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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Strength / Vigor / Energy
2. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
3. Dynamic Energy / Enthusiasm
4. Energy Sword Body in Concert
5. Psychic Energy
| 6. Supernatural Energy
8. Spirit / Spiritual Essence
10. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
12. Bravery / Courage
13. Electricity / Lightning
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.
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 Chinese word can be defined as: dynamic; enthusiastic; energetic; vitality.
This is the more robust 4-character version of this word. The short version consists of the first two characters: 活力. This 4-character version is commonly used only in Chinese.
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.
This 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.
You focus your energy and efforts on a task and stick with it until it is finished. Determination is using your will power to do something when it isn't easy. You are determined to meet your goals even when it is hard or you are being tested. With determination we make our dreams come true.
The first characters 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).
This is the simplest form of spirit. 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, mysterious, divine essence, lively, spiritual being, divinity, supernatural, soul, mind, nerves, and energy. In some extended context it can mean genius or unusual.
This 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 reformed first character, simply click on the Kanji characters to the right.
Note: This 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.
This is the title for lightning in Chinese.
The first character means, flash, or to dodge / get out of the way. In this case, it's the "flash" meaning. Sometimes this character can be used to mean lightning by itself.
The second character means electricity.
There are several ways to express bravery and courage in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This version is the most spiritual. This is the essence of bravery from deep within your being. This 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".
This is certainly a stronger word than just the first character alone.
Beyond bravery or courage, dictionaries also translate this word as valour, valor, nerve, audacity, daring, pluck, plucky, gallantry, guts, gutsy and boldness.
This 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 choose character based on the intended audience for your calligraphy artwork. Or pick the single-character form of bravery/courage which is universal.
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The scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.
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The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese
|Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Strength / Vigor / Energy||气力 / 気力|
|Life Energy / Spiritual Energy||气 / 気|
|Dynamic Energy / Enthusiasm||活力|
|Dynamic Energy / Enthusiasm||活力四射|
|n/a||huó lì sì shè|
huo li si she
huo li ssu she
|huo2 li4 si4 she4|
|Energy Sword Body in Concert||气剑体一致|
気剣体一致 / 氣劍體一致
|ki ken tai icchi|
ki ken tai ichi
|chāo néng lì|
chao neng li
ch`ao neng li
|chao1 neng2 li4|
chao neng li
|Spirit / Spiritual Essence||神|
|kami / shin||shén|
|Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication||献身|
|Bravery / Courage||勇气 / 勇気|
|Electricity / Lightning||电|
|Electricity / Lightning||電気|
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.
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