dedicate oneself to...
Commit ones energy to...
Giving your whole body to...
This can be a dedication to or for someone but more often is used in reference to a dedication or making sacrifices for your country, public service, or a cause. For instance, an Olympic athlete makes great sacrifices to train in his/her sport for their country and compatriots.
While the form shown to the upper-left is considered an ancient Japanese version, in modern Japan, they use the simplified version of the first Kanji (shown to the right). Click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version.
If you are looking for a more religious meaning of devotion, see Faith.
神 is the simplest way to write spirit in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean.
This single character alone will conjure up ideas of the spiritual world. This character can also be translated as "vital awareness" as in the fact that one must know they exist to exist (I think, therefore, I am).
Other translations include:
God, deity, mysterious, divine essence, lively, spiritual being, divinity, supernatural, soul, mind, nerves, and energy. In some extended context it can mean genius or unusual.
Japanese romanizations vary a lot when this character is combined into other words. However, shin is the original pronunciation taken from Chinese into Japanese. You'll also see it romanized as kami, gami, jin, and a few others, depending on context.
This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word holds the dictionary definition of "determination" but literally means, "determined heart."
The first character means "to determine" or "determined."
The second character means "heart," "mind" or "soul," so you can imagine that this form of "determination" partially means to put your heart into something. It can also be translated as resolve, resolution, or decision (as in a decision made and followed).
五行 is the title of the five elements which are: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal.
The first character means "5" and the second character is simply "elements."
According to ancient Chinese science, all matter in the world is made up of these elements. One idea presented with the five elements is that when energy is added, matter is believed to expand. When energy is removed, matter contracts. Oddly, this concept is not far from Einstein's theories, and modern science. Just a few thousand years before Einstein.
More info: Wikipedia - Five Elements (Wu Xing).
This single-character means diligence or "sense of duty" in Chinese and Korean (also understood in Japanese but not commonly-seen as a stand-alone Kanji).
As a single character on a wall scroll, this will only be seen with this meaning. However, it can also mean industrious, hardworking, frequent, regular, constant, energy, zeal, fortitude, or virility.
In Buddhism this can represent vīrya (viriya), the idea of energy, diligence, enthusiasm, or effort. It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities, and it functions to cause one to accomplish wholesome or virtuous actions. Some Buddhists may even define this as "manliness" (a definition from a hundred years ago, before equality).
If you, or someone you know is a hard-worker (or needs a reminder to be diligent), then this is the wall scroll to have in your/their office.
This two-character Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word means vitality or virility.
Depending on context, this can also mean, "mind and spirit," "life energy," or "essence."
This term is often used in Buddhism with the same meaning.
Note: In modern Japanese, they have simplified the last Kanji to look like the version shown to the right. If you want this modern version, please click on this Kanji. Otherwise, if you click the button above, you'll get the ancient or traditional version (which is also universal between Chinese, old Korean, and old Japanese).
There are several ways to express bravery and courage in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This version is the most spiritual. 勇氣 is the essence of bravery from deep within your being. 勇氣 is the mental state of being brave versus actual brave behavior. You'd more likely use this to say, "He is very courageous," rather than "He fought courageously in the battle."
The first character also means bravery or courage when it's seen alone. With the second character added, an element of energy or spirit is added. The second character is the same "chi" or "qi" energy that Kung Fu masters focus when they strike. For this reason, you could say this means "spirit of courage" or "brave spirit."
勇氣 is certainly a stronger word than just the first character alone.
Beyond bravery or courage, dictionaries also translate this word as valor/valour, nerve, audacity, daring, pluck, plucky, gallantry, guts, gutsy and boldness.
勇氣 is also one of the 8 key concepts of tang soo do.
While the version shown to the left is commonly used in Chinese and Korean Hanja (and ancient Japanese Kanji), please note that the second character is written with slightly fewer strokes in modern Japanese. If you want the modern Japanese version, please click on the character to the right. Both styles would be understood by native Chinese, Japanese, and many (but not all) Korean people. You should make your selection based on the intended audience for your calligraphy artwork. Or pick the single-character form of bravery/courage which is universal.
This word can be used for motivation - it can also mean power / motion / propulsion / force. It can be anything internal or external that keeps you going.
動力 is the safest way to express motivation in Chinese. If your audience is Japanese, please see the other entry for motivation. 動力 is a word in Japanese and Korean but it means "motive power" or "kinetic energy" (without the motivation meaning that you are probably looking for).
合気道 is the modern Japanese way to write Aikido.
Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art.
While Aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the West.
Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
Please note that while the original 合氣道 characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.
Hapkido is a mostly-defensive martial art of Korea. It has some connection to Aikido of Japan. In fact, they are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.
The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is a bit muddled in history. 合氣道 is probably due to the relationship between the two countries - especially during WWII when many Koreans became virtual slaves for the Japanese (many Koreans are still bitter about that, so many things were disassociated from having any Japanese origin).
Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
One way to translate this into English is "Harmonizing Energy Method." This makes since, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy, rather that fighting with strength against strength.
More Hapkido info
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as "hap ki do," "hapki-do" "hab gi do" or "hapgido."
2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than can read English.
3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
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."
These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.
As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.
Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.
Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being
To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit," to define these.
牛 is the character for bull, cow, ox, or bovine creature in Chinese, old Korean, and Japanese.
If you were born in the year of the ox / bull / cow, you . . .
Are dedicated to your work.
Are discrete, careful and conscientious.
Value work and family.
Note that in this Chinese character, there is no distinction between bull and cow. All bovine creatures fit into the definition of this character. To distinguish between male and female, another sex-designating character is added in front of this character. Therefore, in China, the energy drink "Red Bull" (Hong Niu) is often translated in the minds of Chinese people as "Red Cow" or even "Red Ox."
See also our Chinese Zodiac page.
擊氣道 is the title of the Kyuki-Do form of Korean martial arts.
In Korean Hangul, it's 격기도.
While "Kyuki-Do" is the most common romanized form of this title, the official Korean romanization is actually "Gyeog Gi Do" or "Gyeoggi-Do."
The first character means to hit, strike, attack, rout, or break.
The second means "life energy" or "atmosphere."
The last means "the way" or "method."
FYI: The last two characters are the same as the last two in the titles Hapkido and Aikido.
I have included Mandarin Chinese pronunciation above, however, this term would only be known by Chinese people familiar with this style of martial arts. Consider this to be a Korean-only title.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|活力||katsuryoku||huó lì / huo2 li4 / huo li / huoli|
|Energy Sword Body in Concert||気剣体一致 / 氣劍體一致|
|ki ken tai icchi|
ki ken tai ichi
|chāo néng lì
chao1 neng2 li4
chao neng li
|ch`ao neng li
chao neng li
气力 / 気力
|kiryoku||qì lì / qi4 li4 / qi li / qili||ch`i li / chili / chi li|
|活力四射||huó lì sì shè
huo2 li4 si4 she4
huo li si she
|huo li ssu she
|furai fuko / furaifuko||bù lái bù qù
bu4 lai2 bu4 qu4
bu lai bu qu
|pu lai pu ch`ü
pu lai pu chü
|ryou / ryo||líng / ling2 / ling|
|reiki||líng qì / ling2 qi4 / ling qi / lingqi||ling ch`i / lingchi / ling chi|
|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...
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.
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.
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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Energy Kanji, Energy Characters, Energy in Mandarin Chinese, Energy Characters, Energy in Chinese Writing, Energy in Japanese Writing, Energy in Asian Writing, Energy Ideograms, Chinese Energy symbols, Energy Hieroglyphics, Energy Glyphs, Energy in Chinese Letters, Energy Hanzi, Energy in Japanese Kanji, Energy Pictograms, Energy in the Chinese Written-Language, or Energy in the Japanese Written-Language.