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Keep It in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Keep It calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Keep It" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Keep It" title below...

  1. Keep Calm, Be Not Impatient
  2. Keep Your Feet on the Ground
  3. Keep Calm in Face of Adversity
  4. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks
  5. Carry On, Undaunted
  6. John 14:15
  7. Protector
  8. Safety and Well-Being of the Family
  9. Indian
10. Balance / Equilibrium
11. Will-Power / Self-Control
12. Flexibility
13. Resilient in the Face of Adversity
14. Rebel / Insurgent
15. Consideration / Thought / Ikko
16. Happy New Year
17. Life in Balance / Balancing Life
18. God is Always With You
19. Fidelity / Personal Integrity / Honor
20. Drunken Fist
21. Heijoshin / Presence of Mind
22. Perseverance
23. Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red,...
24. Good Luck / Good Fortune
25. God Bless You...
26. Remember
27. Love Life
28. Rose Flowers Given, Frangrance Remains on Hands of Giver
29. Dignity / Honor / Sanctity / Integrity
30. You are who you hang out with.
31. Cooperation / Collaboration
32. Everything Happens for a Reason
33. Sword Saint
34. To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible
35. Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine
36. Commitment
37. Grace from Heaven / Grace from God
38. Wolf
39. Clarity
40. Good Good Study, Day Day Up
41. Galatians 5:25
42. Patience / Perseverance
43. Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also
44. One
45. Wing Chun Fist Maxims
46. Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis
47. Do not fear being slow, fear standing still

Keep Calm, Be Not Impatient

China shǎo ān wú zào
Keep Calm, Be Not Impatient

少安毋躁 is a short Chinese phrase that means keep calm, don't get excited, and don't be impatient or hot-tempered.

Keep Your Feet on the Ground

Be Down-to-Earth
China jiǎo tà shí dì
Keep Your Feet on the Ground

This four-character proverb suggests that you should be practical, realistic, and grounded. Some translate this as a suggestion to be down-to-earth.

The first character means "feet."
The second means "step on" or "stand."
The third means "solid," "real," or "true."
The last character means "ground," "earth," or "terra."

Literally this means, "[keep your] Feet Standing [on] Solid Ground."

Keep Calm in Face of Adversity

Japan shitsuitaizen
Keep Calm in Face of Adversity

失意泰然 is a very old Japanese proverb. It suggests, "keeping calm and collected at times of disappointment," or "maintaining a serene state of mind when faced with adversity."

It's hard to relate individual character meanings into the overall meaning unless you also understand Japanese grammar. The word order is very different than English. That being said, here's the character meaning breakdown:
失 To miss, lose or fail.
意 Feelings, thoughts, meaning.
泰 Safe, peaceful.
然 Like that, in that way, however, although.

Using these definitions in English, we might say, "Although you may fail or lose, have a feeling of peace and calm."

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence

Carry On, Undaunted

China qián fù hòu jì
Carry On, Undaunted

This Chinese proverb figuratively means, "to advance dauntlessly in wave upon wave."

It suggests that you should or can carry on, and have the strength to keep going.

While this proverb is a little bit militaristic, it suggests that in spite of a fallen comrade (or perhaps a loved one), you should keep going and work towards the goal they intended.

John 14:15

China nǐ mén ruò ài wǒ jiù bì zūn shǒu wǒ de mìng lìng
John 14:15

你們若愛我就必遵守我的命令 is the translation of John 14:15 into Chinese.

This comes from the Chinese Union Bible which comes from a revised King James version. This Chinese Bible was originally translated and printed in 1919 (several revisions since then).

Because of the origin being the KJV, I'll say that in English, this would be, "If ye love me, keep my commandments.."

In basic English, this would be, "If you have love for me, you will keep my laws."

Protector

China bǎo hù zhě
Japan hogosha
Protector

保護者 is the universal word for protector in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

The first character means to defend, to protect, to insure or guarantee, to maintain, hold or keep, or to guard.

The second character means to protect.

Together the first and second characters create a word that means to defend, to protect, or to safeguard.

The last character means person.

Add all three characters together, and you have a word that means "protector," one who will protect, guard, and keep you safe.

Some will also translate this word as guardian or patron.


Note: Not a common selection for a wall scroll in Asia.


See Also:  Guardian Angel

Safety and Well-Being of the Family

Kanai Anzen
Japan ka nai an zen
Safety and Well-Being of the Family

家內安全 is kind of the Japanese way of saying, "Family First." It's really a Japanese proverb about the safety and well-being of your family, and/or, peace and prosperity in the household.

Some Japanese will hang an amulet in their home with these Kanji on it. The purpose being to keep your family safe from harm.

According to Shinto followers, hanging this in your home is seen as an invocation to God to always keep members of the family free from harm.

We were actually looking for a way to say "family first" in Japanese when this proverb came up in the conversation and research. While it doesn't literally say "family first," it shows that the safety and well-being of your family is your first or most important priority. So, this proverb is the most natural way to express the idea that you put your family first.


See Also:  Peace and Prosperity

Indian

China yìn dù rén
Japan in do jin
Indian

印度人 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for Indian (a person from India).

印度人 is kind of an odd selection to put on a wall scroll but people keep searching for this title, so I added it.

Balance / Equilibrium

China jūn héng
Japan kin kou
Balance / Equilibrium

均衡 means balance or equilibrium.

This title is best for a Japanese audience where the word suggests that your life is in balance in all matters (or is a reminder for you to try and keep all matters in balance).

Will-Power / Self-Control

China yì zhì lì
Japan ishi ryoku
Will-Power / Self-Control

意志力 is the form of will power or self-control is about having the determination or tenacity to keep going.

In Japanese, this is the power of will, strength of will, volition, intention, intent, or determination.

Flexibility

China líng huó xìng
Flexibility

Flexibility is being open to change. You consider others' ideas and feelings and don't insist on your own way. Flexibility gives you creative new ways to get things done. Flexibility helps you to keep changing for the better. This Chinese word could also be defined as "flexible nature."


See Also:  Cooperation

Resilient in the Face of Adversity

Japan u ta re tsuyo i
Resilient in the Face of Adversity

打たれ強い is often used as a martial arts term. It means being able to take a lot of punishment, or able to take a hit. In the context of Japanese baseball, it can also refer to the pitcher's ability to keep his cool when the batter gets a hit. In general, this is about being resilient and strong in the face of criticism or adversity.


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

Rebel / Insurgent

China zéi
Japan zoku
Rebel / Insurgent

People keep asking me for rebel in a single Chinese character, Korean Hanja, or Japanese Kanji. The problem is, rebel is not really a good word in Asian culture (depending on the context in which it is used). This rebel symbol can also mean thief; traitor; evil; robber; burglar; insurgent; spoiler. Used as an adjective, it can mean wily or deceitful.

Consideration / Thought / Ikko

Japan ikkou / ikko
Consideration / Thought / Ikko

一考 is a Japanese word that means consideration or thought.

一考 can also be pronounced Kazutaka when used as a personal name.

People search this site for "Ikko," and I imagine this is what they want. But, keep in mind that many other Japanese words and names Romanize as Ikko.

Happy New Year

China xīn nián kuài lè
Happy New Year

If you want to wish someone a happy new year this is the way. You can hang this up during Western New Years (Dec 31st - Jan 1st) and keep it up until after Chinese New Years which happens in either January or February of each year (it changes from year to year because China uses a lunar calendar).

Life in Balance / Balancing Life

The art of balancing your life
China píng héng rén shēng
Japan hei kou jin sei
Life in Balance / Balancing Life

This title suggests that you are actively trying to keep your life in balance. Think of this as being the action-verb of seeking or having a balanced life.

The first two characters mean balance, equilibrium or keeping things equal.

The last two characters mean "life." Literally "human life."

God is Always With You

God is With Me Always
China shàng dì yǔ nǐ cháng zài
God is Always With You

The direct translation of these Chinese characters is "God Together [with] You Always Exist."

Keep in mind that Chinese grammar is sometimes very different from English. This makes perfect sense in Chinese.

Note: The title for God is the first two characters - the other words in the direct translation represent one character each.

Fidelity / Personal Integrity / Honor

China cāo shǒu
Japan soushu
Fidelity / Personal Integrity / Honor

操守 is the Chinese and Japanese Kanji for personal integrity, constancy, fidelity, and honor/honour.

The original meaning of the first character is chastity, fidelity, honor/honour, and/or faith.

The second character means to defend, guard, keep watch, be observant.

So, this is about being observant of, and guarding your integrity and honor.

Drunken Fist

(A legitimate style of Kung Fu)
China zuì quán
Japan suiken
Drunken Fist

Drunken Fist is a traditional Chinese martial art / technique of Kung Fu.

It is a northern style of martial art that imitates a drunk person in its movements. Many staggering movements serve to deceive the opponent and keep them off-balance.

Some consider Drunken Fist to be among the harder styles of martial arts due to the need for powerful joints and fingers.


See Also:  Drunken Monkey

Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

China píng cháng xīn
Japan hei jou shin
Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

平常心 is the title Heijoshin, as associated with Kendo and Aikido schools of Japanese martial arts.

平常心 is also a word in Japanese which can be translated as "one's self-possession" or "presence of mind."

In Chinese and Korean, this means "simplicity heart," "composure," "calmness," or a "sense of orderliness." In Chinese and Korean, this implies that you enjoy what you have, keep your heart in balance, and have no over-blown ambitions.

Perseverance

China jiān rèn bù bá
Perseverance

Perseverance is being steadfast and persistent. You commit to your goals and overcome obstacles, no matter how long it takes. When you persevere, you don't give up...you keep going. Like a strong ship in a storm, you don't become battered or blown off course. You just ride the waves.

The translation of this proverb literally means, "something so persistent or steadfast, that it is not uprootable / movable / surpassable."


See Also:  Tenacious | Devotion | Persistence | Indomitable

Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red,
Gold Turns a Heart Black

China bái jiǔ hóng rén miàn huáng jīn hēi shì xīn
Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red, / Gold Turns a Heart Black

Literally this says: [Just as] white liquor makes people's faces turn red, [So] yellow gold makes people's hearts turn black.

This is a warning about the nature of greed. The suggestion is that one who lusts for gold and riches, will eventually have a black heart (or become a heartless greedy bastard). As a wall scroll, this is a reminder and warning to keep yourself from following the greedy path.

Good Luck / Good Fortune

China
Japan fuku
Good Luck / Good Fortune

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

God Bless You
God Be With You

Japan kami sa ma ga mamo ru you ni
God Bless You / God Be With You

This is about as close as you can get to, "God Bless You" in Japanese.

This literally means, "[May] God Protect [You]." It can also mean, "God is Always With You," as the word in this phrase that means "protect" can also mean to follow or be with. In fact, the Japanese dictionary entry for that word reads like this: to protect; to guard; to defend; to keep (i.e. a promise); to abide; to observe; to follow.


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

Remember

China míng jì
Japan mei ki
Remember

銘記 means to keep in mind, to take note of, or simply to remember, in Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji.

The first character means to engrave, to inscribe, or to carve an inscription.

The second character means to remember, to note, mark, sign, to record, history, chronicle, or annals.

When used in the context of a person, this means to engrave on the heart, or to inscribe a memory in one's mind. In short, it's the idea of deeply remembering something, some event, or someone forever.

Love Life

China rè ài shēng mìng
Love Life

熱愛生命 is the Chinese phrase for "Love Life" or "Love of Life."

If you love your life, or want a reminder on your wall to keep you loving your life each day, this is the selection for you.

To clarify, this is different than "A life full of love," or "love while you live." With this phrase, you are loving the state of being alive.


Note: Korean pronunciation is included above, though use of this phrase in Korean has not been verified.

Rose Flowers Given, Frangrance Remains on Hands of Giver

China zèng rén méi guī shǒu liú yú xiāng
Rose Flowers Given, Frangrance Remains on Hands of Giver

This proverb has been translated several ways:

1. Roses given, fragrance in hand.

2. You present others roses, fragrance remains.

3. The fragrance of the rose always remains on the hand of those that bestow them.

4. A little bit of fragrance always clings to the hands which give the flowers

However, this literally translates as, "Give someone rose flowers, [your] hands keep [the] remaining fragrance."

Dignity / Honor / Sanctity / Integrity

China zūn yán
Japan son gen
Dignity / Honor / Sanctity / Integrity

This form of honor is showing great respect for yourself, other people, and the rules you live by.

When you are honorable, you keep your word. You do the right thing regardless of what others are doing.

尊嚴 is the kind of personal honor or dignity that is of great value. If you lose this, you have lost yourself and perhaps the reputation of your family as well.

While this is not directly the same thing as "face" or "saving face" in Asian culture, it is associated with the same concept in China.


厳In Japan, they currently use a more simplified second character for this word. The ancient Japanese form is the same as China but after WWII some Kanji were changed. If you want the modern Japanese version, just click on the Kanji image shown to the right, instead of the button above.

You are who you hang out with.

China āi jīn sì jīn āi yù sì yù
You are who you hang out with.

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [One who is] close to gold [is] like gold [and one who is] close to jade [is] like jade.

Figuratively, this means:
A good environment produces good people.
People are in influenced by the company they keep.

Basically, if you hang out with good people, you are likely to become or stay good yourself. The opposite also being true. This is like the moral version of "You are what you eat."


Note: In Japanese, they have a similar phrase, 類は友を呼ぶ (rui wa tomo o yobu) Birds of a feather flock together. However, this is not a good meaning, so we're not offering it for wall scrolls.

Cooperation / Collaboration

China xié zuò
Japan kyou saku
Cooperation / Collaboration

Cooperation is working together and sharing the load. When we cooperate, we join with others to do things that cannot be done alone. We are willing to follow the rules which keep everyone safe and happy. Together we can accomplish great things.

The first character means "united" or "to coordinate." The second character means "to do," "to make," or "to compose." Knowing this, you can understand why together, these characters create a word that can be defined as "cooperation" in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

It is implied that you are cooperating to create some project or product.


See Also:  Partnership

Everything Happens for a Reason

China wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ
Everything Happens for a Reason

The first two characters mean "all things" or "everything."

The middle character kind of means, "in all cases."

The last two characters create a complex word that can be defined many ways such as, "karma," "cause and effect," "fate," "every cause has its effect, as every effect arises from a cause."

Keep in mind, Chinese grammar is a bit different than English, so trust me that this makes a natural proverb that means, "Everything happens for a reason" in Chinese.

Everything Happens for a Reason

Japan monogoto ha subete riyuu ga at te okiru
Everything Happens for a Reason

This is a work in progress. We're still trying to decide the best way to express this in Japanese. If you order this, we might have a discussion about the best version that fits you. Here's how the characters break down by meaning (keep in mind, Japanese grammar and sentence construction is very different from English, so it doesn't make complete sense in English)...

物事 = things, everything
は particle
全て all, the whole, entirely
理由 reason
が particle
あっ be, exist, have, take place, happens
て particle
起きる to occur, to happen; to take place (usually unfavorable incidents)


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

Sword Saint

China jiàn shèng
Japan kensei
Sword Saint

This can be translated as "Sword Saint," "God of the Sword" or "Saint of the Sword." 剣聖 / 剣聖 is an ancient Japanese title bestowed on a master with the greatest of skills in swordsmanship.

Keep in mind that this is an antiquated term. It will only be understood in the context of martial arts. The pronunciation "kensei" also applies to other words like "constitutional government" and power (these words have different kanji and are completely unrelated).

Notes: 剣聖 / 剣聖 is sometimes Romanized as "kensei," "ken sei," and incorrectly as "Kensai."

Chinese Note: This title is pronounceable in Chinese but seldom, if ever used in Chinese. Also, the first character is an alternate character form for sword, currently only used in Japan.

To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible

Where there is a will, there is a way
China yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng
To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible

This old Chinese proverb has been translated many different ways into English. As you read the translations below, keep in mind that in Chinese, heart=mind.

Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.
Nothing is difficult to a willing heart.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Nothing in the world is impossible if you set your mind to do it.
A willful man will have his way.
If you wish it, you will do it.
A determined heart can accomplish anything.
All things are possible to a strong mind.


Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine

China jīng qì shén
Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine

These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.

As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.

Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.

Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being

To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit," to define these.

Commitment

China chéng nuò
Japan shoudaku
Commitment

Commitment is caring deeply about something or someone. It is deciding carefully what you want to do, and then giving it 100%, holding nothing back. You give your all to a friendship, a task, or something you believe in. You finish what you start. You keep your promises.

In Chinese, this word directly means to undertake something or to make a promise to do something.

Within the idea of commitment, this word also means to make a big effort, or undertaking a great task. Outside of the commitment idea, this particular word can also mean approval, acceptance, consent, assent, acquiescence, or agreement depending on context (especially in Japanese and Korean). Therefore, this word is probably best if your audience is Chinese.


See Also:  Partnership | Hard Work | Dedication

Grace from Heaven / Grace from God

China tiān ēn
Grace from Heaven / Grace from God

天恩 is the deepest way to say "Heaven's Grace" or "God's Grace" in Chinese.

The first character means Heaven or sky (referring in this case to the domain of God).
The second character means grace, blessings, benevolence, favor/favour, acts of kindness, merits, or beneficial influence.

This title can also be defined as:
Blessings of Heaven, Favor of the Emperor, Divination's luckiest day, or blessings of nature. Note: When you see "Emperor" above, keep in mind that the Emperor, like the Pope is theoretically chosen by God, or seen as an emissary or conduit of God in ancient Asian culture. It would only be read that way in a certain context such as, "The Emperor, in his mercy, bestowed upon him Heaven's Grace and the prisoner was set free."


Note: Technically, this is a Japanese word too (pronounced "ten-on") but it's rarely used in Japan anymore. Therefore, this title is best if your audience is Chinese.

Wolf

China láng
Japan okami
Wolf

狼 is the character used to represent the elusive animal known as the wolf in both Chinese and Japanese.

If you are a fan of the wolf or the wolf means something special to you, this could make a great addition to your wall.

Do keep in mind, that much like our perception of wolves in the history of western culture, eastern cultures do not have a very positive view of wolves (save the scientific community and animal lovers). The wolf is clearly an animal that is misunderstood or feared the world over.

狼 is seldom used alone in Korean Hanja, but is used in a compound word that means utter failure (as in a wolf getting into your chicken pen - or an otherwise ferocious failure). Not a good choice if your audience is Korean.

Clarity

China qīng
Japan sei
Clarity

清 means clarity or clear in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. Looking at the parts of this character, you have three splashes of water on the left, "life" on the top right, and the moon on the lower right.

Because of something Confucius said about 2500 years ago, you can imagine that this character means "live life with clarity like bright moonlight piercing pure water." The Confucian idea is something like "Keep clear what is pure in yourself, and let your pure nature show through." Kind of like saying, "Don't pollute your mind or body, so that they remain clear."

This might be stretching the definition of this single Chinese character but the elements are there, and "clarity" is a powerful idea.


Korean note: Korean pronunciation is given above but this character is written with a slight difference in the "moon radical" in Korean. However, anyone who can read Korean Hanja, will understand this character with no problem (this is considered an alternate form in Korean). If you want the more standard Korean Hanja form (which is an alternate form in Chinese), just let me know.

Japanese note: When reading in Japanese, this Kanji has additional meanings of pure, purify, or cleanse (sometimes to remove demons or "exorcise"). Used more in compound words in Japanese than as a stand-alone Kanji.

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."

Galatians 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit
China wǒ men ruò shì kào shèng líng shēn jiù dàng kào shèng líng xíng shì
Galatians 5:25

我們若是靠聖靈得生就當靠聖靈行事 is the translation of Galatians 5:25 into Mandarin Chinese via the Chinese Union Bible.

KJV: If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

NIV: Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

The annotation of this Chinese translation:
1.我们 wǒ men - we / us / ourselves
2.若是 ruò shì - if
3.靠 kào - depend upon / lean on / near / by / against / to support
4.圣灵 shèng líng - Holy Ghost
5.得 děi - to have to / must / ought to / degree or possibility
6.生就 shēng jiù - born one way or another (nervous, suspicious, etc.)
7.当 dàng - suitable / adequate / fitting / proper
8.靠 kào - depend upon / lean on / near / by / against / to support
9.圣灵 shèng líng - Holy Ghost
10.行事 xíng shì - how one does things / how one runs things (in this case, it suggests, "to walk in step with")

Patience / Perseverance

China rěn
Japan nin
Patience / Perseverance

忍 contains the ideas of patience, equanimity, perseverance, forbearance, and endurance. Alone, this single character can be a bit ambiguous or flexible. It can also mean to endure, to bear, to put up with or to conceal. If you want to simply decide what this character means to you within the general meaning but keep it a mystery to others, this is a good choice.

If you want to be more direct, you may want to choose one of our other selections that mean perseverance or patience (you will see this character within those larger words/phrases).

There is a secondary meaning in Japanese, since this is the first character of the word ninja.

忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write it 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:  Perseverance | Patience | Tenacious

Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also

China shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also

Many things have opposite properties. The water you drink can also drown you. Pork may nourish you and keep you alive but under-cook it and it could kill you. Potassium nitrate is often used as a fertilizer to grow the food that sustains us but it's also been used as an explosive to topple buildings and destroy us.

This concept is easily associated with "yin yang" where an element has two opposite properties that are as different as night and day.

This proverb's meaning can be summed up this way: "Anything that can lead you to success may also contain great risks."

This phrase is known in literary circles by Korean people (scholars or literature). It is therefore also a valid proverb in Korean Hanja, though most Koreans would not be able to make sense of it.

Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.

One

The number one
China
Japan ichi
One

一 is "one" or "1" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

People keep searching for "one" but I'm not sure what you want. This would be a strange selection for a wall scroll, so please don't order it. Post a request on our forum if you want a phrase with "one" in it that you can't find on our site.

The "one" character is really simple, it's just one stroke. Two is two strokes and three is three strokes, from four and above, the characters get more complicated.

In some ways, the "one" character is too simple, it could be a stray mark, or added to a banking document. Therefore, the following banking anti-fraud character for "one" have developed over the last 1500 years in China and Japan:
壱 壹 弌

Wing Chun Fist Maxims

Wing Chun Kuen Kuit
Wing Chun Fist Maxims

This 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.

This 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.

Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

China dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
Japan dou ten chi shou hou
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.

It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:

1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.

2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.

3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.

4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.

5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).


Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.

CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.

Do not fear being slow, fear standing still

China bú pà màn jiù pà zhàn
Do not fear being slow, fear standing still

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Don't worry about being slow; only worry about standing still.

Figuratively, this means: A slow progress holds some promise but to stand still promises failure.

Search for Keep It 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
Keep Calm, Be Not Impatient少安毋躁shǎo ān wú zào
shao3 an1 wu2 zao4
shao an wu zao
shaoanwuzao
shao an wu tsao
shaoanwutsao
Keep Your Feet on the Ground腳踏實地
脚踏实地
jiǎo tà shí dì
jiao3 ta4 shi2 di4
jiao ta shi di
jiaotashidi
chiao t`a shih ti
chiaotashihti
chiao ta shih ti
Keep Calm in Face of Adversity失意泰然shitsuitaizen
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks百折不撓
百折不挠
hyaku setsu su tou
hyakusetsusutou
hyaku setsu su to
hyakusetsusuto
bǎi zhé bù náo
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
baizhebunao
pai che pu nao
paichepunao
Carry On, Undaunted前赴後繼
前赴后继
qián fù hòu jì
qian2 fu4 hou4 ji4
qian fu hou ji
qianfuhouji
ch`ien fu hou chi
chienfuhouchi
chien fu hou chi
John 14:15你們若愛我就必遵守我的命令
你们若爱我就必遵守我的命令
nǐ mén ruò ài wǒ jiù bì zūn shǒu wǒ de mìng lìng
ni3 men2 ruo4 ai4 wo3 jiu4 bi4 zun1 shou3 wo3 de ming4 ling4
ni men ruo ai wo jiu bi zun shou wo de ming ling
ni men jo ai wo chiu pi tsun shou wo te ming ling
Protector保護者
保护者
hogoshabǎo hù zhě
bao3 hu4 zhe3
bao hu zhe
baohuzhe
pao hu che
paohuche
Safety and Well-Being of the Family家內安全
家内安全
ka nai an zen
kanaianzen
Indian印度人in do jin / indojinyìn dù rén
yin4 du4 ren2
yin du ren
yinduren
yin tu jen
yintujen
Balance
Equilibrium
均衡kin kou / kinkou / kin ko / kinkojūn héng / jun1 heng2 / jun heng / junhengchün heng / chünheng
Will-Power
Self-Control
意志力ishi ryoku / ishiryokuyì zhì lì
yi4 zhi4 li4
yi zhi li
yizhili
i chih li
ichihli
Flexibility靈活性
灵活性
líng huó xìng
ling2 huo2 xing4
ling huo xing
linghuoxing
ling huo hsing
linghuohsing
Resilient in the Face of Adversity打たれ強いu ta re tsuyo i
utaretsuyoi
Rebel
Insurgent

zokuzéi / zei2 / zeitsei
Consideration
Thought
Ikko
一考ikkou / ikko
iko / iko
iko/iko
Happy New Year新年快樂
新年快乐
xīn nián kuài lè
xin1 nian2 kuai4 le4
xin nian kuai le
xinniankuaile
hsin nien k`uai le
hsinnienkuaile
hsin nien kuai le
Life in Balance
Balancing Life
平衡人生hei kou jin sei
heikoujinsei
hei ko jin sei
heikojinsei
píng héng rén shēng
ping2 heng2 ren2 sheng1
ping heng ren sheng
pinghengrensheng
p`ing heng jen sheng
pinghengjensheng
ping heng jen sheng
God is Always With You上帝與你常在
上帝与你常在
shàng dì yǔ nǐ cháng zài
shang4 di4 yu3 ni3 chang2 zai4
shang di yu ni chang zai
shangdiyunichangzai
shang ti yü ni ch`ang tsai
shangtiyünichangtsai
shang ti yü ni chang tsai
Fidelity
Personal Integrity
Honor
操守soushu / soshucāo shǒu / cao1 shou3 / cao shou / caoshouts`ao shou / tsaoshou / tsao shou
Drunken Fist醉拳suikenzuì quán / zui4 quan2 / zui quan / zuiquantsui ch`üan / tsuichüan / tsui chüan
Heijoshin
Presence of Mind
平常心hei jou shin
heijoushin
hei jo shin
heijoshin
píng cháng xīn
ping2 chang2 xin1
ping chang xin
pingchangxin
p`ing ch`ang hsin
pingchanghsin
ping chang hsin
Perseverance堅韌不拔
坚韧不拔
jiān rèn bù bá
jian1 ren4 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
jianrenbuba
chien jen pu pa
chienjenpupa
Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red, Gold Turns a Heart Black白酒紅人面黃金黑世心
白酒红人面黄金黑世心
bái jiǔ hóng rén miàn huáng jīn hēi shì xīn
bai2 jiu3 hong2 ren2 mian4 huang2 jin1 hei1 shi4 xin1
bai jiu hong ren mian huang jin hei shi xin
pai chiu hung jen mien huang chin hei shih hsin
Good Luck
Good Fortune
fukufú / fu2 / fu
God Bless You
God Be With You
神さまが守るようにkami sa ma ga mamo ru you ni
kamisamagamamoruyouni
kami sa ma ga mamo ru yo ni
kamisamagamamoruyoni
Remember銘記mei ki / meikimíng jì / ming2 ji4 / ming ji / mingjiming chi / mingchi
Love Life熱愛生命
热爱生命
rè ài shēng mìng
re4 ai4 sheng1 ming4
re ai sheng ming
reaishengming
je ai sheng ming
jeaishengming
Rose Flowers Given, Frangrance Remains on Hands of Giver贈人玫瑰手留余香
赠人玫瑰手留余香
zèng rén méi guī shǒu liú yú xiāng
zeng4 ren2 mei2 gui1 shou3 liu2 yu2 xiang1
zeng ren mei gui shou liu yu xiang
tseng jen mei kuei shou liu yü hsiang
Dignity
Honor
Sanctity
Integrity
尊嚴
尊严 / 尊厳
son gen / songenzūn yán / zun1 yan2 / zun yan / zunyantsun yen / tsunyen
You are who you hang out with.挨金似金挨玉似玉āi jīn sì jīn āi yù sì yù
ai1 jin1 si4 jin1 ai1 yu4 si4 yu4
ai jin si jin ai yu si yu
aijinsijinaiyusiyu
ai chin ssu chin ai yü ssu yü
aichinssuchinaiyüssuyü
Cooperation
Collaboration
協作
协作
kyou saku / kyousaku / kyo saku / kyosakuxié zuò / xie2 zuo4 / xie zuo / xiezuohsieh tso / hsiehtso
Everything Happens for a Reason萬事皆因果
万事皆因果
wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ
wan4 shi4 jie1 yin1 guo3
wan shi jie yin guo
wanshijieyinguo
wan shih chieh yin kuo
wanshihchiehyinkuo
Everything Happens for a Reason物事は全て理由があって起きるmonogoto ha subete riyuu ga at te okiru
monogoto ha subete riyu ga at te okiru
monogotohasubeteriyugaatteokiru
Sword Saint剣聖 / 剣聖
剣圣
kenseijiàn shèng
jian4 sheng4
jian sheng
jiansheng
chien sheng
chiensheng
To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible有志者事竟成 / 有誌者事竟成
有志者事竟成
yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng
you3 zhi4 zhe3 shi4 jing4 cheng2
you zhi zhe shi jing cheng
youzhizheshijingcheng
yu chih che shih ching ch`eng
yuchihcheshihchingcheng
yu chih che shih ching cheng
Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine精氣神
精气神
jīng qì shén
jing1 qi4 shen2
jing qi shen
jingqishen
ching ch`i shen
chingchishen
ching chi shen
Commitment承諾
承诺
shoudaku / shodakuchéng nuò
cheng2 nuo4
cheng nuo
chengnuo
ch`eng no
chengno
cheng no
Grace from Heaven
Grace from God
天恩tiān ēn / tian1 en1 / tian en / tianent`ien en / tienen / tien en
Wolfokamiláng / lang2 / lang
Clarityseiqīng / qing1 / qingch`ing / ching
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
Galatians 5:25我們若是靠聖靈得生就當靠聖靈行事
我们若是靠圣灵得生就当靠圣灵行事
wǒ men ruò shì kào shèng líng shēn jiù dàng kào shèng líng xíng shì
wo3 men ruo4 shi4 kao4 sheng4 ling2 dei3 shen1 jiu4 dang4 kao4 sheng4 ling2 xing2 shi4
wo men ruo shi kao sheng ling dei shen jiu dang kao sheng ling xing shi
wo men jo shih k`ao sheng ling tei shen chiu tang k`ao sheng ling hsing shih
wo men jo shih kao sheng ling tei shen chiu tang kao sheng ling hsing shih
Patience
Perseverance
ninrěn / ren3 / renjen
Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also水能載舟亦能覆舟
水能载舟亦能覆舟
shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
shui3 neng2 zai4 zhou1 yi4 neng2 fu4 zhou1
shui neng zai zhou yi neng fu zhou
shui neng tsai chou i neng fu chou
Oneichiyī / yi1 / yii
Wing Chun Fist Maxims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
有手黐手无手问手来留区送甩手直冲怕打终归打贪打终被打粘连迫攻绝不放松来力泻力借力出击步步追形点点朝午以形补手败形不败马腰马一致心意合一拳由心发动法无形活人练活死功夫
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis道天地將法
道天地将法
dou ten chi shou hou
doutenchishouhou
do ten chi sho ho
dotenchishoho
dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
daotiandijiangfa
tao t`ien ti chiang fa
taotientichiangfa
tao tien ti chiang fa
Do not fear being slow, fear standing still不怕慢就怕站bú pà màn jiù pà zhàn
bu2 pa4 man4 jiu4 pa4 zhan4
bu pa man jiu pa zhan
bupamanjiupazhan
pu p`a man chiu p`a chan
pupamanchiupachan
pu pa man chiu pa chan
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.


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