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Great Ambitions in Chinese / Japanese...

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Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Great Ambitions
  2. Great Aspirations / Ambition
  3. Realize Your Ambitions...
  4. Boys be Ambitious
  5. Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions
  6. Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition
  7. Great Expectations
  8. Without a big net, how can you catch fish?
  9. Ambitious / To Improve Oneself
10. Far-Reaching / Ambitious
11. Fear not long roads;...


Great Ambitions

Brave the wind and the waves
China chéng fēng pò làng
Great Ambitions

乘風破浪 is a Chinese proverb that represents having great ambitions.

The British might say "to plough through." Another way to understand it is, "surmount all difficulties and forge ahead courageously."

This can also be translated as, "braving the wind and waves," "to brave the wind and the billows," "to ride the wind and crest the waves," or "to be ambitious and unafraid."

Literally it reads: "ride (like a chariot) [the] wind [and] break/cleave/cut [the] waves," or "ride [the] wind [and] slash [through the] waves."

乘風破浪 is a great proverb to encourage yourself or someone else not to be afraid of problems or troubles, and when you have a dream just go for it.

There is an alternate version, 長風破浪, but 乘風破浪 is far more common.

Great Aspirations / Ambition

China hóng hú zhī zhì
Great Aspirations / Ambition

This Chinese proverb implies that having great ambitions also means that others will not understand your great expectations and ideas.

Though the actual words come from a longer saying of Confucius which goes, "The little swallows living under the eaves wouldn't understand the lofty ambitions of a swan (who flies far and wide)."

This Confucius quote has led to this idiomatic expression in China that means "think big." What you'd really be saying is "The lofty ambitions of a swan."

Note that Chinese people sometimes refer to the little swallow, as one who does not "think big" but is, instead, stuck in a rut, or just leading a mundane life. Therefore, it's a compliment to be called a swan but not a good thing to be called a swallow.

Great Aspirations / Ambition

Japan tai shi wo idaku
Great Aspirations / Ambition

大志を抱 is a single Japanese word that kind of reads like a short proverb. It suggests that you should have "high aims," "ambitions," or "aspirations" in your life.

Realize Your Ambitions
Ride on the Crest of Success

China dà jiǎn hóng tú
Realize Your Ambitions / Ride on the Crest of Success

This four-character proverb is used in Chinese to mean "realize your ambitions" or "exhibit your ambition and success." It's used to talk about someone with great career ambitions. Almost literally, it expresses the idea of someone unfolding a great career like a map or a set of blueprint plans.

Very literally translated, these four characters mean, "Great unfolding of a huge map" or "Great exhibition of an colossal plan."

Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition

Japan taishi wo Idaku
Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition

This Japanese proverb suggests that you should embrace, pursue, and realize your ambitions.

The first part means ambitions or aspirations.

The last part means to embrace, or to hold in your arms.

Here's the character breakdown:
大志 (taishi) ambition; aspiration.
を (o) particle
抱く (idaku) to embrace; to hold in the arms (e.g. a baby); to hug; to harbor (harbour); to bear (e.g. a grudge); to entertain (e.g. suspicion); to sleep with; to sit on eggs.


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

Boys be Ambitious

Quote from William S. Clark in Japan
Japan shou nen yo tai shi o ida ke
Boys be Ambitious

This was a sort of motto or proverb invoked by William S. Clark, after being hired by the Emperor of Japan in 1876 to establish a university in Hokkaido, Japan.

This phrase is famous across all generations of Japan since that time.


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

Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions

China bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: It is not poverty that is to be feared; It is low ambition.

Figuratively, this means: It is not poverty but lack of lofty aspiration that is to be regretted.

Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition

China xióng xīn
Japan yuushin
Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition

雄心 is the Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji for great ambition, lofty aspiration, or heroic spirit.

Great Expectations

China wàng
Japan bou / nozomi
Great Expectations

望 holds the ideas of ambition, hope, desire, aspiring to, expectations, looking towards, to gaze (into the distance), and in some context full moon rising.

望 is one of those single characters that is vague but in that vagueness, in also means many things.

望 is a whole word in Chinese and old Korean but is seldom seen alone in Japanese. Still, it holds the meanings noted above in all three languages.

Without a big net, how can you catch fish?

China bù sā dà wǎng bù dé dà yú
Without a big net, how can you catch fish?

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [if one does] not cast a big net, [one can] not get big fish.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot make great accomplishments without making great efforts or taking great pains.

This is sort of the fishing version of, "No pain, no gain."

Ambitious / To Improve Oneself

Advance and Progress
China shàng jìn
Japan jou shin
Ambitious / To Improve Oneself

This Chinese and Japanese Kanji word means to advance; to make progress; to do better; ambitious; to improve oneself; to move forwards.

This can refer to a single person, general things (such as a work project), or a whole country.

In Japanese, this is sometimes used as the given name Joushin.

Far-Reaching / Ambitious

China yuǎn dà
Japan en dai
Far-Reaching / Ambitious

This Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja word means: far-reaching; broad; ambitious; promising.

Fear not long roads;
fear only short ambition

China bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
Fear not long roads; / fear only short ambition

This Chinese proverb literally translates as, "Fear not a long roads; fear only short ambition," or "Don't fear that the road is long, only fear that your will/ambition/aspiration is short."

Figuratively, this means: However difficult the goal is, one can achieve it as long as one is determined to do so.

Others may translate the meaning as, "Don't let a lack of willpower stop you from pressing onwards in your journey."

Search for Great Ambitions in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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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
Great Ambitions乘風破浪
乘风破浪
chéng fēng pò làng
cheng2 feng1 po4 lang4
cheng feng po lang
chengfengpolang
ch`eng feng p`o lang
chengfengpolang
cheng feng po lang
Great Aspirations
Ambition
鴻鵠之誌
鸿鹄之志
hóng hú zhī zhì
hong2 hu2 zhi1 zhi4
hong hu zhi zhi
honghuzhizhi
hung hu chih chih
hunghuchihchih
Great Aspirations
Ambition
大志を抱tai shi wo idaku
taishiwoidaku
Realize Your Ambitions
Ride on the Crest of Success
大展宏圖
大展宏图
dà jiǎn hóng tú
da4 jian3 hong2 tu2
da jian hong tu
dajianhongtu
ta chien hung t`u
tachienhungtu
ta chien hung tu
Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition
大志を抱くtaishi wo Idaku
taishiwoIdaku
Boys be Ambitious少年よ大志を抱けshou nen yo tai shi o ida ke
shounenyotaishioidake
sho nen yo tai shi o ida ke
shonenyotaishioidake
Do not fear poverty; Fear low ambitions不怕人窮隻怕志短
不怕人穷只怕志短
bú pà rén qióng zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
bu2 pa4 ren2 qiong2 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa ren qiong zhi pa zhi duan
buparenqiongzhipazhiduan
pu p`a jen ch`iung chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa jen chiung chih pa chih tuan
Heroic Spirit
Great Ambition
雄心yuushin / yushinxióng xīn
xiong2 xin1
xiong xin
xiongxin
hsiung hsin
hsiunghsin
Great Expectationsbou / nozomi
bo / nozomi
bo/nozomi
wàng / wang4 / wang
Without a big net, how can you catch fish?不撒大網不得大魚
不撒大网不得大鱼
bù sā dà wǎng bù dé dà yú
bu4 sa1 da4 wang3 bu4 de2 da4 yu2
bu sa da wang bu de da yu
busadawangbudedayu
pu sa ta wang pu te ta yü
pusatawangputetayü
Ambitious
To Improve Oneself
上進
上进
jou shin / joushin / jo shin / joshinshàng jìn
shang4 jin4
shang jin
shangjin
shang chin
shangchin
Far-Reaching
Ambitious
遠大
远大
en dai / endaiyuǎn dà / yuan3 da4 / yuan da / yuandayüan ta / yüanta
Fear not long roads; fear only short ambition不怕路遠隻怕志短
不怕路远只怕志短
bú pà lù yuǎn zhǐ pà zhì duǎn
bu2 pa4 lu4 yuan3 zhi3 pa4 zhi4 duan3
bu pa lu yuan zhi pa zhi duan
bupaluyuanzhipazhiduan
pu p`a lu yüan chih p`a chih tuan
pu pa lu yüan chih pa chih tuan
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...

Animals
Archangel
Bamboo
Bellflower
Blessed by Heaven
Brother
Bushido
Carpe Diem
Christian
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Friends
Friendship
Harmony
Health
Immortal
Jesus Christ
Live for Today
Live in the Moment
Live the Moment
Long Life
Love
Mind Body Spirit
River
Sushi
Sword
Tiger
Truth

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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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