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宿業 is the Buddhist concept of Past Karma. To put it simply, it's the sum of all the good and bad from all previous lives (and perhaps earlier in your current life). This term is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist faith (you'll have a tough time finding a non-Buddhist Asian person that knows this word).
Other ways to translate this: "The karma of previous existence," "The karma remaining from prior existences," or simply "Former karma."
See Also: Buddhism
Helpfulness is being of service to others, doing thoughtful things that make a difference in their lives. Offer your help without waiting to be asked. Ask for help when you need it. When we help each other, we get more done. We make our lives easier.
Everyone wants to have some form of safety in their lives. 安全 is the word that represents that idea of safety and security in Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.
This Chinese philosophy tells of how we continue to learn throughout our lives. This proverb can be translated in a few ways such as "Study has no end," "Knowledge is infinite," "No end to learning," "There's always something new to study," or "You live and learn."
The deeper meaning: Even when we finish school we are still students of the world gaining more knowledge from our surroundings with each passing day.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Without being knocked around a bit, [one's] bones won't become hard.
Figuratively, this means: One can't become strong without first being tempered by "hard knocks."
While true for everyone, this sounds like the "Iron Body" form of Kung Fu, where practitioners bodies are beaten (and often bone fractured) in order to become stronger.
For the rest of us, this is just about how we can be tempered and build character through the hardships in our lives.
This is not a common title for a wall scroll in China.
生き甲斐 is a Japanese word that means something one lives for, a reason for being, purpose in life, or in French, raison d'etre.
Everyone has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Finding your Ikigai is the way to also finding satisfaction and meaning to life.
Your Ikigai could be almost anything. For some it is running for president, for others, the satisfaction found in raising children.
Ikigai is the reason you get up in the morning, the thing that brings meaning to your life, and pursuing your Ikigai makes life worthwhile.
公安 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title for (The Ministry of) Public Security. 公安 can also generally mean public safety, public security, or public welfare. It is a positive term in Japan, were some even name their daughters "Kouan" (this title).
In China, this is the kinder name for the PSB or Public Security Bureau. It's really the national police of China - occasionally brutal, and seldom properly-trained or educated. Once in a while, you find a PSB officer who lives up to the title of 公安. Before the 1989 massacre, it was the PSB officers who refused to stop nor kill any of the protesting college students (so they're not all bad). The Chinese government had to call in soldiers from Inner-Mongolia to kill thousands of protesters.
飛虎隊 is the full title of the "Flying Tigers Group." These were the American pilots that volunteered to go to China and fight the Japanese prior to the entry of the USA into World War Two. These fighter pilots were so esteemed in China, that fallen American pilots could always find refuge in villages, and safe passage and escape to areas of China that were not occupied by Japan at that time. Chinese villagers helped such fallen pilots with full knowledge that when the Japanese occupation forces found out, all the men, women, and children in the village would be massacred by Japanese troops (there are more than a few known cases of such massacres).
The Flying Tigers successfully kept supply lines to the Chinese resistance open, and divided Japanese forces at a crucial time while America prepared to officially join WWII.
A wall scroll like this honors the men who risked or gave their lives as noble volunteers, and is a reminder of the best moment in the history of Sino-American relations.
These three characters literally mean "flying tiger(s) group/team/squad."
Note: Hanging these characters on your wall will not make you any friends with Japanese people who are aware or this history (most Japanese have no idea, as Japan's involvement in WWII has all but been erased from school textbooks in Japan).
During the Warring States Period of what is now China (475 - 221 B.C.), the King of Wei was in love with war. He often fought with other kingdoms just for spite or fun.
One day, the King of Wei asked the philosopher Mencius, "I love my people, and all say I do the best for them. I move the people from famine-stricken areas to places of plenty, and transport grains from rich areas to the poor. Nobody goes hungry in my kingdom, and I treat my people far better than other kings. But why does the population of my kingdom not increase, and why does the population of other kingdoms not decrease?"
Mencius answered, "Since you love war, I will make this example: When going to war, and the drums beat to start the attack, some soldiers flee for their lives in fear. Some run 100 paces in retreat, and others run 50 steps. Then the ones who retreated 50 paces laugh and taunt those who retreated 100 paces, calling them cowards mortally afraid of death. Do you think this is reasonable?
The King of Wei answered, "Of course not! Those who run 50 paces are just as timid as those who run 100 paces."
Mencius then said, "You are a king who treats his subjects better than other kings treat their people but you are so fond of war, that your people suffer from great losses in battle. Therefore, your population does not grow. While other kings allow their people to starve to death, you send your people to die in war. Is there really any difference?"
This famous conversation led to the six-character proverb shown here. It serves as a warning to avoid hypocrisy. It goes hand-in-hand with the western phrase, "The pot calls the kettle black," or the Biblical phrase, "Before trying to remove a splinter from your neighbor's eye, first remove the plank from your own eye."
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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|
|Karma (of your past lives)||宿業|
|shukugou / shukugo||sù yè / su4 ye4 / su ye / suye||su yeh / suyeh|
|lè yú zhù rén|
le4 yu2 zhu4 ren2
le yu zhu ren
|le yü chu jen
|安全||an zen / anzen||ān quán / an1 quan2 / an quan / anquan||an ch`üan / anchüan / an chüan|
|Salvation||救世||guze||jiù shì / jiu4 shi4 / jiu shi / jiushi||chiu shih / chiushih|
|自己改革||ji ko kai kaku|
|Learning is Eternal||學無止境|
|xué wú zhǐ jìng|
xue2 wu2 zhi3 jing4
xue wu zhi jing
|hsüeh wu chih ching
|Strong bones come from hard knocks||不磕不碰骨頭不硬|
|bù kē bù pèng gǔ tóu bù yìng|
bu4 ke1 bu4 peng4 gu3 tou2 bu4 ying4
bu ke bu peng gu tou bu ying
|pu k`o pu p`eng ku t`ou pu ying
pu ko pu peng ku tou pu ying
Public Security Bureau
|公安||kou an / kouan / ko an / koan||gōng ān / gong1 an1 / gong an / gongan||kung an / kungan|
|Flying Tigers AVG||飛虎隊|
|fēi hǔ duì|
fei1 hu3 dui4
fei hu dui
|fei hu tui
|The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100||五十步笑百步||wù shí bù xiào bǎi bù|
wu4 shi2 bu4 xiao4 bai3 bu4
wu shi bu xiao bai bu
|wu shih pu hsiao pai pu
|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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