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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Initiative"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Initiative / Leadership
  2. Initiative / Proactive / Positive
  3. Consciousness of Self
  4. Tiger
  5. Mind of the Beginner
  6. Inspire
  7. Qi Gong / Chi Kung
  8. RJ
  9. Kensho - Initial Enlightenment
10. AJ
11. Thumper
12. Enlightenment
13. Shoshin-Ryu
14. Xavier
15. Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do
16. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha
17. New Beginning
18. Worldwide Wish for Peace and Prosperity
19. Never Forget Your First Resolution
20. Wing Chun Fist Maxims

Initiative / Leadership

China jī jí
Japan shudou
Initiative / Leadership Wall Scroll

In Chinese, this word means "to take the initiative."

In Japanese and Korean, the meaning varies slightly to a meaning that leans more toward "leadership" (as in one who is leading a group or organization).

Initiative / Proactive / Positive

China jī jí
Japan sekkyoku
Initiative / Proactive / Positive Wall Scroll

This word closely matches the way initiative is often used in English. This word can also mean active, energetic, vigorous, positive (outlook), or proactive in Chinese.

The meaning also includes positive and progressive in Japanese and Korean.

Consciousness of Self

China zì jué
Japan jikaku
Consciousness of Self Wall Scroll

自覺 is the idea of being conscious, self-aware and sometimes "on one's own initiative."

覚After WWII, they started using a simplified form of the second Kanji for this word in Japan. That version is shown to the right, and you can click on that Kanji if you want the modern Japanese form. Otherwise, the characters shown in the upper left are the correct ones for ancient/old/traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


Year of the Tiger / Zodiac Sign
Japan tora
Tiger Wall Scroll

虎 is the character for tiger in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

Since you already know what a tiger is, here's some trivia: If you look at the Japanese pronunciation, you might remember a movie called "Tora Tora Tora" which was the code word used to initiate the attack on Pearl Harbor. It simply means "Tiger Tiger Tiger."

In Chinese culture, the tiger is considered to be the king of all animals (in much the way we see the lion in western culture).

From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the tiger, you . . .

Have a strong personality.
Are full of self-confidence.
Love adventure
Don't like to obey others.

See also our Chinese Zodiac or Tiger Calligraphy pages.

Mind of the Beginner

China chū xīn
Japan sho shin
Mind of the Beginner 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.


China qǐ shì
Inspire Wall Scroll

Beyond inspire or inspiration, this Chinese word can mean enlightenment or revelation. 啟示 is used as the Biblical revelation in the Chinese Bible, so it can also mean apocalypse depending on context.

Separately, the first character can mean: to open; to start; to initiate; to enlighten; to awaken; to state; to inform.

The second character alone can mean: to show; to reveal; to indicate; to proclaim.

Qi Gong / Chi Kung

China qì gōng
Japan kikou
Qi Gong / Chi Kung Wall Scroll

Qigong is the title of a technique that is somewhere between a medical practice, meditation, and in some cases a religion. The definition is blurred depending on which school of Qigong you are following. In some cases, it is even incorporated with martial arts.

Some people (even Chinese people) mix this title with Tai Chi (Tai Qi) exercises.

Lately in China, people will claim to practice Tai Chi rather than Qigong because the Qigong title was recently used as a cover for an illegal pseudo-religious movement in China with the initials F.G. or F.D. (I can not write those names here for fear of our website being banned in China).

You can learn those names and more here: Further info about Qigong

If you are wondering about why I wrote "Qi Gong" and "Chi Kung" as the title of this calligraphy entry, I should teach you a little about the various ways in which Chinese can be Romanized. One form writes this as "Chi Kung" or "Chikung" (Taiwan). In the mainland and elsewhere, it is Romanized as "Qi Gong" or "Qigong." The actual pronunciation is the same in Taiwan, mainland, and Singapore Mandarin. Neither Romanization is exactly like English. If you want to know how to say this with English rules, it would be something like "Chee Gong" (but the "gong" has a vowel sound like the "O" in "go").

Romanization is a really confusing topic and has caused many Chinese words to be mispronounced in the west. One example is "Kung Pao Chicken" which should actually be more like "Gong Bao" with the "O" sounding like "oh" for both characters. Neither system of Romanization in Taiwan or the Mainland is perfect in my opinion and lead to many misunderstandings.


China ěr jié
RJ Wall Scroll

爾杰 is a common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name RJ.

There's not actually letters in Chinese, so initial names like this are tough.

In this rare case, there are Chinese characters that roughly sound like the English letters R and J.

Kensho - Initial Enlightenment

China jiàn xìng
Japan ken shou
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment Wall Scroll

Generally the same meaning as Satori but referring to the initial state or initial experience of enlightenment. 見性 is a Zen Buddhist term that is not widely known outside of the religion. Used more in Japan than China.

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people. Some Japanese people will dispute whether this title is valid in the Japanese language. Only order this if you are sure this title is right for you.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment


Japan eije
AJ Wall Scroll

エイジェ is the name AJ written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese). エイジェ is kind of a funky name, as there are no letters or initials in Japanese. But, this sounds just like AJ.

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


China sāng pǔ
Thumper Wall Scroll

桑普 is a common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Thumper.

桑普 is a difficult name to transliterate since there are no initial "th" or final "r" sounds in Chinese. This version sounds like "Sung pu."

桑普 is the official Chinese name used for Thumper, the rabbit from the Disney movie Bambi.


China qǐ méng
Japan keimou
Enlightenment Wall Scroll

啟蒙 is the Chinese word for enlightenment.

The first character means to open, to start, to begin, to commence or to explain. The second character means deception or ignorance. Basically, it suggests that enlightenment is the opening or cutting through what deceives you in the world or the ignorance of the world. This title can also mean "to educate."

啓The Japanese and Korean version of the first character of this title varies slightly from the Chinese. Please click on the Kanji to the right, instead of the button above, if you want the Japanese/Korean version.


Japan shou shin ryuu
Shoshin-Ryu 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.


(Version 2)
China zé wéi ěr
Xavier Wall Scroll

澤維爾 is another way that Xavier can be transliterated into Chinese. Neither way is right or wrong. 澤維爾 is just a tough name because there is no sound in Chinese like an initial X in a word.

If you are wondering, when you see a Romanized Chinese word with an X, it is actually pronounced more like SH but with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth. It's kind of a weird convention of Romanizing Chinese.

Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do

China táng shǒu dào
Japan kara te do
Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do Wall Scroll

唐手道 is the alternate title for Karate-do. This title uses a character which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the "Tang Hand Way" or incorrectly, "Tang Fist Way." I have also seen some call it "China Hand Way."

There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China, and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means "Empty Hand" (as in, without weapons).

In Korean, this title represents a certain style of martial arts. From Korean, this is often romanized as "Tang Soo Do," "Tangsudo," "Dang Su Do," or "Dangsudo." The last two romanizations on that list are the official Korean government romanization, though martial arts schools tend to use other non-standard versions.

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Wall Scroll

見性成佛 is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成佛 is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

New Beginning

China xīn de kāi shǐ
New Beginning 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."

Worldwide Wish for Peace and Prosperity

China qǐ shèng shì kāi tài píng
Worldwide Wish for Peace and Prosperity Wall Scroll

啟盛世開太平 means "To bring flourishing peace and security to the world (our current era)."

It's really a wish that a new door leading to peace and prosperity could be opened to mankind.

Character and word breakdown:
啟 to open; to start; to initiate; to enlighten or awaken.
盛世 a flourishing period; period of prosperity; a golden age.
開 to open; to start; to turn on.
太平 peace and security; peace and tranquility; peace; tranquility.
I don't really like to do breakdowns like this, as the words altogether create their own unique meaning (encompassed in the main title above). Please take that into consideration.

Never Forget Your First Resolution

Never Lose Your Beginner's Spirit
Japan sho shin wasu ru be ka ra zu
Never Forget Your First Resolution Wall Scroll

初心忘るべからず / 初心忘る可からず is an old Japanese proverb that suggests you try to never forget the enthusiasm you had as a child when you try new things (or even face the day-to-day). Basically avoid having a mundane attitude that many people get with age.

You'll find this Japanese proverb translated a few different ways. Here are some of them:
Don't forget your first resolution.
Never forget your child-like enthusiasm.
Forget not the beginner's mind.
Try never to lose your initial enthusiasm (freshness of attitude).

Note: This is sometimes written as 初心忘る可からず. The one shown above is used about 10x more often. There's only one character difference between the two versions.

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

Wing Chun Fist Maxims

Wing Chun Kuen Kuit
Wing Chun Fist Maxims Wall Scroll

有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫 is the chant or poem of Wing Chun. I call it a "chant" because it was meant to be a somewhat rhythmic poem to help practitioners memorize many aspects of Wing Chun.

You will see this referred to as, "Wing Chun Kuem Kuit." This Cantonese romanization is popular in the west (and there is no official way to romanize Cantonese, so many variations exist). In Mandarin it would be, "Yong Chun Quan Jue." The last character (kuit or kyut from Cantonese, jue or chüeh from Mandarin) kind of means "secrets of the art." It's a short way to write 口訣, meaning "mnemonic chant" or "rhyme for remembering."

In the west (especially in the military), we often use acronyms to remember things. There's no initials to make acronyms in Chinese, so in ancient times, chants like this are used to remember vast amounts of information.

有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫 is the Chinese text:
1 有手黐手,無手問手
2 來留區送, 甩手直沖
3 怕打終歸打, 貪打終被打
4 粘連迫攻, 絕不放鬆
5 來力瀉力, 借力出擊
6 步步追形, 點點朝午
7 以形補手, 敗形不敗馬
8 腰馬一致, 心意合一
9 拳由心發, 動法無形
10 活人練活死功夫

I will presume you already know the meaning of the 10 maxims, so I will skip that to keep this calligraphy entry from getting too large.

Some think 练拳者必记 is the title but that just says, "Training fist people should remember:." Therefore, I've not included that in the calligraphy. However, you can put a note in the special instructions if you want it added.

Note: On a traditional calligraphy wall scroll, the characters will be written in vertical columns, starting from the right, and proceeding left.

Note: This is an except and variation from a huge 口訣. These 10 maxims are used extensively in Wing Chun training, and you'll find them all over the internet. Just know there is a much longer version out there, along with several variations and excepts like this one. If you know of, or want a different version, just contact me, and I will add it for you.

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
shudou / shudojī jí / ji1 ji2 / ji ji / jiji chi chi / chichi
sekkyoku / sekyokujī jí / ji1 ji2 / ji ji / jiji chi chi / chichi
Consciousness of Self 自覺
自觉 / 自覚
jikakuzì jué / zi4 jue2 / zi jue / zijue tzu chüeh / tzuchüeh
Tiger torahǔ / hu3 / hu
Mind of the Beginner 初心sho shin / shoshinchū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxin ch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin
Inspire 啟示
qǐ shì / qi3 shi4 / qi shi / qishi ch`i shih / chishih / chi shih
Qi Gong
Chi Kung
kikou / kikoqì gōng / qi4 gong1 / qi gong / qigong ch`i kung / chikung / chi kung
RJ 爾杰
ěr jié / er3 jie2 / er jie / erjie erh chieh / erhchieh
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment 見性
ken shou / kenshou / ken sho / kenshojiàn xìng
jian4 xing4
jian xing
chien hsing
AJ エイジェeije
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...

Be True to Yourself
Bushido Code
Cherry Blossom
Eightfold Path
Feng Shui
First Born Son
I Love You
Never Give Up
Rise from the Ashes
Rising Sun
Senshi Damashii
Warrior Spirit

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