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Kung / Gong in Chinese / Japanese...

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See also: Martial Arts Words and Phrases

  1. Kung / Gong
  2. Kung / Gong / Mitsugi
  3. Qi Gong / Chi Kung
  4. Kung Fu / Gong Fu
  5. Drunken Monkey Kung Fu
  6. Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu
  7. Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou
  8. Jackie Chan
  9. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy

Kung / Gong

China gōng
Kung / Gong

龔 is a Chinese surname that can romanize as Gong or Kung.

From most of China, it would be Gong, but from Cantonese, it is often romanized as Kung.

In Korean, this could be a surname that romanizes as Gong or Kong and is now written as 공.

The original meaning of the character was something like, "to provide".

Kung / Gong / Mitsugi

Surname
China gòng
Japan mitsugi
Kung / Gong / Mitsugi

貢 is a Chinese surname that can romanize as Gong from Mandarin or Kung from Cantonese.

In Japan, this can be the surname or given name Mitsugi. The meaning of this is tribute or gifts.

Qi Gong / Chi Kung

China qì gōng
Japan kikou
Qi Gong / Chi Kung

Qigong is the title of a technique that is somewhere between a medical practice, meditation, and in some cases a religion. The definition is blurred depending on which school of Qigong you are following. In some cases, it is even incorporated with martial arts.

Some people (even Chinese people) mix this title with Tai Chi (Tai Qi) exercises.

Lately in China, people will claim to practice Tai Chi rather than Qigong because the Qigong title was recently used as a cover for an illegal pseudo-religious movement in China with the initials F.G. or F.D. (I can not write those names here for fear of our website being banned in China).

You can learn those names and more here: Further info about Qigong

If you are wondering about why I wrote "Qi Gong" and "Chi Kung" as the title of this calligraphy entry, I should teach you a little about the various ways in which Chinese can be Romanized. One form writes this as "Chi Kung" or "Chikung" (Taiwan). In the mainland and elsewhere, it is Romanized as "Qi Gong" or "Qigong." The actual pronunciation is the same in Taiwan, mainland, and Singapore Mandarin. Neither Romanization is exactly like English. If you want to know how to say this with English rules, it would be something like "Chee Gong" (but the "gong" has a vowel sound like the "O" in "go").

Romanization is a really confusing topic and has caused many Chinese words to be mispronounced in the west. One example is "Kung Pao Chicken" which should actually be more like "Gong Bao" with the "O" sounding like "oh" for both characters. Neither system of Romanization in Taiwan or the Mainland is perfect in my opinion and lead to many misunderstandings.

Kung Fu / Gong Fu

China gōng fu
HK gung fu
Japan kan fu / ku fu
Kung Fu / Gong Fu

One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.

Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort." I think this is partially true but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man." The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter" but in this case, it can only mean "man." However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.

This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.

What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G." Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound." And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.

Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh."

The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken."

Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.


Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー." Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.


See Also:  Bruce Lee

Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

China zuì hóu gōng fu
Drunken Monkey Kung Fu

This is the title for Drunken Monkey Kung Fu (Gong Fu). The martial arts style inspired by the novel, "Journey to the West."


See Also:  Monkey Fist

Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

China tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu
Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

This is the title Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu. Please note that it can be romanized a variety of ways such as:
Tai Chi Ving Tsun Kung Fu
Tai Qi Yong Chun Gong Fu
Taai Gik Wing Ceon Gung Fu

Be sure this is the right title for what you are looking for before you order.

Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

China gōng fu sǎn shǒu
HK gung fu saan sau
Kung Fu San Soo / San Shou

功夫散手 is a martial arts title.

Oddly, there are multiple ways two spell/romanize this in English but in Chinese, it's written exactly the same.

Technically, the Mandarin romanizes as "gong fu san shou," for which you'll sometimes see it written "kung fu san shou" (k'ung is an old romanization for a word that sounds like gong with a vowel sound like "oh").

There is another martial arts style that spells this "Kung Fu San Soo." My guess is, this was supposed to approximate Cantonese pronunciation for which the scholarly romanization is generally agreed to be "gung fu saan sau."

Jackie Chan

China chéng lóng
HK sing lung
Japan jakkii chiin
Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan 成龍 is the Chinese and Japanese stage name of Jackie Chan, Kung Fu film, and Cantonese pop star icon.

His birth name was 陳港生 (romanized as Chan Kong-sang or Can Gong-sang in Cantonese, or Chén Gǎng-shēng in Mandarin.

Life Energy / Spiritual Energy

Chi Energy: Essence of Life / Energy Flow
China
Japan ki
Life Energy / Spiritual Energy

This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.

氣 is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in "life force" or "spiritual energy". It is most often translated as "energy flow," or literally as "air" or "breath". Some people will simply translate this as "spirit" but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.

The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice looks like this: 米
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like these samples: 氣氣
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical looks like this: 氣
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the "flow" of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.

You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.

In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.

気 The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.


More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.


See Also:  Energy | Life Force | Vitality | Life | Birth | Soul

Search for Kung / Gong 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
Kung
Gong

gōng / gong1 / gongkung
Kung
Gong
Mitsugi

mitsugigòng / gong4 / gongkung
Qi Gong
Chi Kung
氣功
气功
kikou / kikoqì gōng / qi4 gong1 / qi gong / qigongch`i kung / chikung / chi kung
Kung Fu
Gong Fu
功夫kan fu / ku fu
kanfu / kufu
gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfukung fu / kungfu
Drunken Monkey Kung Fu醉猴功夫 / 醉猴功伕
醉猴功夫
zuì hóu gōng fu
zui4 hou2 gong1 fu
zui hou gong fu
zuihougongfu
tsui hou kung fu
tsuihoukungfu
Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu太極詠春功夫
太极咏春功夫
tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu
tai4 ji2 yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
tai ji yong chun gong fu
taijiyongchungongfu
t`ai chi yung ch`un kung fu
taichiyungchunkungfu
tai chi yung chun kung fu
Kung Fu San Soo
San Shou
功夫散手gōng fu sǎn shǒu
gong1 fu san3 shou3
gong fu san shou
gongfusanshou
kung fu san shou
kungfusanshou
Jackie Chan成龍
成龙
jakkii chiin
jakkiichiin
jaki chin
jakichin
chéng lóng
cheng2 long2
cheng long
chenglong
ch`eng lung
chenglung
cheng lung
Life Energy
Spiritual Energy

气 / 気
kiqì / qi4 / qich`i / chi
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.



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

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Furinkazan
Heart of a Warrior
I Love You Forever and Always
Iaido
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Keep Fighting
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Thunder Lightning in Kanji
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White
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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!

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