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Hell in Chinese / Japanese...

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China dì yù
Japan jigoku
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This is the way that hell is written in modern Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

There's more than one way to express hell but this is the one that has stood the test of time.

The first character refers to the ground or the earth.
The second character means jail or prison.

You can also translate this word as infernal, inferno, Hades, or underworld.

It should be noted that this is a somewhat terrible selection for a wall scroll. Hanging this in your home is like telling the world that your home is hell. Oddly, a lot of people search for this on our website, so I added it for reference.

Hell / Judges of Hell

Ancient way to say Hell
China yīn sī
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陰司 is the ancient way to say "Hell" or "Netherworld" in Chinese.

This title can also refer to the officials of Hell or the judges of Hades or the Netherworld.

Please note that this is a somewhat terrible selection for a wall scroll. Hanging this in your home is like telling the world that your home is hell. Oddly, a lot of people search for this on my website, so I added it for reference.

Hell / Kingdom of the Underworld

China yīn cáo dì fǔ
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This can mean Hell, Hades, Kingdom of the Underworld, or the Netherworld.

When Chinese people have a conversation about Hell, this is usually the term they use. Please note that this is a somewhat oral and informal word.

This is a really weird selection for a wall scroll, so consider this for educational purposes only.

Not the results for hell that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your hell search...

If shown, second row is Simplified Chinese
Simple Dictionary Definition


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Japanese heru ヘル
Japanese (1) hell; (2) Mr (ger: Herr); (place-name) Hel (Poland); Hell

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Mandarin qī qù / qi1 qu4
Taiwan ch`i ch`ü / chi chü
Japanese shichishu
The seven gati or states of sentient beings- nārakagati, in hell; preta, hungry ghost; tiryagyoni, animal; manuṣya, man; ṛṣi, a genius or higher spiritual being; deva, god; asura, demon of the higher order.

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Mandarin sān tú / san1 tu2
Taiwan san t`u / san tu
Japanese sanzu
The 塗 mire is interpreted by 途 a road, i.e. the three unhappy gati or ways; (a) 火塗 to the fires of hell; (b) 血塗 to the hell of blood, where as animals they devour each other; (c) 刀塗 the asipattra hell of swords, where the leaves and grasses are sharp-edged swords. Cf. 三惡趣.

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Japanese sanmaku さんまく
 sannaku さんなく
 sanaku さんあく
Japanese (Buddhist term) (abbreviation) the world of hungry spirits and the world of animals; three evil worlds hell; (1) (Buddhist term) (abbreviation) the world of hungry spirits and the world of animals; three evil worlds hell; (2) three evils (e.g. prostitution, drugs and venereal diseases)

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Mandarin pū jiē / pu1 jie1
Taiwan p`u chieh / pu chieh
Chinese drop dead!; go to hell!; fuck you! (Cantonese)


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Japanese dagoku だごく
Japanese going to hell; falling into hell

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Mandarin duò yù / duo4 yu4
Taiwan to yü
Japanese dagoku
fall into hell

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Mandarin dà jiào / da4 jiao4
Taiwan ta chiao
Japanese daikyō
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

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Mandarin yè mó / ye4 mo2
Taiwan yeh mo
Japanese yama
Yama, 'originally the Aryan god of the dead, living in a heaven above the world, the regent of the South; but Brahminism transferred his abode to hell. Both views have been retained by Buddhism.' Eitel. Yama in Indian mythology is ruler over the dead and judge in the hells, is 'grim in aspect, green in colour, clothed in red, riding on a buffalo, and holding a club in one hand and noose in the other': he has two four-eyed watch-dogs. M. W. The usual form is 閻摩 q. v.

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Mandarin nài lì / nai4 li4
Taiwan nai li
Japanese nari なり
Japanese (given name) Nari
idem 泥梨 niraya, hell.

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Mandarin nài luò / nai4 luo4
Taiwan nai lo
Japanese naraku ならく
Japanese (1) (Buddhist term) Naraka (san: naraka); hell; hades; (2) very bottom; the end; worst possible circumstances; (3) theatre basement; theater basement

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Mandarin pó sǒu / po2 sou3
Taiwan p`o sou / po sou
Japanese basō
vasu 婆萸; good; rich; sweet; dry; according to Monier-Williams, eight personifications of natural phenomena; eight; the sun, etc.; father of Kṛṣṇa; intp. as the first to offer slain sacrifices to Heaven, to have been cast into hell, but after countless kalpas to have become a disciple of Buddha. Also called Vasudeva. Also name of certain devas, e.g. Viṣṇu; and other beings whom men serve, e.g. a father.

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Mandarin yōu míng / you1 ming2
Taiwan yu ming
Japanese yū mei ゆうめい
Chinese dark; hell; netherworld; hades
Japanese semidarkness; deep and strange; hades; the present and the other world; dark and light

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Mandarin dì fǔ / di4 fu3
Taiwan ti fu
Chinese hell; the nether world; Hades

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Mandarin dì yù / di4 yu4
Taiwan ti yü
Japanese jigoku じごく
Chinese hell; infernal; underworld
Japanese hell; (place-name) Jigoku
naraka, 捺落迦 (or 那落迦) ; niraya 泥犂; explained by 不樂 joyless; 可厭 disgusting, hateful; 苦具, 苦器 means of suffering; if 地獄 earth-prison; 冥府 the shades, or departments of darkness. Earth-prison is generally intp. as hell or the hells; it may also be termed purgatory; one of the six gati or ways of transmigration. The hells are divided into three classes: I. Central, or radical, 根本地獄 consisting of (1) The eight hot hells. These were the original hells of primitive Buddhism, and are supposed to be located umder the southern continent Jambudvīpa 瞻部州, 500 yojanas below the surface. (a) 等活 or 更活 Saṃjīva, rebirth, where after many kinds of suffering a cold wind blows over the soul and returns it to this life as it was before, hence the name 等活. (b) 黑繩 Kaslasūtra, where the sufferer is bound with black chains and chopped or sawn asunder. (c) 線合; 衆合; 堆壓 Saṃghāta, where are multitudes of implements of torture, or the falling of mountains upon the sufferer. (d) 號呌; 呼呼; 叫喚 Raurava, hell of wailing. (e) 大呌; 大號呌; 大呼 Mahāraurava, hell of great wailing. (f) 炎熱; 燒炙 Tapana, hell of fames and burning. (g) 大熱; 大燒炙; 大炎熱 Pratāpana, hell of molten lead. (h) 無間; 河鼻旨; 阿惟越致; 阿毗至; 阿鼻; 阿毗 Avīci, unintermitted suffering, where sinners die and are reborn to suffer without interval. (2) The eight cold hells 八寒地獄. (a) 頞浮陀地獄 Arbuda, where the cold causes blisters. (b) 尼刺部陀 Nirarbuda, colder still causing the blisters to burst. (c) 頞哳吒; 阿吒吒 Atata, where this is the only possible sound from frozen lips. (d) 臛臛婆; 阿波波 Hahava or Apapa, where it is so cold that only this sound can be uttered. (e) 虎虎婆 Hāhādhara or Huhuva, where only this sound can be uttered. (f) 嗢鉢羅; 鬱鉢羅 (or 優鉢羅) Utpala, or 尼羅鳥 (or 漚) 鉢羅 Nīlotpala, where the skin is frozen like blue lotus buds. (g) 鉢特摩 Padma, where the skin is frozen and bursts open like red lotus buds. (h) 摩訶鉢特摩 Mahāpadma, ditto like great red lotus buds. Somewhat different names are also given. Cf. 倶舍論 8; 智度論 16; 涅槃經 11. II. The secondary hells are called 近邊地獄 adjacent hells or 十六遊增 each of its four sides, opening from each such door are four adjacent hells, in all sixteen; thus with the original eight there are 136. A list of eighteen hells is given in the 十八泥梨經. III. A third class is called the 孤地獄 (獨地獄) Lokāntarika, or isolated hells in mountains, deserts, below the earth and above it. Eitel says in regard to the eight hot hells that they range 'one beneath the other in tiers which begin at a depth of 11,900 yojanas and reach to a depth of 40,000 yojanas'. The cold hells are under 'the two Tchahavālas and range shaft-like one below the other, but so that this shaft is gradually widening to the fourth hell and then narrowing itself again so that the first and last hell have the shortest, those in the centre the longest diameter'. 'Every universe has the same number of hells, ' but 'the northern continent has no hell whatever, the two continents east and west of Meru have only small Lokāntarika hells... whilst all the other hells are required for the inhabitants of the southern continent '. It may be noted that the purpose of these hells is definitely punitive, as well as purgatorial. Yama is the judge and ruler, assisted by eighteen officers and a host of demons, who order or administer the various degrees of torture. 'His sister performs the same duties with regard to female criminals, ' and it may be mentioned that the Chinese have added the 血盆池 Lake of the bloody bath, or 'placenta tank' for women who die in childbirth. Release from the hells is in the power of the monks by tantric means.
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Mandarin dì zàng / di4 zang4
Taiwan ti tsang
Japanese Jizō じぞう
Chinese Kṣitigarbha, the Bodhisattva of the Great Vow (to save all souls before accepting Bodhi); also translated Earth Treasury, Earth Womb, or Earth Store Bodhisattva
Japanese (surname) Jizou
Ti-tsang, J. Jizō, Kṣitigarbha, 乞叉底蘗沙; Earth-store, Earth-treasury, or Earthwomb. One of the group of eight Dhvani- Bodhisattvas. With hints of a feminine origin, he is now the guardian of the earth. Though associated with Yama as overlord, and with the dead and the hells, his role is that of saviour. Depicted with the alarum staff with its six rings, he is accredited with power over the hells and is devoted to the saving of all creatures between the nirvana of Śākyamuni and the advent of Maitreya the fifth century he has been especially considered as the deliverer from the hells. His central place in China is at Chiu-hua-shan, forty li south-west of Ch'ing-yang in Anhui. In Japan he is also the protector of travellers by land and his image accordingly appears on the roads; bereaved parents put stones by his images to seek his aid in relieving the labours of their dead in the task of piling stones on the banks of the Buddhist Styx; he also helps women in labour. He is described as holding a place between the gods and men on the one hand and the hells on the other for saving all in distress; some say he is an incarnation of Yama. At dawn he sits immobile on the earth 地 and meditates on the myriads of its beings 藏. When represented as a monk, it may be through the influence of a Korean monk who is considered to be his incarnation, and who came to China in 653 and died in 728 at the age of 99 after residing at Chiu-hua-shan for seventy-five years: his body, not decaying, is said to have been gilded over and became an object of worship. Many have confused 眞羅 part of Korea with 暹羅 Siam. There are other developments of Ti-tsang, such as the 六地藏 Six Ti-tsang, i. e. severally converting or transforming those in the hells, pretas, animals, asuras, men, and the devas; these six Ti-tsang have different images and symbols. Ti-tsang has also six messengers 六使者: Yama for transforming those in hell; the pearl-holder for pretas; the strong one or animals; the devīof mercy for asuras; the devī of the treasure for human beings; one who has charge of the heavens for the devas. There is also the 延命地藏 Yanming Ti-tsang, who controls length of days and who is approached, as also may be P'u-hsien, for that Purpose; his two assistants are the Supervisors of good and evil 掌善 and 掌惡. Under another form, as 勝軍地藏 Ti-tsang is chiefly associated with the esoteric cult. The benefits derived from his worship are many, some say ten, others say twenty-eight. His vows are contained in the 地藏菩薩本願經. There is also the 大乘大集地藏十電經 tr. by Xuanzang in 10 juan in the seventh century, which probably influenced the spread of the Ti-tsang cult.

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Mandarin jiàn shān / jian4 shan1
Taiwan chien shan
Japanese kensan
劍樹地獄 Asipattra. The hill of swords, or sword-leaf trees hell, one of the sixteen hells; also called 刀刃路.

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Mandarin qù sǐ / qu4 si3
Taiwan ch`ü ssu / chü ssu
Chinese go to hell!; drop dead!

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Mandarin pū jiē / pu1 jie1
Taiwan p`u chieh / pu chieh
Chinese drop dead!; go to hell!; fuck you! (Cantonese)



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Mandarin wà bō / wa4 bo1
Taiwan wa po
Japanese otsuhatsu
(嗢鉢羅) utpala, the blue lotus; the 6th cold hell.

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Japanese mamayo ままよ
Japanese (interjection) (kana only) whatever; never mind; I don't care; the hell with it

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Mandarin míng fǔ / ming2 fu3
Taiwan ming fu
Japanese myōfu めいふ
Chinese underworld; hell
Japanese hades; realm of the dead; sheol
The palace of darkness, Hades.

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Mandarin míng wáng / ming2 wang2
Taiwan ming wang
Japanese meiou / meo めいおう
Chinese the king of hell
Japanese (n-pr) Hades (Greek god); Pluto (Roman god); (surname) Meiou

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Mandarin míng jiè / ming2 jie4
Taiwan ming chieh
Japanese myōkai めいかい
Chinese ghost world
Japanese hades; realm of the dead
Hades, or the three lower forms of incarnation, i.e. hell, preta, animal.

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Japanese naraku ならく
Japanese (1) (Buddhist term) Naraka (san: naraka); hell; hades; (2) very bottom; the end; worst possible circumstances

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Mandarin gǎo máo / gao3 mao2
Taiwan kao mao
Chinese (dialect) what are you doing?; what the hell?

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Mandarin yè huǒ / ye4 huo3
Taiwan yeh huo
Japanese gōka ごうか
Japanese hell fire
The fires of evil karma; the fires of the hells.

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Mandarin sǐ wáng / si3 wang2
Taiwan ssu wang
Japanese shiō
Yama, 焰魔 as lord of death and hell.

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Mandarin ní rén / ni2 ren2
Taiwan ni jen
Japanese nainin
A sufferer in niraya, or hell, or doomed to it.

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Mandarin ní lí / ni2 li2
Taiwan ni li
Japanese deiri
niraya, intp. as joyless, i. e. hell; also 泥梨 (泥梨耶); 泥梨迦; 泥黎; 泥囉耶; 泥底 v. 捺趣迦 naraka.

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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 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.

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.

If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Be True to Yourself
Big Wave
Chance Meeting
Follow Your Heart
Forbidden Love
Goju Ryu Karate Do
Growing Old Together
Guest Book
Keep Fighting
Long Life
Love for Parents
Marine Corps
Mind Body Soul Spirit
Mind Body Spirit
Mixed Martial Arts
Sincere Heart
Strong and Beautiful
Survival of the Fittest
Tang Dynasty
Zen Buddhism

With so many searches, we had to upgrade to our own Linux server.
Of course, only one in 500 searches results in a purchase - Hey buy a wall scroll!!!

See: Our list of specifically Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls. And, check out Our list of specifically old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Hell 地獄
jigokudì yù / di4 yu4 / di yu / diyu ti yü / tiyü
Hell / Judges of Hell 陰司
yīn sī / yin1 si1 / yin si / yinsi yin ssu / yinssu
Hell / Kingdom of the Underworld 陰曹地府
yīn cáo dì fǔ
yin1 cao2 di4 fu3
yin cao di fu
yin ts`ao ti fu
yin tsao ti fu

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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Hell Kanji, Hell Characters, Hell in Mandarin Chinese, Hell Characters, Hell in Chinese Writing, Hell in Japanese Writing, Hell in Asian Writing, Hell Ideograms, Chinese Hell symbols, Hell Hieroglyphics, Hell Glyphs, Hell in Chinese Letters, Hell Hanzi, Hell in Japanese Kanji, Hell Pictograms, Hell in the Chinese Written-Language, or Hell in the Japanese Written-Language.

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