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Many people have no idea that Bruce Lee had a "real" Chinese name. In mainland China and Hong Kong he is known as "Li Xiao-Long." He kept his family name pronunciation (Li = Lee). 李小龍 is a common family name that also means "plum."
His given name "Xiao-Long" literally means "little dragon." 李小龍 is why you often see the character for dragon associated with Bruce Lee on various posters etc.
For a pronunciation lesson, the "X" in Romanized Chinese is pronounced like a "sh" sound but with your tongue at the bottom of your mouth. The vowel sound in "Long" is like the English "oh," not like the "ah" sound in the English word "long."
If you are a big Bruce Lee fan, you should know this information, and you should have this wall scroll hanging in your room or martial arts studio.
Note: Japanese use these same exact Chinese characters / Kanji to write Bruce Lee's real name (with different pronunciation - which is a bit like how the name "Bruce Lee" sounds in English).
麗 is the most common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the feminine western name Lee.
This character means "pretty" or "beautiful."
Note: This can sometimes be used as a female given name in China. It is not the only given name that sounds like Lee or Li in China. For instance, this is a completely different character than the one used for Bruce Lee's name.
象水一樣 is a short quote from a much longer statement by Bruce Lee.
He was summarizing how people should be flexible to all circumstances, attacks, or situations. At the end, he exclaims, "Be like water my friend." 象水一樣 is the, "Be like water" part alone, since that seems to be what most people want.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Lee||リー||rii / ri|
|bu ruu su ri|
bu ru su ri
|lǐ xiǎo lóng
li3 xiao3 long2
li xiao long
|li hsiao lung
|Lee||莉||lì / li4 / li|
|lì / li4 / li|
|Lee||力||lì / li4 / li|
|Lee||理||lǐ / li3 / li|
|Be Like Water||象水一樣|
|xiàng shuǐ yí yàng
xiang4 shui3 yi2 yang4
xiang shui yi yang
|hsiang shui i yang
|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...
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 Lee Kanji, Lee Characters, Lee in Mandarin Chinese, Lee Characters, Lee in Chinese Writing, Lee in Japanese Writing, Lee in Asian Writing, Lee Ideograms, Chinese Lee symbols, Lee Hieroglyphics, Lee Glyphs, Lee in Chinese Letters, Lee Hanzi, Lee in Japanese Kanji, Lee Pictograms, Lee in the Chinese Written-Language, or Lee in the Japanese Written-Language.