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| 1. Realize Your Ambitions...
4. Amazing Grace
6. Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body
8. Strong and Beautiful
9. Unity / United / Solidarity / Cooperation
12. Home of the Auspicious Golden Dragon
14. In Wine there is Truth
15. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good
16. Japanese Snapping Turtle...
18. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa
19. Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu
This Japanese proverb suggests that you should embrace, pursue, and realize your ambitions.
The first part means ambitions or aspirations.
The last part means to embrace, or to hold in your arms.
Here's the character breakdown:
大志 (taishi) ambition; aspiration.
を (o) particle
抱く (idaku) to embrace; to hold in the arms (e.g. a baby); to hug; to harbor (harbour); to bear (e.g. a grudge); to entertain (e.g. suspicion); to sleep with; to sit on eggs.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
領導 is the Chinese word for "Leadership." It contains the ideas of "to lead," "to direct," "to conduct" and "to guide." Putting a wall scroll with this word on your wall suggests that you are honing your leadership skills or hold a position of leadership.
アメイジング・グレイス is the Japanese Katakana for Amazing Grace.
This phonetically sounds like the English, "Amazing Grace" but does not hold that meaning since it is a transliteration versus a translation.
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
In Japanese, this character represents the warriors that attempted to hold peace when there was no Emperor in Japan. Be cautious though, as it is an old way to express "servant" or "waiter" in Chinese and Korean. Of course, if you are a samurai, you are a servant to your Shogun-ate, Lord, or the people (which is the root meaning).
See Also: Warrior
I remember this being shouted a lot during U.S. Marine Corps boot camp. 疼痛就是衰弱離你而去的時候 is how to write that phrase in Chinese. At least, this is as close as we could compose/translate it, and hold the full original meaning and connotations.
The version shown here is really, "Pain is weakness leaving your body." Although, it's said in English both ways (the or your), it works better in Chinese with "your."
グリフィン is the name Griffin written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).
グリフィン is used mostly as the name Griffin but can also refer to the mythical beast. It sounds like "Griffin" but does not hold the meaning of the beast known as a Griffin. グリフィン is strictly a transliteration of the way Griffin sounds in English but using Japanese sounds to pronounce it.
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
We don't really have a word like this in English but these two characters create a word that means "strong and beautiful." It could also be translated as "healthy and beautiful."
Note: 健美 is a word in Chinese and Korean but it's also the family name Takemi in Japanese. The characters hold the same meaning in Japanese but It's kind of like having the English name Stillwell, when few people would perceive the meanings of still and well.
團結 / 糰結 means to join forces, unity, united, union, combination, cooperation or solidarity.
Regarding solidarity, this was part of the Chinese title used for the Solidarity Workers Union in Poland. In some circumstances, this can mean "hold a rally."
While there's not a perfect match to the English word "unity" in Chinese, this word is pretty close. It contains the idea of joining forces, and working as one. It could even mean to rally together to achieve a goal, or defeat a common enemy.
There are several variations of these characters such as 团结, 団結, 團結, 糰結, etc. Modern Japanese will write it 団結. Just the first Kanji varies. Click on the image of that modern Japanese first Kanji to the right if you want this version instead of the traditional one.
耶穌 is simply the name "Jesus" transliterated into Chinese. These characters hold a pronunciation in Mandarin that is closer to the real and original Hebrew Yeshua, instead of the incorrect way we have always pronounced Jesus in English with a hard "J" sound. While this name sounds like the real "Jesus" in Chinese, Christians in China are more likely to say "Christ" (Jidu) which holds more meaning than just sound.
If you are Latino and have been given the name "Jesus," this is also how to write your name in Chinese.
保護者 is the universal word for protector in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
The first character means to defend, to protect, to insure or guarantee, to maintain, hold or keep, or to guard.
The second character means to protect.
Together the first and second characters create a word that means to defend, to protect, or to safeguard.
The last character means person.
Add all three characters together, and you have a word that means "protector," one who will protect, guard, and keep you safe.
Some will also translate this word as guardian or patron.
Note: Not a common selection for a wall scroll in Asia.
See Also: Guardian Angel
This "home golden auspicious dragon" title was added by special request of a customer.
The first character means gold or golden.
The second and third characters hold the meaning of auspiciousness and good luck.
The fourth character is dragon.
The fifth is a possessive modifier (like making "dragon" into "dragon's").
The last character means home (but in some context can mean "family" - however, here it would generally be understood as "home").
Note: The word order is different than the English title, because of grammar differences between English and Chinese. This phrase sounds very natural in Chinese in this character order. If written in the English word order, it would sound very strange and lose its impact in Chinese.
Note: Korean pronunciation is included above, but this has not been reviewed by a Korean translator.
皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor. 皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's first born son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.
The first character means emperor by itself.
The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress, and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.
Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.
皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).
酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言 is a nice Asian proverb if you know a vintner or wine seller - or wine lover - although the actual meaning might not be exactly what you think or hope.
The literal meaning is that someone drinking wine is more likely to let the truth slip out. It can also be translated as, "People speak their true feelings after drinking alcohol."
It's long-believed in many parts of Asia that one can not consciously hold up a facade of lies when getting drunk, and therefore the truth will come out with a few drinks.
I've had the experience where a Korean man would not trust me until I got drunk with him (I was trying to gain access to the black market in North Korea which is tough to do as an untrusted outsider) - so I think this idea is still well-practiced in many Asian countries.
Please note that there are two common ways to write the second character of this phrase. The way it's written will be left up to the mood of the calligrapher, unless you let us know that you have a certain preference.
This can also mean: "Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service."
This Chinese proverb is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)
The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
A man named Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.
Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things in an honorable way. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.
Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime, long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as "ke ji feng gong."
This character refers to different turtles in different languages. See individual language notes below:
Japanese: 鼈 means "snapping turtle" or "mud turtle." But rarely used as a single Kanji like this in Japanese.
This is Trionyx Sinensis.
Chinese: 鼈 means soft-shelled turtle. A specific species, Trionyx Sinensis which is native to Asia.
In China, this species is related to the "wang ba," a soft-shelled turtle sometimes known in English as a banjo turtle (due to it's long neck, and general shape). Unfortunately, there is a word, "wang ba dan" which means the egg of this species of turtle. That term has come to mean "bastard" in Chinese (a turtle hatches from an abandoned egg, and does not know who his mother or father is). This is not a good selection for a wall scroll if your audience is Chinese.
In Korean, this character can be pronounced (though most Koreans would have to look it up in a dictionary). It has not been in common use in Korea for at least a few hundred years.
General notes: You may notice that the bottom half of this character is the same as some other turtle-related titles. That bottom half is actually an ancient character that means "toad." Though not see in this way today, most turtle-related characters hold the meaning of "a toad with a shell" in their ancient origin. That toad character is rarely used alone anymore but you can see what it looks like in the image to the right.
Hapkido is a mostly-defensive martial art of Korea. It has some connection to Aikido of Japan. In fact, they are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.
The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is a bit muddled in history. 合氣道 is probably due to the relationship between the two countries - especially during WWII when many Koreans became virtual slaves for the Japanese (many Koreans are still bitter about that, so many things were disassociated from having any Japanese origin).
Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
One way to translate this into English is "Harmonizing Energy Method." This makes since, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy, rather that fighting with strength against strength.
More Hapkido info
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as "hap ki do," "hapki-do" "hab gi do" or "hapgido."
2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than can read English.
3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist," or even "law of the fist." The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.
Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.
These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).
The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).
Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:
1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.
2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist."
3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense." I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.
This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty. It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.
First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.
I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.
Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds peoples homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.
Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: .
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is:
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.
More about the poet:
Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.
He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.
During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.
His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.
The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition
|大志を抱く||taishi wo Idaku|
|Allah||アラー||araa / ara|
|lǐng dǎo / ling3 dao3 / ling dao / lingdao||ling tao / lingtao|
|Amazing Grace||アメイジンググレイス||ameijingu gureisu|
|Samurai||侍||samurai||shì / shi4 / shi||shih|
|Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body||疼痛就是衰弱離你而去的時候|
|téng tòng jiù shì shuāi ruò lí nǐ ér qù de shí hòu
teng2 tong4 jiu4 shi4 shuai1 ruo4 li2 ni3 er2 qu4 de shi2 hou4
teng tong jiu shi shuai ruo li ni er qu de shi hou
|t`eng t`ung chiu shih shuai jo li ni erh ch`ü te shih hou
teng tung chiu shih shuai jo li ni erh chü te shih hou
|Strong and Beautiful||健美||takemi||jiàn měi / jian4 mei3 / jian mei / jianmei||chien mei / chienmei|
|團結 / 糰結|
团结 / 団结
|dan ketsu / danketsu||tuán jié / tuan2 jie2 / tuan jie / tuanjie||t`uan chieh / tuanchieh / tuan chieh|
|yē sū / ye1 su1 / ye su / yesu||yeh su / yehsu|
|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 Hold Kanji, Hold Characters, Hold in Mandarin Chinese, Hold Characters, Hold in Chinese Writing, Hold in Japanese Writing, Hold in Asian Writing, Hold Ideograms, Chinese Hold symbols, Hold Hieroglyphics, Hold Glyphs, Hold in Chinese Letters, Hold Hanzi, Hold in Japanese Kanji, Hold Pictograms, Hold in the Chinese Written-Language, or Hold in the Japanese Written-Language.