All custom calligraphy items are made-to-order in our little Beijing artwork-mounting workshop.

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Stay Strong / Iron Will
  2. Iron Heart
  3. Iron Man
  4. Iron Fist
  5. Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle
  6. Iron Palm
  7. Indomitable Spirit
  8. Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude
  9. Indomitable Spirit
10. Indomitable / Unyielding
11. Steel
12. Tempering Makes Strong Steel
13. The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel

Stay Strong / Iron Will

Japan tesshin sekichou
Stay Strong / Iron Will Wall Scroll

鉄心石腸 is a Japanese proverb which suggest you should have the inner-strength and will as hard and steadfast as iron. It's the Japanese way to say, "stay strong." 鉄心石腸 is an especially uplifting thing to say to a person in distress or recovering from a disaster. It's kind of the survivor's creed.

If you literally translate this, it means, "iron will, stone guts" or "iron heart, rock-hard bowels."

Iron Heart

China tiě xīn
Japan tetsu kokoro / tesshin
Iron Heart Wall Scroll

This can be translated as "iron heart," "steel core," "iron mind" in Chinese and Japanese Kanji.

鐵心 is not a common term, but I added it here since so many were looking for "iron heart." 鐵心 is almost like saying you are without emotions or feeling - a very stoic person. 鐵心 is not a Buddhist trait.

Iron Man

China gāng tiě xiá
Iron Man Wall Scroll

鋼鐵俠 is the Chinese title for Iron Man, the comic book superhero.

Iron Fist

Tie Quan / Tieh Chuan
China tiě quán
Japan tekken
Iron Fist Wall Scroll

鐵拳 is a common theme used by various schools of martial arts.

鐵 means "iron" but in some cases, can mean "indisputable."
拳 means fist.

Some schools use the older/Taiwanese way to Romanize the iron fist, so you may have seen it spelled "Tieh Chuan" instead of "Tie Quan." Neither way is technically incorrect.

Note that in Mandarin, the first part of the first character sounds like the English word "tea" blending into a soft "-eh" sound. The second character sounds a lot like "chew on" but as if it is one syllable.

鉄After WWII in Japan, the Kanji for iron was simplified. This new Kanji form is shown to the right. If you want this modern Japanese version, please click on the Kanji to the right, instead of the button above. The characters shown to the left would still be considered the old or ancient Japanese version of this title.

Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle

China mó chǔ chéng zhēn
Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "to grind an iron bar down to a fine needle," or "Even a bar of iron can be ground down to a needle [with perseverance]."

Figuratively, this means to persevere in a difficult task or to study diligently.

Iron Palm

China tiě zhǎng
Japan tetsu-tenohira
Iron Palm Wall Scroll

These two characters mean "iron palm," the martial arts technique taught by Brian Gray and others.

This term can mean different things to different people. The consensus is that rather than a type or style of martial arts, this is a technique for refining hand position and strengthening of hands to strike blows for with maximum force and effect.

The regime may include herbal treatments and special exercises to fortify the hands.

In more extreme versions, the carpals and metacarpal bones in the hand are systematically broken, so that when they heal, they will become stronger.

Japanese note: This does make sense in Japanese (though the version shown above is the ancient form of the first Kanji) this is far from a commonly-known term.

Indomitable Spirit

Korean Only
China bǎi shé bù qū
Indomitable Spirit Wall Scroll

This Korean proverb means "indomitable spirit," at least, that is the way it is commonly translated in martial arts circles (Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc.).

The literal translation is "[one] hundred [times] broken [still] don't succumb."
Or more naturally translated, "Even if attacked/beaten one hundred times, still be undaunted/indomitable."

Some will say this is one long word rather than a proverb.
百折不屈 is also a proverb/word in Chinese though rarely used in modern times.

Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude

China bù qū
Japan fukutsu
Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude Wall Scroll

不屈 is the short form of a longer Chinese word, and also a word used in Korean and Japanese to express the idea of being indomitable. It literally means, "will not bend," "will not crouch," "will not yield," "will not flinch," or "will not submit."

Note: Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.

See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Indomitable Spirit

Japan ma ke ji damashii
Indomitable Spirit Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means "indomitable spirit" or "unyielding spirit."

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

Indomitable / Unyielding

China bù qū bù náo
Japan fukutsu futou
Indomitable / Unyielding Wall Scroll

不屈不撓 means "Indomitable" or "Unyielding."

不屈不撓 is a long word by Chinese standards. At least, it is often translated as a single word into English. It's actually a proverb in Chinese.

If you want to break it down, you can see that the first and third characters are the same. Both meaning "not" (they work as a suffix to make a negative or opposite meaning to whatever character follows).

The second character means "bendable."

The last means "scratched" or "bothered."

So this really means "Won't be bent, can't be bothered." I have also seen it written as "Will not crouch, will not submit." This comes from the fact that the second character can mean, "to crouch" and the last can mean "to submit" (as in "to give in" such as "submitting to the rule of someone else"). This may explain better why these four characters mean "indomitable."

Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.
The first two characters can be a stand-alone word in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered to be two words (with very similar meanings).
The same characters are used in Korean, but the 2nd and 4th characters are swapped to create a word pronounced "불요불굴" in Korean.
Just let me know if you want the Korean version, which will also make sense in Japanese, and though not as natural, will also make sense in Chinese as well.

See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted


China gāng
Japan hagane
Steel Wall Scroll

鋼 is the Chinese character and Japanese Kanji for steel (as in iron mixed with carbon and other elements to make it stronger).

This can also be the name Hagane in Japanese. Like Mr. Steel in English. It can also be pronounced as Tsuyoshi or Kou when used as personal or given names in Japan.

Tempering Makes Strong Steel

Hardship Develops Strong Character
China bǎi liàn cái chéng gāng
Tempering Makes Strong Steel Wall Scroll

This literally translates as: Only after much tempering is steel produced.

Figuratively, this means: True character must be tested in hardship.

百煉才成鋼 / 百煉纔成鋼 is a mild form of saying, "Whatever doesn't kill me, makes me stronger."

The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel

Japan bushi no ichigon kintetsu no gotoshi
The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel Wall Scroll

武士の一言、金鉄の如し is an old Japanese proverb about the value of the word of a warrior. Here's a couple versions of how this can be translated:

A warrior's single word is as unchanging and reliable as gold and steel.
A warrior's promise is as dependable as gold, and his [scabbard contains] untarnished steel (a sword).

Note: Sometimes this phrase is written as 男子の一言、金鉄の如し (danshi no ichigon kintetsu no gotoshi)

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

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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
Stay Strong
Iron Will
鉄心石腸tesshin sekichou
teshin sekicho
Iron Heart 鐵心
tetsu kokoro / tesshin
tetsukokoro / tesshin
tetsu kokoro / teshin
tiě xīn / tie3 xin1 / tie xin / tiexin t`ieh hsin / tiehhsin / tieh hsin
Iron Man 鋼鐵俠gāng tiě xiá
gang1 tie3 xia2
gang tie xia
kang t`ieh hsia
kang tieh hsia
Iron Fist 鐵拳
铁拳 / 鉄拳
tekken / tekentiě quán / tie3 quan2 / tie quan / tiequan t`ieh ch`üan / tiehchüan / tieh chüan
Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle 磨杵成針
mó chǔ chéng zhēn
mo2 chu3 cheng2 zhen1
mo chu cheng zhen
mo ch`u ch`eng chen
mo chu cheng chen
Iron Palm 鐵掌
tetsu-tenohiratiě zhǎng
tie3 zhang3
tie zhang
t`ieh chang
tieh chang
Indomitable Spirit 百折不屈bǎi shé bù qū
bai3 she2 bu4 qu1
bai she bu qu
pai she pu ch`ü
pai she pu chü
不屈fukutsubù qū / bu4 qu1 / bu qu / buqu pu ch`ü / puchü / pu chü
Indomitable Spirit 負けじ魂ma ke ji damashii
ma ke ji damashi
fukutsu futou
fukutsu futo
bù qū bù náo
bu4 qu1 bu4 nao2
bu qu bu nao
pu ch`ü pu nao
pu chü pu nao
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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Art of War
Be True to Yourself
Cherry Blossom
Double Happiness
Eightfold Path
Feng Shui
I Love You
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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 Iron Kanji, Iron Characters, Iron in Mandarin Chinese, Iron Characters, Iron in Chinese Writing, Iron in Japanese Writing, Iron in Asian Writing, Iron Ideograms, Chinese Iron symbols, Iron Hieroglyphics, Iron Glyphs, Iron in Chinese Letters, Iron Hanzi, Iron in Japanese Kanji, Iron Pictograms, Iron in the Chinese Written-Language, or Iron in the Japanese Written-Language.