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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Future"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Bright and Promising Future
  2. A Bright Future
  3. Light / Bright and Promising Future
  4. Past experience is the teacher for the future.
  5. Eternal Life / Future Life
  6. From this Moment Forward...
  7. Reiki - Master Symbol
  8. Shaolin Generational Poem
  9. Foresight
10. Tomorrow / The Next Sun
11. Superman
12. You May Learn from Victory,...
13. Looking Forward / Hoping
14. You May Learn from Victory,...
15. Drain the pond to get all the fish
16. Karma
17. Seven Heavenly Virtues
18. Choose Life
19. Better Late Than Never

Bright and Promising Future

Japan akarui mirai
Bright and Promising Future Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "Bright Future." It suggests a lot of possibility and potential awaits in your future. A great gift for a graduate.

The first part of this proverb literally means bright or light. The second part means future but can also be translated as, "the world to come."

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

A Bright Future

Incredible 10,000-Mile Flight of the Peng
China péng chéng wàn lǐ
A Bright Future Wall Scroll

鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times to wish someone a long and successful career.

It's really about the 10,000 Flight of the Peng (Peng, also known as Roc is a mythical fish that can turn into a bird and take flight).


庄子 - Zhuangzi

Breaking down each character:
1. Peng or Roc (a kind of bird).
2. Journey (in this case, a flight).
3. 10,000 (Ten Thousand).
4. Li is a unit of distance often referred to as a "Chinese Mile," though the real distance is about half a kilometer.

Direct Translation: "Peng's Journey [of] 10,000 Li."
Literal meaning: "The 10,000-Li Flying Range Of The Roc."
Perceived meaning: "To have a bright future" or "To go far."

This proverb/idiom comes from the book of Zhuangzi. It tells the tale of a huge fish which could turn into a gigantic bird. This bird was called "peng" and was many miles long. This legendary size allowed the Peng to fly from the Northern Sea to the Southern Sea in a single bound.

Wishing someone "a Peng's Journey of 10,000 Li," will imply that they will be able to travel far without stopping, and will have great success, a long career, and a prosperous future.

Light / Bright and Promising Future

China guāng míng
Japan kou mei / mitsu haru
Light / Bright and Promising Future Wall Scroll

光明 is a nice way to say "light" in Chinese, and old Korean Hanja. 光明 is because the word also suggests a bright future or refers so someone who is very promising (great future potential).

The first character means light or bright.

The second character means bright and clear (in this context).

This word appears in most Japanese dictionaries but it not the most common Japanese Kanji word for light (more commonly used for the name Mitsuharu).

In old Korean Hanja, this can have a meaning of brightness or brilliancy.

In the context of Buddhism, this means, "Light emanating from a Buddha or Bodhisattva, symbolizing their wisdom and compassion"

Past experience is the teacher for the future.

Past events not forgotten serve as teachers for later events.
China qián shì bú wàng hòu shí zhī shī
Past experience is the teacher for the future. Wall Scroll

The most literal translation to English of this ancient Chinese proverb is:
"Past events not forgotten serve as teachers for later events."

However, it's been translated several ways:
Don't forget past events, they can guide you in future.
Benefit from past experience.
Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.
Past calamity is my teacher.
A good memory for the past is a teacher for the future.
The remembrance of the past is the teacher of the future.
If one remembers the lessons of the past; They will serve as a guide to avoid mistakes in the future.

The origin:
This proverb comes from the 5th century B.C. just before the Warring States Period in the territory now known as China.
The head of the State of Jin, Zhi Bo, seized power in a coup. He did this with help from the armies of the State of Han and Wei. Instead of being grateful for the help from Han and Wei, he treacherously took the land of Han and Wei. Never satisfied, Zhi Bo employed the armies of Han and Wei to attack and seize the State of Zhao.

The king of Zhao took advice from his minister Zhang Mengtan and secretly contacted the Han and Wei armies to reverse their plans and attack the army of Zhi Bo instead. The plan was successful, and the State of Zhao was not only saved but was set to become a powerful kingdom in the region.

Zhang Mengtan immediately submitted his resignation to a confused king of Zhao. When asked why, Zhang Mengtan said, "I've done my duty to save my kingdom but looking back at past experience, I know sovereign kings are never satisfied with the power or land at hand. They will join others and fight for more power and more land. I must learn from past experiences, as those experiences are the teachers of future events."
The king could not dispute the logic in that statement and accepted Zhang Mengtan's resignation.

For generations, the State of Zhao continued to fight for power and land until finally being defeated and decimated by the State of Qin (which lead to the birth of the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C.).

Eternal Life / Future Life

China lái shì
Japan rai-se
Eternal Life / Future Life Wall Scroll

This word can be used in many different ways. It is often used to express the next life (life in heaven or wherever your soul is bound for). So it does have a religious overtone. However, it can also be used to express your life in the future - perhaps during your present lifetime. It can also be translated as "the next world," "the next generation," "the time that is to come," "otherworld," or simply "posterity."

See Also:  Eternity | Rebirth | Reincarnation | Immortality

From this Moment Forward
From this Day Forward

China cóng cǐ yǐ hòu
From this Moment Forward / From this Day Forward Wall Scroll

In simple terms, this means "from now on" but you can also interpret it as "Now is the beginning of the future" or "From this day forward.

The first two characters roughly mean "henceforth." The last two characters mean later, afterward, following, or "in the future."

Reiki - Master Symbol

China dà guāng míng
Japan dai kou myou
Reiki - Master Symbol Wall Scroll

大光明 is the master symbol "Daikomyo," which is usually associated with the healing practice of Reiki.

This title can be translated as "Great Bright Light." This symbol, as used in Reiki, alludes to "Enlightened Nature" or the radiance of a purified soul or deity.

Pronunciations in Chinese and Korean are included above but this title has no meaning except when used by a Reiki practitioner. In fact, this title is not that well known by those outside the Reiki community in Japan.

In Chinese, this would be interpreted as "Great Bright Future" (the second two characters alone create a word that means "bright future" in Chinese).

Shaolin Generational Poem

China sōng shān shào lín sì cáo dòng zhèng zōng chuán xù qī shí zì bèi jué fú huì zhì zǐ jiào běn yuán kě wù zhōu hóng pǔ guǎng zōng dào qìng tóng xuán zǔ qīng jìng zhēn rú hǎi zhàn jì chún zhēn sù dé xíng yǒng yán héng miào tǐ cháng jiān gù xīn lǎng zhào yōu shēn xìng míng jiàn chóng zuò zhōng zhēng shàn xǐ xiáng jǐn zhì yuán jì dù xuě tíng wéi dǎo shī yǐn rǔ guī xuàn lù
Shaolin Generational Poem Wall Scroll

嵩山少林寺曹洞正宗傳續七十字輩訣福慧智子覺了本圓可悟周洪普廣宗道慶同玄祖清靜真如海湛寂淳貞素德行永延恆妙體常堅固心朗照幽深性明鑒崇祚忠正善禧祥謹志原濟度雪庭為導師引汝歸鉉路 is a poem, including title, that celebrates the tactics and virtues of the Shaolin Kung Fu Monks for future generations.


China xiān jiàn
Japan senken
Foresight Wall Scroll

Seeing the potential benefits or troubles that may lie ahead in the future.

Can also be defined as "presupposition" or "forethought."

See Also:  Fate

Tomorrow / The Next Sun

China míng rì
Japan ashita / meibi
Tomorrow / The Next Sun Wall Scroll

明日 is a common way to say "tomorrow" in Chinese and Japanese Kanji.

This temporal noun literally means "next sun[rise]." In addition to "tomorrow," it can also mean "near future."

In Japanese, this can also be the female given name Meibi.


China chāo rén
Japan chou jin
Superman Wall Scroll

超人 is the Chinese title for the comic book hero, Superman.

In Japanese, this can also refer to a superman or superwoman but may refer to Nietzsche's ideal man of the future or the "Ubermensch" or "overman."

超人 is also a word in old Korean Hanja but more a generic term for a super or excellent person or hero.

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 Wall Scroll

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.

Looking Forward / Hoping

China qǐ wàng
Japan kibou
Looking Forward / Hoping  Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese word can be translated as:
to hope; to look forward; looking forward to; hoping for.

The first character means to plan. The second can mean to hope; to expect; to gaze (into the distance); to look towards. Sometimes it can mean full moon.
Together, these characters create this word about hoping, wishing, looking forward, and dreaming about the future.

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 Wall Scroll

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

Drain the pond to get all the fish

Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
China jié zé ér yú
Drain the pond to get all the fish Wall Scroll

In 632 BC, Duke Wen of the Kingdom of Jin was about to lead an army against the forces of the Kingdom of Chu.
The Duke asked one of his advisers, Jiu Fan, how they could possibly win the impending battle, as they were drastically outnumbered.
Jiu Fan said, "All is fair in war," and went on to suggest a plan of dishonorable tactics (cheating).
The Duke was not sure of this advice, so he asked another adviser, Yong Ji, who replied, "If you catch fish by draining the pond, you can certainly get all the fish. But there will be no fish the following year. You can cheat this one time in battle but such tactics can only be used once, as the enemy will be wise in future encounters."

The Duke heard the words of his wiser adviser but cheated to gain victory in the battle. However, he rewarded Yong Ji more than Jiu Fan at the victory celebration, stating that while Jiu Fan's advice gained one victory, the wise words of Yong Ji would last forever.

This Chinese idiom/proverb is still used, over 2600 years later to remind people not to burn bridges, cheat, or dishonor oneself in exchange for a short term gain, while sacrificing the future.

竭澤而漁 is very similar to the meaning of the English phrase, "Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."


Single character for Buddhist Karma
Japan gou
Karma Wall Scroll

業 is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. 業 is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.

Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.

The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).

See Also:  Buddhism

Seven Heavenly Virtues

China xìn yǎng xī wàng cí shàn jiān rěn zhèng yì shèn zhòng jié zhì
Japan shinkou kibou jizen kennin seigi shinchou sessei
Seven Heavenly Virtues Wall Scroll

信仰希望慈善堅忍正義慎重節制 is a list in Chinese and Japanese Kanji of an interpretation of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

1. Faith is belief in God, and the right virtues.
2. Hope is taking a positive future view that good will prevail.
3. Charity is concern for, and active helping of, others.
4. Fortitude is never giving up.
5. Justice is being fair and equitable with others.
6. Prudence is care of and moderation with money.
7. Temperance is moderation of needed things and abstinence from things which are not needed.

The full list is here. 信仰希望慈善堅忍正義慎重節制 is a word list, not a common phrase. While all Chinese and Japanese people will recognize the words in the list, they may not understand what the list is about (unless they are familiar with the Seven Heavenly Virtues).

Don't get this as a tattoo or anything like that without first consulting a native translator in the target language. These are fine for a wall scroll but a long discussion is needed before you commit to this for a lifetime inking commitment.

Choose Life

China xuǎn zé shēng huó
Choose Life Wall Scroll

This can mean to choose life instead of death (or suicide) or to choose to live life to the fullest.

I think of it as the key phrase used by Renton (Ewan McGregor) in the movie Trainspotting. While Chinese people will not think of Trainspotting when they see this phrase, for me, it will always be what comes near the end of this colorful rant:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.

Better Late Than Never

It's Never Too Late Too Mend
China wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
Better Late Than Never Wall Scroll

Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.

Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King’s court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.

The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.

One of the King’s ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins."

This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation." The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin’s words.
Seeing the King’s displeasure with him and the King’s fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.

Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.

The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"

Zhuang Xin told the King this story:

A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.

The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it’s never too late to mend the fence."

This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.

I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.

Note: This does have Korean pronunciation but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.

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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
Bright and Promising Future 明るい未来akarui mirai
A Bright Future 鵬程萬里 / 鵬程萬裡
péng chéng wàn lǐ
peng2 cheng2 wan4 li3
peng cheng wan li
p`eng ch`eng wan li
peng cheng wan li
Bright and Promising Future
光明kou mei / mitsu haru
koumei / mitsuharu
ko mei / mitsu haru
guāng míng
guang1 ming2
guang ming
kuang ming
Past experience is the teacher for the future. 前事不忘后事之師
qián shì bú wàng hòu shí zhī shī
qian2 shi4 bu2 wang4 hou4 shi2 zhi1 shi1
qian shi bu wang hou shi zhi shi
ch`ien shih pu wang hou shih chih shih
chien shih pu wang hou shih chih shih
Eternal Life
Future Life
rai-selái shì / lai2 shi4 / lai shi / laishi lai shih / laishih
From this Moment Forward
From this Day Forward
cóng cǐ yǐ hòu
cong2 ci3 yi3 hou4
cong ci yi hou
ts`ung tz`u i hou
tsung tzu i hou
Reiki - Master Symbol 大光明dai kou myou
dai ko myo
dà guāng míng
da4 guang1 ming2
da guang ming
ta kuang ming
Shaolin Generational Poem 嵩山少林寺曹洞正宗傳續七十字輩訣福慧智子覺了本圓可悟周洪普廣宗道慶同玄祖清靜真如海湛寂淳貞素德行永延恆妙體常堅固心朗照幽深性明鑒崇祚忠正善禧祥謹志原濟度雪庭為導師引汝歸鉉路
sōng shān shào lín sì cáo dòng zhèng zōng chuán xù qī shí zì bèi jué fú huì zhì zǐ jiào běn yuán kě wù zhōu hóng pǔ guǎng zōng dào qìng tóng xuán zǔ qīng jìng zhēn rú hǎi zhàn jì chún zhēn sù dé xíng yǒng yán héng miào tǐ cháng jiān gù xīn lǎng zhào yōu shēn xìng míng jiàn chóng zuò zhōng zhēng shàn xǐ xiáng jǐn zhì yuán jì dù xuě tíng wéi dǎo shī yǐn rǔ guī xuàn lù
song1 shan1 shao4 lin2 si4 cao2 dong4 zheng4 zong1 chuan2 xu4 qi1 shi2 zi4 bei4 jue2 fu2 hui4 zhi4 zi3 jiao4 le5 ben3 yuan2 ke3 wu4 zhou1 hong2 pu3 guang3 zong1 dao4 qing4 tong2 xuan2 zu3 qing1 jing4 zhen1 ru2 hai3 zhan4 ji4 chun2 zhen1 su4 de2 xing2 yong
song shan shao lin si cao dong zheng zong chuan xu qi shi zi bei jue fu hui zhi zi jiao le ben yuan ke wu zhou hong pu guang zong dao qing tong xuan zu qing jing zhen ru hai zhan ji chun zhen su de xing yong
sung shan shao lin ssu ts`ao tung cheng tsung ch`uan hsü ch`i shih tzu pei chüeh fu hui chih tzu chiao le pen yüan k`o wu chou hung p`u kuang tsung tao ch`ing t`ung hsüan tsu ch`ing ching chen ju hai chan chi ch`un chen su te hsing yung
sung shan shao lin ssu tsao tung cheng tsung chuan hsü chi shih tzu pei chüeh fu hui chih tzu chiao le pen yüan ko wu chou hung pu kuang tsung tao ching tung hsüan tsu ching ching chen ju hai chan chi chun chen su te hsing yung
Foresight 先見
senkenxiān jiàn
xian1 jian4
xian jian
hsien chien
The Next Sun
明日ashita / meibimíng rì / ming2 ri4 / ming ri / mingri ming jih / mingjih
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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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.

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