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This word is the title of a mythical beast of Asia.
The animal is thought to be related to the giraffe, and in some ways, it is a giraffe. However, it is often depicted with the horns of a dragon or deer and sometimes with the body like a horse but many variations exist.
In Japanese it is pronounced "Kirin" as in "Kirin Ichiban" beer.
1. This is sometimes spelled as "kylin".
2. In Japanese, this is the only Kanji word for giraffe. Therefore in Japan, this word needs context to know whether you are talking about the mythical creature or the long-necked giraffe of Africa.
3. Apparently, this was the first word used for regular giraffes in China (some were brought from Africa to China during the Ming Dynasty - probably around the year 1400). Though the mythical creature may have existed before, the name "qilin" was given to the "new giraffe". This is because, more than 600 years ago, giraffes somewhat matched the mythical creature's description when Chinese people saw them for the first time. Later, to avoid such an ambiguous title, a three-character word was devised to mean a "giraffe of Africa". The characters for "qilin" shown here are only for the mythological version in modern Chinese.
4. More information about the qilin / kirin from Wikipedia.
5. This creature is sometimes translated as the "Chinese Unicorn", even though it is generally portrayed with two horns. I think this is done more for the fantasy aspect of the unicorn and because most westerners don't know what a qilin or kirin is (this avoids a long explanation by the translator).
6. In Korean, this can mean kirin or simply giraffe (usually the mythological creature is what they would think of when seeing these characters alone on a wall scroll).
一角獣 is the Japanese name for the western unicorn (a horse with a spiral horn emerging from the head). This can also refer to a narwhal depending on context.
一角獣 is an unusual title for a Japanese wall scroll but it's OK if you really love unicorns.
Japanese have their own ancient unicorn-like creature called a "kirin" (or qilin in the original Chinese).
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your kirin search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| qí lín / qi2 lin2
ch`i lin / chi lin
| qilin (mythical Chinese animal); kylin; Chinese unicorn; commonly mistranslated as giraffe
(1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (3) Kirin (brand of beer); (surname, female given name) Kirin
Male and female unicorns; the qilin in general.
More info / calligraphy:
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature
| jí lín / ji2 lin2
kiirin / kirin きーりん
| Jilin province (Kirin) in northeast China, abbr. 吉, capital 長春|长春; also Jilin prefecture level city, Jilin province
(surname) Yoshibayashi; (place-name) Jilin (China); Kirin
| shù lín / shu4 lin2
| woods; grove; forest; Shulin city in New Taipei City 新北市[Xin1 bei3 shi4], Taiwan
forest; (female given name) Jurin; (surname, female given name) Kirin; (surname) Kibayashi
A grove, a forest; tree groves
| kirin キリン
|| (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (female given name) Kirin; (c) Kirin
| jí lín shěng / ji2 lin2 sheng3
chi lin sheng
| Jilin Province (Kirin) in northeast China, abbr. 吉, capital Changchun 長春|长春[Chang2 chun1]
| xǐ lín yuàn / xi3 lin2 yuan4
hsi lin yüan
| Joy-grove garden, a name for Indra's garden or paradise.
| xī lín yīn yì / xi1 lin2 yin1 yi4
hsi lin yin i
| The dictionary compiled by Hsi-lin of the Tang dynasty, supplementing the 慧琳音義 Hui-lin-yin-i. Sound and meaning accord with Hui-lin, and terms used in translations made subsequent to that work are added; Xilin yinyi
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|麒麟||kirin||qí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilin||ch`i lin / chilin / chi lin|
|zhǎng jǐng lù
zhang3 jing3 lu4
zhang jing lu
|chang ching lu
|dú jiǎo shòu
du2 jiao3 shou4
du jiao shou
|tu chiao shou
|Unicorn||一角獣||ikkakujuu / ikakuju|
|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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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 Kirin Kanji, Kirin Characters, Kirin in Mandarin Chinese, Kirin Characters, Kirin in Chinese Writing, Kirin in Japanese Writing, Kirin in Asian Writing, Kirin Ideograms, Chinese Kirin symbols, Kirin Hieroglyphics, Kirin Glyphs, Kirin in Chinese Letters, Kirin Hanzi, Kirin in Japanese Kanji, Kirin Pictograms, Kirin in the Chinese Written-Language, or Kirin in the Japanese Written-Language.