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Flexible in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Heart of Judo

  2. Tension and Relaxation

  3. Jujitsu / Jujutsu

  4. Flexibility

  5. Be Like Water

  6. Judo

  7. Dynamic

  8. Patience / Perseverance

  9. Christ


Heart of Judo

China róu
Japan yawara
Heart of Judo Vertical Wall Scroll

This Kanji literally means flexible, pliable, gentle, or yielding. 柔 is also the first Kanji of the Japanese martial arts titles of Judo and Jujutsu (Jujitsu). In those cases, it's pronounced "ju" in Japanese. However, alone, the classic pronunciation is "yawara." Some translate this Kanji (in the context of martial arts) as "The Heart of Judo."

Please note that this just means pliable, gentle, and yielding in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. They do know what Judo and Jujitsu are but if this character is seen alone in China or Korea, people generally will not think of the martial arts context.

Tension and Relaxation

China shēn suō
Japan shin shuku
Tension and Relaxation Vertical Wall Scroll

伸縮 can mean, to lengthen and shorten; flexible; adjustable; retractable; extensible; expansion and contraction; elasticity; flexibility; elastic; stretchy.

伸縮 is often romanized from Korean as "Shin Chook," where it's a term associated as one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do.

Jujitsu / Jujutsu

China róu shù
Japan juu jutsu
Jujitsu / Jujutsu Vertical Wall Scroll

柔術 has been somewhat incorrectly spelled and pronounced "Jujitsu" for some time in the English-speaking world. The correct Japanese Romaji is Jujutsu or Juujutsu.

A little background on the word: By combining the Kanji pronounced "Ju" (which means flexible, pliable, gentle, yielding) with the Kanji pronounced "Jutsu" (which means art, or technique), we get a meaning that can be translated as "flexible technique," "gentle art" or "yielding technique."
柔術 does make sense in Chinese as well, although pronounced, "rou shu" in China.

The Jujutsu system has a history in Japan that started well-before the 1600's. Some see this style as a variation of the "Empty Hand Method" (Karate-do). Even the samurai of old used some Jujutsu methods in defending themselves with their unarmed hands against weapons that could pierce their heavy armor.

There are convoluted relationships between various schools and systems of martial arts but it's generally accepted that Jujutsu led to the development of Judo and a few other variations.

Flexibility

China líng huó xìng
Flexibility Vertical Wall Scroll

Flexibility is being open to change. You consider others' ideas and feelings and don't insist on your own way. Flexibility gives you creative new ways to get things done. Flexibility helps you to keep changing for the better. This Chinese word could also be defined as "flexible nature."


See Also:  Cooperation

Be Like Water

China xiàng shuǐ yí yàng
Be Like Water Vertical Wall Scroll

象水一樣 is a short quote from a much longer statement by Bruce Lee.

He was summarizing how people should be flexible to all circumstances, attacks, or situations. At the end, he exclaims, "Be like water my friend." 象水一樣 is the, "Be like water" part alone, since that seems to be what most people want.

Judo

China róu dào
Japan judo
Judo Vertical Wall Scroll

柔道 is the martial art invented in Japan and known as "Judo" around the world.

Translated directly, it means "Gentle Way" or "Flexible Way"

More about Judo

Dynamic

China dòng tài
Japan dou tai
Dynamic Vertical Wall Scroll

動態 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for a word that means "dynamic state."

動態 can also mean:
movement; motion; development; trend; dynamic (science); the state of being dynamic.

動態 can be used to describe someone or an organization that keeps up with cutting-edge trends. Always flexible, always changing, always moving.

Patience / Perseverance

China rěn
Japan nin
Patience / Perseverance Vertical Wall Scroll

忍 contains the ideas of patience, equanimity, perseverance, forbearance, and endurance. Alone, this single character can be a bit ambiguous or flexible. It can also mean to endure, to bear, to put up with or to conceal. If you want to simply decide what this character means to you within the general meaning but keep it a mystery to others, this is a good choice.

If you want to be more direct, you may want to choose one of our other selections that mean perseverance or patience (you will see this character within those larger words/phrases).

There is a secondary meaning in Japanese, since this is the first character of the word ninja.

忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write it in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this Kanji form (yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).


See Also:  Perseverance | Patience | Tenacious

Christ

China jī dū
Japan kirisuto
Christ Vertical Wall Scroll

This how to write "Christ" in Chinese characters, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji. 基督 is the word used in the Chinese Union Bible (the only readily-available translation of the Bible into Chinese that I know of - published about 100 years ago). For Chinese Christians, this is the most common way to refer to Jesus Christ.

基督 is also the way that "Christ" is written in Japanese. But since the Japanese language is very flexible about the sounds that can be assigned to various Kanji, these characters have been assigned a pronunciation that sounds a lot like "Christ" or actually closer to the original "Christos." In Japanese (if you don't know how the Romaji shown above in the gray box works) it sounds like "key ree sue toe" using English words/sounds. Say those four words really fast and you'll get it.
It should be noted that only Japanese Christians will be familiar with this word.

基督 is best defined, read and understood with the characters together but if you take this word for Christ apart, the first character means "fundamentals" or "foundation." The second character can mean "leader" or "boss."

Search for Flexible 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
Heart of Judoyawararóu / rou2 / roujou
Tension and Relaxation伸縮
伸缩
shin shuku / shinshukushēn suō / shen1 suo1 / shen suo / shensuoshen so / shenso
Jujitsu
Jujutsu
柔術
柔术
juu jutsu / juujutsu / ju jutsu / jujutsuróu shù / rou2 shu4 / rou shu / roushujou shu / joushu
Flexibility靈活性
灵活性
líng huó xìng
ling2 huo2 xing4
ling huo xing
linghuoxing
ling huo hsing
linghuohsing
Be Like Water象水一樣
象水一样
xiàng shuǐ yí yàng
xiang4 shui3 yi2 yang4
xiang shui yi yang
xiangshuiyiyang
hsiang shui i yang
hsiangshuiiyang
Judo柔道judoróu dào / rou2 dao4 / rou dao / roudaojou tao / joutao
Dynamic動態
动态
dou tai / doutai / do tai / dotaidòng tài / dong4 tai4 / dong tai / dongtaitung t`ai / tungtai / tung tai
Patience
Perseverance
ninrěn / ren3 / renjen
Christ基督kirisutojī dū / ji1 du1 / ji du / jiduchi tu / chitu
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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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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