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Heaven Earth in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Heaven and Earth
  2. One Family Under Heaven
  3. Shidai / Sida / Mahabhuta
  4. Pure Land / Jodo
  5. Water Dragon / Coiled Dragon
  6. Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

Heaven and Earth

China tiān dì
Japan tenchi
Heaven and Earth

天地 is "Heaven and Earth" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

This title is used in many different contexts. It can be a general term but also used by Buddhists and in other religions.

This can also be used to refer to all of nature, the universe, the top and bottom, realm of life, or sphere of existence.

One Family Under Heaven

China tiān xià yī jiā
Japan tenka ikka
One Family Under Heaven

This proverb can also be translated as "The whole world is one family."

It is used to mean that all humans are related under heaven.

The first two characters can be translated as "the world," "whole country," "descended from heaven," "earth under heaven," "the public" or "the ruling power."

The second two characters can mean "one family," "a household," "one's folks," "a house" or "a home." Usually this is read as "a family."

Note: This proverb can be understood in Japanese, though not commonly used.

Shidai / Sida / Mahabhuta

China sì dà
Japan shi dai
Shidai / Sida / Mahabhuta

In Buddhism, this is mahābhūta, the four elements of which all things are made: earth, water, fire, and wind.

This can also represent the four freedoms: speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates, and writing big-character posters.

In some context, this can be a university or college offering four-year programs.

To others, this can represent the Tao, Heaven, Earth and King.

Going back to the Buddhist context, these four elements "earth, water, fire, and wind" represent 堅, 濕, 煖, 動, which is: solid, liquid, heat, and motion.

Pure Land / Jodo

Also a sect of Buddhism
China jìng tǔ
Japan jou do
Pure Land / Jodo

This literally means "pure land" or "clean earth."

淨土 is also the abbreviated title of a Buddhist sect which involves faith in rebirth of Buddha Amitabha (Amitābha) in the Western Heaven. Sometimes this sect is translated as "Paradise of the West." Other titles of this school of Buddhism include Amidism or Elvsium.


See Also:  Nirvana | Shin Buddhism

Water Dragon / Coiled Dragon

China pān lóng
Japan han ryuu
Water Dragon / Coiled Dragon

蟠龍 is sometimes seen as a lower level of dragon, or a dragon that has not-yet-reached its potential.

蟠龍 is often defined as a "lake dragon" that has not ascended to heaven.
Another way to put that is a dragon coiled on the earth, which has not yet ascended to the sky.

Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

China dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
Japan dou ten chi shou hou
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.

It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:

1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.

2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.

3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.

4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.

5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).


Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.

CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.

Search for Heaven Earth 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
Heaven and Earth天地tenchitiān dì / tian1 di4 / tian di / tiandit`ien ti / tienti / tien ti
One Family Under Heaven天下一家tenka ikka / tenkaikka / tenka ika / tenkaikatiān xià yī jiā
tian1 xia4 yi1 jia1
tian xia yi jia
tianxiayijia
t`ien hsia i chia
tienhsiaichia
tien hsia i chia
Shidai
Sida
Mahabhuta
四大shi dai / shidaisì dà / si4 da4 / si da / sidassu ta / ssuta
Pure Land
Jodo
淨土
净土
jou do / joudo / jo do / jodojìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtuching t`u / chingtu / ching tu
Water Dragon
Coiled Dragon
蟠龍
蟠龙
han ryuu / hanryuu / han ryu / hanryupān lóng / pan1 long2 / pan long / panlongp`an lung / panlung / pan lung
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis道天地將法
道天地将法
dou ten chi shou hou
doutenchishouhou
do ten chi sho ho
dotenchishoho
dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
daotiandijiangfa
tao t`ien ti chiang fa
taotientichiangfa
tao tien ti chiang fa
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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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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 Heaven Earth Kanji, Heaven Earth Characters, Heaven Earth in Mandarin Chinese, Heaven Earth Characters, Heaven Earth in Chinese Writing, Heaven Earth in Japanese Writing, Heaven Earth in Asian Writing, Heaven Earth Ideograms, Chinese Heaven Earth symbols, Heaven Earth Hieroglyphics, Heaven Earth Glyphs, Heaven Earth in Chinese Letters, Heaven Earth Hanzi, Heaven Earth in Japanese Kanji, Heaven Earth Pictograms, Heaven Earth in the Chinese Written-Language, or Heaven Earth in the Japanese Written-Language.