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Honesty in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Honesty calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Honesty" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Honesty" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Honesty
  2. Honesty / Fidelity
  3. Sincerity and Devotion
  4. Fidelity Honor Courage
  5. Pillars of Marriage
  6. Integrity
  7. Personal Integrity
  8. In Wine there is Truth
  9. True / Real / Genuine
10. Truth
11. Bushido / The Way of the Samurai


China zhèng zhí
Japan shoujiki
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Honesty is being truthful and sincere. It is important because it builds trust. When people are honest, they can be relied on not to lie, cheat or steal. Being honest means that you accept yourself as you are. When you are open and trustworthy, others can believe in you.

This is one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do.

Note: This entry is cross-listed as "integrity" because it also fits that definition.

Japanese jikiPlease note that the second Kanji sometimes has an alternate form in Japanese. Let us know if you want the alternate form shown to the right.

See Also...  Truth | Trust | Integrity


China shí
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This character means real, true, honest, or solid. It is one of several ways to express the idea of truth.

Note: In some context, this can carry extended meanings of reality, actuality, really, sincerity, or substance.

See Also...  Truth | Trust | Justice


China chéng
Japan makoto
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This character means truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

As a single-character wall scroll, this suggests that you believe "honesty is the best policy", as your personal philosophy.

This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also...  Sincerity | Sincere

Honesty / Fidelity

China xìn
Japan shin
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Honesty / Fidelity

This is another character that expresses the idea of honesty. It can also mean truth, faith, believe in, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although "makoto" is probably more common/popular.

Note: In some context, this character can mean letter; news or envoy. However, alone, it will generally be read with the honesty-meaning.

See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also...  Loyalty Trustworthiness Trustworthy

Sincerity and Devotion

China zhì chéng
Japan shisei
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Sincerity and Devotion

This is the idea that you enter into something with the utmost sincerity and fidelity. Ideas such as devotion, honesty, and "one's true heart" are also contained in this word.

This is a universal word as the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja are all identical.

Fidelity Honor Courage

China xìn yì zūn yán yǒng qì
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Fidelity Honor Courage

This is a word list that was requested by a customer. Word lists are not that common in Chinese, but we've put this one on the best order/context to make it as natural as possible.

We used the "honor" that leans toward the definition of "dignity" since that seemed like the best match for the other two words.

Please note: These are three two-character words. You should choose the single-column format when you get to the options when you order this selection. The two-column option would split one word or it would be arranged with four characters on one side and two on the other.

Pillars of Marriage

Respect / Loyalty / Honesty
China zūn zhòng zhōng chéng chéng shí
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Pillars of Marriage

These are the pillars of marriage (at least they are for some - if you have a different set of pillars and want them on a wall scroll, just post a custom phrase request on our forum).

This is actually a "word list", consisting of "Respect/Loyalty/Honesty". Word lists are not as common in Chinese as they are in English, but leaving that concern behind, this has a good meaning.

If you want to customize it more, add an inscription with your wedding date or names (just a small extra fee for translation).

Note: Because these are three separate words, the calligrapher may be inclined to leave a small space between each two-character word. Let us know if you have any preference when you place your order.


China zhèng zhí
Japan shoujiki
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Integrity is living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere. Integrity helps you to listen to your conscience, to do the right thing, and to tell the truth. You act with integrity when your words and actions match. Integrity gives you self-respect and a peaceful heart.

Japanese jikiPlease note that the second Kanji sometimes has an alternate form in Japanese. Let us know if you want the alternate form shown to the right.

Note: This entry is cross-listed as "honesty" because it also fits that definition.

Beyond Integrity, this word also means "upright" and "honest" in Chinese. Means "integrity", "honesty" or "frankness" in Japanese.

See Also...  Honor | Truth | Trust

Personal Integrity

China zhì cāo
Japan shi sou
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Personal Integrity

This is personal integrity - basically, holding yourself to a higher standard of honesty and reliability. These two characters also contain the ideas of constancy, principles, and faithfulness.

Note: In Japanese, this just means "principle".

In Wine there is Truth

China jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán
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In Wine there is Truth

This 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.

后 VS 後

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.

See Also...  Truth

True / Real / Genuine

China zhēn
Japan shin / makoto
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True / Real / Genuine

This is a simple way to express the idea that something is real, true, truth or genuine.

Occasionally, this character is used to refer to a Buddhist sect that originated in the 13th century.

This character is commonly used as a compound with other characters to create ideas like "true love". It's also used like the English "really" or "truly", to say "really good" or "He is really knowledgable". Those phrases start with "他真的是..." (note second character is this one).

There are two ways to write this character, shown here is the most common way in China, however, a slight stroke variation is used in Korean Hanja. If you want that version, just let us know when you place your order.


China zhēn xiàng
Japan shin sou
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Beyond "truth" in Chinese, this can also be used to say "the actual facts" or "genuine" depending on context.

This also means "truth" in Japanese, just not as commonly used.

Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

China wǔ shì dào
Japan bu shi do
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Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

This is the title for, "The Code of the Samurai".

Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai", "The Bushido Code", or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry".

This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior", "The Warrior's Way", or "The Warrior's Code".

It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan, and thought of as being of Japanese origin.

The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Benevolence 仁, Courage 勇, Honesty 誠, Honour 名誉, Loyalty 忠実, Respect 礼(禮), and Rectitude 義. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.

See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also...  Samurai | Warrior

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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.

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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
Honesty 正直shoujiki / shojikizhèng zhí
zheng4 zhi2
zheng zhi
cheng chih
shí / shi2 / shi shih
makotochéng / cheng2 / cheng ch`eng / cheng
Honesty / Fidelity shinxìn / xin4 / xin hsin
Sincerity and Devotion 至誠
shiseizhì chéng
zhi4 cheng2
zhi cheng
chih ch`eng
chih cheng
Fidelity Honor Courage 信義尊嚴勇氣
xìn yì zūn yán yǒng qì
xin4 yi4 zun1 yan2 yong3 qi4
xin yi zun yan yong qi
hsin i tsun yen yung ch`i
hsin i tsun yen yung chi
Pillars of Marriage 尊重忠誠誠實
zūn zhòng zhōng chéng chéng shí
zun1 zhong4 zhong1 cheng2 cheng2 shi2
zun zhong zhong cheng cheng shi
tsun chung chung ch`eng ch`eng shih
tsun chung chung cheng cheng shih
Integrity 正直shoujiki / shojikizhèng zhí
zheng4 zhi2
zheng zhi
cheng chih
Personal Integrity 志操 / 誌操
shi sou / shisou / shi so / shisozhì cāo / zhi4 cao1 / zhi cao / zhicao chih ts`ao / chihtsao / chih tsao
In Wine there is Truth 酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言
jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán
jiu3 hou4 tu3 zhen1 yan2
jiu hou tu zhen yan
chiu hou t`u chen yen
chiu hou tu chen yen
True / Real / Genuine 真 or 眞
shin / makotozhēn / zhen1 / zhen chen
Truth 真相shin sou / shinsou / shin so / shinsozhēn xiàng
zhen1 xiang4
zhen xiang
chen hsiang
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai 武士道bu shi do / bushidowǔ shì dào
wu3 shi4 dao4
wu shi dao
wu shih tao

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

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