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1. Other similar-meaning words.
2. Fewer words or just one word.

Marriage in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Marriage calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Marriage" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Marriage" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Wedding
  2. Partnership: Marriage
  3. Pillars of Marriage
  4. 100 Years of Happy Marriage
  5. Wedding / Getting Married
  6. Golden Anniversary / 50th Wedding Anniversary
  7. Double Happiness
  8. True Love
  9. Soul Mates
10. Fate / Opportunity / Chance
11. Better Late Than Never
12. Love
13. Perfect Harmony
14. Love and Honor
15. The Karma/Fate/Destiny...
16. Fate / Chance Meeting
17. Happiness / Joyful / Joy
18. Love and Hate
19. Spiritual Soul Mates


China hūn
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This character is related to the ideas of getting married, being in a marriage, or taking a wife (could also mean take a husband, as "take a wife" is a western term, and this is just a general Chinese term regarding a wedding).

See Also...  Double Happiness

Partnership: Marriage

China bàn lǚ
Japan hanryo
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Partnership: <mark>Marriage</mark>

This is the kind of partnership in which a good marriage is founded. This Chinese word could also be translated as mates or companionship. This word can also be used as a noun to refer to a partner or companion.

This does not have to include a marriage, but at least refers to a partnership with a deep relationship or bond.

Note that this is not the same as a business partner. Different words are used for various types business partnerships (post your request on our Asian calligraphy forum if you need something in that regard).

See Also...  Friendship

Pillars of Marriage

Respect / Loyalty / Honesty
China zūn zhòng zhōng chéng chéng shí
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Pillars of <mark>Marriage</mark>

These are the pillars of marriage (at least they are for some - if you have a different set of pillars and want them on a wall scroll, just post a custom phrase request on our forum).

This is actually a "word list", consisting of "Respect/Loyalty/Honesty". Word lists are not as common in Chinese as they are in English, but leaving that concern behind, this has a good meaning.

If you want to customize it more, add an inscription with your wedding date or names (just a small extra fee for translation).

Note: Because these are three separate words, the calligrapher may be inclined to leave a small space between each two-character word. Let us know if you have any preference when you place your order.

100 Years of Happy Marriage

China bǎi nián hǎo hé
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100 Years of Happy <mark>Marriage</mark>

This is a wish or greeting, often heard at Chinese weddings, for a couple to have 100 good years together.

Some will translate this more naturally into English as: "May you live a long and happy life together".

The character breakdown:
百 = 100
年 = Years
好 = Good (Happy)
合 = Together

Wedding / Getting Married

China jié hūn
Japan kettukon / kekkon
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Wedding / Getting Married

These two characters create a word that means wedding, or getting married. In some context, it can just be read as "marriage".

See Also...  Double Happiness

Golden Anniversary / 50th Wedding Anniversary

China xìng fú jīn hūn
Japan kou fuku kin kon
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Golden Anniversary / 50th Wedding Anniversary

This means "Happy Golden Anniversary" and is a great gift for a couple who is celebrating 50 years together.

The first two characters mean happy, blessed, or happiness.

The last two characters mean, "couple's golden anniversary". It literally means "golden wedding" or "golden marriage", but this is only used for the 50-year-mark of a marriage (the same way we use gold to represent 50 years in the west).

This is a nice title to use with an inscription. You could request something like, "Happy 50th Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Smith", to be written down the side of this title, in smaller Chinese characters.

Please note: This can be pronounced and understood in Japanese, but not as commonly-used in Japan. Japanese people who read this will understand it, but might tend to feel it's of Chinese origin.

Double Happiness

(Happy wedding and marriage)
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Double Happiness

This is a common gift for Chinese couples getting married or newly married couples.

As we say in the west, "Two heads are better than one" Well, in the east, two "happinesses" are certainly better than one.

Some will suggest this is a symbol of two happinesses coming together. Others see it as a multiplication of happiness because of the union or marriage.

This is not really a character that is pronounced very often - it's almost exclusively used in written form. However, if pressed, most Chinese people will pronounce this "shuang xi" (double happy) although literally there are two "xi" characters combined in this calligraphy (but nobody will say "xi xi").

Double Happiness Portrait Red If you select this character, I strongly suggest the festive bright red paper for your calligraphy. Part of my suggestion comes from the fact that red is a good luck color in China, and this will add to the sentiment that you wish to convey with this scroll to the happy couple.

See Also...  Happiness

True Love

China zhēn ài
Japan shinai
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True Love

This is literally "True Love" in Chinese.

The first character means "real", "true" and "genuine". The second character means "love" and "affection".

During the customization of your calligraphy wall scroll, there is a place to add an inscription. You might want that inscription to be your names in Chinese down the side of your wall scroll, or perhaps just below these two main characters (just $9 extra). A nice gift to celebrate an anniversary or marriage!

Soul Mates

China tiān shēng yí duì
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Soul Mates

It was tough to find the best way to say "soul mates" in Chinese. We settled on this old way to say "A couple selected by heaven".

The first two characters together mean "natural" or "innate". Separated, they mean "heaven" and "born". The last two characters mean "couple". So this can be translated as "A couple that is together by nature", or "A couple brought together by heaven's decree", with a slight stretch, you could say "A couple born together from heaven".

It's a struggle to find the best way to describe this idea in English, but trust me, it is pretty cool and it is a great way to say "soulmates".

If you're in a happy relationship or marriage and think you have found your soul mate, this would be a wonderful wall scroll to hang in your home.

Soul Mates

China líng hún bàn lǚ
Japan reikon hanryo
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Soul Mates

This is the literal translation of "Soul Mates".

This is kind of the western way to express "soul mates", but translated into Chinese, Japanese Kanji,and old Korean Hanja.
The first two characters mean "soul" or "spirit".
The second two characters mean "mate", "companion" or "partner".

Although not the most common title, these characters have good meaning and will be received well in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. It's a universal title!

Soul Mates

Japanese Only
Japan reikon no nakama tachi
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Soul Mates

This is a Japanese-only title for soulmates.

The first half means "of the soul" or "spiritual".

The second half means "eminent mates" or "eminent partners".

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
China yīn yuán
Japan in nen
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Fate / Opportunity / Chance

This is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.

Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.

It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.

This word can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.

The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things".

This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.

Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji: 縁
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.

See Also...  Buddhism | Opportunity

Better Late Than Never

It's Never Too Late Too Mend
China wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
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Better Late Than Never

Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.

Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large, but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King’s court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.

The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.

One of the King’s ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins".

This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu, but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation". The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin’s words.
Seeing the King’s displeasure with him and the King’s fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.

Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.

The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"

Zhuang Xin told the King this story:

A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.

The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it’s never too late to mend the fence".

This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.

I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.

Note: This does have Korean pronunciation, but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.


China ài
Japan ai
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This is a very universal character. It means love in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean Hanja, and old Vietnamese.

This is one of the most recognized Asian symbols in the west, and is often seen on tee-shirts, coffee mugs, tattoos, and more.

This character can also be defined as affection, to be fond of, to like, or to be keen on. It often refers to romantic love, and is found in phrases like, "I love you". But in Chinese, one can say, "I love that movie" using this character as well.

This can also be a pet-name or part of a pet-name in the way we say "dear" or "honey" in English.

It's very common for couples to say "I love you" in Chinese. However, in Japanese, "love" is not a term used very often. In fact, a person is more likely to say "I like you" rather than "I love you" in Japanese. So this word is well-known, but seldom spoken.

More about this character:

This may be hard to imagine as a westerner, but the strokes at the top of this love character symbolize family & marriage.

心The symbol in the middle is a little easier to identify. It is the character for "heart" (it can also mean "mind" or "soul"). I guess you can say that no matter if you are from the East or the West, you must put your heart into your love.

友The strokes at the bottom create a modified character that means "friend" or "friendship".

I suppose you could say that the full meaning of this love character is to love your family, spouse, and friends with all of your heart, since all three elements exist in this character.

See Also...  I Love You | Caring | Benevolence | Friendliness

Perfect Harmony

China qín sè hé míng
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Perfect Harmony

This is a Chinese title that means, "in perfect harmony" or "in sync".

This can translate as, "two harps in harmony". While this more literally means, "qin [and] se harmonious sound".

To explain further, the qin and se are both types of string instruments (Chinese zithers) that are known to play in perfect harmony. Thus, the two together are often used as a metaphor for marital harmony or a happy marriage.

Love and Honor

...2 character version
China qíng yì
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Love and Honor

This means to love and honor in Chinese. This is more or less the kind of thing you'd find in marriage vows.

The first character suggests emotions, passion, heart, humanity, sympathy, and feelings.

In this context, the second character means to honor your lover's wishes, and treat them justly and righteously (fairly). That second character can also be translated as "obligation", as in the obligation a husband and wife have to love each other even through difficult times.

In the context outside of a couple's relationship, this word can mean "comradeship".

Japanese may see this more as "humanity and justice" than "love and honor". It's probably best if your target is Chinese.

This is the short and sweet form, there is also a longer poetic form (you can find it here: Love and Honor if it's not on the page you are currently viewing).

See Also...  Love And Honor

Love and Honor

...four character version
China shēn qíng hòu yì
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Love and Honor

This means to love and honor. This is more or less the kind of thing you'd find in marriage vows.

The first two characters suggest deep love or deep emotions, passion, and feelings.
The last two characters mean generous justice or thick honor (the third character is an adjective that means generous or thick). It just means that you will honor your lover's wishes, and treat them justly and righteously (fairly).

This is the longer four-character version, there is also a short and sweet two character version.

See Also...  Love And Honor

The Karma/Fate/Destiny
that Brings Lovers Together

China yīn yuán
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The Karma/Fate/Destiny<br>that Brings Lovers Together

These two characters mean, "Destiny that brings lovers together". It can also be translated technically as, "Predestined matrimonial affinity" (wow, talk about taking the romance out of this word - that was from the Oxford C-E dictionary).

Basically, this is talking about the fate (or karma) that brings a husband and wife together. I would translate this as "Together by fate" or "Joined by destiny", but in the context of marriage. You could use this for non-married lovers, but the first character has a suggestion that this refers to those that are married.

Fate / Chance Meeting

China yuán fèn
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Fate / Chance Meeting

These two characters contain the ideas of fate. But this is specifically the fate or destiny that brings two people together.

This is like the chance meeting of two people that leads some time later to marriage.

This could also be the chance meeting of two business people, who become partners and build a huge and successful company.

Basically, this is an idea often associated with a fateful meeting leading to good fortune.

Some will define this word as, "The destiny brings you two together", or "Meant to be".

分 Note: Second character can also be written without the left radical, as shown to the right. If you have a preference, please let use know in the special instructions for your project. There is no difference in meaning or pronunciation, just two (alternate) ways to write the same character.

See Also...  Soulmates | Good Fortune

Happiness / Joyful / Joy

Japan ki / yorokobi
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Happiness / Joyful / Joy

This is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja for the kind of happiness known in the west as "joy".

This character can also be translated as rejoice, enjoyment, delighted, pleased, or "take pleasure in". Sometimes it can mean, "to be fond of" (in certain context).

If you write two of these happiness/joy characters side by side, you create another character known in English as "double happiness", which is a symbol associated with weddings and a happy marriage.

There is another version of this character that you will find on our website with an additional radical on the left side (exactly same meaning, just an alternate form). The version of happiness shown here is the commonly written form in China, Japan and South Korea (banned in North Korea).

See Also...  Contentment | Happiness | Joy

Love and Hate

China ài yǔ hèn
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Love and Hate

Whether you want to make a joke about what marriage really is, or just feel that the world in full of love and hate, this selection is for you.

These characters happen to literally translate. So the first character is love. The middle character is a connecting particle like "and" in English. The last character is hate.

Upon request, we can omit the "and" character and just put a dot to separate love and hate if you prefer.

Spiritual Soul Mates

China jīng shén bàn lǚ
Japan sei shin han ryo
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Spiritual Soul Mates

This is title means "Spiritual Soul Mates". The first two characters mean "spiritual" or "soul". The second two characters mean "mates", "companions" or "partners".

This is more about the spiritual connection between partners rather than a "fate-brought-us-together" kind of soul mates.

Both halves of this title have meaning in Japanese, but I've not yet confirmed that this is a commonly-used title in Japan.

Check dictionary for marriage

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)

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...

Always Faithful
Art of War
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Dragon Spirit
Forever in My Heart
Fortune Favors the Brave
Gold Star
Grace from Heaven
Guardian Angel
Independent Spirit
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Lasting Love
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New Start
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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

Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Partnership: Marriage伴侣
hanryobàn lǚ
ban lv
pan lü
ban4 lv3
Pillars of Marriage尊重忠诚诚实
n/azūn zhòng zhōng chéng chéng shí
zun zhong zhong cheng cheng shi
tsun chung chung ch`eng ch`eng shih
zun1 zhong4 zhong1 cheng2 cheng2 shi2
tsun chung chung cheng cheng shih
100 Years of Happy Marriage百年好合
n/abǎi nián hǎo hé
bai nian hao he
pai nien hao ho
bai3 nian2 hao3 he2
Wedding / Getting Married结婚
kettukon / kekkon
kettukon / kekon
jié hūn
jie hun
chieh hun
jie2 hun1
Golden Anniversary / 50th Wedding Anniversary幸福金婚
幸福金婚 / 倖福金婚
kou fuku kin kon
ko fuku kin kon
xìng fú jīn hūn
xing fu jin hun
hsing fu chin hun
xing4 fu2 jin1 hun1
Double Happiness喜喜
True Love真爱
shinaizhēn ài
zhen ai
chen ai
zhen1 ai4
Soul Mates天生一对
n/atiān shēng yí duì
tian sheng yi dui
t`ien sheng i tui
tian1 sheng1 yi2 dui4
tien sheng i tui
Soul Mates灵魂伴侣
reikon hanryo
líng hún bàn lǚ
ling hun ban lv
ling hun pan lü
ling2 hun2 ban4 lv3
Soul Mates霊魂の仲間達
reikon no nakama tachi
Fate / Opportunity / Chance因缘 / 因縁
in nen
yīn yuán
yin yuan
yin yüan
yin1 yuan2
Better Late Than Never亡羊补牢犹未为晚
n/awáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
Perfect Harmony琴瑟和鸣
n/aqín sè hé míng
qin se he ming
ch`in se ho ming
qin2 se4 he2 ming2
chin se ho ming
Love and Honor情义
n/aqíng yì
qing yi
ch`ing i
qing2 yi4
ching i
Love and Honor深情厚义
n/ashēn qíng hòu yì
shen qing hou yi
shen ch`ing hou i
shen1 qing2 hou4 yi4
shen ching hou i
The Karma/Fate/Destiny / that Brings Lovers Together姻缘
n/ayīn yuán
yin yuan
yin yüan
yin1 yuan2
Fate / Chance Meeting缘份 / 缘分
緣份 / 緣分
n/ayuán fèn
yuan fen
yüan fen
yuan2 fen4
Happiness / Joyful / Joy
ki / yorokobi
Love and Hate爱与恨
n/aài yǔ hèn
ai yu hen
ai yü hen
ai4 yu3 hen4
Spiritual Soul Mates精神伴侣
sei shin han ryo
jīng shén bàn lǚ
jing shen ban lv
ching shen pan lü
jing1 shen2 ban4 lv3

Some people may refer to this entry as Marriage Kanji, Marriage Characters, Marriage in Mandarin Chinese, Marriage Characters, Marriage in Chinese Writing, Marriage in Japanese Writing, Marriage in Asian Writing, Marriage Ideograms, Chinese Marriage symbols, Marriage Hieroglyphics, Marriage Glyphs, Marriage in Chinese Letters, Marriage Hanzi, Marriage in Japanese Kanji, Marriage Pictograms, Marriage in the Chinese Written-Language, or Marriage in the Japanese Written-Language.

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