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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

Japan koi
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Koi Fish

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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Koi Fish / Nishiki Goi

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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Carp / Koi Fish

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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Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance

This is a common proverb or wish of prosperity you'll 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 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.

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...

Brother Love
Drunken Monkey Kung Fu
Five Elements
God Child
Goju Ryu Karate Do
Grace from Heaven
I Love You
I Miss You
I Need You
Indomitable Spirit
Ki Aikido
Life is Beautiful
Love Faith Strength
Love You More
Martial Arts
Monkey Stealing Peaches
Mono No Aware
Never Give Up
Spirit of Taekwondo
Strength and Honor
Strength and Love
Trust in God
Warrior Monk
Wing Chun

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 CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Koi Fish
koilǐ / li3 / li
Koi Fish / Nishiki Goi 錦鯉
nishiki goi
jǐn lǐ / jin3 li3 / jin li / jinli chin li / chinli
Carp / Koi Fish 鯉魚
lǐ yú / li3 yu2 / li yu / liyu li yü / liyü
Year-In Year-Out Have Abundance 年年有餘
nián nián yǒu yú
nian2 nian2 you3 yu2
nian nian you yu
nien nien yu yü

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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