Asian Art Gallery

Adventures in Asian Art



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

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Maybe try to search again using:
1. Other similar-meaning words.
2. Fewer words or just one word.

Koi Fish in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Koi Fish calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Koi Fish" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Koi Fish" title below...


Koi Fish

China
Japan koi
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This is the Japanese Kanji which created the title "koi fish". This word is pronounced "koi" in Japanese.

Here is the reality: This character actually means "carp" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. Koi fish really are carp (by species) and were breed to obtain colorful variations in ancient China. Some generations later, some of these colorful fish were transported to Japan, where they also became vastly popular.

Note: Please see our other entry for koi fish (Nishiki Goi) which is a more normal selection for a Japanese koi fish enthusiast to have on their wall.

Koi Fish / Nishiki Goi

China jǐn lǐ
Japan nishiki goi
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If you like or collect and maintain koi fish, this is the wall scroll for you.

Technically, this is a certain and revered species of "koi fish" in Japan, but it is the most normal selection for a wall scroll (more normal than the actual Kanji for "koi" or "fish" alone.

This literally means "brocade carp" or "embroidered carp". This term is also used to mean the same thing in China (which is the origin of koi fish breeding and cultivation, several generations before they became popular in Japan).

For those of you that don't know, the Kanji for "koi" (which is pronounced "goi" in this entry) really means "carp". If you want the word that means "koi fish", it would just be the generic word for "carp fish". That would include both colorful carp, and the more mundane gray carp (the ones people eat, if they don't mind lots of bones).

Carp / Koi Fish

China lǐ yú
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This is one Chinese title for what westerners call "koi fish". This literally means "carp fish" (which is what koi fish really are). You probably want the other title, which is more specific to the colorful fish that you are thinking of. Look for "Nishiki Goi" on our website.

Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance

China nián nián yǒu yú
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This is a common proverb to hear around the time of Chinese New Years. Directly translated character by character it means, "Year Year Have Surplus". A more natural English translation including the deeper meaning would be "Every Year may you Have Abundance in your life".

On a side note, this phrase often goes with a gift of something related to fish. This is because the last character "yu" which means surplus or abundance has exactly the same pronunciation in Mandarin as the word for "fish".

This is also one of the most common titles for traditional paintings that feature koi fish.

In China, this phrase might make an odd wall scroll - a customer asked special for this common phrase which is why it appears here. See my other abundance-related words if you want a wall scroll that will seem more comfortable in Chinese culture.

Note: This can be pronounced in Korean, but it's not a commonly-used term.


See Also...  Prosperity | Good Fortune




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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 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 scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)

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.




If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

A Vast Sky Full of Stars
Aikido
Animals
Autumn
Balanced Life
Bamboo
Be Happy
Beautiful
Beautiful Princess
Beautiful Virtue
Beautiful Woman
Beauty
Best Love
Bird
Black
Black Belt
Black Eagle
Bless and Protect
Bless You
Blossom
Brotherly Love
Buddha
Buddhism
Bushido
Cause and Effect
Cherry Blossom
Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu
David
Deep
Double Happiness
Dragon
Dragon Tiger
Edward
Eternal Friendship
Eternal Life
Faith
Faith in God
Family First
Fire
Fish
Flowers
Flying
Flying Tiger
Forest
Forever
Friend
Friendship
God is Love
God of Abraham
Gold
Gold Fish
Goldfish
Good
Good Deed
Good Luck
Grace
Grace from Heaven
Great
Guan Gong
Harmony
Home
Horse
I Love You
I Need You
Infinite Love
Infinity
Inner Strength
Jasmine Flower
Jason
Jose
Karate
Koi Fish
Lightning
Little
Live for the Moment
Longevity
Lotus
Lotus Flower
Love
Love and Respect
Love Forever
Love of My Life
Love You Forever
Loyalty
Luck
Martial Morality
Master
Monkey
Moon
Mountain
No Man
Paul
Peace
Peace and Love
Peace and Tranquility
Peace of Mind
Peaceful Heart
People
Plum
Prayer
Protector
Respect
Serenity
Serenity Prayer
Shawn
Sisterly Love
Soul
Spring
Strength and Courage
Success
Tamilsex
Taurus
Three
Tiger
Tigers
Tree
Trust No One
Trust No One
Undaunted
Unity
Warrior
Warrior Spirit
Warriors
White
Wing Tsun
Wolf
Wu Wei
Year of the Dragon

With so many searches, we had to upgrade to our own Linux server.
Of course, only one in 500 searches results in a purchase - Hey buy a wall scroll!!!



See: Our list of specifically Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls. And, check out Our list of specifically old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese

Title
Characters 
Simplified
Traditional
Japanese Romaji
(Romanized Japanese)
Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Koi Fish
koi
li
li3
Koi Fish / Nishiki Goi锦鲤
錦鯉
nishiki goi
nishikigoi
jǐn lǐ
jin li
chin li
jin3 li3
jinli
Carp / Koi Fish鲤鱼
鯉魚
n/alǐ yú
li yu
li yü
li3 yu2
liyu
Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance年年有馀
年年有餘
n/anián nián yǒu yú
nian nian you yu
nien nien yu yü
nian2 nian2 you3 yu2
niannianyouyu

If you have not set up your computer to display Chinese, the characters in this table probably look like empty boxes or random text garbage.
This is why I spent hundreds of hours making images so that you could view the characters in the "koi fish" listings above.
If you want your Windows computer to be able to display Chinese characters you can either head to your Regional and Language options in your Win XP control panel, select the [Languages] tab and click on [Install files for East Asian Languages]. This task will ask for your Win XP CD to complete in most cases. If you don't have your Windows XP CD, or are running Windows 98, you can also download/run the simplified Chinese font package installer from Microsoft which works independently with Win 98, ME, 2000, and XP. It's a 2.5MB download, so if you are on dial up, start the download and go make a sandwich.

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