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Idea Concept in Chinese / Japanese...

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Idea / Concept
  2. Wu Wei / Without Action
  3. Truth Flashed Through The Mind
  4. Live For The Day
  5. Free Will
  6. Karma
  7. Five Elements
  8. Mercy / Compassion / Love
  9. Mutual Welfare and Benefit
10. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
11. Fate / Opportunity / Chance


Idea / Concept

China lǐ niàn
Japan ri nen
Idea / Concept Wall Scroll

This means idea, notion, concept, principle, theory, philosophy*, or doctrine in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

This word is OK for a wall scroll, although it's more commonly used as an oral/informal word in Asia.

* This is not the title for philosophy but rather is about having a certain philosophy or approach to something.

Wu Wei / Without Action

Daoist / Taoist Tenet
China wú wéi
Japan mui
Wu Wei / Without Action Wall Scroll

Wu Wei is a Daoist (Taoist) tenet, that speaks to the idea of letting nature take its course.

Some will say it's about knowing when to take action and when not to. In reality, it's more about not going against the flow. What is going to happen is controlled by the Dao (Tao), for which one who follows the Dao will not resist or struggle against.

There is a lot more to this concept but chances are, if you are looking for this entry, you already know the expanded concept.

Warning: Outside of Daoist context, this means idleness or inactivity (especially in Japanese where very few know this as a Daoist concept).

Truth Flashed Through The Mind

China cān wù
Truth Flashed Through The Mind Wall Scroll

參悟 is a Chan / Zen Buddhism concept that means "to understand (mystery) from meditation," or "to see truth flash through the mind."

參悟 is a pretty deep idea, therefore, your own study and contemplation may be required before you can fully appreciate it.

Live For The Day

China huó zài jīn tiān
Live For The Day Wall Scroll

活在今天 is not really an eastern concept, so it does not translate into a phrase that seems natural on a wall scroll. However, if this is your philosophy, the characters shown here do capture your idea of living for today or living in the moment. 活在今天 literally say "Live in today" and they are grammatically correct in Chinese.


Note: This kind of makes sense in Korean Hanja but the grammar is Chinese, so it's not that natural in Korean.

Free Will

China zì yóu yì zhì
Japan jiyuu ishi
Free Will Wall Scroll

This concept has existed for thousands of years that humans have the ability to understand right and wrong, then make a decision one way or the other (thus affecting their own fate).

Sources such as Confucius, Buddhist scriptures, the Qur'an and the Bible all address this idea.

As for the characters shown here, the first two mean free, freedom, or liberty. The last two simply mean "will."


See Also:  Freedom | Strong Willed | Fate

Karma

Single character for Buddhist Karma
China
Japan gou
Karma Wall Scroll

業 is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. 業 is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.

Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.

The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).


See Also:  Buddhism

Five Elements

China wǔ xíng
Japan gogyou
Five Elements Wall Scroll

五行 is the title of the five elements which are: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal.

The first character means "5" and the second character is simply "elements."

According to ancient Chinese science, all matter in the world is made up of these elements. One idea presented with the five elements is that when energy is added, matter is believed to expand. When energy is removed, matter contracts. Oddly, this concept is not far from Einstein's theories, and modern science. Just a few thousand years before Einstein.


More info: Wikipedia - Five Elements (Wu Xing).


See Also:  Wood | Fire | Water | Earth | Metal | Five Elements

Mercy / Compassion / Love

China
Japan ji
Mercy / Compassion / Love Wall Scroll

慈 is the simplest way to express the idea of compassion. It can also mean love for your fellow humans, humanity, or living creatures. Sometimes this is extended to mean charity.

This term is often used with Buddhist or Christian context. The concept was also spoken of by Laozi (Lao Tzu) in the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching).

This is considered the direct translation of the Sanskrit word मैत्री (maitrī) Pali word मेत्ता (mettā). In this context, it means benevolence, loving-kindness, and good will.

This Chinese character is understood in Japanese but is usually used in compound words (not seen alone). Also used in old Korean Hanja, so it's very universal.


See Also:  Mercy | Benevolence | Forgiveness | Kindness

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Jita-Kyoei
Japan ji ta kyou ei
Mutual Welfare and Benefit Wall Scroll

自他共榮 can be translated a few different ways. Here are some possibilities:
Benefit mutually and prosper together.
Mutual welfare and benefit.
A learning concept of mutual benefit and welfare (that applies to all fields of society).
Mutual prosperity.

The first two characters are easy to explain. They are "self" and "others." Together, these two characters create a word which means "mutual" (literally "me and them").

The third character can have different meanings depending on context. Here, it means "in common" or "to share."

The fourth character suggests the idea of "prosperity," "flourishing" or becoming "glorious."

It should be noted that these Kanji are used almost exclusively in the context of Judo martial arts. This is not a common or recognized Japanese proverb outside of Judo.


In modern Japanese Kanji, the last character looks like 栄 instead of 榮. If you want this slightly-simplified version, please let us know when you place your order.

Life Energy / Spiritual Energy

Chi Energy: Essence of Life / Energy Flow
China
Japan ki
Life Energy / Spiritual Energy Wall Scroll

This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.

氣 is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is most often translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Some people will simply translate this as “spirit” but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.

米The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice is shown to the right.

Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.

氣氣The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like one the symbols shown to the right.

氣However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical is shown to the right.

The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the “flow” of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.

You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.

In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.


気The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.

More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.


See Also:  Energy | Life Force | Vitality | Life | Birth | Soul

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
China yīn yuán
Japan in nen
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Wall Scroll

因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.

Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.

It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.

因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.

The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things."

This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.


Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji: 縁
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.


See Also:  Buddhism | Opportunity




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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
Idea
Concept
理念 / 理唸
理念
ri nen / rinenlǐ niàn / li3 nian4 / li nian / linian li nien / linien
Wu Wei
Without Action
無為
无为
muiwú wéi / wu2 wei2 / wu wei / wuwei
Truth Flashed Through The Mind 參悟
参悟
cān wù / can1 wu4 / can wu / canwu ts`an wu / tsanwu / tsan wu
Live For The Day 活在今天huó zài jīn tiān
huo2 zai4 jin1 tian1
huo zai jin tian
huozaijintian
huo tsai chin t`ien
huotsaichintien
huo tsai chin tien
Free Will 自由意志jiyuu ishi / jiyuuishi / jiyu ishi / jiyuishizì yóu yì zhì
zi4 you2 yi4 zhi4
zi you yi zhi
ziyouyizhi
tzu yu i chih
tzuyuichih
Karma
gou / goyè / ye4 / ye yeh
Five Elements 五行gogyou / gogyowǔ xíng / wu3 xing2 / wu xing / wuxing wu hsing / wuhsing
Mercy
Compassion
Love
jicí / ci2 / ci tz`u / tzu
Mutual Welfare and Benefit 自他共榮
自他共荣 / 自他共栄
ji ta kyou ei
jitakyouei
ji ta kyo ei
jitakyoei
Life Energy
Spiritual Energy

气 / 気
kiqì / qi4 / qi ch`i / chi
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...

A Life of Serenity
A New Beginning
Abundance
Achieve
Acupuncture
Adapt and Overcome
Aiki Jujutsu
Aikido
Alive
Allah
Always Faithful
Ambitious
America
Animals
April
Aquarius
Archer
Army
Art of War
Autumn
Awareness
Balanced Life
Beautiful Girl
Beautiful Princess
Beautiful Woman
Beloved
Best
Bible
Bird
Birthday
Blessed by Heaven
Bodhidharma
Bond
Bonsai
Book
Boxing
Brave Heart
Breath
Bright
Broken Hearted
Bruce Lee
Bujinkan
Bull
Bushido
Bushido Code
Butterfly
Caring
Chance
Charity
Chase
Cherish
Cherry
Chicken
Christian
Clarity
Contentment
Courtesy
Create
Crisis
Danger
Daruma
Death Before Surrender
Determination to Achieve
Determined
Dharma
Diamond
Dignity
Diligence
Divine
Divine Protection
Doctor
Dragon
Dragon and Phoenix
Dragon Fly
Dragon Spirit
Dragonfly
Effort
Electricity
Elegant
Elements
Emptiness
Enjoy
Equality
Equilibrium
Eternal Life
Excellence
Faithfulness
Family
Family Over Everything
Fear No Evil
Fierce
Fire Dragon
Five Tenets of Confucius
Follow Your Heart
Forgive and Forget
Forgiven
Four Noble Truths
Four Seasons
Frog
Furinkazan
Fury
Future
Garden
Geisha
Generosity
Genuine
Glory
Goat
God Give Me Strength
God is Always With You
Goodness
Grace
Grandfather
Green
Hapkido
Harmony
Hawk
Healthy
Heart and Soul
Heart of a Warrior
Heart Sutra
Hero
Holy Spirit
Honor and Respect
Honorable
Hope
Horse
Iaido
Illusion
Imagination
Immortality
Independence
Independent
Indomitable
Invincible
Iron
Isaac
Jeet Kune Do
Joyful
Judo
Jujitsu
Kempo
Kendo
Kenjutsu
Kiss
Knight
Large Painting
Laughter
Leadership
Learning is Eternal
Legendary Turtle
Leopard
Liberty
Life Force
Life Goes On
Life in Balance
Life is a Journey
Life is Short
Listen
Little Dragon
Live for the Day
Live for Today
Live for What You Love
Live Laugh Love
Live Strong
Live Without Regret
Lonely
Lost Soul
Lotus
Lotus Flower
Love
Love Always
Love and Affection
Love and Devotion
Love and Strength
Love Binds Us Together
Love Eternal
Love Eternally
Love Faith Strength
Love is Patient
Love Without Reason
Love You Forever
Love Yourself First
Loving Father
Luck and Fortune
Marriage
Melody
Mind Like Water
Miracle
Miss You
Mommy
Monk
Monkey
Mother Daughter
Musashi
Mushin
Musician
Mysterious
Namaste
Namo Amitabha Buddha

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.


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.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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