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Fortitude Strength of Character in Chinese / Japanese...

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Inner Strength
  2. Inner Strength / Self-Improvement
  3. Always Striving for Inner Strength
  4. Fortitude / Strength of Character
  5. Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude
  6. Power / Strength
  7. Perseverance / Fortitude
  8. Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude
  9. Physical Strength
10. Will-Power / Self-Control
11. Determination to Achieve / Will-Power
12. Physical Strength
13. Indomitable / Unyielding
14. Inner Strength / Inner Well-Being and Health
15. Perseverance
16. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks


Inner Strength

China nèi lì
Japan nai ryoku
Inner Strength Wall Scroll

內力 is the shorter version of inner-strength (can also be translated as "internal force"). The first character holds the meaning of "inner" or "internal." The second character means "power," "force" or "strength."

內力 is kind of a Kung Fu way of talking about an inner power or strength from within. 內力 is sort of a way to express "inner-chi." 內力 is clearly something that you might hear in a real Chinese Kung Fu movie.

While understood in both Chinese and Japanese, this can have a secondary meaning of "inner stress" in Japanese.

Inner Strength

China nèi zài lì liàng
Inner Strength Wall Scroll

內在力量 is the slightly-verbose way to say inner-strength. The first two characters mean "intrinsic" or "inner." The second two characters mean "power," "force" or "strength" (especially physical strength). 內在力量 is more a short phrase rather than just a word in Chinese and Korean. This can sort of be understood in Japanese but it's not normal/proper Japanese.

Inner Strength / Self-Improvement

China zì qiáng
Inner Strength / Self-Improvement Wall Scroll

自強 is the kind of inner-strength that applies to a person who has will-power and can inspire themselves to do great things.

自強 can also be the creed of a person that always pursues self-improvement.

Other translations: self-strengthening, striving for improvement, self-improvement, strive to become stronger, and self-renewal.

Always Striving for Inner Strength

China zì qiáng bú xī
Always Striving for Inner Strength Wall Scroll

This proverb or idiom suggests that the pursuit self-improvement is eternal. It can also be a suggestion to strive unremittingly in life.

The first two characters mean inner-strength with the idea of self-improvement. The last two characters mean "never rest" or "striving without giving up."

Some will translate these four characters as, "Exert and strive hard without any let up."

Fortitude / Strength of Character

China gāng yì
Japan gouki
Fortitude / Strength of Character Wall Scroll

This Japanese and Chinese word means, "resolute and firm," "fortitude," "firmness of character," "hardihood," "manliness" or "macho."


See Also:  Perseverance | Strength | Tenacity

Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude

China bù qū
Japan fukutsu
Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude Wall Scroll

不屈 is the short form of a longer Chinese word, and also a word used in Korean and Japanese to express the idea of being indomitable. It literally means, "will not bend," "will not crouch," "will not yield," "will not flinch," or "will not submit."

Note: Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Power / Strength

China
Japan chikara / ryoku
Power / Strength Wall Scroll

力 is the simplest form of "power" or "strength."

In Japanese it is pronounced "chikara" when used alone, and "ryoku" when used in a sentence (there are also a few other possible pronunciations of this Kanji in Japanese).

In some context, this can mean ability, force, physical strength, capability, and influence.


See Also:  Strength | Vitality | Health

Perseverance / Fortitude

China jiǎn rěn
Japan ken nin
Perseverance / Fortitude Wall Scroll

The first character means "strong," "solid," "firm," "unyielding" or "resolute."
The second character means "to beat," "to endure," or "to tolerate."
Together they speak of the strength from within yourself. Some may also translate this as "long-suffering" in a more Biblical sense.

This is a common term in Chinese and Korean Hanja but a little less commonly used in modern Japanese Kanji. For that reason, this selection is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean.


忍忍 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the second Kanji a little differently. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect the form where the little horizontal stroke crosses the vertical stroke. See differences in the images to the right. Technically, they are both the same character, and will be read the same in either language.

Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude

China jiān rěn bù bá
Japan kenninfubatsu
Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude Wall Scroll

This means determined, steadfast, unswerving, or unshakable in Japanese.

This is the Japanese version of an old Chinese 4-character perseverance proverb.
This would be understood in Chinese but it's not commonly written this way in Chinese.


忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese calligraphers sometimes write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. Yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in this alternate Japanese Kanji form. If you have a preference, let us know when you order.

Due to some odd computer coding conventions, these two character forms were combined/merged into the same code point - thus, you will not see Kanji images of more Japanese form as you select options for your scroll.

Physical Strength

China tǐ lì
Japan tairyoku
Physical Strength Wall Scroll

Means "physical strength" or "physical power."

The first character was first simplified in Japan. Then that simplified version became the standard in mainland China. Just in case you want this version, it is offered here. I suggest it if you audience is Japanese. Most Chinese know the older traditional version.

體力 can also be defined: stamina; endurance; physical strength; resilience; resistance to disease; clout; stability.

Will-Power / Self-Control

China yì zhì lì
Japan ishi ryoku
Will-Power / Self-Control Wall Scroll

意志力 is the form of will power or self-control is about having the determination or tenacity to keep going.

In Japanese, this is the power of will, strength of will, volition, intention, intent, or determination.

Determination to Achieve / Will-Power

China yì zhì
Japan ishi
Determination to Achieve / Will-Power Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Korean, and Japanese word means, "determination to achieve." It can also be translated as: will; willpower; determination; volition; intention; intent.

In Japanese, this can also be the given name Ishi.

Physical Strength

China tǐ lì
Japan tai ryoku
Physical Strength Wall Scroll

體力 means "physical strength," "physical power," or "physical stamina" in Chinese, ancient Japanese, and old Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Fortitude | Health

Indomitable / Unyielding

China bù qū bù náo
Japan fukutsu futou
Indomitable / Unyielding Wall Scroll

不屈不撓 means "Indomitable" or "Unyielding."

This is a long word by Chinese standards. At least, it is often translated as a single word into English. It's actually a proverb in Chinese.

If you want to break it down, you can see that the first and third characters are the same. Both meaning "not" (they work as a suffix to make a negative or opposite meaning to whatever character follows).

The second character means "bendable."

The last means "scratched" or "bothered."

So this really means "Won't be bent, can't be bothered." I have also seen it written as "Will not crouch, will not submit." This comes from the fact that the second character can mean, "to crouch" and the last can mean "to submit" (as in "to give in" such as "submitting to the rule of someone else"). This may explain better why these four characters mean "indomitable."

Notes:
Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.
The first two characters can be a stand-alone word in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered to be two words (with very similar meanings).
The same characters are used in Korean, but the 2nd and 4th characters are swapped to create a word pronounced "불요불굴" in Korean.
Just let me know if you want the Korean version, which will also make sense in Japanese, and though not as natural, will also make sense in Chinese as well.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Inner Strength / Inner Well-Being and Health

China nèi jiàn
Inner Strength / Inner Well-Being and Health Wall Scroll

內健 is an old Chinese word meaning inner strength, or inner health. It's the idea of health and well-being starting or residing from inside yourself. Also defined as fortitude within the context of good health.

Perseverance

China
Japan see note
Perseverance Wall Scroll

毅 is the simplest way to express perseverance in Chinese and Korean Hanja.
This single-character version leaves a bit of mystery about what kind of perseverance you might want to convey.

In Korean, this is usually associated with "strength of character."

In Japanese, this character can be pronounced about a dozen different ways (so we have left out the Japanese pronunciation guide that normally appears above). In Japanese this Kanji would usually be translated "strong" (perhaps strong-willed).


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." This is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence




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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
Inner Strength 內力
内力
nai ryoku / nairyokunèi lì / nei4 li4 / nei li / neili
Inner Strength 內在力量
内在力量
nèi zài lì liàng
nei4 zai4 li4 liang4
nei zai li liang
neizaililiang
nei tsai li liang
neitsaililiang
Inner Strength
Self-Improvement
自強
自强
zì qiáng / zi4 qiang2 / zi qiang / ziqiang tzu ch`iang / tzuchiang / tzu chiang
Always Striving for Inner Strength 自強不息
自强不息
zì qiáng bú xī
zi4 qiang2 bu2 xi1
zi qiang bu xi
ziqiangbuxi
tzu ch`iang pu hsi
tzuchiangpuhsi
tzu chiang pu hsi
Fortitude
Strength of Character
剛毅
刚毅
gouki / gokigāng yì / gang1 yi4 / gang yi / gangyi kang i / kangi
Indomitable
Persistence
Fortitude
不屈fukutsubù qū / bu4 qu1 / bu qu / buqu pu ch`ü / puchü / pu chü
Power
Strength
chikara / ryokulì / li4 / li
Perseverance
Fortitude
堅忍
坚忍
ken nin / kenninjiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren chien jen / chienjen
Perseverance
Indomitable
Invincible Fortitude
堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔
坚忍不拔
kenninfubatsujiān rěn bù bá
jian1 ren3 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
jianrenbuba
chien jen pu pa
chienjenpupa
Physical Strength 體力
体力
tairyokutǐ lì / ti3 li4 / ti li / tili t`i li / tili / ti li
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...

Abundance
Achieve
Adapt and Overcome
Aikido
Always Faithful
Ambitious
America
Angel
April
Aquarius
Archer
Art of War
Autumn
Awareness
Balanced Life
Beautiful Woman
Beloved
Best
Bible
Bird
Blessing
Bond
Book
Breath
Bright
Bruce Lee
Bull
Butterfly
Caring
Chance
Charity
Cherish
Chicken
Choi
Christian
Chung Shin Tong Il
Clarity
Contentment
Courtesy
Create
Danger
Daruma
Death Before Surrender
Determination to Achieve
Determined
Dharma
Diamond
Dignity
Diligence
Divine
Divine Blessing
Doctor
Dragon
Dragon and Phoenix
Dragon Fly
Dragon Spirit
Dragonfly
Effort
Elegant
Elements
Emptiness
Equilibrium
Eternal Life
Family
Family Over Everything
Fear No Evil
Fierce
Five Tenets of Confucius
Follow Your Heart
Forgiven
Four Noble Truths
Frog
Furinkazan
Fury
Future
Geisha
Ghost
Glory
Goat
God Give Me Strength
God is Always With You
Grace
Grandfather
Green
Hapkido
Hawk
Healthy
Heart and Soul
Heart of a Warrior
Heart Sutra
Hero
Honor and Respect
Hope
Horse
Iaido
Illusion
Imagination
Independence
Independent
Iris
Iron
Isaac
Jeet Kune Do
Jeremy
Joyful
Judo
Jujitsu
Kendo
Kenjutsu
Kirin
Knight
Kyokushinkai
Large Painting
Laughter
Legendary Turtle
Liberty
Life Force
Life Goes On
Life in Balance
Life is Short
Listen
Live for the Day
Live for Today
Live for What You Love
Live Laugh Love
Live Strong
Live Without Regret
London
Lonely
Lost Soul
Lotus
Lotus Flower
Love
Love Always
Love and Affection
Love and Devotion
Love Binds Us Together
Love Eternal
Love Eternally
Love Faith Strength
Love Without Reason
Loving Father
Manila
Mind Like Water
Miracle
Mizu No Kokoro
Mommy
Monk
Monkey
Mother Daughter
Muhammad
Musashi
Mushin
Musician
Namaste
Namo Amitabha Buddha
Never Give In
Nimra
Ninjutsu
Nirvana
Nixon
No Worries
Once in a Lifetime
Opportunity
Passionate
Path
Peace and Tranquility
Peaceful Heart
Perfect
Phoenix
Pisces
Pleasure
Princess
Pure
Pursuit of Happiness
Queen
Rabbit
Reason
Rebel
Resilience
Rooster
Sadness
Saifa
Samurai Virtues
Scorpio
Seize the Day
Self-Control
Sheep
Sherry
Shinobi
Shotokan
Sincerity
Spirit of a Fighter
Spirit of Taekwondo
Spiritual Energy
Stone
Strong
Strong Heart
Strong Hearted
Strong Mind Strong Body

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.


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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