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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Wisdom / Intelligence
2. Inner Beauty / Inner Wisdom
3. Intelligence / Intellect
4. Wise and Virtuous
5. The Saint
7. Tetsu / Wise Sage
8. Wise Younger Brother
9. Wisdom / Intelligence
11. Inner Light / Intelligence
|13. Wisdom / Intelligence|
14. Power of Understanding and Wisdom
15. Wisdom / Brilliance
17. Learn from Wisdom
18. Wisdom comes from Experience
19. Military Intelligence
20. A Wise Man Changes His Mind
21. Each Time You Stumble and Fall,...
22. Experience is the Mother of Wisdom
23. Wisdom comes from Experience
24. Wisdom from Hard Knocks
These two characters mean intelligence or intelligent.
The first character means wisdom, intellect or knowledge.
The second means ability, talent, skill, capacity, capable, able, and can even mean competent.
Together, the compound word can mean "capacity for wisdom," "useful knowledge," or even "mental power." Obviously this translates more clearly into English as "intelligence."
Note: This is not the same word used to mean "military intelligence." See our other entry for that.
In modern Japan, they tend to use a version of the first character without the bottom radical. If your audience for this artwork is Japanese, please click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.
This character is used to refer to being a wise, trustworthy and virtuous person. But it also contains the ideas of intelligence, genius, scholarship, virtue, sage, saint, good, excellent in character.
This is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. Also used in a Buddhist context with same meaning.
Note: Can also be male given name, Masaru, in Japanese.
聖 is the simple, single-character religious form of "saint" in Chinese (also holds same meaning in Japanese and Korean, though rarely used alone like this).
This can also mean: holy, sage, master, or priest.
Note: 聖 is often used in compound words (words of more than one character) to create further meanings. In compounds, it can mean holy, sacred or divine.
聖 is also used as the first word for Spanish and English place names such as "San Diego" and "St. Louis" in Chinese (not Japanese).
In Buddhist context, this can represent ārya or sādhu. And mean a sage; wise and good; upright, or correct in all his character; sacred, holy, or saintly.
智 is the simplest way to write wisdom in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
Being a single character, the wisdom meaning is open to interpretation, and can also mean intellect, knowledge or reason, resourcefulness, or wit.
智 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.
智 is sometimes included in the Bushido code but usually not considered part of the seven key concepts of the code.
See our Wisdom in Chinese, Japanese and Korean page for more wisdom-related calligraphy.
哲 is a Japanese name that is often romanized as Tetsu.
The meaning of the character can be: philosophy; wise; sage; wise man; philosopher; disciple; sagacity; wisdom; intelligence.
哲 can also be romanized as: Yutaka; Masaru; Hiroshi; Tooru; Tetsuji; Choru; Satoru; Satoshi; Akira; Aki.
This Japanese word refers to wisdom, intelligence, and prudence.
It was originally a Chinese word which refers to a wise person or enlightened ruler. It means wise and able, sagacious now in China.
The first Kanji represents "to know" or "to realize." Combined, these two Kanji mean "learn, know, and understand completely." Another way to translate this is "to know all things in their entirety."
Note: While vaguely understood in Chinese, this is only a real word in Japanese.
Ancient Japanese/Korean version: This is also a word in old Korean Hanja, with a slight difference in the last character - if you want that version (which is also the ancient Japanese version) please click on the character to the right, instead of the button above.
If you are a government spy, engaged in business espionage, or in some military intelligence department, this is both the title of what you are doing and what you are collecting about your enemy.
It is suggestive by itself of military intelligence but applies to corporate intelligence if you are keeping an eye on your competition in business.
悟性 means the power of understanding and insight in Chinese.
It is often associated with Neo-Confucianism. In that regard, it means to realize, perceive, or have the perception of man's true nature. It can also mean to find your soul, the soul of others, or the soul of the world. Some will translate this simply as the state of being "savvy."
In Japanese, this is often translated as wisdom and understanding.
In Chinese, this means "ability and wisdom" or "ability and intelligence."
It can also be defined as brilliance, or genius.
In Japanese, it takes on a meaning more of "wit and intelligence."
Note that the ancient/traditional form is shown above. After WWII, in both Japan and China, the first character was simplified. If you want this reformed/simplified version, just click on the characters to the right, instead of the button above. This is a good choice if your audience is Japanese.
The first character means, "wise" or "smart" and the second character means "intelligence."
I have also seen these two characters translated together as knowledge, sagacity, sense, and intelligence.
Note: 智慧 is used commonly in Chinese and is a less-common word in Japanese and Korean. If your audience is Japanese, I suggest our other Japanese wisdom option.
This means intellect or wisdom in Japanese too but is a more unusual way to write this word (though both versions are pronounced the same in Japanese).
See Also: Learn From Wisdom
When you meet a wise person, you should learn from them and be inspired to become as wise as they are.
This is a pretty long proverb in English but in Chinese it's only four characters.
However, in Chinese the deeper meaning often surpass the dictionary definition of each character.
In this case, you should seek wise people to learn from throughout your life...
Always try to learn enough to become equal to them. It also suggests that the process of learning and seeking wisdom is a non-ending cycle.
See Also: Knowledge
This means, "You can't gain knowledge without practical experience."
This is the short form (first half) of a longer Chinese proverb. These 4 characters remind you that wisdom only comes from experience.
軍事情報 is the full way to say "Military Intelligence."
The first two characters mean "military affairs."
The second two characters mean "intelligence" or "information-gathering."
If you work in the G2 section of your military unit, this is the wall scroll for you.
See Also: Military
This Japanese proverb suggests that a wise man is willing to change his mind but a fool will stubbornly never change his.
The first word is 君子 (kunshi) man of virtue, person of high rank, wise man.
The second word is 豹変 (hyouhen) sudden change, complete change.
The last part す (su) just modifies the verb to a more humble form.
The "fool" part is merely implied or understood. So if wise and noble people are willing to change their minds, it automatically says that foolish people are the ones unwilling to change.
This Chinese proverb means:
"Fall into a moat and you will gain wisdom from the experience"
It really suggests that the failures, troubles, frustrations, and setbacks that you encounter in your life are actually helping you to find wisdom. Some would also translate this proverb as:
"Learn from your mistakes" or "Learn from your experience."
If you are studying Chinese, you will recognize the first character as "eat" but in this case, it means to "experience" (as used in this proverb, it is suggesting that you have fallen into a moat and/or had a hard time crossing it).
Literally translated character by character, this whole proverb is:
"Experience one moat, gain one wisdom/knowledge."
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.
It's been said that wisdom comes from good judgment, and good judgment comes from experience, while experience comes from a series of times when you used bad judgment.
This Chinese proverb makes the simplest connection between experience and wisdom.
You can translate this Chinese proverb a couple of ways.
The first is: You cannot gain knowledge without practice.
The second, and perhaps more popular way is: Wisdom comes from experience.
It literally means if you are inattentive to your affairs or situations you encounter, you will not gain or grow any wisdom or intellect.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Receive on blow, [and one] learns a lesson; Receive ten blows, [and one] becomes a great Zhuge [Liang]. You must first understand that a man named Zhuge Liang was one of the great strategists and philosophers in Chinese history. He's known as a man of great wisdom.
Figuratively, this phrase means:
One can learn much from failure or "hard knocks."
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|慧||e / kei||huì / hui4 / hui|
|nèi xiù / nei4 xiu4 / nei xiu / neixiu||nei hsiu / neihsiu|
|智能 / 知能|
|chinou / chino||zhì néng / zhi4 neng2 / zhi neng / zhineng||chih neng / chihneng|
|Wise and Virtuous||賢|
|ken||xián / xian2 / xian||hsien|
|sei||shèng / sheng4 / sheng|
|Wisdom||智||chi / tomo||zhì / zhi4 / zhi||chih|
|哲||tetsu||zhé / zhe2 / zhe||che|
|Wise Younger Brother||賢弟|
|ken tei / kentei||xián dì / xian2 di4 / xian di / xiandi||hsien ti / hsienti|
|ken mei / kenmei||xián míng
|chie||zhī huì / zhi1 hui4 / zhi hui / zhihui||chih hui / chihhui|
|shin tou / shintou / shin to / shinto||xīn dēng / xin1 deng1 / xin deng / xindeng||hsin teng / hsinteng|
|jouhou / joho||qíng bào / qing2 bao4 / qing bao / qingbao||ch`ing pao / chingpao / ching pao|
|Power of Understanding and Wisdom||悟性||gosei||wù xìng / wu4 xing4 / wu xing / wuxing||wu hsing / wuhsing|
|sai chi / saichi||cái zhì / cai2 zhi4 / cai zhi / caizhi||ts`ai chih / tsaichih / tsai chih|
|Wisdom||智慧||chie||zhì huì / zhi4 hui4 / zhi hui / zhihui||chih hui / chihhui|
|Learn from Wisdom||見賢思齊|
|jiàn xián sī qí
jian4 xian2 si1 qi2
jian xian si qi
|chien hsien ssu ch`i
chien hsien ssu chi
|Wisdom comes from Experience||不經一事|
|bù jīng yī shì
bu4 jing1 yi1 shi4
bu jing yi shi
|pu ching i shih
|jūn shì qíng bào
jun1 shi4 qing2 bao4
jun shi qing bao
|chün shih ch`ing pao
chün shih ching pao
|A Wise Man Changes His Mind (but a fool never will)||君子豹変す||kun shi hyou hen su|
kun shi hyo hen su
|Each Time You Stumble and Fall, You Gain Experience and Wisdom||吃一塹長一智|
|chī yí qiàn, zhǎng yí zhì
chi1 yi2 qian4 zhang3 yi2 zhi4
chi yi qian zhang yi zhi
|ch`ih i ch`ien chang i chih
chih i chien chang i chih
|Experience is the Mother of Wisdom||經驗是智慧之母|
|jīng yàn shì zhì huì zhī mǔ
jing1 yan4 shi4 zhi4 hui4 zhi1 mu3
jing yan shi zhi hui zhi mu
|ching yen shih chih hui chih mu|
|Wisdom comes from Experience||不經一事不長一智|
|bù jīng yī shì bù zhǎng yī zhì
bu4 jing1 yi1 shi4 bu4 zhang3 yi1 zhi4
bu jing yi shi bu zhang yi zhi
|pu ching i shih pu chang i chih
|Wisdom from Hard Knocks||挨一拳得一招挨十拳變諸葛|
|ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
ai2 yi1 quan2 de2 yi1 zhao1 ai2 shi2 quan2 bian4 zhu1 ge3
ai yi quan de yi zhao ai shi quan bian zhu ge
|ai i ch`üan te i chao ai shih ch`üan pien chu ko
ai i chüan te i chao ai shih chüan pien chu ko
|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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Intelligent Kanji, Intelligent Characters, Intelligent in Mandarin Chinese, Intelligent Characters, Intelligent in Chinese Writing, Intelligent in Japanese Writing, Intelligent in Asian Writing, Intelligent Ideograms, Chinese Intelligent symbols, Intelligent Hieroglyphics, Intelligent Glyphs, Intelligent in Chinese Letters, Intelligent Hanzi, Intelligent in Japanese Kanji, Intelligent Pictograms, Intelligent in the Chinese Written-Language, or Intelligent in the Japanese Written-Language.