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Failure Teaches Success in Chinese / Japanese...

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Failure is the Mother of Success
  2. Wisdom from Hard Knocks
  3. You May Learn from Victory,...
  4. Each Time You Stumble and Fall,...


Failure is the Mother of Success

China shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ
Failure is the Mother of Success

This Chinese and Korean proverb means, "Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success."

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


See Also:  Experience Is the Mother of Wisdom

Failure is the Mother of Success

Japan shippai wa seikou no haha
Failure is the Mother of Success

This Japanese proverb means exactly what you think.

Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success.

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


Note: This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb.


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


See Also:  Experience Is the Mother of Wisdom

Wisdom from Hard Knocks

The school of hard knocks
China ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
Wisdom from Hard Knocks

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Receive on blow, [and one] learns a lesson; Receive ten blows, [and one] becomes a great Zhuge [Liang]. You must first understand that a man named Zhuge Liang was one of the great strategists and philosophers in Chinese history. He's known as a man of great wisdom.

Figuratively, this phrase means:
One can learn much from failure or "hard knocks."

You May Learn from Victory,
You Will Learn from Failure

China bǎi shèng nán lǜ dí sān zhé nǎi liáng yī
You May Learn from Victory, / You Will Learn from Failure

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [Even a general who has won a] hundred victories [may be] hard put to see through the enemy's [strategy], [but one who has] broken [his] arm three [times] [will] be a good doctor.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot always depend on past successes to guarantee future success but one can always learn from lessons drawn from failure.


See Also:  Failure - Mother of Success | Experience - Mother of Success | Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 | Hard Knocks

You May Learn from Victory,
You Will Learn from Failure

Japan katte erumono mo areba makete erumono mo aru
You May Learn from Victory, / You Will Learn from Failure

You may learn when everything goes right but the lessons learned when everything goes wrong are more vivid and lead to long-lasting wisdom.

Another way to look at this: One cannot always depend on past successes to guarantee future success but one can always learn from lessons drawn from failure.


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

Each Time You Stumble and Fall,
You Gain Experience and Wisdom

China chī yí qiàn, zhǎng yí zhì
Each Time You Stumble and Fall, / You Gain Experience and Wisdom

This Chinese proverb means:

"Fall into a moat and you will gain wisdom from the experience"

It really suggests that the failures, troubles, frustrations, and setbacks that you encounter in your life are actually helping you to find wisdom. Some would also translate this proverb as:

"Learn from your mistakes" or "Learn from your experience."

If you are studying Chinese, you will recognize the first character as "eat" but in this case, it means to "experience" (as used in this proverb, it is suggesting that you have fallen into a moat and/or had a hard time crossing it).
Literally translated character by character, this whole proverb is:

"Experience one moat, gain one wisdom/knowledge."

Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.

Search for Failure Teaches Success in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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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
Failure is the Mother of Success失敗是成功之母
失败是成功之母
shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ
shi1 bai4 shi4 cheng2 gong1 zhi1 mu3
shi bai shi cheng gong zhi mu
shibaishichenggongzhimu
shih pai shih ch`eng kung chih mu
shih pai shih cheng kung chih mu
Failure is the Mother of Success失敗は成功の母shippai wa seikou no haha
shippaiwaseikounohaha
shipai wa seiko no haha
shipaiwaseikonohaha
Wisdom from Hard Knocks挨一拳得一招挨十拳變諸葛
挨一拳得一招挨十拳变诸葛
ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
ai2 yi1 quan2 de2 yi1 zhao1 ai2 shi2 quan2 bian4 zhu1 ge3
ai yi quan de yi zhao ai shi quan bian zhu ge
ai i ch`üan te i chao ai shih ch`üan pien chu ko
ai i chüan te i chao ai shih chüan pien chu ko
You May Learn from Victory, You Will Learn from Failure百勝難慮敵三折乃良醫
百胜难虑敌三折乃良医
bǎi shèng nán lǜ dí sān zhé nǎi liáng yī
bai3 sheng4 nan2 lv4 di2 san1 zhe2 nai3 liang2 yi1
bai sheng nan lv di san zhe nai liang yi
pai sheng nan lü ti san che nai liang i
You May Learn from Victory, You Will Learn from Failure勝って得るものも有れば負けて得るものも有るkatte erumono mo areba makete erumono mo aru
Each Time You Stumble and Fall, You Gain Experience and Wisdom吃一塹長一智
吃一堑长一智
chī yí qiàn, zhǎng yí zhì
chi1 yi2 qian4 zhang3 yi2 zhi4
chi yi qian zhang yi zhi
chiyiqianzhangyizhi
ch`ih i ch`ien chang i chih
chihichienchangichih
chih i chien chang i chih
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.

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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.

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