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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Monk"...

Buddhist Monk

Japan sou ryo
Buddhist Monk Wall Scroll

The first Kanji means Buddhist priest or monk by itself.
The second Kanji means follower or companion.

僧Note, if you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will look a bit more like the Kanji shown to the right than the Kanji shown above. Let us know if you have a preference, as both versions are technically-correct in both Chinese and Japanese.

Warrior Monk / Soldier Priest

China sēng bīng
Japan sou hei
Warrior Monk / Soldier Priest Wall Scroll

藩士 is a strange title for a wall scroll but it may suit you if you see yourself as a warrior monk. This title is not commonly used but will be understood in both Chinese and Japanese. It can also be read as "armed monks."

If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian?

Only by experiencing hardship will allow you to understand the plight of others
China bù dāng hé shang bù zhī zhāi jiè kǔ
If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian? Wall Scroll

This literally translates as:
[One who has] not been a monk [does not] know the suffering of [being on a] vegetarian diet.

不當和尚不知齋戒苦 is a bit like the "walk a mile in another man's shoes" saying. Basically it's about you cannot fully understand the plight of others until you experience it yourself.

Sangha / Order of Monks

China sēng
Japan sou
Sangha / Order of Monks Wall Scroll

僧 is the single-character or short form of Sangha, the Buddhist idea of community or order (of monks, nuns, or followers of the Buddha). Alone, this character can simply mean "monk" (Just means monk in Japanese).

僧僧 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write this in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form.

To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It

China bù dāng hé shàng bù zhī tóu lěng
To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [One who has] not been a monk [does] not know [the feeling of a] cold head.
I need to explain that a Chinese Buddhist monk always has a shaved head, and thus a cold head in winter.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot know the true meaning of hardship until one has experienced it oneself.

This is an idiom in Chinese, so the figurative meaning is what people perceive when they hear or read this phrase. Just as in English, when someone says, "The grass is always greener," one will think about the idea of jealousy, rather than the quality of one's lawn.

Not the results for monk that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your monk search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition

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Mandarin/ ji4
Taiwan chi
Japanese seki せき
 jaku じゃく
 sabi さび
Chinese silent; solitary; Taiwan pr. [ji2]
Japanese (1) (entering into) nirvana; (suffix noun) (2) used after a date to indicate the death of a monk at that time; (adj-t,adv-to) (3) silent; tranquil; (1) patina; antique look; (2) elegant simplicity; (3) well-trained voice; (female given name) Yoshika; (given name) Jaku
praśama; vivikta; śānti. Still, silent, quiet, solitary, calm, tranquil, nirvāṇa; to become quiet
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Silent / Solitary

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Mandarin sēng / seng1
Taiwan seng
Japanese sou / so そう
Chinese monk; Sangha, the Buddhist monastic order
Japanese monk; priest; (surname) Sou
僧伽 saṅgha, an assembly, collection, company, society. The corporate assembly of at least three (formerly four) monks under a chairman, empowered to hear confession, grant absolution, and ordain. The church or monastic order, the third member of the triratna. The term 僧 used alone has come to mean a monk, or monks in general. Also僧佉, 僧加, 僧企耶.; A fully ordained monk, i.e. a bhikṣu as contrasted with the śramaņa; community of monks and nuns
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Sangha / Order of Monks

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Mandarin shèng / sheng4
Taiwan sheng
Japanese hijiri ひじり
 sei / se せい
Chinese holy; sacred; saint; sage
Japanese (1) highly virtuous monk; (2) (honorific or respectful language) monk; (3) Buddhist solitary; (4) Buddhist missionary; (5) saint (i.e. a virtuous person); (6) (archaism) (honorific or respectful language) emperor; (7) master; expert; (n,n-pref) (1) Saint; St.; S.; (noun or adjectival noun) (2) sacred; holy; pure; (female given name) Mina; (female given name) Maria; (female given name) Mari; (female given name) Makoto; (surname, female given name) Hijiri; (personal name) Tooru; (female given name) Chika; (personal name) Takeshi; (female given name) Takara; (given name) Takashi; (female given name) Sofi-; (surname) Seitoku; (personal name) Seiji; (female given name) Seika; (surname, female given name) Sei; (personal name) Sumizou; (personal name) Sumiko; (personal name) Sumie; (given name) Satoru; (female given name) Satom
ārya; sādhu; a sage; wise and good; upright, or correct in all his character; sacred, holy, saintly.
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The Saint


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Mandarin hé shí / he2 shi2
Taiwan ho shih
Japanese gōjū
Chinese to put one's palms together (in prayer or greeting)
合爪; 合掌 To bring the ten fingers or two palms together; a monk's salutation; to make salutation with the two palms together
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Namaste - Greeting


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Mandarin tiān huáng / tian1 huang2
Taiwan t`ien huang / tien huang
Japanese tennou / tenno てんのう
 sumerogi すめろぎ
 sumeragi すめらぎ
Chinese emperor; emperor of Japan
Japanese Emperor of Japan; (place-name) Tennou
Deva-king; the Tang monk 道悟 Daowu of the 天皇 Tianhuang monastery at 荊州 Jingzhou.
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Emperor of Japan


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Mandarin sēng qié / seng1 qie2
Taiwan seng ch`ieh / seng chieh
Japanese sougya / sogya そうぎゃ
Chinese (Buddhism) sangha; the monastic community; monk
Japanese sangha (the Buddhist community) (san: samgha)
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition
More info / calligraphy:



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Mandarin sēng lǚ / seng1 lu:3
Taiwan seng lü
Japanese souryo / soryo そうりょ
Chinese monk
Japanese (noun - becomes adjective with の) (Buddhist term) priest; monk
Monastic companions, or company; the members of the Buddhist order
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Buddhist Monk


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Mandarin rù dìng / ru4 ding4
Taiwan ju ting
Japanese nyuujou / nyujo にゅうじょう
Japanese (noun/participle) (1) (Buddhist term) entering a state of intense concentration; (2) death (of a high monk, etc.); (place-name) Nyuujou
To enter into meditation by tranquillizing the body, mouth (i.e. lips), and mind, 身口意; to enter into concentration
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Zen Contemplation



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Mandarin pú sà / pu2 sa4
Taiwan p`u sa / pu sa
Japanese bosatsu ぼさつ
 bosachi ぼさち
Chinese Bodhisattva (Buddhism)
Japanese (n,n-suf) (1) (Buddhist term) bodhisattva; one who has reached enlightenment but vows to save all beings before becoming a buddha; (2) High Monk (title bestowed by the imperial court); (3) title bestowed to Shinto kami in manifestation theory; (out-dated or obsolete kana usage) (n,n-suf) (1) (Buddhist term) bodhisattva; one who has reached enlightenment but vows to save all beings before becoming a buddha; (2) High Monk (title bestowed by the imperial court); (3) title bestowed to Shinto kami in manifestation theory; (surname) Mizoro
bodhisattva, cf. 菩提薩埵. While the idea is not foreign to Hīnayāna, its extension of meaning is one of the chief marks of Mahāyāna. 'The Bodhisattva is indeed the characteristic feature of the Mahāyāna.' Keith. According to Mahāyāna the Hinayanists, i.e. the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha, seek their own salvation, while the bodhisattva's aim is the salvation of others and of all. The earlier intp. of bodhisattva was 大道心衆生 all beings with mind for the truth; later it became 大覺有情 conscious beings of or for the great intelligence, or enlightenment. It is also intp. in terms of leadership, heroism, etc. In general it is a Mahayanist seeking Buddhahood, but seeking it altruistically; whether monk or layman, he seeks enlightenment to enlighten others, and he will sacrifice himself to save others; he is devoid of egoism and devoted to helping others. All conscious beings having the Buddha-nature are natural bodhisattvas, but require to undergo development. The mahāsattva is sufficiently advanced to become a Buddha and enter nirvāṇa, but according to his vow he remains in the realm of incarnation to save all conscious beings. A monk should enter on the arduous course of discipline which leads to Bodhisattvahood and Buddhahood.
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Mandarin dào yuán / dao4 yuan2
Taiwan tao yüan
Japanese michimoto みちもと
 dougen / dogen どうげん
Japanese Zen monk, 1200-1253; (surname) Michimoto; (person) Dogen (Zen monk) (1200-1253)
The beginning of right doctrine, i.e. faith; the origin of the way
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Mandarin shī zi zuò / shi1 zi5 zuo4
Taiwan shih tzu tso
Japanese shishiza ししざ
Chinese Leo (constellation and sign of the zodiac)
Japanese (1) (astron) Leo (constellation); the Lion; (2) (Buddhist term) Buddha's seat; seat of a high monk
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition
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Leo Zodiac Symbol / Sign



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Mandarin shì jiā móu ní / shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
Taiwan shih chia mou ni
Japanese Shakamuni
Chinese Siddhartha Gautama (563-485 BC), the historical Buddha and founder of Buddhism; Sakyamuni Buddha (Sanskrit: sage of the Sakya)
釋迦文 (釋迦文尼); 釋伽文 Śākyamuni, the saint of the Śākya tribe. muni is saint, holy man, sage, ascetic monk; it is: intp. as 仁 benevolent, charitable, kind, also as 寂默 one who dwells in seclusion. After '500 or 550' previous incarnations, Śākyamuni finally attained to the state of Bodhisattva, was born in the Tuṣita heaven, and descended as a white elephant, through her right side, into the womb of the immaculate Māyā, the purest woman on earth; this was on the 8th day of the 4th month; next year on the 8th day of the 2nd month he was born from her right side painlessly as she stood under a tree in the Lumbinī garden. For the subsequent miraculous events v. Eitel. also the 神通遊戲經 (Lalitavistara), the 釋迦如來成道記, etc. Simpler statements say that he was born the son of Śuddhodana, of the kṣatriya caste, ruler of Kapilavastu, and Māyā his wife; that Māyā died seven days later, leaving him to be brought up by her sister Prājapati; that in due course he was married to Yaśodharā who bore him a son, Rāhula; that in search of truth he left home, became an ascetic, severely disciplined himself, and finally at 35 years of age, under a tree, realized that the way of release from the chain of rebirth and death lay not in asceticism but in moral purity; this he explained first in his four dogmas, v. 四諦 and eightfold noble way 八正道, later amplified and developed in many sermons. He founded his community on the basis of poverty, chastity, and insight or meditation, ad it became known as Buddhism, as he became known as Buddha, the enlightened. His death was probably in or near 487 B.C., a few years before that of Confucius in 479. The sacerdotal name of his family is Gautama, said to be the original name of the whole clan, Śākya being that of his branch, v. 瞿, 喬.; his personal name was Siddhārtha, or Sarvārthasiddha, v. 悉.
More info / calligraphy:
Shakyamuni / The Buddha

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Mandarin/ su2
Taiwan su
Japanese zoku ぞく
 shoku しょく
Chinese custom; convention; popular; common; coarse; vulgar; secular
Japanese (1) layman (esp. as opposed to a Buddhist monk); laity; man of the world; the world; (2) local manners; modern customs; (adj-na,adj-no) (3) common; popular; (4) vulgar; low; (out-dated or obsolete kana usage) (1) layman (esp. as opposed to a Buddhist monk); laity; man of the world; the world; (2) local manners; modern customs; (adj-na,adj-no) (3) common; popular; (4) vulgar; low
common, ordinary, usual, vulgar; secular

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Mandarin fáng // fāng / fang2 // fang1
Taiwan fang
Japanese bon ぼん
 bou / bo ぼう
Chinese workshop; mill; lane (usually as part of a street name); memorial archway; surname Fang
Japanese (1) bonze; monk; (2) (vocative) boy; sonny; (1) bonze; monk; (2) monk's dwelling; (3) (vocative) boy; sonny; (4) I; me; (suffix) (5) (familiar language) familiar form of address; (6) person who is ..; (surname) Machi; (surname) Bou; (personal name) Noridzuki; (personal name) Noritsuki; (surname) Tsutsumi; (personal name) Suetsugu; (personal name) Suetake; (personal name) Suekane
A place, locality; a temple, place of assembly, etc; subdivision of a city

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Mandarin/ mo4
Taiwan mo
Japanese boku ぼく
 sumi すみ
Chinese ink stick; China ink; CL:塊|块[kuai4]; corporal punishment consisting of tattooing characters on the victim's forehead; surname Mo; abbr. for 墨西哥[Mo4 xi1 ge1], Mexico
Japanese (n,n-pref,n-suf) (abbreviation) Mexico; (1) sumi; India ink; Chinese ink; ink stick; ink-cake; (2) squid ink; octopus ink; (3) carpenter's inking string; (personal name) Boku; (personal name) Norikazu; (surname) Sumisaki; (surname) Sumi; (personal name) Sueo
Ink; black; dyed black, e.g. 墨衣 black clothes, at one time said to have been the garb of the monk to distinguish him from the ordinary people who wore white.

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Mandarin shī / shi1
Taiwan shih
Japanese shi
Chinese teacher; master; expert; model; army division; (old) troops; to dispatch troops; surname Shi
Japanese (1) teacher; master; one's mentor; (n,suf) (2) religious leader; (suffix) (3) specialist; (4) (archaism) five-battalion brigade comprising 2500 men (Zhou-dynasty Chinese army); (surname) Morosaki; (surname) Moro; (given name) Tsukasa; (personal name) Shiwasu
A host, army; a leader, preceptor, teacher, model; tr. of upādhyāya, an 'under-teacher', generally intp. as a Buddhist monk.

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Mandarin duó // dù / duo2 // du4
Taiwan to // tu
Japanese do
 tabi たび
Chinese to estimate; Taiwan pr. [duo4]; to pass; to spend (time); measure; limit; extent; degree of intensity; degree (angles, temperature etc); kilowatt-hour; classifier for events and occurrences
Japanese (n,n-suf) (1) degree (angle, temperature, scale, etc.); (counter) (2) counter for occurrences and times; (3) strength (of alcohol); (n,n-suf,ctr) time (three times, each time, etc.); times; (given name) Wataru; (surname) Watari; (given name) Tokou; (surname) Tabi; (surname) Taku
pāramitā, 波羅蜜; intp. by 渡 to ferry over; to save. The mortal life of reincarnations is the sea; nirvana is the other shore; v. pāramitā, 波. Also, to leave the world as a monk or nun, such is a 度得 or 度者; to cross over (to the shore of liberation)

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Mandarin/ xi4
Taiwan hsi
Japanese ke
Chinese trick; drama; play; show; CL:出[chu1],場|场[chang3],臺|台[tai2]
khelā, krīḍā. Play, sport, take one's pleasure; theatricals, which are forbidden to a monk or nun; to play

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Mandarin fáng / fang2
Taiwan fang
Japanese bou / bo ぼう
 fusa ふさ
Chinese house; room; CL:間|间[jian1]; branch of an extended family; classifier for family members (or concubines); surname Fang
Japanese (1) chamber; room; (2) home of a monk; monk; (3) (astron) Chinese "room" constellation (one of the 28 mansions); (1) tuft; tassel; (n,ctr) (2) bunch (of grapes, etc.); (3) section (of an orange, etc.); (surname) Bou; (personal name) Fusamasa; (personal name) Fusaji; (surname) Fusazaki; (personal name) Fusakatsu; (surname, female given name) Fusa; (surname) Pan; (personal name) Suewaka; (personal name) Sueyoshi; (personal name) Suemori; (personal name) Sueharu; (personal name) Suetsugu; (personal name) Suetsugi; (personal name) Sueji
House, room. The rooms for monks and nuns in a monastery or nunnery; monk's quarters

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Mandarin jiè / jie4
Taiwan chieh
Japanese kai かい
 ingoto いんごと
Chinese to guard against; to exhort; to admonish or warn; to give up or stop doing something; Buddhist monastic discipline; ring (for a finger)
Japanese (1) (Buddhist term) admonition; commandment; (2) sila (precept); (out-dated or obsolete kana usage) sila (precept)
śīla, 尸羅. Precept, command, prohibition, discipline, rule; morality. It is applied to the five, eight, ten, 250, and other commandments. The five are: (1) not to kill; (2 ) not to steal; (3) not to commit adultery; (4) not to speak falsely; (5) not to drink wine. These are the commands for lay disciples; those who observe them will be reborn in the human realm. The Sarvāstivādins did not sanction the observance of a limited selection from them as did the 成實宗 Satyasiddhi school. Each of the five precepts has five guardian spirits, in all twenty-five, 五戒二十五神. The eight for lay disciples are the above five together with Nos. 7, 8, and 9 of the following; the ten commands for the ordained, monks and nuns, are the above five with the following: (6) not to use adornments of flowers, nor perfumes; (7) not to perform as an actor, juggler, acrobat, or go to watch and hear them; (8) not to sit on elevated, broad, and large divans (or beds); (9) not to eat except in regulation hours; (10) not to possess money, gold or silver, or precious things. The 具足戒full commands for a monk number 250, those for a nun are 348, commonly called 500. Śīla is also the first of the 五分法身, i.e. a condition above all moral error. The Sutra of Brahma's Net has the following after the first five: (6) not to speak of the sins of those in orders; (7) not to vaunt self and depreciate others; (8) not to be avaricious; (9) not to be angry; (10) not to slander the triratna.

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Mandarin/ bo1
Taiwan po
Japanese hatsu
Chinese small earthenware plate or basin; a monk's alms bowl; Sanskrit paatra
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

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Mandarin yì // yī / yi4 // yi1
Taiwan i
Japanese koromo ころも
 kinu きぬ
Chinese to dress; to wear; to put on (clothes); clothes; CL:件[jian4]
Japanese (1) clothes; garment; (2) gown; robe; (3) coating (e.g. glaze, batter, icing); clothing; garment; dress; (female given name) Matoi; (surname, female given name) Koromo; (female given name) Kinu
Clothes, especially a monk's robes which are of two kinds, the compulsory three garments of five, seven, or nine pieces; and the permissive clothing for the manual work of the monastery, etc. The 三衣 or three garments are (1) 安陀會衣 antarvāsas, an inner garment; the five-piece 袈裟 cassock; (2) 鬱多羅僧衣 uttarāsaṇga, outer garment, the seven-piece cassock; (3) 僧伽梨衣 saṁghāti, assembly cassock of from nine to twenty-five pieces. The permissive clothing is of ten kinds.

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Mandarin/ na4
Taiwan na
Japanese noto のと
Chinese cassock; to line
Japanese (surname) Noto
To patch, line, pad; a monk's garment, supposed to be made of rags; monk's robe

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Mandarin jiā / jia1
Taiwan chia
Chinese Buddhist monk's robe

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Mandarin shā / sha1
Taiwan sha
Japanese konokawa このかわ
Chinese Buddhist monk's robe
Japanese (personal name) Konokawa
This term is used in Buddhism, but due to a licensing issue, we cannot show the definition

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Mandarin xīng / xing1
Taiwan hsing
Japanese namagusa なまぐさ
Chinese fishy (smell)
Japanese (1) something that smells of fish or blood; (2) meat and fish; (3) (abbreviation) degenerate monk; corrupt priest

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Mandarin zhāi / zhai1
Taiwan chai
Japanese hitoshi ひとし
 toki とき
 sai さい
 itsuki いつき
Chinese to fast or abstain from meat, wine etc; vegetarian diet; study room; building; to give alms (to a monk)
Japanese (surname) Hitoshi; (personal name) Toki; (surname) Sai; (surname, given name) Itsuki
To reverence: abstinence; to purify as by fasting, or abstaining, e.g. from flesh food; religious or abstinential duties, or times; upavasatha (uposatha), a fast; the ritual period for food, i.e. before noon; a room for meditation, a study, a building, etc., devoted to abstinence, chastity, or the Buddhist religion; mourning (for parents); to abstain

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Mandarin kān / kan1
Taiwan k`an / kan
Japanese gan がん
Chinese niche; shrine
Japanese (1) niche or alcove for an image; (2) (in Okinawa) portable shrine used to move a deceased from their house to the graveyard
A shrine; a cabinet, box; a coffin (for a monk); to contain; (Skt. stūpa)

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Mandarin/ xi1
Taiwan hsi
Japanese suzu すず
Chinese tin (chemistry); to bestow; to confer; to grant; Taiwan pr. [xi2]
Japanese (kana only) tin (Sn); (given name) Tamau; (surname) Seki; (surname) Suzuki; (given name) Shaku
Pewter, tin; to bestow; a monk's staff.

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Japanese otera おてら
Japanese (1) (honorific or respectful language) (polite language) temple; (2) (abbreviation) monk

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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
Buddhist Monk 僧侶 / 僧侶
sou ryo / souryo / so ryo / soryo
Warrior Monk
Soldier Priest
藩士sou hei / souhei / so hei / soheisēng bīng
seng1 bing1
seng bing
seng ping
If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian? 不當和尚不知齋戒苦
bù dāng hé shang bù zhī zhāi jiè kǔ
bu4 dang1 he2 shang bu4 zhi1 zhai1 jie4 ku3
bu dang he shang bu zhi zhai jie ku
pu tang ho shang pu chih chai chieh k`u
pu tang ho shang pu chih chai chieh ku
Order of Monks
sou / sosēng / seng1 / seng
To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It 不當和尚不知頭冷
bù dāng hé shàng bù zhī tóu lěng
bu4 dang1 he2 shang4 bu4 zhi1 tou2 leng3
bu dang he shang bu zhi tou leng
pu tang ho shang pu chih t`ou leng
pu tang ho shang pu chih tou leng
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...

Good Luck
Heart Sutra
I Love You
Lasting Love
Love and Protect
Love Forever
Martial Arts
Never Give Up
Yin Yang

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.

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