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The Name In Famous in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Aikido
  2. Art of War
  3. Sun Tzu - Art of War
  4. Ba Ji Quan
  5. Black or white cat matters not as long as it can catch mice
  6. Pascal
  7. Boys be Ambitious
  8. Death Before Dishonor
  9. Castro
10. Crane
11. Diva
12. Enso - Japanese Zen Circle
13. Feng Shui
14. The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100
15. Good Good Study, Day Day Up
16. Guan Yu
17. Guevara
18. Heart Sutra Title
19. Hua Mulan
20. Immortal
21. The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering
22. Improvise Adapt Overcome
23. Indomitable Spirit / Indomitable Attitude
24. Ip Man
25. One Justice Can Overpower 100 Evils
26. Kaiju
27. Kamikaze / Divine Wind
28. Kenzo
29. Khan
30. Koga
31. Kun
32. Kung Fu / Gong Fu
33. Lee / Plum
34. Legendary Turtle
35. Lion Heart
36. Monkey King
37. Musashi
38. Neymar
39. Appreciation and Love for Your Parents
40. Pascal
41. Legendary Phoenix
42. Romance of the Three Kingdoms
43. Ronin / Masterless Samurai
44. Seikan
45. Shaolin
46. Shaolin Temple
47. Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo
48. Taekwondo
49. Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan
50. Teacher / Master / Old Sage
51. When Three People Gather,...
52. Truman
53. Xishi / Xi Shi
54. Yoshi
55. Yue Fei
56. Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country
57. Zhang Fei
58. Zhuge Liang

Aikido

China hé qì dào
Japan ai ki dou
Aikido

合気道 is the modern Japanese way to write Aikido.

Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art.

While Aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the West.

Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."


Please note that while the original 合氣道 characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.

Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Martial Arts | Hapkido

Art of War

China bīng fǎ
Japan hyou hou
Art of War

兵法 means "Art of War." It also part of the title of a famous book of tactics by Sun Tzu. 兵法 could also be translated as "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures." If you are a military tactician, this is the wall scroll for you.


See Also:  Military

Sun Tzu - Art of War

military strategy, tactics, and procedure
China sūn zǐ bīng fǎ
Japan son shi hyou hou
Sun Tzu - Art of War

孫子兵法 is the full title of the most famous book of military proverbs about warfare.

The English title is "Sun Tzu's The Art of War."

The last two characters have come to be known in the west as "The Art of War" but a better translation would be, "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures."

Note: Sometimes the author's name is Romanized as "Sun Zi" or "Sunzi."

It's written the same in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Military | Warrior

Ba Ji Quan

China bā jí quán
Japan hakkyo ku ken
Ba Ji Quan

八極拳 is "Ba Ji Quan" or "Eight Extremes Fist."

Some also translate this as "Eight Extremities Fist," though I don't feel that's accurate.

八極拳 (Bājíquán) is a Chinese martial art that features explosive, short-range power and is famous for its elbow strikes. It originated in the Hebei Province in Northern China but spread to Taiwan and other places.

The full title is 開門八極拳 (Kāimén Bājíquán), which means Open-Door Bajiquan.

Other romanizations include: BaJiQuan, Pa Chi Ch`üan, or Pa Chi Chuan.

In Japan, this is known as Hakkyokuken.

Black or white cat matters not as long as it can catch mice

Ability is more important than looks
China bù guǎn hēi māo bái māo néng zhuō zhe lǎo shǔ de jiù shì hǎo mǎo
Black or white cat matters not as long as it can catch mice

This literally translates as: It doesn't matter [if a] cat [is] black [or] white, [as long as it] can catch mice, it's a good cat.

This proverb was either composed or made famous by Deng XiaoPing in 1961 when he exclaimed, "I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat so long as it catches mice" when his critics pointed out that his ideas were Capitalistic (free market). The response was meant to say, "It does not matter if it's Communist or Capitalist, as long as it works."

This Chinese proverb can be used to suggest one should disregard looks or a person's race, as long as they can do the job. It can also be used as a metaphor for many other situations.


Deng XiaoPing probably saved China from collapse (as the Soviet Union experienced). He changed China's economy from pure Communism to a hybrid where the free market (Capitalism) is encouraged. More about Deng XiaoPing

Pascal

China pà sī kǎ
Pascal

帕斯卡 is the Chinese name used to refer to Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), famous French mathematician.

Boys be Ambitious

Quote from William S. Clark in Japan
Japan shou nen yo tai shi o ida ke
Boys be Ambitious

This was a sort of motto or proverb invoked by William S. Clark, after being hired by the Emperor of Japan in 1876 to establish a university in Hokkaido, Japan.

This phrase is famous across all generations of Japan since that time.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì
Death Before Dishonor

寧為玉碎 is the short version of a longer Chinese proverb which means, "rather be shattered piece of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery." The characters shown above just say the "rather be a broken piece of jade" part (the second half is implied - everyone in China knows this idiom).

A little more explanation:
Death is implied with the "broken" meaning. Jade is one of the most precious materials in Chinese history, and in this case is compared with one's honor and self-worth. Pottery is just something you eat off of, it has no deep value, just as a person who has lost their honor, or had none to begin with.
Thus, this means, "better to die with honor than to live in shame" or words to that effect.

寧為玉碎 is often translated in English as "Death Before Dishonor," the famous military slogan.

I would also compare this to the English proverb, "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
Death Before Dishonor

This is the long version of a Chinese proverb which means, "rather be shattered piece of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery."

A little more explanation:
Death is implied with the "broken" meaning. Jade is one of the most precious materials in Chinese history, and in this case is compared with one's honor and self-worth. Pottery is just something you eat off of, it has no deep value, just as a person who has lost their honor, or had none to begin with.
Thus, this means, "better to die with honor than to live in shame" or words to that effect.

This is often translated in English as "Death Before Dishonor," the famous military slogan.

I would also compare this to the English proverb, "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."


This is an idiom. It therefore doesn't directly say exactly what it means. If you think about the English idiom, "The grass is always greener," it does not directly say "jealousy" or "envy" but everyone knows that it is implied.

Castro

China kǎ sī tè luó
Castro

卡斯特羅 is the surname Castro transliterated into Mandarin Chinese.

A Chinese person may associate this title with Fidel Castro as this Cuban leader is rather famous in China.

Crane

Graceful bird of longevity
China
Japan gaku / tsuru
Crane

鶴 is a famous bird of China. Known in China to be a very spiritual creature, the crane is a symbol of both longevity, and the journey of souls and spirits of ancestors.

Note: 鶴 can mean crane or stork in Japanese.

Diva

China gē jī
Japan utahime
Diva

This Japanese and Chinese word means songstress or diva.

This can refer to a famous female singing star like Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga, Celine Deon, etc.

When pronounced "Rara," it can be a Japanese female given name.

Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

Japan en sou
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

〇 is the famous Enso symbol, which you will see widely-used by Japanese Zen Buddhists. In a twist, I am starting to see Enso used more and more by Chinese Buddhists.

Enso Circle


Here is the typical appearance of Enso artwork by Japanese calligrapher Kougetsu.

Enso is not a Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. There is some debate, but many consider Enso to be a religious symbol.

Some call this "The Circle of Enlightenment." Others call it the "Infinity Circle." If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji (円相) that make up the word "En-so," you could read it as "Mutual Circle" or "Circle of Togetherness." I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.

The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc.


Feng Shui

China fēng shuǐ
Japan fuu sui
Feng Shui

風水 is the famous technique and approach to arranging your home externally around natural features, and internally to create balance and peace.

These two characters literally mean "wind water." Obviously, the title is far more simple than the concept behind this subject.

It may enlighten you slightly to know that the character for "wind" can also mean "style," "custom" or "manner" in some context. This may apply somewhat to this title.

In a very technical sense, this title is translated as "Chinese geomancy."

The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100

The pot calls the kettle black
China wù shí bù xiào bǎi bù
The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100

During the Warring States Period of what is now China (475 - 221 B.C.), the King of Wei was in love with war. He often fought with other kingdoms just for spite or fun.

One day, the King of Wei asked the philosopher Mencius, "I love my people, and all say I do the best for them. I move the people from famine-stricken areas to places of plenty, and transport grains from rich areas to the poor. Nobody goes hungry in my kingdom, and I treat my people far better than other kings. But why does the population of my kingdom not increase, and why does the population of other kingdoms not decrease?"

Mencius answered, "Since you love war, I will make this example: When going to war, and the drums beat to start the attack, some soldiers flee for their lives in fear. Some run 100 paces in retreat, and others run 50 steps. Then the ones who retreated 50 paces laugh and taunt those who retreated 100 paces, calling them cowards mortally afraid of death. Do you think this is reasonable?

The King of Wei answered, "Of course not! Those who run 50 paces are just as timid as those who run 100 paces."

Mencius then said, "You are a king who treats his subjects better than other kings treat their people but you are so fond of war, that your people suffer from great losses in battle. Therefore, your population does not grow. While other kings allow their people to starve to death, you send your people to die in war. Is there really any difference?"

This famous conversation led to the six-character proverb shown here. It serves as a warning to avoid hypocrisy. It goes hand-in-hand with the western phrase, "The pot calls the kettle black," or the Biblical phrase, "Before trying to remove a splinter from your neighbor's eye, first remove the plank from your own eye."

Good Good Study, Day Day Up

China hǎo hǎo xué xí tiān tiān xiàng shàng
Good Good Study, Day Day Up

This is a famous proverb by Chairman Mao Zedong that sounds really strange when directly translated into English. I include it in our database of phrases to illustrate how different the construction and grammar can be between Chinese and English. The direct translation is "Good Good Study, Day Day Up." In Chinese, a repeated character/word can often serve to reinforce the idea (like saying "very" or suggesting "a lot of"). So "good good" really means "a lot of good." While "day day" can be better translated as "day in day out." The idea of "up" has a meaning in China of "rising above" or "improving."

After understanding all of this, we come up with a slightly better translation of "With lot of good study, day in day out, we raise above."

The more natural translation of this proverb would be something like, "study hard, and keep improving."

Guan Yu

China guān yǔ
Guan Yu

關羽 is the name Guan Yu, Army General for the Kingdom of Shu.

He is also known as Guan Gong (like saying Duke Guan or Sir Guan)

He was immortalized in the novel, "Romance of the Three Kingdoms."

He was a fearsome fighter, also famous for his virtue and loyalty. He is worshiped by some modern-day soldiers and has the title "Warrior Saint" in China. Some believe he offers safety and protection for military servicemen.

Guan Yu lived until 219 A.D.

Guevara

China gé wǎ lā
Guevara

格瓦拉 is the Spanish family name, Guevara.

Probably the most famous person to have this family name is Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Cuban / Latin American revolutionary.

Heart Sutra Title

China bō rě bō luó mì duō xīn jīng
Heart Sutra Title

This is the title of the Heart Sutra.

The Heart Sutra is a popular Buddhist writing that includes a famous mantra.

Hua Mulan

China huā mù lán
Hua Mulan

花木蘭 is the name of the famous Chinese woman warrior Hua Mulan.

She was made famous in the west by Disney's animated movie, "Mulan."

Most of the historical information about her comes from an ancient poem. It starts with a concerned Mulan, as she is told a man from each family is to serve conscription in the army. Her father is too old, and her brother is too young. Mulan decides to take the place of her father. After twelve years of war, the army returns and the best warriors are awarded great posts in the government and riches. Mulan turns down all offers, and asks only for a good horse for the long trip home. When Mulan greets visiting comrades wearing her old clothes, they are shocked to find the warrior they rode into battle with for years was actually a woman.

Immortal

China xiān
Japan sento / sen
Immortal

仙 means immortal (as in a being or person).

In some context, it can mean hermit, ascetic, man of the hills, or wizard. The Buddha is often put in this category.

In Chinese mythology and folklore, there is a famous group of eight immortals (八仙).

The 楞嚴經 (Śūraṅgama Sūtra) speaks of many kinds of immortals including walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will (into space or into the deva heavens), beings with the ability to transform themselves into any form, etc.

The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering

China huò dé yǒng shēng de yào shí shì xiān yào huó dé jīng cǎi
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering

This is a famous quote from Bruce Lee. However, when quoted, he was speaking in English. So this is a translation of his English quote into Chinese. Since Bruce spoke both Chinese and English, his quotes sometimes go both ways.

Improvise Adapt Overcome

China jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
Improvise Adapt Overcome

即興發揮即刻適應即時克服 is the coolest way to put together this famous word list, "Improvise Adapt Overcome."

There are shorter ways to write "adapt," and "overcome", but "improvise" needs a four-character word to be expressed accurately in Chinese. To match them up, the other two are using four-character words as well. This makes it sound more natural in Chinese (though word lists are not a natural construct in Chinese grammar).

The words break down like this: 即興發揮, 即刻適應, 即時克服. I suggest the 3-column option when you customize your wall scroll. That way, the words will occupy one column each.

A great gift for a U.S. Marine, or anyone who follows this mantra.

Indomitable Spirit / Indomitable Attitude

Fukutsu no Seishin
Japan fu kutsu no sei shin
Indomitable Spirit / Indomitable Attitude

不屈の精神 is one of several versions or ways to write "Indomitable Spirit" in Japanese.

This one is the famous, "Fukutsu no Seishin" phrase.

Ip Man

China yè wèn
HK Yip Man
Ip Man

葉問 is the name of "Ip Man" or "Yip Man" (1893-1972). He was a martial arts practitioner and master. He is perhaps most famous for being the master of Bruce Lee.

One Justice Can Overpower 100 Evils

China yī zhèng yā bǎi xié
One Justice Can Overpower 100 Evils

This ancient "One Justice Can Overpower a Hundred Evils" idiom and proverb is famous in China. But it has been around so long that its origins have long been forgotten.

It could be something that Confucius or one of his disciples said but no one can say for sure.

Kaiju

Japan kaijuu
Kaiju

怪獣 is a Japanese word for monster or "strange creature."

This usually refers to a genre of tokusatsu films. These films feature monsters that often attack Tokyo or fight with other monsters. The most internationally-famous of these is the Godzilla franchise of movies.

Kamikaze / Divine Wind

Japan kami kaze
Kamikaze / Divine Wind

神風 is the famous title used during WWII to describe Japanese fighter plane pilots, many of whom performed suicide attacks by flying their planes into ships and other Allied targets.

The Japanese word, Kamikaze actually means "divine wind."


See Also:  Kamikaze

Kenzo

Japan kenzou
Kenzo

賢三 is a Japanese given name that romanizes as Kenzou or Kenzō.

There are other names that can also romanize this way, so make sure this is the right one.

This happens to be the Kenzo used by 高田賢三 (Takada Kenzō), famous Japanese fashion designer.

Khan

China hàn
Japan kan
Khan

汗 is the title Khan, meaning a medieval ruler of a Tatary tribe.

Oddly, this can also mean perspiration, sweat, moisture, or condensation in Japanese and Chinese.

The most famous would be Genghis Khan, followed by his son Ögedei Khan, and grandson Khubilai Khan.

Koga

Japan koga
Koga

古賀 is a Japanese name that romanizes as Koga.

There is a city and many famous Japanese people who share this name.


Note: This is not the only name in Japanese that romanizes as Koga.

Kun

Sea Creature
China kūn
Japan kon
Kun

A 鲲 (Kun) is a famous sea monster, often associated or used interchangeably with a 鵬 (Peng).

鯤 is comparable to Leviathan or Jonah's whale.

In Chinese mythology, the Kun is a giant fish said to be able to turn into a bird.

鯤 and the mythological creature is also known in Japanese and Korean. However, in some context, this character can refer to fry (fish babies).

Kung Fu / Gong Fu

China gōng fu
HK gung fu
Japan kan fu / ku fu
Kung Fu / Gong Fu

One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.

Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort." I think this is partially true but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man." The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter" but in this case, it can only mean "man." However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.

This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.

What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G." Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound." And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.

Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh."

The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken."

Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.


Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー." Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.


See Also:  Bruce Lee

Lee / Plum

China
HK lee
Japan ri / sumomo
Lee / Plum

李 is the most common Chinese character which sounds like "Lee" or "Li" and is used as a surname / family name in China.

李 actually means "Plum." So it's really Mr. Plum and Mrs. Plum if you translated the name instead of romanizing.

李 is not the only character in Chinese that can be romanized as "Lee" or "Li." If your family name is "Lee" or "Li" please be sure this is the correct character before you order this scroll (look at your grandparents' Chinese passports or other documents if you are an ABC and are trying to create a heritage wall scroll).

Famous people with this surname include Bruce Lee (Li Xiao-Long), Minister Li Peng, and famous Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai. In Korea, this is the original character for a surname that romanizes as "Yi".


Note: This also one version of Lee that is a common Korean surname. However, it's often romanized as "Yi" and sometimes as "Ri" or "Rhee."

Legendary Turtle

China áo
Legendary Turtle

鼇 means "legendary turtle" in Chinese. 鼇 is a great mythological turtle that travels the seas. The creature is comparable to the dragon of China, however, it so happens that dragons became a bit more famous as history progressed. In modern Chinese, this character can just refer to a large sea turtle.

Note: 鼇 can be pronounced in Korean but this is a very rare Korean Hanja form - it hasn't been used in Korea for at least a few hundred years (even before they switched to Hangul characters).

Lion Heart

China shī xīn
Lion Heart

獅心 is "Lion Heart" in Chinese. The most famous use of this title would be "Richard the Lionheart" also known as King Richard I of England who lived 1189-1199 A.D.

Monkey King

China měi hóu wáng
Monkey King

美猴王 is the specific title for "Monkey King." A character made famous by the ancient novel, Journey to the West. It literally means "Handsome/Beautiful Monkey King."


See Also:  Monkey Fist | Drunken Monkey

Monkey King

China hóu wáng
Monkey King

猴王 is the short title for "Monkey King." This can refer to the character made famous by the ancient novel, Journey to the West.

This literally reads "Monkey King." However, this title is open to interpretation, and could be used for someone who is the boss of the primate exhibit at the zoo, or certain characters in Chinese opera.


See Also:  Monkey Fist | Drunken Monkey

Musashi

The most famous Samurai
Japan mu sashi
Musashi

武蔵 is the short title for a man long in legend. Miyamoto Musashi is probably the most famous Samurai in all of Japanese history. While coming from a lower class, his new sword and fighting techniques put him on par with the best that feudal Japan had to offer. His long career started with his first duel was at age 13!

He is credited both with using two swords at once, and never losing a single battle in his career. After becoming a Buddhist, and getting older, like many old warriors, he took up a peaceful and solitary life until his death around 1645 A.D.

Note: Technically, Musashi is his given name, and Miyamoto is his surname. However, it's suggested that he assumed both of these names, and also had a few other names at childhood, as well as being given a Buddhist name. It's hard to know what to call him, as with most Kanji, there are multiple pronunciations. The characters for Musashi can also be pronounced "Takezō." But, everyone in modern times seems to know him by the name Musashi.

Neymar

China nèi mǎ ěr
Neymar

內馬爾 is a common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Neymar.

This name is often associated with Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, the famous Brazilian football/futbol player.

Appreciation and Love for Your Parents

China shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn bào dé sān chūn huī
Appreciation and Love for Your Parents

This is the last line of a famous poem. It is perceived as a tribute or ode to your parent's or mother from a child or children that have left home.

The poem was written by Meng Jiao during the Tang Dynasty (about 1200 years ago). The Chinese title is "You Zi Yin" which means "The Traveler's Recite."

The last line as shown here speaks of the generous and warm spring sun light which gives the grass far beyond what the little grass can could ever give back (except perhaps by showing its lovely green leaves and flourishing). The metaphor is that the sun is your mother or parents, and you are the grass. Your parents raise you and give you all the love and care you need to prepare you for the world. A debt which you can never repay, nor is repayment expected.

The first part of the poem (not written in the characters to the left) suggests that the thread in a loving mother's hands is the shirt of her traveling offspring. Vigorously sewing while wishing them to come back sooner than they left.
...This part is really hard to translate into English that makes any sense but maybe you get the idea. We are talking about a poem that is so old that many Chinese people would have trouble reading it (as if it was the King James Version of Chinese).

Pascal

Japan pasukaru
Pascal

This Japanese Katakana word is used to mean pascal (unit of pressure), PASCAL (computer language), or Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician.

If your name is Pascal, this is also how to write your name in Japanese.


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Legendary Phoenix

China fèng huáng
Japan houou
Legendary Phoenix

鳳凰 is the word that translates as "Legendary Phoenix" in Chinese. This refers to the bird that according to Chinese folklore, rose from the fiery ashes.

The phoenix and dragon are by far the most famous creatures in Chinese mythology.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Novel Title
China sān guó yǎn yì
Romance of the Three Kingdoms

三國演義 is the Chinese title for The Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong.

三國演義 is one of the most famous novels of Chinese literature.

Ronin / Masterless Samurai

China làng rén
Japan rou nin
Ronin / Masterless Samurai

The Ronin have no master - The most famous are the 47 ronin created after their Lord committed suicide. This term was not exactly a positive title for the Samurai of ancient Japan. However, in recent years, movies and video games have glorified the term Ronin.

In Chinese, this term has the original meaning of a hobo, vagabond or ruffian.
In Korean Hanja, these characters would be read as adventurer, wanderer, someone without a steady job, or someone who is wasting away time.

In modern Japan, this term is used as a nickname for a high school student who has failed a college entry exam (and is trying again).

In Chinese and Korean, the Japanese definition of "Masterless Samurai" is known because of the historical context, even in Japanese, the literal translation is closer to the Chinese and Korean definitions shown above.

This will make a fine wall scroll if you are a fan of the Ronin, or see yourself as a Ronin of sorts. However, please think twice before getting a Ronin tattoo!

Seikan

Japan seikan
Seikan

青函 is the Japanese place name, Seikan.

This place particularly famous for the engineering feat of the submarine Seikan Tunnel.


Note: There are other words and names in Japanese that romanize as Seikan. Make sure this is the right one before you order.

Shaolin

Little Forest
China shǎo lín
Japan sho rin
Shaolin

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years. While there are many schools of Kung Fu in China, Shaolin are one of the more religiously devout and disciplined.

The title of Shaolin actually refers to a specific Buddhist monastery. It should be noted that the Shaolin were famous in China long before the Kung Fu TV show. Their fame in China is due to the monks' heroic and swift rescue an emperor during the Tang Dynasty. Most Chinese people are not keenly aware of the Kung Fu TV show, and have no idea who David Carradine is or anything about his character, Kwai Chang Caine.

Note: The literal meaning of these two characters is "little forest."

The fame of the Shaolin has spread all over Asia, as even though this is a Chinese title, the same characters are used in Japanese with the same meaning.

Shaolin Temple

China shào lín sì
Japan shou rin ji
Shaolin Temple

少林寺 is the full title of the Shaolin Temple.

This refers to the Buddhist monastery famous for its kung fu monks.

少林寺 is also known in Japanese where they use the same characters but romanize it as Shourinji or Shōrinji.

Some believe this monastery and temple represent the place where Bodhidharma sat with his face to a wall for nine years leading to his discovery of enlightenment and establishment of Buddhism.

Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo

Japan shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou
Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo

This is "shiken haramitsu daikōmyō," a famous Japanese Buddhist mantra.

四拳 = shi-ken = four fist (many translate this as "four hearts").
波羅蜜 = ha-ra-mitsu = A loanword representing pāramitā, or entrance into Nirvana. Awkwardly, it also means jackfruit.
大光明 = dai-kou-myo = big/great light bright (great bright light).

Shiken represents four hearts:
1. The Merciful Heart - Love and caring for all living things.
2. The Sincere Heart - Pursues righteousness, or the right path - sincerely trying to do what is right.
3. The Attuned Heart - Knows that nature and fate have their ways, and thus stays in tune with the universe.
4. The Dedicated Heart - Steadfast on the chosen path to the end.

Taekwondo

China tái quán dào
Japan te kon do
Taekwondo

跆拳道 is one of the most widespread types of martial arts in the world as well as being an Olympic sport. Taekwondo was born in Korea with influences of Chinese and Japanese styles, combined with traditional Korean combat skills. Some will define it as the "Korean art of empty-handed self-defense."

In the simplest translation, the first character means "kick," the second character can mean either "fist" or "punching" the third means "way" or "method." Altogether, you could say this is "Kick Punch Method." When heard or read in various Asian languages, all will automatically think of this famous Korean martial art. It is written the same in Japanese Kanji, Chinese, and Korean Hanja characters - so the appearance of the characters are rather universal. However, you should note that there is another way to write this in modern Korean Hangul characters which looks like the image to the right. Taekwondo Hangul Characters

We suggest the original Korean Hanja (Chinese characters) for a wall scroll but if you really need the Hangul version, you must use master calligrapher Xing An-Ping: Order Taekwondo in Korean Hangul

Note: Taekwondo is sometimes Romanized as Tae-Kwondo, Tae Kwon Do, Taekwon-do, Taegwondo, Tae Gweon Do, Tai Kwon Do, Taikwondo, Taekwando, Tae Kwan Do and in Chinese Taiquandao, Tai Quan Dao, Taichuando, or Tai Chuan Tao.

Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

China tài jí quán
Japan tai kyoku ken
Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

太極拳 is the famous Taoist meditation and martial art exercise. The direct translation of these characters would be something like "grand ultimate fist" but that does not quite hit the mark for what this title really means.

An early-morning walk through any city in China near a park or open area will yield a view of Chinese people practicing this ancient technique.

The typical scene is an old man of no less than 80 years on this earth, with a wispy white beard and perhaps a sword in one hand. He makes slow moves that are impossibly smooth. He is steady-footed, and always in balance. For him, time is meaningless and proper form and technique is far more important than speed.

For the younger generation, faster moves may look impressive and seem smooth to the casual observer. But far more discipline and mental strength is needed to create perfectly smooth moves in virtual slow motion.

Note: There are two ways to Romanize these Chinese characters as seen in the title above. The pronunciation and actual characters are the same in Chinese. If you really used English sounds/words to pronounce this, it would be something like "tie jee chew-on" (just make the "chew-on" as one flowing syllable).

Teacher / Master / Old Sage

China lǎo shī
Teacher / Master / Old Sage

老師 directly translates as, "old teacher," "old master," or "old sage."

Together, they are understood as "teacher." When you think about that, also realize that with age comes respect in Asian cultures. So calling someone old is actually a term of respect (not like the way we mean it in English). You could actually replace "old" with "respected" and be closer to the way this is meant in Chinese.

Teachers, in general, are more respected by their students and the population in China. When I was a teacher in China, I certainly felt that.

This term is also used for masters of certain fields. For instance, a master calligrapher would respectfully be addressed as "teacher." In fact, in this case, "master" and "teacher" are synonymous.

Other artists (especially those are famous or accomplished) should be addressed with this term. Also, some schools of martial arts use this term of respect for their masters/teachers/instructors.


This title is recognized in Japanese as "roushi" with the same meaning but it's rarely used in Japan.

When Three People Gather,
One Becomes a Teacher

China sān rén xíng bì yǒu wǒ shī
When Three People Gather, / One Becomes a Teacher

This literally means, "when three people meet, one becomes the teacher."

This famous Chinese philosophy suggests that when people come together, they can always learn from each other.

One person must be the teacher and others learn. And in turn, the others become the teachers of the knowledge they posses.

It is important to remember that we all have something to teach, and we all have something to learn as well.

Truman

China dù lǔ mén
Truman

杜魯門 is a common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Truman.

Perhaps the most famous Truman is the author Truman Garcia Capote.

Xishi / Xi Shi

China xī shī
Japan sei shi
Xishi / Xi Shi

西施 is the Chinese title for Xishi, who lived around 450 BC. She was a famous Chinese beauty, perhaps the foremost of the Four Beauties (四大美女). She was given by King Gou Jian of the Yue Kingdom as a concubine to the King of Wu. This was part of an elaborate plan to destroy the Wu Kingdom - and it worked.

Note: In Japanese, this can be an unrelated given name, Seishi. Though the Xishi story is somewhat known in Japan.

Yoshi

Japan yoshii
Yoshi

ヨッシー is the name Yoshi written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).

This name is probably most famous for the video game character Yoshi.


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Yue Fei

China yuè fēi
Japan gakuhi
Yue Fei

岳飛 is the name of General Yue Fei (1103-1142). He was a famous General of the Song Dynasty army in China. Many legendary stories have been written about him, and passed down through the generations.

In Japanese, this can be the personal name, Gakuhi.

Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country

The most famous tattoo in Chinese history
China jìn zhōng bào guó
Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country

This proverb is the tattoo worn on the back of Yue Fei, a famous Chinese warrior who lived until 1142 A.D.

The tattoo can be translated as "Serve the country with the utmost loyalty." More literally, it means, "[The] Ultimate Loyalty [is too] Duty [of] Country."

Legend has it that this tattoo once saved his life when he was accused of treason.

The first two characters have come to create a word that means "serve the country faithfully" or "die for the country." Note: It's more a willingness to die for one's country than the actual act of dying.

The last two characters have come to mean, "Dedicate oneself to the service of one's country."

Both of these words are probably only in the Chinese lexicon because of this famous tattoo.

If you break it down, character-by-character, here is what you get:
1. To the utmost, to the limit of something, the ultimate.
2. Loyalty or duty (a sense of duty to one's master, lord, country, job).
3. Report, recompense, give back to (in this case, you are giving yourself to your country as payback).
4. Country, state, nation, kingdom.


More about the famous warrior and army general, Yue Fei

Zhang Fei

China zhāng fēi
Japan chou hi
Zhang Fei

張飛 is the name of General Zhang Fei, of the Shu Kingdom. He was blood-brother of Liu Bei in the semi-historical novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." Zhang Fei is famous for his heroic and fearsome fighting and his love of wine.

In Japanese, this can be the name Chouhi.

Zhuge Liang

China zhū gě liàng
Zhuge Liang

諸葛亮 is the name Zhuge Liang, written in Chinese.

Zhuge Liang lived from 181 to 234 A.D.
He was a military leader and prime minister of Shu Han (蜀漢) during the Three Kingdoms period.
He was the main hero of the fictional Romance of Three Kingdoms.
He is considered a famous sage, philosopher, and military genius.

Search for In Famous 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
Aikido合氣道
合気道
ai ki dou / aikidou / ai ki do / aikidohé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
heqidao
ho ch`i tao
hochitao
ho chi tao
Art of War兵法hyou hou / hyouhou / hyo ho / hyohobīng fǎ / bing1 fa3 / bing fa / bingfaping fa / pingfa
Sun Tzu - Art of War孫子兵法
孙子兵法
son shi hyou hou
sonshihyouhou
son shi hyo ho
sonshihyoho
sūn zǐ bīng fǎ
sun1 zi3 bing1 fa3
sun zi bing fa
sunzibingfa
sun tzu ping fa
suntzupingfa
Ba Ji Quan八極拳
八极拳
hakkyo ku ken
hakkyokuken
hakyo ku ken
hakyokuken
bā jí quán
ba1 ji2 quan2
ba ji quan
bajiquan
pa chi ch`üan
pachichüan
pa chi chüan
Black or white cat matters not as long as it can catch mice不管黑貓白貓能捉著老鼠的就是好貓
不管黑猫白猫能捉着老鼠的就是好猫
bù guǎn hēi māo bái māo néng zhuō zhe lǎo shǔ de jiù shì hǎo mǎo
bu4 guan3 hei1 mao1 bai2 mao1 neng2 zhuo1 zhe lao3 shu3 de jiu4 shi4 hao3 mao3
bu guan hei mao bai mao neng zhuo zhe lao shu de jiu shi hao mao
pu kuan hei mao pai mao neng cho che lao shu te chiu shih hao mao
Pascal帕斯卡pà sī kǎ
pa4 si1 ka3
pa si ka
pasika
p`a ssu k`a
passuka
pa ssu ka
Boys be Ambitious少年よ大志を抱けshou nen yo tai shi o ida ke
shounenyotaishioidake
sho nen yo tai shi o ida ke
shonenyotaishioidake
Death Before Dishonor寧為玉碎
宁为玉碎
níng wéi yù suì
ning2 wei2 yu4 sui4
ning wei yu sui
ningweiyusui
ning wei yü sui
ningweiyüsui
Death Before Dishonor寧為玉碎不為瓦全
宁为玉碎不为瓦全
níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
ning2 wei2 yu4 sui4 bu2 wei2 wa3 quan2
ning wei yu sui bu wei wa quan
ningweiyusuibuweiwaquan
ning wei yü sui pu wei wa ch`üan
ning wei yü sui pu wei wa chüan
Castro卡斯特羅
卡斯特罗
kǎ sī tè luó
ka3 si1 te4 luo2
ka si te luo
kasiteluo
k`a ssu t`e lo
kassutelo
ka ssu te lo
Crane
gaku / tsuruhè / he4 / heho
Diva歌姫utahimegē jī / ge1 ji1 / ge ji / gejiko chi / kochi
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle〇 / 円相en sou / ensou / en so / enso
Feng Shui風水
风水
fuu sui / fuusui / fu sui / fusuifēng shuǐ
feng1 shui3
feng shui
fengshui
The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100五十步笑百步wù shí bù xiào bǎi bù
wu4 shi2 bu4 xiao4 bai3 bu4
wu shi bu xiao bai bu
wushibuxiaobaibu
wu shih pu hsiao pai pu
wushihpuhsiaopaipu
Good Good Study, Day Day Up好好學習天天向上
好好学习天天向上
hǎo hǎo xué xí tiān tiān xiàng shàng
hao3 hao3 xue2 xi2 tian1 tian1 xiang4 shang4
hao hao xue xi tian tian xiang shang
hao hao hsüeh hsi t`ien t`ien hsiang shang
hao hao hsüeh hsi tien tien hsiang shang
Guan Yu關羽
关羽
guān yǔ / guan1 yu3 / guan yu / guanyukuan yü / kuanyü
Guevara格瓦拉gé wǎ lā
ge2 wa3 la1
ge wa la
gewala
ko wa la
kowala
Heart Sutra Title般若波羅蜜多心經
般若波罗蜜多心经
bō rě bō luó mì duō xīn jīng
bo1 re3 bo1 luo2 mi4 duo1 xin1 jing1
bo re bo luo mi duo xin jing
boreboluomiduoxinjing
po je po lo mi to hsin ching
pojepolomitohsinching
Hua Mulan花木蘭
花木兰
huā mù lán
hua1 mu4 lan2
hua mu lan
huamulan
Immortalsento / senxiān / xian1 / xianhsien
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering獲得永生的鑰匙是先要活得精彩
获得永生的钥匙是先要活得精彩
huò dé yǒng shēng de yào shí shì xiān yào huó dé jīng cǎi
huo4 de2 yong3 sheng1 de yao4 shi2 shi4 xian1 yao4 huo2 de2 jing1 cai3
huo de yong sheng de yao shi shi xian yao huo de jing cai
huo te yung sheng te yao shih shih hsien yao huo te ching ts`ai
huo te yung sheng te yao shih shih hsien yao huo te ching tsai
Improvise Adapt Overcome即興發揮即刻適應即時克服
即兴发挥即刻适应即时克服
jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
ji2 xing4 fa1 hui1 ji2 ke4 shi4 ying4 ji2 shi2 ke4 fu2
ji xing fa hui ji ke shi ying ji shi ke fu
chi hsing fa hui chi k`o shih ying chi shih k`o fu
chi hsing fa hui chi ko shih ying chi shih ko fu
Indomitable Spirit
Indomitable Attitude
不屈の精神fu kutsu no sei shin
fukutsunoseishin
Ip Man葉問
叶问
yè wèn / ye4 wen4 / ye wen / yewenyeh wen / yehwen
One Justice Can Overpower 100 Evils一正壓百邪
一正压百邪
yī zhèng yā bǎi xié
yi1 zheng4 ya1 bai3 xie2
yi zheng ya bai xie
yizhengyabaixie
i cheng ya pai hsieh
ichengyapaihsieh
Kaiju怪獣kaijuu / kaiju
Kamikaze
Divine Wind
神風
神风
kami kaze / kamikaze
Kenzo賢三kenzou / kenzo
Khankanhàn / han4 / han
Koga古賀koga
Kun
konkūn / kun1 / kunk`un / kun
Kung Fu
Gong Fu
功夫kan fu / ku fu
kanfu / kufu
gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfukung fu / kungfu
Lee
Plum
ri / sumomolǐ / li3 / li
Legendary Turtleáo / ao2 / ao
Lion Heart獅心
狮心
shī xīn / shi1 xin1 / shi xin / shixinshih hsin / shihhsin
Monkey King美猴王měi hóu wáng
mei3 hou2 wang2
mei hou wang
meihouwang
Monkey King猴王hóu wáng / hou2 wang2 / hou wang / houwang
Musashi武蔵mu sashi / musashi
Neymar內馬爾
内马尔
nèi mǎ ěr
nei4 ma3 er3
nei ma er
neimaer
nei ma erh
neimaerh
Appreciation and Love for Your Parents誰言寸草心報得三春暉
谁言寸草心报得三春晖
shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn bào dé sān chūn huī
shui2 yan2 cun4 cao3 xin1 bao4 de2 san1 chun1 hui1
shui yan cun cao xin bao de san chun hui
shui yen ts`un ts`ao hsin pao te san ch`un hui
shui yen tsun tsao hsin pao te san chun hui
Pascalパスカルpasukaru
Legendary Phoenix鳳凰
凤凰
houou / hofèng huáng
feng4 huang2
feng huang
fenghuang
Romance of the Three Kingdoms三國演義
三国演义
sān guó yǎn yì
san1 guo2 yan3 yi4
san guo yan yi
sanguoyanyi
san kuo yen i
sankuoyeni
Ronin
Masterless Samurai
浪人rou nin / rounin / ro nin / roninlàng rén / lang4 ren2 / lang ren / langrenlang jen / langjen
Seikan青函seikan
Shaolin少林sho rin / shorinshǎo lín / shao3 lin2 / shao lin / shaolin
Shaolin Temple少林寺shou rin ji
shourinji
sho rin ji
shorinji
shào lín sì
shao4 lin2 si4
shao lin si
shaolinsi
shao lin ssu
shaolinssu
Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo四拳波羅蜜大光明shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou
shi ken ha ra mitsu dai ko myo
shikenharamitsudaikomyo
Taekwondo跆拳道te kon do / tekondotái quán dào
tai2 quan2 dao4
tai quan dao
taiquandao
t`ai ch`üan tao
taichüantao
tai chüan tao
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Ji Quan
太極拳
太极拳
tai kyoku ken
taikyokuken
tài jí quán
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
taijiquan
t`ai chi ch`üan
taichichüan
tai chi chüan
Teacher
Master
Old Sage
老師
老师
lǎo shī / lao3 shi1 / lao shi / laoshilao shih / laoshih
When Three People Gather, One Becomes a Teacher三人行必有我師
三人行必有我师
sān rén xíng bì yǒu wǒ shī
san1 ren2 xing2 bi4 you3 wo3 shi1
san ren xing bi you wo shi
sanrenxingbiyouwoshi
san jen hsing pi yu wo shih
sanjenhsingpiyuwoshih
Truman杜魯門
杜鲁门
dù lǔ mén
du4 lu3 men2
du lu men
dulumen
tu lu men
tulumen
Xishi
Xi Shi
西施sei shi / seishixī shī / xi1 shi1 / xi shi / xishihsi shih / hsishih
Yoshiヨッシーyoshii / yoshi
Yue Fei岳飛
岳飞
gakuhiyuè fēi / yue4 fei1 / yue fei / yuefeiyüeh fei / yüehfei
Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country盡忠報國
尽忠报国
jìn zhōng bào guó
jin4 zhong1 bao4 guo2
jin zhong bao guo
jinzhongbaoguo
chin chung pao kuo
chinchungpaokuo
Zhang Fei張飛
张飞
chou hi / chouhi / cho hi / chohizhāng fēi
zhang1 fei1
zhang fei
zhangfei
chang fei
changfei
Zhuge Liang諸葛亮
诸葛亮
zhū gě liàng
zhu1 ge3 liang4
zhu ge liang
zhugeliang
chu ko liang
chukoliang
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...

Archangel
Balance
Bear
Bushido Code
Create
Diamond
Dragon Soul
Dream
Energy
Enso
Family
Follow Your Dreams
Follow Your Heart
Fortune
Friendship
Future
Generation
Good Fortune
Grace
Hanawa
Harmony
Honor
House
Independence
Justice
Kung Fu
Love
Loyalty
Nature
Ninpo
Nirvana
Pain
Peach
Responsibility
River
Samurai
Shadow
Shogun
Spiritual Strength
Strength
Strength of Spirit
Strong Will
Sword
Tiger
Truth
Vitality
Water
Wedding
Wing Chun
Winter

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.

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