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Freedom / Liberty in Chinese / Japanese...

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Freedom / Liberty

China zì yóu
Japan jiyuu
Freedom / Liberty

自由 is a common word to express the idea of freedom in both Chinese and Japanese.

自由 is the essence of "being free" but also acts as the suffix to create words like freestyle swimming, free trade, civil liberties, free will, freedom fighter, religious freedom, and liberal.


Note: If you need any of these other words or meanings, just post your request on our Asian calligraphy forum.

Free Spirit

China zì yóu jīng shén
Free Spirit

The first two characters mean freedom or liberty.

The second two characters mean spirit, heart, mind, or soul.

Together, this is a title that is very similar to the English term "free spirit."


See Also:  Freedom | Independence

Free Spirit

Japan ji yuu na sei shin
Free Spirit

The first two characters mean freedom or liberty.

The middle character is a connecting Hiragana which is needed for Japanese grammar.

The last two characters mean spirit, heart, mind, or soul.

Together, this is a title that is very similar to the English term "free spirit."


See Also:  Freedom | Independence

Free Will

China zì yóu yì zhì
Japan jiyuu ishi
Free Will

This concept has existed for thousands of years that humans have the ability to understand right and wrong, then make a decision one way or the other (thus affecting their own fate).

Sources such as Confucius, Buddhist scriptures, the Qur'an and the Bible all address this idea.

As for the characters shown here, the first two mean free, freedom, or liberty. The last two simply mean "will."


See Also:  Freedom | Strong Willed | Fate

Live Free or Die

Give me liberty or give me death
China bú zì yóu wú nìng sǐ
Live Free or Die

不自由毋寧死 means, "Give me liberty or give me death," in Chinese.

This is also the best way to say, "Live free or die."

The characters break down this way:
不 = Not; none; without.
自由 = Freedom; liberty; freewill; self-determination.
毋寧 = Rather; would rather; rather be.
死 = Dead; death.

This will go nicely next to your, "Don't tread on me," flag. This phrase is known well enough in China that it's listed in a few dictionaries. Though I doubt you will find too many Chinese citizens willing to yell this on the steps of the capital in Beijing.


See Also:  Death Before Dishonor

Search for Freedom / Liberty 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
Freedom
Liberty
自由jiyuu / jiyuzì yóu / zi4 you2 / zi you / ziyoutzu yu / tzuyu
Free Spirit自由精神zì yóu jīng shén
zi4 you2 jing1 shen2
zi you jing shen
ziyoujingshen
tzu yu ching shen
tzuyuchingshen
Free Spirit自由な精神ji yuu na sei shin
jiyuunaseishin
ji yu na sei shin
jiyunaseishin
Free Will自由意志jiyuu ishi / jiyuuishi / jiyu ishi / jiyuishizì yóu yì zhì
zi4 you2 yi4 zhi4
zi you yi zhi
ziyouyizhi
tzu yu i chih
tzuyuichih
Live Free or Die不自由毋寧死
不自由毋宁死
bú zì yóu wú nìng sǐ
bu2 zi4 you2 wu2 ning4 si3
bu zi you wu ning si
buziyouwuningsi
pu tzu yu wu ning ssu
putzuyuwuningssu
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.
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Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

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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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