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水 is the symbol for water in Japanese and Chinese.
Water is one of the five elements that ancient Chinese believed all things were composed of. These elements are also part of the cycle of Chinese astrology. Every person has both an animal sign, and one of the five elements according to the date of their birth. See also Five Elements and Chinese 12 Animals / Zodiac.
水球 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title for water polo.
The literal meaning of the characters is "water ball".
杯水車薪 is a warning against a futile effort. This proverb literally refers to one who is "trying to put out a burning cart of wood with a cup of water," or "throw a cup of water on a cartload of wood." The lesson to be learned is about using the right measure or tool for the job, and not to waste your effort if you are inadequately equipped for the task at hand - in other words the postscript should be "go get a bucket or a fire hose."
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.
風水 is the famous technique and approach to arranging your home externally around natural features, and internally to create balance and peace.
These two characters literally mean "wind water." Obviously, the title is far more simple than the concept behind this subject.
It may enlighten you slightly to know that the character for "wind" can also mean "style," "custom" or "manner" in some context. This may apply somewhat to this title.
In a very technical sense, this title is translated as "Chinese geomancy."
川 means river or stream in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
In Japanese, this can be a surname when pronounced as Sakigawa.
金木水火土 is a list of the Chinese characters for the five elements in a comfortable order (meaning that they simply "feel right" to a Chinese person who views this arrangement).
The order is metal, wood, water, fire, earth.
Note that sometimes the metal element is translated as gold. And earth refers to soil versus the whole planet earth.
江 means large river in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. This generally refers to a river big enough that it's navigable by cargo boats, passenger boats, or small ships.
In Japanese, this can be a surname when pronounced as Minkou or just Kou.
This proverb suggests that one should always be grateful to those who helped you succeed.
And remember your ancestors and those that came before you whose sacrifices made your present life better.
Some Chinese will separate the intended meaning from this proverb and translate this as "Don't forget the people who once helped you." In Modern China, this idiom is virtually never used to refer to an actual well.
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.
五行 is the title of the five elements which are: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal.
The first character means "5" and the second character is simply "elements."
According to ancient Chinese science, all matter in the world is made up of these elements. One idea presented with the five elements is that when energy is added, matter is believed to expand. When energy is removed, matter contracts. Oddly, this concept is not far from Einstein's theories, and modern science. Just a few thousand years before Einstein.
More info: Wikipedia - Five Elements (Wu Xing).
冰 is the Chinese character used to express "ice" or "frost."
The main part of the character on the right holds the meaning of "water" and on the left, is a radical (the two dots) that also means water. Together, they create the character that means "ice" (solid water).
This is similar to the character for frost in Japanese. However, Japanese drop the radical from the left side.
大洋 is a rarely-used word for ocean in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. 大洋 is here mostly for reference - please order a different ocean for your custom calligraphy wall scroll.
The first character means "big" or "great."
The second means "ocean" or "body of water" (it can sometimes mean "foreign" but not in this case).
The first character designates that you are talking about a great or huge body of water (certainly a major ocean and not a smaller sea).
In Buddhism, this is mahābhūta, the four elements of which all things are made: earth, water, fire, and wind.
This can also represent the four freedoms: speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates, and writing big-character posters.
In some context, this can be a university or college offering four-year programs.
To others, this can represent the Tao, Heaven, Earth and King.
Going back to the Buddhist context, these four elements "earth, water, fire, and wind" represent 堅, 濕, 煖, 動, which is: solid, liquid, heat, and motion.
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.
水星 is title for the planet Mercury in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
The literal meaning is "water star." This title has been used to refer to Mercury in much of Asia for the past 2200 years or longer.
漫瀾 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for, "Having no boundaries or limitations."
This literally talks of the vastness of an ocean or river.
漫 = free; unrestrained; to inundate; overflowing; boundless.
澜 = swelling water; large wave.
湖 is lake in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
湖 is used in place names (like Lake Huron) and as a descriptive term for any large body of fresh water.
In Japanese, this can also be the female given name Reiku.
If your surname is Lake, this could be a good character for you.
龍 is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.
From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .
Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face."
This comes from the Sanskrit and Pali word often romanized as "tathata" or "tathatā." Originally written, "तथता."
It's a Buddhist term that is often translated as "thusness" or "suchness" but this does not explain it.
A better explanation may be, "the ultimate nature of all things." However, this gives it too strong of a feeling. This concept is sometimes described as being in awe of the simple nature of something - like a blade of grass blowing in the wind, or ripples on water. It is what it is supposed to be, these things are following their nature. Amazing in their mundane simplicity.
Every sect of Buddhism will have a slightly different flavor, or explanation, so don't get fixated on one definition.
Notes: Sometimes Buddhists use the word dharmatā, a synonym to tathatā.
In Japan, this can also be the female given name Mayuki, or the surname Majo.
This demon title comes from the ancient Sanskrit word Asura.
阿修羅 is often used in Buddhism when describing various demons. Sometimes defined as "Fighting and battling giant demon."
In the context of Buddhism: This title originally meant a spirit, spirits, or even the gods (perhaps before 1700 years ago). It now generally indicates titanic demons, enemies of the gods, with whom, especially Indra, they wage constant war. They are defined as "not devas," and "ugly," and "without wine." There are four classes of asuras, separated according to their manner of rebirth. They can be egg-born, womb-born, transformation-born, and spawn- or water-born. Their abode is in the ocean, north of Sumeru but certain of the weaker dwell in a western mountain cave. They have realms, rulers, and palaces, as have the devas.
In terms of power, Asuras rank above humans but below most of the other deities. They live in the area near the coastal foot of Mount Sumeru (on the northern side). Their domain is partially or wholly in the ocean.
In Japanese, this word means innocent, or one with no knowledge of good and evil. It literally means "without mind."
無心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: "No mind, a mind without ego. A mind like a mirror which reflects and dos not judge." The original term was "mushin no shin," meaning, "mind of no mind." It is a state of mind without fear, anger, or anxiety. Mushin is often described by the phrase, "mizu no kokoro," which means, "mind like water." The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects it's surroundings when calm but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.
This has a good meaning in conjunction with Chan / Zen Buddhism in Japan. However, out of that context, it means mindlessness or absent-minded. To non-Buddhists in China, this is associated with doing something without thinking.
In Korean, this usually means indifference.
Use caution and know your audience before ordering this selection.
More info: Wikipedia: Mushin
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Water||水||mizu / sui||shuǐ / shui3 / shui|
|Water Polo||水球||sui kyuu / suikyuu / sui kyu / suikyu||shuǐ qiú / shui3 qiu2 / shui qiu / shuiqiu||shui ch`iu / shuichiu / shui chiu|
|Put out a burning wood cart|
with a cup of water
|bēi shuǐ chē xīn|
bei1 shui3 che1 xin1
bei shui che xin
|pei shui ch`e hsin
pei shui che hsin
|Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also||水能載舟亦能覆舟|
|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|
|fuu sui / fuusui / fu sui / fusui||fēng shuǐ|
|River||川||kawa||chuān / chuan1 / chuan||ch`uan / chuan|
|Five Elements||金木水火土||jīn mù shuǐ huǒ tǔ|
jin1 mu4 shui3 huo3 tu3
jin mu shui huo tu
|chin mu shui huo t`u
chin mu shui huo tu
|Large River||江||kou / ko||jiāng / jiang1 / jiang||chiang|
|Drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it||吃水不忘掘井人||chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén|
chi1 shui3 bu2 wang4 jue2 jing3 ren2
chi shui bu wang jue jing ren
|ch`ih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
chih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
|Five Elements||五行||gogyou / gogyo||wǔ xíng / wu3 xing2 / wu xing / wuxing||wu hsing / wuhsing|
|Rain||雨||ame||yǔ / yu3 / yu||yü|
|冰||bīng / bing1 / bing||ping|
|Great Sea||大洋||tai you / taiyou / tai yo / taiyo||dà yáng / da4 yang2 / da yang / dayang||ta yang / tayang|
|四大||shi dai / shidai||sì dà / si4 da4 / si da / sida||ssu ta / ssuta|
|Aquarius Zodiac Symbol|
|水瓶座||mizugame-za||shuǐ píng zuò|
shui3 ping2 zuo4
shui ping zuo
|shui p`ing tso
shui ping tso
|Clarity||清||sei||qīng / qing1 / qing||ch`ing / ching|
|Mercury||水星||sui shou / suishou / sui sho / suisho||shuǐ xīng|
|Enlisted Sailor||水兵||suihei||shuǐ bīng|
|man ran / manran||màn lán / man4 lan2 / man lan / manlan|
|Lake||湖||mizumi||hú / hu2 / hu|
|ryuu / tatsu|
ryu / tatsu
|lóng / long2 / long||lung|
Ultimate Nature of All Things
|真如||shinnyo||zhēn rú / zhen1 ru2 / zhen ru / zhenru||chen ju / chenju|
|ashura||ē xiū luó|
e1 xiu1 luo2
e xiu luo
|o hsiu lo
|mu shin / mushin||wú xīn / wu2 xin1 / wu xin / wuxin||wu hsin / wuhsin|
|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.
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 For Water Kanji, For Water Characters, For Water in Mandarin Chinese, For Water Characters, For Water in Chinese Writing, For Water in Japanese Writing, For Water in Asian Writing, For Water Ideograms, Chinese For Water symbols, For Water Hieroglyphics, For Water Glyphs, For Water in Chinese Letters, For Water Hanzi, For Water in Japanese Kanji, For Water Pictograms, For Water in the Chinese Written-Language, or For Water in the Japanese Written-Language.