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忠 is the simplest way to write the word loyalty in Chinese and Japanese.
A single character like this leaves the meaning open. But alone, a Chinese or Japanese person would think of loyalty to duty or loyalty to one's master (in ancient times). I suppose that it could be loyalty to your boss or company in this day in age.
忠 can also mean fidelity or faithfulness.
This can also be romanized as "chung."
This proverb is the tattoo worn on the back of Yue Fei, a famous Chinese warrior who lived until 1142 A.D.
The tattoo can be translated as "Serve the country with the utmost loyalty." More literally, it means, "[The] Ultimate Loyalty [is too] Duty [of] Country."
Legend has it that this tattoo once saved his life when he was accused of treason.
The first two characters have come to create a word that means "serve the country faithfully" or "die for the country." Note: It's more a willingness to die for one's country than the actual act of dying.
The last two characters have come to mean, "Dedicate oneself to the service of one's country."
Both of these words are probably only in the Chinese lexicon because of this famous tattoo.
If you break it down, character-by-character, here is what you get:
1. To the utmost, to the limit of something, the ultimate.
2. Loyalty or duty (a sense of duty to one's master, lord, country, job).
3. Report, recompense, give back to (in this case, you are giving yourself to your country as payback).
4. Country, state, nation, kingdom.
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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|
|Loyalty to Duty or Master||忠||chuu / chu||zhōng / zhong1 / zhong||chung|
|Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country||盡忠報國|
|jìn zhōng bào guó
jin4 zhong1 bao4 guo2
jin zhong bao guo
|chin chung pao kuo
|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.
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