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Buy a Happens calligraphy wall scroll here!
Start your custom "Happens" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Happens" title below...
世事難料 is a polite Chinese version of, "shit happens." This phrase just suggests that things happen (for no reason, and for which we have no control).
The first two characters mean: the affairs of life; things of the world; worldly affairs; ways of the world.
The third character means: disaster; distress; problem; difficulty; difficult; hardships; troubles; defect.
The last character in this context means: to expect; to anticipate; to guess.
If you put this back together, you have something like, "In life, troubles (should be) expected."
The first two characters mean "all things" or "everything."
The middle character kind of means, "in all cases."
The last two characters create a complex word that can be defined many ways such as, "karma," "cause and effect," "fate," "every cause has its effect, as every effect arises from a cause."
Keep in mind, Chinese grammar is a bit different than English, so trust me that this makes a natural proverb that means, "Everything happens for a reason" in Chinese.
This is a work in progress. We're still trying to decide the best way to express this in Japanese. If you order this, we might have a discussion about the best version that fits you. Here's how the characters break down by meaning (keep in mind, Japanese grammar and sentence construction is very different from English, so it doesn't make complete sense in English)...
物事 = things, everything
全て all, the whole, entirely
あっ be, exist, have, take place, happens
起きる to occur, to happen; to take place (usually unfavorable incidents)
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
德 is the simple way to express the ideas of having virtue, morals, kindness, benevolence, goodness etc. 德 also happens to be the first character of the Chinese word for Germany.
There is a slight deviation in the Japanese Kanji form. If you want the modern Japanese version, please click on the special Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note that the traditional Chinese form is still readable and understood by Japanese people.
骨 is the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for bone or bones. If your name happens to be Bone or Bones, this is a cool character for a wall scroll to hang in your home or office.
No matter what happens, life goes on. For better or worse, life goes one. 生活在繼續 is the basic idea behind this modern Chinese proverb which literally says "Life goes on" in these five characters.
A further explanation of this phrase can now be found on our forum here: Life Goes On in Chinese, explained.
雙子座 is the Japanese way to write Gemini (twins) of western astrology.
This also happens to be the Simplified Chinese version of this title - however, I recommend the Traditional Chinese version if your audience is Chinese.
See Also: Chinese Zodiac
This literally means "meditation garden." The first character happens to be known as Zen in the west (pronunciation coming from Japanese) but this title is not often used in Japan (won't be recognized as a Japanese title). In fact, the title "Zen Garden" is basically made up by westerners.
蓮 is another name for "lotus." This happens to be a single-character that expresses "lotus" in Chinese, and the common name of "lotus" in Japanese and Korean (note that there are two ways to pronounce this character in Korean).
This is an old Chinese proverb that is sometimes compared to the English saying "Shit Happens."
It's a reflection that there are risks in life, and you should not be surprised when things don't go your way.
A secondary translation might be, "When walking by a river, often one cannot avoid wet shoes."
If you want to wish someone a happy new year this is the way. You can hang this up during Western New Years (Dec 31st - Jan 1st) and keep it up until after Chinese New Years which happens in either January or February of each year (it changes from year to year because China uses a lunar calendar).
天使 is the meaning of Angel in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
The first character means heaven. The second means messenger. Together it makes sense that we are talking about angels as Heaven's Messengers.
If you are an "Angel Junkie," this may be the wall scroll for you.
I also think it's a great choice if your name happens to be Angel.
See Also: Angel
This Kanji represents a bond, as in the bond between mother and daughter, father and son, family ties, or a family bond.
絆 is the kind of character that says, no matter what happens (difficult times), we have this bond that cannot be broken.
If you go to the Japanese dictionary, the definition is: bonds (between people); (emotional) ties; relationship; connection; link; tether; fetters.
Read this before ordering...
This Kanji is best if your audience is Japanese. While this is also a Chinese character, it has a completely different meaning in Chinese (it means to hinder or stumble in Chinese). It's a very rare character in Korean Hanja but does mean bond in Korean (used in Korean words for certain kinds of glue and sticking plaster).
鳶尾花 is the title for the iris flower in Chinese and Japanese.
If your name happens to be Iris, this is a beautiful way to express your name by meaning in both of these languages (it will mean your name but not sound like your name).
Can also mean wall iris, roof iris, or Iris tectorum.
Note: There are other titles for specific iris varieties - contact us if you need something special.
In Japanese, this word means "manners," "courtesy" or "etiquette."
This also clearly means etiquette in Chinese, though the first Japanese Kanji has been "modernized" and happens to be the same as the modern Simplified Chinese version. Therefore, this word will be understood by both Japanese and Chinese people but best if your audience is mostly Japanese (Chinese people would generally prefer the ancient Traditional Chinese version).
菖蒲 is the title for the iris flower in Japanese.
If your name happens to be Iris, this is a nice way to express your name by meaning in Japanese (it will mean your name but not sound like your name).
Can also mean Siberian iris (Iris sanguinea) or sweet flag (Acorus calamus / Acorus gramineus) varieties.
Note: This will also be recognized in Chinese, though it is generally written with the addition of a character meaning "stone" in front in the Chinese language.
These two characters contain the ideas of "fate," "destiny," "fortune" and "luck" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
運命 is often defined as "a person's fate" in various dictionaries.
These two characters can be reversed (written in either order) and yield roughly the same meaning.
This particular character order happens to be more common in old Korean and less common in modern Chinese.
鼇 means "legendary turtle" in Chinese. 鼇 is a great mythological turtle that travels the seas. The creature is comparable to the dragon of China, however, it so happens that dragons became a bit more famous as history progressed. In modern Chinese, this character can just refer to a large sea turtle.
Note: 鼇 can be pronounced in Korean but this is a very rare Korean Hanja form - it hasn't been used in Korea for at least a few hundred years (even before they switched to Hangul characters).
This literally means, "red treasure."
Depending on context, it can also mean, "money wrapped in red as a gift," "a bonus payment," "a kickback," or "a bribe."
However, most of the time, this is an innocent gift of money in a red envelope that is given from an elder relative to a youngster. This usually happens during Chinese New Years. It can also happen in preparation for, or during a wedding in China.
紅包 is called a "Hong Bao" in Chinese. Filipino Chinese call it an "Ang Pao." There are a few other variations.
米蘭 is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the Latin name Milan.
This also happens to be the Chinese name for the city Milan or Milano in Italy.
米蘭 are only used for their phonetic properties but this would mean "rice orchid." But any Chinese person will know that you are talking about either the Italian city or a person named Milan (and will not take the literal meaning).
Though technically, you are supposed to use Katakana instead of Kanji, this also sounds like Milan in Japanese. The pronunciation was borrowed from Chinese when Japan borrowed Chinese characters in the 5th century.
It should first be noted that this is one of the oddest selections for a wall scroll in our whole Asian calligraphy database. All of our translators are convinced that no Chinese person would ever hang this on their wall.
On to the phrase...
This is a suggestion that you should not cry or feel sad until you see the coffin (not until the worst has happened, or until you are sure it has happened).
However, others will say this means doing something bad and not looking back - Then the worst happens.
We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.
禮 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.
禮 can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.
Please note that Japanese use a simplified version of the character for respect - it also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. Click on the character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese version.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
See Also: Confucius
月 is how to write the title for "moon" in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
月 is also used to refer to the month. 月 is because China traditionally uses a lunar calendar, so saying "next moon" is the same as saying "next month" etc.
In modern Chinese and Japanese and old Korean, the character for a number is put in front of this moon character to represent western months. So "one moon" is January "two moons" is February etc.
If you are wondering, in the east Asian way to write dates, the character for "sun" or "day" is used with a number in front of it to express the day of the month. So "ten moons, one sun" becomes "October 1st" or "10/1" (this date happens to be Chinese National Day - The equivalent of Independence Day in the USA, Canada Day, or the Queen's Birthday).
緣 / 縁 is a complicated single character. It can mean a lot of different things depending on how you read it.
In Japanese, it can mean fate; destiny; a mysterious force that binds two people together; a relationship between two people; bond; link; connection; family ties; affinity; opportunity; chance (to meet someone and start a relationship). It can also mean "someone to rely on," relative, reminder, memento, or the female given name, Yori.
It's basically the same in Chinese, where it's defined as cause, reason, karma, fate, or predestined affinity.
In Buddhist context, it's Pratyaya. 緣 / 縁 is the concept of indirect conditions, as opposed to direct causes. It's when something happens (meeting someone) by circumstance, or a contributing environment. Instead of a direct cause or act, it is a conditioning cause without direct input or action by the involved people.
Occasionally, this character is used in a facetious way to say hem, seam, or edge of clothing. In this case, it's the seam that brings or holds the clothing together.
Note: Japanese will tend to use the variant of this Kanji shown to the right. If you want this version (and are ordering this from the Japanese master calligrapher), click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above.
Perhaps the Chinese equivalent of "This blessed house" or perhaps "home sweet home."
This phrase literally means "Good fortune house" or "Good luck household." It makes any Chinese person who sees it feel that good things happen in the home in which this calligraphy is hung.
茶緣 is a special title for the tea lover. This kind of means "tea fate" but it's more spiritual and hard to define. Perhaps the tea brought you in to drink it. Perhaps the tea will bring you and another tea-lover together. Perhaps you were already there, and the tea came to you. Perhaps it's the ah-ha moment you will have when drinking the tea.
I've been told not to explain this further, as it will either dilute or confuse the purposefully-ambiguous idea embedded in this enigma.
I happen to be the owner of a piece of calligraphy written by either the son or nephew of the last emperor of China, and this is the title he wrote. It was given to me at a Beijing tea house in 2001. 茶緣 is where I learned to love tea after literally spending weeks tasting and studying everything I could about Chinese tea. I did not understand the significance of the authorship, or meaning of the title at all. Some 10 years later, I realized the gift was so profound and had such providence. Only now I realize the value of a gift that it is too late to give proper thanks for. It was also years later that I ended up in this business, and could have the artwork properly mounted as a wall scroll. It has been borrowed for many exhibitions and shows, and always amazes native Chinese and Taiwanese who read the signature. This piece of calligraphy which I once thought just a bit of ink on a thin and wrinkled piece of paper is now one of my most valued possessions. And by fate, it has taught me to be more thankful of seemingly simple gifts.
Thankfulness is being grateful for what we have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving and being. Appreciate the little things that happen around you and within you every day. Think positively. Thankfulness brings contentment.
Different meaning in Japanese - more like "deep emotion," "impression," "inspiration" - not recommended for a Japanese audience.
Trust is having faith in someone or something. It is a positive attitude about life. You are confident that the right thing will happen without trying to control it or make it happen. Even when difficult things happen, trust helps us to find the gift or lesson in it.
信賴 can also be translated as confidence, reliance, or dependence; thus it can also mean "to rely on" or "to depend on."
There is a slight deviation in the Japanese Kanji form of the second character. If you want the modern Japanese version, please click on the special Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note that the traditional Chinese form is still readable and understood by Japanese people.
Wu Wei is a Daoist (Taoist) tenet, that speaks to the idea of letting nature take its course.
Some will say it's about knowing when to take action and when not to. In reality, it's more about not going against the flow. What is going to happen is controlled by the Dao (Tao), for which one who follows the Dao will not resist or struggle against.
There is a lot more to this concept but chances are, if you are looking for this entry, you already know the expanded concept.
Warning: Outside of Daoist context, this means idleness or inactivity (especially in Japanese where very few know this as a Daoist concept).
Whether you want to make a joke about what marriage really is, or just feel that the world in full of love and hate, this selection is for you.
愛與恨 happen to literally translate. So the first character is love. The middle character is a connecting particle like "and" in English. The last character is hate.
Upon request, we can omit the "and" character and just put a dot to separate love and hate if you prefer.
正精進 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Effort, along with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.
Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake in each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and defilement, the effort to make each activity of our day meditation. This concept is about pursuing wholesome things that promote good karma.
Another definition: Cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome.
This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.
Perhaps a pacifist view or perhaps the best kind of victory; these characters reflect this idea:
The edges of the swords not being stained with blood.
You could also translate it as: Win victory without firing a shot.
The first character means army or force. The second character means without or none. The last two characters mean bloodstained knives. So it represents a returning victorious army without bloodstained knives. 兵不血刃 is the very literal sense of this Chinese proverb. The title definition is more accurate to the way this proverb is understood.
Asking yourself why the direct or literal translation is different?
...Think of compound words in English such as "nevertheless" if we break it apart to "never the less" we will have trouble getting the real definition of "in spite of that." Similar things happen when multiple-characters are used to create a compounded word in Chinese.
This Japanese title can be translated as "for this time only," "chance meeting," "one meeting, one opportunity," "never again," or "one chance in a lifetime."
The characters literally mean "one time one meeting" - of course, the Kanji characters have meaning far beyond a direct translation like this.
Some might use this proverb to talk of an opportunity that presents itself just once in your life. It could also be the single chance-meeting with your true soul mate. Basically an expression for any event that might happen once in a lifetime.
This is primarily a Japanese title, however, there is also a Traditional Chinese (and old Korean) version of this proverb. Just the last character is different.
The traditional form was used in Japan before WWII and in Korea prior to 1900. This title is somewhat known in China.
If you want the older traditional form, just click on the character to the right.
This is Joshua 24:15 in Chinese.
might look like
Joshua 24:15 (KJV) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15 (NIV) But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
These characters here just dwell on the last line of the verse, "...as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
We used the only official Christian Chinese Bible that I know of so that the translation would be as accurate and standard as possible. Any Chinese Christian worth their salt will easily be able to identify this verse from the Chinese words on this scroll.
I think it is a bit like having a secret code on your wall that quietly expresses to whom your are faithful.
A great gift for your devout Christian or Jewish friend if they happen to be fond of Asian art.
Or perhaps a wonderful "conversation starter" for your own home.
Note: If you are curious, the last three characters represent they way "LORD" is used in most English Bibles. In Chinese, this is actually the phonetic name in Mandarin Chinese for "Jehovah."
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shì shì nán liào|
shi4 shi4 nan2 liao4
shi shi nan liao
|shih shih nan liao
|Everything Happens for a Reason||萬事皆因果|
|wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ|
wan4 shi4 jie1 yin1 guo3
wan shi jie yin guo
|wan shih chieh yin kuo
|Everything Happens for a Reason||物事は全て理由があって起きる||monogoto ha subete riyuu ga at te okiru |
monogoto ha subete riyu ga at te okiru
|Moral and Virtuous||德|
|toku||dé / de2 / de||te|
|Cassandre||卡桑德||kǎ sāng dé|
ka3 sang1 de2
ka sang de
|k`a sang te
ka sang te
|Gray||灰||kai||huī / hui1 / hui|
|Bones||骨||hone / kotsu||gǔ / gu3 / gu||ku|
|Life Goes On||生活在繼續|
|shēng huó zài jì xù|
sheng1 huo2 zai4 ji4 xu4
sheng huo zai ji xu
|sheng huo tsai chi hsü
|Gemini Zodiac Symbol|
|futago-za||shuāng zǐ zuò|
shuang1 zi3 zuo4
shuang zi zuo
|shuang tzu tso
|Denver||丹佛||dān fó / dan1 fo2 / dan fo / danfo||tan fo / tanfo|
|Denver||デンバー||denbaa / denba|
|Leanna||李安娜||lì ān nà|
li4 an1 na4
li an na
|zen sono / zensono||chán yuán|
|hasu||lián / lian2 / lian||lien|
|Kenzo||賢三||kenzou / kenzo|
|One who walks by the river|
may end up with wet feet
|cháng zài hé biān zǒu nǎ néng bù shī xié|
chang2 zai4 he2 bian1 zou3 na3 neng2 bu4 shi1 xie2
chang zai he bian zou na neng bu shi xie
|ch`ang tsai ho pien tsou na neng pu shih hsieh
chang tsai ho pien tsou na neng pu shih hsieh
|Happy New Year||新年快樂|
|xīn nián kuài lè|
xin1 nian2 kuai4 le4
xin nian kuai le
|hsin nien k`uai le
hsin nien kuai le
Messenger of Heaven
|天使||ten shi / tenshi||tiān shǐ / tian1 shi3 / tian shi / tianshi||t`ien shih / tienshih / tien shih|
|kizuna||bàn / ban4 / ban||pan|
|ichi hatsu hana|
|yuān wěi huā|
yuan1 wei3 hua1
yuan wei hua
|yüan wei hua
|礼儀 / 禮儀|
|rei gi / reigi||lǐ yì / li3 yi4 / li yi / liyi||li i / lii|
|Iris Flower||菖蒲||ayame / shoubu|
ayame / shobu
|chāng pú / chang1 pu2 / chang pu / changpu||ch`ang p`u / changpu / chang pu|
|un mei / unmei||yùn mìng / yun4 ming4 / yun ming / yunming||yün ming / yünming|
|Legendary Turtle||鼇||áo / ao2 / ao|
|hóng bāo / hong2 bao1 / hong bao / hongbao||hung pao / hungpao|
|mi ran / miran||mǐ lán / mi3 lan2 / mi lan / milan|
|Do not shed a tear until you see the coffin||不見棺材不落淚|
|bú jiàn guān cái bú luò lèi|
bu2 jian4 guan1 cai2 bu2 luo4 lei4
bu jian guan cai bu luo lei
|pu chien kuan ts`ai pu lo lei
pu chien kuan tsai pu lo lei
|rei||lǐ / li3 / li|
|Moon||月||tsuki||yuè / yue4 / yue||yüeh|
|The Mysterious Bond Between People||緣 / 縁|
|en||yuán / yuan2 / yuan||yüan|
|House of Good Fortune||福宅||fú zhái / fu2 zhai2 / fu zhai / fuzhai||fu chai / fuchai|
|chá yuán / cha2 yuan2 / cha yuan / chayuan||ch`a yüan / chayüan / cha yüan|
|Thankfulness||感激||kangeki||gǎn jī / gan3 ji1 / gan ji / ganji||kan chi / kanchi|
To Have Faith
|shinrai||xìn lài / xin4 lai4 / xin lai / xinlai||hsin lai / hsinlai|
|mui||wú wéi / wu2 wei2 / wu wei / wuwei|
|Love and Hate||愛與恨|
|ài yǔ hèn|
ai4 yu3 hen4
ai yu hen
|ai yü hen
|6. Right Effort|
|sei shou jin|
sei sho jin
|zhèng jīng jìn|
zheng4 jing1 jin4
zheng jing jin
|cheng ching chin
|Bloodless Victory||兵不血刃||bīng bù xuè rèn|
bing1 bu4 xue4 ren4
bing bu xue ren
|ping pu hsüeh jen
|Once in a Lifetime||一期一會|
|ichigoichie||yī qī yī huì|
yi1 qi1 yi1 hui4
yi qi yi hui
|i ch`i i hui
i chi i hui
|zhì yú wǒ hé wǒ jiā wǒ men bì dìng shì fèng yē hé huá|
zhi4 yu2 wo3 he2 wo3 jia1 wo3 men bi4 ding4 shi4 feng4 ye1 he2 hua2
zhi yu wo he wo jia wo men bi ding shi feng ye he hua
|chih yü wo ho wo chia wo men pi ting shih feng yeh ho hua|
|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...
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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Happens Kanji, Happens Characters, Happens in Mandarin Chinese, Happens Characters, Happens in Chinese Writing, Happens in Japanese Writing, Happens in Asian Writing, Happens Ideograms, Chinese Happens symbols, Happens Hieroglyphics, Happens Glyphs, Happens in Chinese Letters, Happens Hanzi, Happens in Japanese Kanji, Happens Pictograms, Happens in the Chinese Written-Language, or Happens in the Japanese Written-Language.