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Filial Piety in Chinese / Japanese...

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Filial Piety

China xiào
Japan kou
Filial Piety

This character represents filial piety. Some will define this in more common English as "respect for your parents and ancestors."

This is a subject deeply emphasized by the ancient philosophy and teachings of Confucius.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although generally not considered part of the 7 core virtues of the warrior.

Note: This character is not the best of meanings when seen along as a single character. Some will read the single character form to mean "missing my dead ancestors." However, when written at part of Confucian tenets, or in the two-character word that means filial piety, the meaning is better or read differently (context is important for this character).

We suggest one of our other two-character filial piety entries instead of this one.

See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also:  Confucius

The Dao of Filial Piety

China xiào dào
Japan kou dou
The Dao of Filial Piety

These two characters most clearly express the Confucian philosophy of filial piety. Confucius taught that all should be respectful and obedient to their parents. Included in this idea is honoring your ancestors.

The second character is "dao/tao" or "the way" as in Taoism. You can say this title is "The Tao of Filial Piety" or "The Way of Filial Piety."

See Also:  Confucius

Filial Piety / Filial Conduct

China xiào xìng
Japan koukou
Filial Piety / Filial Conduct

These two characters express the idea of filial piety or filial conduct. The second character suggests "action" so these are the actions you take to show your respect and obedience to your elders or ancestors.

Confucius is probably the first great advocate for filial piety.

Honor for Ancestors

China zǔ xiān chóng bài
Japan so sen suu hai
Honor for Ancestors

This means "Appreciation and honor of your ancestors." This can refer to anyone from your grandparents and beyond.

The first two characters mean ancestors or forefathers.

The last two characters mean adore, worship, adoration, or admiration.

This is the kind of wall scroll that a filial son or daughter in China or Japan would hang to honor their ancestors who paved the way for the new generation.

拝Japanese use a slight variation on the last Kanji. If you want this specifically Japanese version, just click on the Kanji image to the right (instead of the button above). Note that Japanese people would easily be able to identify the original Chinese form of that Kanji anyway.

They also have a similar phrase in old Korean but the first two characters are reversed - just let me know if you want that version when you place your order.

Not the results for filial piety that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your filial piety search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition

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Mandarin xiào / xiao4
Taiwan hsiao
Japanese yasuaki やすあき
 takatsugu たかつぐ
 takasumi たかすみ
 takashi たかし
 taka たか
 kousou / koso こうそう
 kouji / koji こうじ
 koushou / kosho こうしょう
 kou / ko こう
Chinese filial piety or obedience; mourning apparel
Japanese (out-dated or obsolete kana usage) filial piety; (given name) Yasuaki; (personal name) Takatsugu; (personal name) Takasumi; (s,m) Takashi; (female given name) Taka; (personal name) Kousou; (personal name) Kouji; (personal name) Koushou; (male given name) Kou
Filial, obedient; filial piety
More info / calligraphy:
Filial Piety


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Japanese takayuki たかゆき
 takatsura たかつら
 koukou / koko こうこう
Japanese (noun or adjectival noun) filial piety; (given name) Takayuki; (given name) Takatsura; (surname, given name) Koukou
More info / calligraphy:
Filial Piety / Filial Conduct


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Mandarin xiào dao / xiao4 dao5
Taiwan hsiao tao
Japanese takamichi たかみち
 koudou / kodo こうどう
 kouji / koji こうじ
Chinese filial piety (Confucian virtue); to be a good son or daughter
Japanese filial piety; (given name) Takamichi; (given name) Koudou; (given name) Kouji
More info / calligraphy:
The Dao of Filial Piety


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Mandarin bù xiào / bu4 xiao4
Taiwan pu hsiao
Japanese fukou / fuko ふこう
 fukyou / fukyo ふきょう
Chinese unfilial
Japanese (noun or adjectival noun) undutifulness to one's parents; lack of filial piety; (noun or adjectival noun) (1) undutifulness to one's parents; lack of filial piety; (2) (archaism) (the crime of) cursing one's parents; (3) (archaism) disowning one's child
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

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Mandarin sān fú / san1 fu2
Taiwan san fu
Japanese mifuku みふく
 sanpuku さんぷく
Japanese (place-name, surname) Mifuku; (given name) Sanpuku
The three (sources of) felicity: (1) The 無量壽經 has the felicity of (a) 世福 filial piety, regard for elders, keeping the ten commandments; (b) 戒福 of keeping the other commandments; (c) 行福 of resolve on complete bodhi and the pursuit of the Buddha-way. (2) The 倶舍論 18, has the blessedness of (a) 施類福 almsgiving, in evoking resultant wealth; (b) 戒類福 observance of the 性戒 (against killing, stealing, adultery, lying) and the 遮戒 (against alcohol, etc.), in obtaining a happy lot in the heavens; (c) 修類福 observance of meditation in obtaining final escape from the mortal round. Cf. 三種淨業; three felicitous acts

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Mandarin wǔ lún / wu3 lun2
Taiwan wu lun
Japanese gorin ごりん
Chinese the five Confucian relationships (ruler-subject, father-son, brother-brother, husband-wife, friend-friend)
Japanese the five Confucian filial-piety relationships

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Mandarin fǎn bǔ / fan3 bu3
Taiwan fan pu
Japanese hanpo はんぽ
Chinese to support one's parents in their old age; to show filial piety; to to repay; to return a favor
Japanese caring for one's parents in return; (given name) Hanpo

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Japanese takayasu たかやす
 takachika たかちか
 koutei / kote こうてい
Japanese filial piety; brotherly love; (given name) Takayasu; (given name) Takachika; (given name) Koutei

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Mandarin xiào xīn / xiao4 xin1
Taiwan hsiao hsin
Japanese koushin / koshin こうしん
Chinese filial piety (a Confucian obligation); respect and obedience to one's parents
Japanese filial devotion; (personal name) Koushin

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Mandarin xiào tì / xiao4 ti4
Taiwan hsiao t`i / hsiao ti
Japanese takayoshi たかよし
 takachika たかちか
 koutei / kote こうてい
Chinese filial piety and fraternal duty
Japanese filial piety; brotherly love; (male given name) Takayoshi; (personal name) Takachika; (given name) Koutei

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Mandarin xiào jìng / xiao4 jing4
Taiwan hsiao ching
Japanese takayoshi たかよし
 takayuki たかゆき
 takahiro たかひろ
 takanori たかのり
Chinese to show filial respect; to give presents (to one's elders or superiors); to support one's aged parents
Japanese filial piety; (male given name) Takayoshi; (personal name) Takayuki; (given name) Takahiro; (given name) Takanori

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Japanese koukyou / kokyo こうきょう
Japanese the Book of Filial Piety

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Mandarin xiào jīng / xiao4 jing1
Taiwan hsiao ching
Chinese Xiaojing (Classic of Filial Piety)

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Mandarin xiào shùn / xiao4 shun4
Taiwan hsiao shun
Japanese takayori たかより
 takanobu たかのぶ
 koujun / kojun こうじゅん
 kyoujun / kyojun きょうじゅん
Chinese filial piety; to be obedient to one's parents
Japanese (noun or adjectival noun) obedience; filial piety; (personal name) Takayori; (personal name) Takanobu; (female given name) Koujun; (given name) Kyoujun

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Mandarin zhōng xiào / zhong1 xiao4
Taiwan chung hsiao
Japanese chuukou / chuko ちゅうこう
 tadayoshi ただよし
 tadayuki ただゆき
 tadanori ただのり
 tadataka ただたか
Japanese loyalty and filial piety; (given name) Chuukou; (male given name) Tadayoshi; (given name) Tadayuki; (given name) Tadanori; (given name) Tadataka
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

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Mandarin cháng fèn / chang2 fen4
Taiwan ch`ang fen / chang fen
Japanese shoufun / shofun しょうふん
Chinese to taste a patient's excrement (a form of medical examination, seen as an act of loyalty or filial piety); to suck up to sb; to kiss ass
Japanese shamelessly flattering; brown-nosing; licking excrement

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Mandarin sāng bàng / sang1 bang4
Taiwan sang pang
Chinese funeral stick (held by the son as a sign of filial piety)

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Mandarin yú xiào / yu2 xiao4
Taiwan yü hsiao
Chinese unquestioning filial piety

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Japanese yoshitaka よしたか
 yukitaka ゆきたか
 shikou / shiko しこう
Japanese supreme filial piety; (given name) Yoshitaka; (personal name) Yukitaka; (given name) Shikou



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Mandarin shí sān jīng / shi2 san1 jing1
Taiwan shih san ching
Chinese the Thirteen Confucian Classics, namely: Book of Songs 詩經|诗经[Shi1 jing1], Book of History 尚書|尚书[Shang4 shu1], Rites of Zhou 周禮|周礼[Zhou1 li3], Rites and Ceremonies 儀禮|仪礼[Yi2 li3], Classic of Rites 禮記|礼记[Li3 ji4], Book of Changes 易經|易经[Yi4 jing1], Mr Zuo's Annals 左傳|左传[Zuo3 Zhuan4], Mr Gongyang's Annals 公羊傳|公羊传[Gong1 yang2 Zhuan4], Mr Guliang's Annals 穀梁傳|谷梁传[Gu3 liang2 Zhuan4], The Analects 論語|论语[Lun2 yu3], Erya 爾雅|尔雅[Er3 ya3], Classic of Filial Piety 孝經|孝经[Xiao4 jing1], Mencius 孟子[Meng4 zi3]

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Mandarin kū sāng bàng / ku1 sang1 bang4
Taiwan k`u sang pang / ku sang pang
Chinese mourning staff draped in white, held at a funeral to show filial piety

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Japanese oyafukou / oyafuko おやふこう
Japanese (noun or adjectival noun) lack of filial piety

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Japanese oyakoukou / oyakoko おやこうこう
Japanese (noun or adjectival noun) filial piety

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Mandarin èr shí sì xiào / er4 shi2 si4 xiao4
Taiwan erh shih ssu hsiao
Chinese the Twenty-four Filial Exemplars, classic Confucian text on filial piety from Yuan dynasty

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Japanese gorinnomichi ごりんのみち
Japanese the five Confucian filial-piety relationships

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Japanese jingichuukou / jingichuko じんぎちゅうこう
Japanese (yoji) humanity, justice, loyalty, and filial piety

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Japanese chuukoujingi / chukojingi ちゅうこうじんぎ
Japanese (yoji) loyalty, filial piety, humanity, and justice

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Mandarin wū niǎo sī qíng / wu1 niao3 si1 qing2
Taiwan wu niao ssu ch`ing / wu niao ssu ching
Chinese lit. the solicitude of the crow (who provides for his old parent)(idiom); fig. filial piety

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Mandarin bǎi shàn xiào wéi xiān / bai3 shan4 xiao4 wei2 xian1
Taiwan pai shan hsiao wei hsien
Chinese of all virtues filial piety is most important (idiom)

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Japanese hakanifutonhakiserarenu はかにふとんはきせられぬ
Japanese (expression) (idiom) it is too late to show filial piety once your parents are dead

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Search for Filial Piety in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Filial Piety kou / koxiào / xiao4 / xiao hsiao
The Dao of Filial Piety 孝道kou dou / koudou / ko do / kodoxiào dào / xiao4 dao4 / xiao dao / xiaodao hsiao tao / hsiaotao
Filial Piety
Filial Conduct
孝行koukou / kokoxiào xìng
xiao4 xing4
xiao xing
hsiao hsing
Honor for Ancestors 祖先崇拜
祖先崇拜 / 祖先崇拝
so sen suu hai
so sen su hai
zǔ xiān chóng bài
zu3 xian1 chong2 bai4
zu xian chong bai
tsu hsien ch`ung pai
tsu hsien chung pai
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...

A Life of Serenity
Big Dream
Dragon Spirit
Miyamoto Musashi
Pursuit of Happiness
Shotokan Karate-Do

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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single-character wall scroll.
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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.

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Some people may refer to this entry as Filial Piety Kanji, Filial Piety Characters, Filial Piety in Mandarin Chinese, Filial Piety Characters, Filial Piety in Chinese Writing, Filial Piety in Japanese Writing, Filial Piety in Asian Writing, Filial Piety Ideograms, Chinese Filial Piety symbols, Filial Piety Hieroglyphics, Filial Piety Glyphs, Filial Piety in Chinese Letters, Filial Piety Hanzi, Filial Piety in Japanese Kanji, Filial Piety Pictograms, Filial Piety in the Chinese Written-Language, or Filial Piety in the Japanese Written-Language.