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The Name In the Beginning in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an In the Beginning calligraphy wall scroll here!

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

  1. Mind of the Beginner

  2. Charissa

  3. The Law of Creation and Destruction

  4. Daoism / Taoism

  5. Death Before Dishonor

  6. Devotion to your Profession / Career

  7. Dōgen

  8. Flower Open / Blooming Flower

  9. From this Moment Forward...

10. Good Luck / Good Fortune

11. Gung Ho

12. Jan

13. Jesus

14. Lion Dance

15. New Beginning

16. New Life

17. Opening / Blooming Flowers

18. Patience / Perseverance / To Endure / Tolerant

19. Shodan

20. Shoshin-Ryu


Mind of the Beginner

Shoshin
China chū xīn
Japan sho shin
Mind of the Beginner Vertical Wall Scroll

初心 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind" or "beginner's spirit."

In Chinese, the dictionary definition is "one's original intention."

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

初心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.

Charissa

China shā ruì sà
Charissa Vertical Wall Scroll

莎瑞薩 is a version of Charissa transliterated into Mandarin Chinese. Use this version if you pronounce Charissa with an "Sh" sound at the beginning.

The Law of Creation and Destruction

China shì shēng miè fǎ
Japan zeshoumeppou
The Law of Creation and Destruction Vertical Wall Scroll

是生滅法 is a Buddhist term for, "the law of arising and ceasing," or, "the law of creation and destruction."

All things have a beginning and an end, birth and death, etc. All things follow this law.

Daoism / Taoism

Literally: The Way or Road
China dào
Japan michi / -do
Daoism / Taoism Vertical Wall Scroll

道 is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.

道 is the base of what is known as "Taoism." If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path."

Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)

The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.

More about Taoism / Daoism here.

Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.

Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.

Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.


See our Taoism Page

Death Before Dishonor

A soldier can die or kill, but never dishonor or disgrace himself
China shì kě shā bù kě rǔ
Death Before Dishonor Vertical Wall Scroll

This almost directly matches the military idea of "Death Before Dishonor," while also being an ancient Chinese proverb.

The direct meaning is, "[A] soldier/warrior can die/kill [but he/she] cannot [allow] dishonor/disgrace [upon himself/herself]." Chinese grammar, and especially ancient grammar, is a little different than English. Not nearly as many articles are needed, and a lot is implied.

There are a lot of ways to express ideas similar to "Death Before Dishonor" in Chinese, and I would rate this one in the top two.

This is the original form of this proverb with the character for "soldier/warrior" at the beginning. Most of the time, this character is dropped, and this becomes a five-character proverb (the soldier/warrior part is implied, even without the character being present in the proverb). We also offer the shorter version.

Devotion to your Profession / Career

China cóng shì
Japan jyuu ji
Devotion to your Profession / Career Vertical Wall Scroll

從事 / 従事 is often used to describe the devotion someone has to their profession - However, it can just mean career, depending on context. We don't highly-recommend this selection for a wall scroll.

In more simple terms, this word also means undertake / to deal with / to handle / to do. It does not have to refer to a career issue, as it could be used to encourage someone that is beginning their university studies etc.

This kind of makes sense in Japanese, however, there is a slight deviation in the way they write the first Kanji in Japanese.


Japanese for Devotion to ProfessionPlease note that Japanese use an alternate version of the first character. Click on the character to the right if you want the Japanese version of this two-character Devotion-to-your-Profession calligraphy.

Dōgen

China dào yuán
Japan dou gen
Dōgen Vertical Wall Scroll

Usually, when people are looking for "Dogen," they are referring to the Japanese Zen monk by this name.

He lived from 1200-1253. This Dogen name or title literally means "The Way Origin" or "Beginning of the Path." It is understood to mean "beginning of right doctrine or faith" in the context of his name and work to establish the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan.

To accomplish that task, this humble monk traveled from Japan and across China to find the more original or pure forms of Buddhism.

Flower Open / Blooming Flower

China huā kāi
Flower Open / Blooming Flower Vertical Wall Scroll

These two characters literally mean "flower open."

花開 is also associated with Springtime, the beginning of something, or youth.

花開 is often followed by "flower falls" (closes and loses its petals) which means "Things come and go" or "Youth comes and goes."

If you like flowers and the Springtime, this is a great selection for you. However, if you want the companion "flower falls" (flower withers), we offer that as a companion wall scroll or all together as a four-character phrase.


See Also:  Flowers Fall

From this Moment Forward
From this Day Forward

China cóng cǐ yǐ hòu
From this Moment Forward / From this Day Forward Vertical Wall Scroll

In simple terms, this means "from now on" but you can also interpret it as "Now is the beginning of the future" or "From this day forward.

The first two characters roughly mean "henceforth." The last two characters mean later, afterward, following, or "in the future."

Good Luck / Good Fortune

China
Japan fuku
Good Luck / Good Fortune Vertical Wall Scroll

福 is pronounced "fu" in Chinese.

The character "fu" is posted by virtually all Chinese people on the doors of their homes during the Spring Festival (closely associated with the Chinese New Years).

One tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (beginning in 256 B.C.) holds that putting a fu symbol on your front door will keep the goddess of poverty away.

福 literally means good fortune, prosperity, blessed, happiness, and fulfillment.


See Also:  Lucky

Gung Ho

Working Together
China gōng hé
Japan guai
Gung Ho Vertical Wall Scroll

工合 is one of those Asian words that is used more in English than it is in the original Chinese.

Gung Ho was originally used to speak of Carlson's Raiders, a group of "Gung Ho" U.S. Marines who went on an island-hopping campaign of death during WWII.

A movie called Gung Ho came out in the mid-1940s and was later re-released in the 1950s depicting the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, and brought this word to the mainstream.

It is still sometimes used today within the U.S. Marine Corps brotherhood to refer to a unit or group that works well together, or is otherwise efficient and motivated (has good moral).

In 1986, there was a movie called Gung Ho, about a Japanese company taking over an American automotive factory. They completely ignored the fact that this was a Chinese title.

It should be noted that this title actually means a condition, state, manner, or health of something in Japanese.

Language and pronunciation notes:
Like many Asian words absorbed into common use in English, this one is drastically mispronounced. The official Romanization is "gong he" but that doesn't tell you enough. The vowel sound on the first character is like the English word "own," now just add the g-sounds to the beginning and end. The second character is misleading, as you might think it is like the English word "he." In reality, the vowel sound is more like the "u" in "up."

It should also be noted, that the current generation in China no longer uses, or recognizes this as a common word or slogan.


Note: This can be pronounced and is a word in Japanese, though seldom used. Japanese will use a variation of "具合" instead. But still, not common.

Jan

China jiǎn
Jan Vertical Wall Scroll

簡 is the name Jan transliterated into Mandarin Chinese. 簡 is Jan with the "J" sound at the beginning (not like the European version of Jan that sounds like it starts with a "Y").

Jesus

Japan iezusu
Jesus Vertical Wall Scroll

イエズス is the name Jesus written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese). イエズス is from the more Latin / Spanish pronunciation (without the hard "J" sound at the beginning).


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

Lion Dance

China wǔ shī
Lion Dance Vertical Wall Scroll

舞獅 is the Chinese title for "lion dance."

舞獅 is the traditional Chinese costumed dance seen at festivals (especially Chinese new years), ceremonies, and often at the beginning of Chinese martial arts events.

New Beginning

China xīn de kāi shǐ
New Beginning Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally means "new beginning" in Chinese characters.

The character means "new."

The second is a possessive article connecting the ideas of new & beginning.

The last two characters can mean "to begin," "beginning," "to start," "initial," "commencement," or "initiation."

New Beginning

China yī shǐ
New Beginning Vertical Wall Scroll

伊始 is a short version of "new beginning" or simply "beginning" in Chinese characters.

You can also translated this as "from this moment on," "starting now" or "henceforth."

In day-to-day speech, this word can apply to starting new job, beginning a new career, entering a new chapter of your life, or taking a new position (in politics, scholarship, etc).

New Beginning

Japan arata na hajimari
New Beginning Vertical Wall Scroll

This is a Japanese word that means "new beginning" or "new start."

Here's the character breakdown:
新た (arata) = new; fresh; novel; newly; freshly; or this can be like the prefix "re-" like "re-start" or "reset."
な (na) is kind of a connecting article. This glues "new" to "beginning."
始まり (hajimari) = origin; beginning.


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

New Beginning

Japan kotohajime
New Beginning Vertical Wall Scroll

事始め is a Japanese word that means taking up a new line of work or the beginning of new things.

In other context, it can refer to starting the preparations for New Year's festivities or resuming work after the New Year's vacation.

New Beginning

Japan atarashii hajime
New Beginning Vertical Wall Scroll

This verbose Japanese phrase means, "new beginning."

The first three characters mean new, novel, fresh, recent, latest, up-to-date, or modern.

The last two characters mean beginning, start, outset, opening, or origin.


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

New Life

China xīn shēng
Japan waka ki
New Life Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally means "new life" or "new birth" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Depending on context, this word can also mean newborn, new student, rebirth, new birth, nascent.
In Japanese, this can be the given name Wakaki.


Note: This is not the most common word selection for a calligraphy wall scroll. But if you're a westerner, you can bend the rules a bit.

New Life

Japan shin sei katsu
New Life Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally means "new life" or "new livelihood" in Japanese Kanji.

新生活 is most appropriate if you are starting a new career, or otherwise are starting a new chapter in your life or a new beginning.


Note: This is not the most common word selection for a calligraphy wall scroll. But if you're a westerner, you can bend the rules a bit.

Opening / Blooming Flowers

China kāi huā
Japan kai ka
Opening / Blooming Flowers Vertical Wall Scroll

These two characters literally mean opening flowers (a verb). 開花 is also associated with Springtime, the beginning of something, or youth.

If you like flowers and the Springtime, this is a great selection for you.

In Korean Hanja, this can be a metaphor for achieving enlightenment or becoming civilized (blooming civilization).


See Also:  Flowers Fall

Patience / Perseverance / To Endure / Tolerant

China rěn nài
Japan nin tai
Patience / Perseverance / To Endure / Tolerant Vertical Wall Scroll

Patience is quiet hope and trust that things will turn out right. You wait without complaining. You are tolerant and accepting of difficulties and mistakes. You picture the end in the beginning and persevere to meet your goals.

忍耐 can also mean "to endure," "restrain oneself," "forbearance," and in some context it can mean "perseverance" or "endurance."

忍耐 is also used as a tenet of Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, and other Korean martial arts where it's titled "Endurance" and romanized as "In Neh."


忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this Kanji form (yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).


See Also:  Peace | Harmony | Perseverance

Shodan

Japan sho dan
Shodan Vertical Wall Scroll

This Japanese Kanji word literally means, "beginning degree." 初段 is the lowest black belt rank in Japanese martial arts and the game of Go.

The first Kanji means first, new, or beginning in Japanese.

Other ways to translate this title include, "lowest grade" or "first grade."

Shoshin-Ryu

Japan shou shin ryuu
Shoshin-Ryu Vertical Wall Scroll

初心流 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind style" or "beginner's spirit method."

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

The third character means style, method, or some will translate it as school.


Please note, there is more than one martial arts school that romanizes as Shoshin-Ryu.

Search for In the Beginning 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
Mind of the Beginner初心sho shin / shoshinchū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxinch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin
Charissa莎瑞薩
莎瑞萨
shā ruì sà
sha1 rui4 sa4
sha rui sa
sharuisa
sha jui sa
shajuisa
The Law of Creation and Destruction是生滅法
是生灭法
zeshoumeppou
zeshomepo
shì shēng miè fǎ
shi4 sheng1 mie4 fa3
shi sheng mie fa
shishengmiefa
shih sheng mieh fa
shihshengmiehfa
Daoism
Taoism
michi / -dodào / dao4 / daotao
Death Before Dishonor士可殺不可辱
士可杀不可辱
shì kě shā bù kě rǔ
shi4 ke3 sha1 bu4 ke3 ru3
shi ke sha bu ke ru
shikeshabukeru
shih k`o sha pu k`o ju
shihkoshapukoju
shih ko sha pu ko ju
Devotion to your Profession
Career
從事 / 従事
从事
jyuu ji / jyuuji / jyu ji / jyujicóng shì / cong2 shi4 / cong shi / congshits`ung shih / tsungshih / tsung shih
Dōgen道元dou gen / dougen / do gen / dogendào yuán / dao4 yuan2 / dao yuan / daoyuantao yüan / taoyüan
Flower Open
Blooming Flower
花開
花开
huā kāi / hua1 kai1 / hua kai / huakaihua k`ai / huakai / hua kai
From this Moment Forward
From this Day Forward
從此以后
从此以后
cóng cǐ yǐ hòu
cong2 ci3 yi3 hou4
cong ci yi hou
congciyihou
ts`ung tz`u i hou
tsungtzuihou
tsung tzu i hou
Good Luck
Good Fortune
fukufú / fu2 / fu
Gung Ho工合guaigōng hé / gong1 he2 / gong he / gonghekung ho / kungho
Jan
jiǎn / jian3 / jianchien
Jesusイエズスiezusu
Lion Dance舞獅
舞狮
wǔ shī / wu3 shi1 / wu shi / wushiwu shih / wushih
New Beginning新的開始
新的开始
xīn de kāi shǐ
xin1 de kai1 shi3
xin de kai shi
xindekaishi
hsin te k`ai shih
hsintekaishih
hsin te kai shih
New Beginning伊始yī shǐ / yi1 shi3 / yi shi / yishii shih / ishih
New Beginning新たな始まりarata na hajimari
aratanahajimari
New Beginning事始めkotohajime
New Beginning新しい始めatarashii hajime
atarashiihajime
atarashi hajime
atarashihajime
New Life新生waka ki / wakakixīn shēng
xin1 sheng1
xin sheng
xinsheng
hsin sheng
hsinsheng
New Life新生活shin sei katsu
shinseikatsu
Opening
Blooming Flowers
開花
开花
kai ka / kaikakāi huā / kai1 hua1 / kai hua / kaihuak`ai hua / kaihua / kai hua
Patience
Perseverance
To Endure
Tolerant
忍耐nin tai / nintairěn nài / ren3 nai4 / ren nai / rennaijen nai / jennai
Shodan初段sho dan / shodan
Shoshin-Ryu初心流shou shin ryuu
shoushinryuu
sho shin ryu
shoshinryu
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...

Achieve Inner Peace
Aikido
Archangel
Beautiful
Black
Bond
Bushido
Butterfly
Dance
Divine
Dragon and Phoenix
Enso
Faith
Family
Forgiveness
Fortune
Guardian
Health
Hentai
Holy Ghost
Humility
Inner Beauty
Knowledge
Lone Wolf
Long Life
Loyalty
Luck and Fortune
Marine
Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts
Mushin
Never Give Up
Power
Prince
Protect
Protector
Rabbit
Rainbow
Resolve
Satoshi
Siddhartha
Snake
Wealth
Wellness
Winter
Wish
Wood
Yellow

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