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老師 directly translates as, "old teacher," "old master," or "old sage."
Together, they are understood as "teacher." When you think about that, also realize that with age comes respect in Asian cultures. So calling someone old is actually a term of respect (not like the way we mean it in English). You could actually replace "old" with "respected" and be closer to the way this is meant in Chinese.
Teachers, in general, are more respected by their students and the population in China. When I was a teacher in China, I certainly felt that.
This term is also used for masters of certain fields. For instance, a master calligrapher would respectfully be addressed as "teacher." In fact, in this case, "master" and "teacher" are synonymous.
Other artists (especially those are famous or accomplished) should be addressed with this term. Also, some schools of martial arts use this term of respect for their masters/teachers/instructors.
This title is recognized in Japanese as "roushi" with the same meaning but it's rarely used in Japan.
孔子 is how to write the name of the great sage, known in the West as Confucius.
His real name is Kongzi (The name Confucius is a westernized version of his name - his family name is Kong, and "zi" was added as a title of distinction).
He lived some 2500 years ago in Qufu, a town in modern-day Shandong Province of Northern China (about 6 hours south of Beijing by bus). He was a consort to Emperors, and after his death, the impact of his philosophies still served to advise emperors, officials, and common people for generations.
Also during these thousands of years, the Kong family remained powerful in China, and the Kong estate was much like the Vatican in Rome. The Kong estate existed as if on sovereign ground with its own small garrison of guards and privileges of a kingdom within an empire.
This was true up until the time the Kong family had to flee to Taiwan in 1949 when the Red Army took victory over the Nationalists during the Revolution. The home of Confucius was later razed and all statues defaced or stolen during the Cultural Revolution. Finally, after years of smearing his name and image, it is once again okay to celebrate the teachings of Confucius in mainland China.
聖 is the simple, single-character religious form of "saint" in Chinese (also holds same meaning in Japanese and Korean, though rarely used alone like this).
This can also mean: holy, sage, master, or priest.
Note: 聖 is often used in compound words (words of more than one character) to create further meanings. In compounds, it can mean holy, sacred or divine.
聖 is also used as the first word for Spanish and English place names such as "San Diego" and "St. Louis" in Chinese (not Japanese).
In Buddhist context, this can represent ārya or sādhu. And mean a sage; wise and good; upright, or correct in all his character; sacred, holy, or saintly.
哲 is a Japanese name that is often romanized as Tetsu.
The meaning of the character can be: philosophy; wise; sage; wise man; philosopher; disciple; sagacity; wisdom; intelligence.
哲 can also be romanized as: Yutaka; Masaru; Hiroshi; Tooru; Tetsuji; Choru; Satoru; Satoshi; Akira; Aki.
聖者 is the religious way to express the idea of "Saint" in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji. Some may translate this as "Holy man" or "Holy person."
聖人 can mean saint, sage, or holy man.
Note: There is more than one way to express this idea. This one really matches "Holy man" because the second character means "human" or "person" (therefore, this could equally mean "Holy woman").
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|lǎo shī / lao3 shi1 / lao shi / laoshi||lao shih / laoshih|
|Confucius||孔子||koushi / koshi||kǒng zǐ / kong3 zi3 / kong zi / kongzi||k`ung tzu / kungtzu / kung tzu|
|sei||shèng / sheng4 / sheng|
|哲||tetsu||zhé / zhe2 / zhe||che|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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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