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My Path in Chinese / Japanese...

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

  1. I walk my own path

  2. The Middle Way

  3. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

  4. All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path

  5. Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering

  6. The Noble Eightfold Path

  7. Daoism / Taoism

  8. Intuitive Wisdom / Inner Light

  9. Taoist / Daoist

10. Kodokan

11. Four Noble Truths

12. Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo

13. There is no royal road to learning

14. Four Noble Truths

15. Never Forget

16. Thorns / Bramble / Briar Patch / Wild Rose

17. The Way of the Dragon

18. 1. Right Understanding / Right Perspective...

19. Bon Voyage

20. 2. Right Resolve / Right Thought...

21. Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red,...

22. 3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech

23. 8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

24. Dōgen

25. Destiny Determined by Heaven

26. 6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

27. 5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood

28. 4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct

29. Martial Arts / Budo

30. 7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

31. Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu

32. Better Late Than Never


I walk my own path

China wǒ xíng wǒ sù
I walk my own path Vertical Wall Scroll

我行我素 is a way to say, "I walk my own path," or "to continue in one's own way," in Chinese.

This does not always have a completely positive connotation. It can mean to ignore advice or to persist in your path, no matter what others say or think.

The Middle Way

China zhōng dào
Japan chuu dou
The Middle Way Vertical Wall Scroll

In the most basic translation, this means road through the middle, or middle road.

The expanded meaning can be moderation, golden mean.

But if you are looking for this title, you are probably seeking the Buddhist definition, which is more complex.

中道 is the middle way or middle path of Buddhism. 中道 has various interpretations. In general, it denotes the mean between two extremes and has special reference to the mean between realism and nihilism, or eternal substantial existence and annihilation.

The Buddha teaches that one should not take things to extremes. Don't be extremely evil, and engage in debauchery and murder. But do not spend every waking out trying to be a perfect saint. Instead, take the middle path, try to help others, show loving kindness wherever you can, try not to do harm. If you do inadvertently harm another being, make amends if you can, and move on. Realize you are not perfect, but in time, a path of moderation lead toward proper living and enlightenment.

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

見性成佛 is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成佛 is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path

China zhèng jiàn zhèng sī wéi zhèng yǔ zhèng yè zhèng mìng zhèng jīng jìn zhèng niàn zhèng dìng

Japan shouken shoushiyui shougo shougo shoumyou shoushoujin shounen shoujou
All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path Vertical Wall Scroll

These are the eight tenets of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path written altogether.

Here's this list of tenets in English:
1. Right View / Right Understanding / Right Perspective / Perfect View
2. Right Resolve / Right Thought / Right Intention / Perfect Resolve
3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering

Magga
China dào dì
Japan doutai
Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering Vertical Wall Scroll

Once you have dealt with your desires, and left all desire and attachment behind, only then are on you the path away from suffering (and on your way to enlightenment). 道諦 is also called the path to liberation in some English texts on Buddhism.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

The Noble Eightfold Path

Ashtangika Marga / Astangika-Marga / Atthangika Magga
China bā zhèng dào
Japan ha sshou dou
The Noble Eightfold Path Vertical Wall Scroll

八正道 is a complex set of steps that Buddhists much take to cleanse karma, achieve enlightenment, eventually cease the cycle of rebirth and live in a state of Nirvana.


If the idea of 8 separate wall scrolls plus this title is too much for you, we can custom-arrange all eight of these concepts on a single wall scroll. Just post your request on our Asian calligraphy forum, and we can discuss options.

Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Daoism / Taoism

Literally: The Way or Road
China dào
Japan michi / -do
Daoism / Taoism Vertical Wall Scroll

道 is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.

道 is the base of what is known as "Taoism." If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path."

Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)

The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.

More about Taoism / Daoism here.

Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.

Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.

Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.


See our Taoism Page

Intuitive Wisdom / Inner Light

China yī dào shén guāng
Japan ichidou no shinkou
Intuitive Wisdom / Inner Light Vertical Wall Scroll

一道神光 is a Buddhist term that means, "inner light," or "intuitive wisdom."

This actually reads, "[the] one path/way [of] spiritual light." It implies that your spirit knows the way, and will light the path for you.

Taoist / Daoist

China dào shì
Japan dou shi
Taoist / Daoist Vertical Wall Scroll

道士 is a Japanese Kanji, Korean Hanja, and Chinese title that means Daoist or Taoist. This can refer to a Taoist priest, or a person of high morals. This can also be applied to Buddhists and to Śākyamuni (especially in Japanese). It suggest a person (or soldier) who follows the way or the right path. Thus a person who follows a path of virtue.

Kodokan

Japan kou dou kan
Kodokan Vertical Wall Scroll

光道館 is Kodokan. 光道館 is the title of an Aikido dojo, studio, or hall.

Be careful in selecting the correct Kodokan, as there are two different titles that romanize as Kodokan.

Here's how the characters break down in meaning for this one:
1. Light / Bright
2. Way / Path (the Tao/Dao as in Taoism/Daoism)
3. Schoolroom / Building / Establishment / Mansion / Hall (of learning)

Altogether, you get something like, "The Path of Light Establishment."

Kodokan

Japan kou dou kan
Kodokan Vertical Wall Scroll

This title refers to a certain kind or school of Judo martial arts.

Here's how the characters break down in meaning for this one:
1. Mutual Assistance or Association. Can also refer to a lecture, speech, or explaining something (as in teaching).
2. Way / Path (the Tao/Dao as in Taoism/Daoism)
3. Schoolroom / Building / Establishment / Mansion / Small Castle / Hall (of learning)

Altogether, you get something like, "The Path of Mutual Learning Hall."

More about Kodokan from the Institute of Kodokan.

Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)

China sì dì
Japan shitai
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism) Vertical Wall Scroll

四諦 is the title of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).

The suggestion behind these truths is that all things in nature suffer. All things in nature have desire. The enlightened can release themselves from the bonds of desire. And finally, once they release all desire and attachment, the enlightened will find a path that leads away from suffering.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo

Japan shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou
Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo Vertical Wall Scroll

This is "shiken haramitsu daikōmyō," a famous Japanese Buddhist mantra.

四拳 = shi-ken = four fist (many translate this as "four hearts").
波羅蜜 = ha-ra-mitsu = A loanword representing pāramitā, or entrance into Nirvana. Awkwardly, it also means jackfruit.
大光明 = dai-kou-myo = big/great light bright (great bright light).

Shiken represents four hearts:
1. The Merciful Heart - Love and caring for all living things.
2. The Sincere Heart - Pursues righteousness, or the right path - sincerely trying to do what is right.
3. The Attuned Heart - Knows that nature and fate have their ways, and thus stays in tune with the universe.
4. The Dedicated Heart - Steadfast on the chosen path to the end.

There is no royal road to learning

China qiú xué wú tǎn tú
There is no royal road to learning Vertical Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb reads, "There is no royal road to learning."

This suggests that the path of learning can never be smooth, there will be difficulties and troubles along the way.


See Also:  Learning Is Eternal

Four Noble Truths (Full List)

China kǔ dì jí dì miè dì dào dì
Japan kutai jittai mettai doutai
Four Noble Truths (Full List) Vertical Wall Scroll

This is the list of tenets of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).

Never Forget

Never forget your vow or path
China cháng bù wàng shī
Japan jou fu bou shitsu
Never Forget Vertical Wall Scroll

This title is used almost exclusively in a Buddhist context (not all Chinese or Japanese people will recognize it).

常不忘失 means, "Never forget your vow/path" in Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji.

Thorns / Bramble / Briar Patch / Wild Rose

China jīng jí
Japan keikyoku
Thorns / Bramble / Briar Patch / Wild Rose Vertical Wall Scroll

荊棘 is a Chinese and Japanese Kanji word that means: thistles and thorns; brambles; thorny undergrowth; wild rose; bramble; briar patch; briars; thicket; the bush.

Sometimes this term is used figuratively to refer to an obstacle or source of difficulty that makes your path difficult.

The Way of the Dragon

China lóng zhī dào
The Way of the Dragon Vertical Wall Scroll

龍之道 is how the way of the dragon is written in Chinese.

龍之道 is not the same as the Chinese movie that was titled in English as "The Way of the Dragon". 龍之道 is rather, the literal meaning, of the dragon's way. The first character is dragon, the second is a possessive article, and the third character means way or path.

1. Right Understanding / Right Perspective
Right View / Perfect View

Samyag Dristhi / Samyag Drsti / Samma Ditthi
China zhèng jiàn
Japan sei ken
1. Right Understanding / Right Perspective / Right View / Perfect View Vertical Wall Scroll

正見 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right View, along with Right Thought constitutes the path to Wisdom.

To get to the right view of the world, you must first understand and follow Four Noble Truths.


Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Bon Voyage

China yī lù píng ān
Japan ichiro heian
Bon Voyage Vertical Wall Scroll

一路平安 is a wish for someone to have a pleasant journey. It's probably the closest way to translate "bon voyage" into Chinese.

The first two characters mean one road or one path. The second two characters mean "safe and sound" or "without mishap."

一路平安 means the same thing in Japanese but not the most common selection for a wall scroll.

2. Right Resolve / Right Thought
Right Intention / Perfect Resolve

Samyak Samkalpa / Samma Sankappa
China zhèng sī wéi
Japan sei shi yui
2. Right Resolve / Right Thought / Right Intention / Perfect Resolve Vertical Wall Scroll

正思唯 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Thought, along with Right View constitute the path to Wisdom.

In Buddhism, Right Thought in simple terms means to free yourself from having ill-will towards anyone or anything. It also suggests that you remain harmless to other living creatures.

This can also be defined as, "Resolve in favor of renunciation, good will, and non-harming of sentient beings."


惟There is an ancient/alternate version of the third character for this selection. You can see that alternation third character to the right. If you want your selection to use that older character, just click on the character to the right, instead of the button above.

Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red,
Gold Turns a Heart Black

China bái jiǔ hóng rén miàn huáng jīn hēi shì xīn
Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red, / Gold Turns a Heart Black Vertical Wall Scroll

Literally this says: [Just as] white liquor makes people's faces turn red, [So] yellow gold makes people's hearts turn black.

This is a warning about the nature of greed. The suggestion is that one who lusts for gold and riches, will eventually have a black heart (or become a heartless greedy bastard). As a wall scroll, this is a reminder and warning to keep yourself from following the greedy path.

3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech

Samyag Vaca / Samma Vaca / Samma Vacha
China zhèng yǔ
Japan sei go
3. Right Speech / Right Talk / Perfect Speech Vertical Wall Scroll

正語 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Speech, along with Right Action and Right Living constitute the path to Virtue.

Simply stated, Right Speech is abstaining from lying, abstaining from divisive speech, abstaining from abusive speech, abstaining from idle chatter, abstaining from slander, abstaining from gossip, or any form of harmful or wrong speech.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration

Samyak Samadhi / Samma Samadhi
China zhèng dìng
Japan sei jou
8. Right Concentration / Perfect Concentration Vertical Wall Scroll

正定 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Concentration, along with Right Effort and Right Mindfulness constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Concentration has to do with leaving behind sensuality, unwholesome states, as well as pleasure and pain. 正定 is a complex idea but once you have achieved the shedding of worldly sensation, you can truly concentrate and find a higher level of awareness.

Another definition: Concentration of mind that finds its highpoint in the four absorptions.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Dōgen

China dào yuán
Japan dou gen
Dōgen Vertical Wall Scroll

Usually, when people are looking for "Dogen," they are referring to the Japanese Zen monk by this name.

He lived from 1200-1253. This Dogen name or title literally means "The Way Origin" or "Beginning of the Path." It is understood to mean "beginning of right doctrine or faith" in the context of his name and work to establish the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan.

To accomplish that task, this humble monk traveled from Japan and across China to find the more original or pure forms of Buddhism.

Destiny Determined by Heaven

China tiān yì
Japan teni
Destiny Determined by Heaven Vertical Wall Scroll

天意 is a way to express destiny in a slightly religious way. Literally this means "Heaven's Wish" or "Heaven's Desire" with the idea of fate and destiny being derived as well. It suggests that your destiny comes from God / Heaven and that your path has already been chosen by a higher power.

My Japanese dictionary defines this word as "divine will" or "providence" but it also holds the meaning of "the will of the emperor." Therefore, I don't suggest this phrase if your audience is Japanese - it feels a little strange in Japanese anyway.

6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort

Samyag Vyayama / Samma Vayama
China zhèng jīng jìn
Japan sei shou jin
6. Right Effort / Right Endeavor / Perfect Effort Vertical Wall Scroll

正精進 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Effort, along with Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake in each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and defilement, the effort to make each activity of our day meditation. This concept is about pursuing wholesome things that promote good karma.

Another definition: Cultivation of what is karmically wholesome and avoidance of what is karmically unwholesome.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood

Samyag Ajiva / Samma Ajiva
China zhèng mìng
Japan sei myou
5. Right Living / Right Livelihood / Perfect Livelihood Vertical Wall Scroll

正命 (right living) is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism.

Right Living, along with Right Speech and Right Action constitute the path to Virtue.

Right Living means that a Buddhist should only take a job or pursue a career in a field that does no harm. Buddhists should not work in the arms trade, as pimps or in the field of prostitution, as a butcher or in a shop that kills or sells meat, in a laboratory that does animal research, or any other business that involves scheming or unethical behavior.

Another definition: Avoidance of professions that are harmful to sentient beings, such as slaughterer, hunter, dealer in weaponry or narcotics, etc.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct

Samyak Karmanta / Samma Kammanta
China zhèng yè
Japan sei gyou
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct Vertical Wall Scroll

正業 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Action, along with Right Speech and Right Living constitute the path to Virtue.

The five precepts of Right Action are:
1. To refrain from destroying living beings (no murder, or any form of taking a life).
2. To refrain from stealing.
3. To refrain from sexual misconduct (adultery, rape, etc.).
4. To refrain from false speech (lying or trickery).
5. To refrain from intoxicants which lead to heedlessness (no drugs or alcohol).

This concept can be summarized as, "Avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline."

Note: In Japanese, when read by a non-Buddhist, this will mean "the right job/vocation."


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Martial Arts / Budo

Way of the Warrior
China wǔ dào
Japan bu dou
Martial Arts / Budo Vertical Wall Scroll

武道 is the very common Japanese way to say "Martial Arts."

武道 is used mostly in Japanese dojos but is also understood in Chinese and Korean.

Some will use this title to mean chivalry (the conduct of a knight) or military art. The way this word is understood would depend on the context in which it is used.

The first character means "force" or "warlike" or "essence of a warrior."

The second character means "method," "path," and "the way." It is the same character used to describe/mean the philosophy of Taoism / Daoism.

Some will also translate this as, "The Way of the Warrior," especially in the context of Korean martial arts.

7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness

Samyak Smriti / Samyak Smrti / Samma Sati
China zhèng niàn
Japan sei nen
7. Right Mindfulness / Right Memory / Perfect Mindfulness Vertical Wall Scroll

正念 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Mindfulness, along with Right Effort and Right Concentration constitute the path to Concentration or Perfect Thought.

Right Mindfulness is about remaining focused on one's body, feelings, mind and mental qualities. It's also about being ardent, aware, and mindful, and supposes that you've already put aside worldly desire and aversion.

Monk Bhikkhu Bodhi described this as: The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event.

Another definition: Ongoing mindfulness of body, feelings, thinking, and objects of thought.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu

China yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Vertical Wall Scroll

This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty. It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.

First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.

I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.

Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds peoples homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.

Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: 杜牧.
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is: 山行
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.

More about the poet:

Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.

He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.

During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.

His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.

The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.

Better Late Than Never

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

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.

Search for My Path 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
I walk my own path我行我素wǒ xíng wǒ sù
wo3 xing2 wo3 su4
wo xing wo su
woxingwosu
wo hsing wo su
wohsingwosu
The Middle Way中道chuu dou / chuudou / chu do / chudozhōng dào
zhong1 dao4
zhong dao
zhongdao
chung tao
chungtao
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jyo butsu
kenshoujyobutsu
ken sho jyo butsu
kenshojyobutsu
All Tenets of the Noble Eightfold Path正見正思唯正語正業正命正精進正念正定
正见正思唯正语正业正命正精进正念正定
shouken shoushiyui shougo shougo shoumyou shoushoujin shounen shoujou
shoken shoshiyui shogo shogo shomyo shoshojin shonen shojo
shokenshoshiyuishogoshogoshomyoshoshojinshonenshojo
zhèng jiàn zhèng sī wéi zhèng yǔ zhèng yè zhèng mìng zhèng jīng jìn zhèng niàn zhèng dìng
zheng4 jian4 zheng4 si1 wei2 zheng4 yu3 zheng4 ye4 zheng4 ming4 zheng4 jing1 jin4 zheng4 nian4 zheng4 ding4
zheng jian zheng si wei zheng yu zheng ye zheng ming zheng jing jin zheng nian zheng ding
cheng chien cheng ssu wei cheng yü cheng yeh cheng ming cheng ching chin cheng nien cheng ting
Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering道諦
道谛
doutai / dotaidào dì / dao4 di4 / dao di / daoditao ti / taoti
The Noble Eightfold Path八正道ha sshou dou
hasshoudou
ha sho do
hashodo
bā zhèng dào
ba1 zheng4 dao4
ba zheng dao
bazhengdao
pa cheng tao
pachengtao
Daoism
Taoism
michi / -dodào / dao4 / daotao
Intuitive Wisdom
Inner Light
一道神光ichidou no shinkou
ichidounoshinkou
ichido no shinko
ichidonoshinko
yī dào shén guāng
yi1 dao4 shen2 guang1
yi dao shen guang
yidaoshenguang
i tao shen kuang
itaoshenkuang
Taoist
Daoist
道士dou shi / doushi / do shi / doshidào shì / dao4 shi4 / dao shi / daoshitao shih / taoshih
Kodokan光道館
讲道馆
kou dou kan
koudoukan
ko do kan
kodokan
Kodokan講道館
讲道馆
kou dou kan
koudoukan
ko do kan
kodokan
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)四諦
四谛
shitaisì dì / si4 di4 / si di / sidissu ti / ssuti
Shiken Haramitsu Daikomyo四拳波羅蜜大光明shi ken ha ra mitsu dai kou myou
shi ken ha ra mitsu dai ko myo
shikenharamitsudaikomyo
There is no royal road to learning求學無坦途
求学无坦途
qiú xué wú tǎn tú
qiu2 xue2 wu2 tan3 tu2
qiu xue wu tan tu
qiuxuewutantu
ch`iu hsüeh wu t`an t`u
chiuhsüehwutantu
chiu hsüeh wu tan tu
Four Noble Truths (Full List)苦諦集諦滅諦道諦
苦谛集谛灭谛道谛
kutai jittai mettai doutai
kutaijittaimettaidoutai
kutai jittai mettai dotai
kutaijittaimettaidotai
kǔ dì jí dì miè dì dào dì
ku3 di4 ji2 di4 mie4 di4 dao4 di4
ku di ji di mie di dao di
kudijidimiedidaodi
k`u ti chi ti mieh ti tao ti
kutichitimiehtitaoti
ku ti chi ti mieh ti tao ti
Never Forget常不忘失jou fu bou shitsu
joufuboushitsu
jo fu bo shitsu
jofuboshitsu
cháng bù wàng shī
chang2 bu4 wang4 shi1
chang bu wang shi
changbuwangshi
ch`ang pu wang shih
changpuwangshih
chang pu wang shih
Thorns
Bramble
Briar Patch
Wild Rose
荊棘
荆棘
keikyokujīng jí / jing1 ji2 / jing ji / jingjiching chi / chingchi
The Way of the Dragon龍之道
龙之道
lóng zhī dào
long2 zhi1 dao4
long zhi dao
longzhidao
lung chih tao
lungchihtao
1. Right Understanding
Right Perspective
Right View
Perfect View
正見
正见
sei ken / seikenzhèng jiàn
zheng4 jian4
zheng jian
zhengjian
cheng chien
chengchien
Bon Voyage一路平安ichiro heian
ichiroheian
yī lù píng ān
yi1 lu4 ping2 an1
yi lu ping an
yilupingan
i lu p`ing an
ilupingan
i lu ping an
2. Right Resolve
Right Thought
Right Intention
Perfect Resolve
正思唯sei shi yui
seishiyui
zhèng sī wéi
zheng4 si1 wei2
zheng si wei
zhengsiwei
cheng ssu wei
chengssuwei
Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red, Gold Turns a Heart Black白酒紅人面黃金黑世心
白酒红人面黄金黑世心
bái jiǔ hóng rén miàn huáng jīn hēi shì xīn
bai2 jiu3 hong2 ren2 mian4 huang2 jin1 hei1 shi4 xin1
bai jiu hong ren mian huang jin hei shi xin
pai chiu hung jen mien huang chin hei shih hsin
3. Right Speech
Right Talk
Perfect Speech
正語
正语
sei go / seigozhèng yǔ / zheng4 yu3 / zheng yu / zhengyucheng yü / chengyü
8. Right Concentration
Perfect Concentration
正定sei jou / seijou / sei jo / seijozhèng dìng
zheng4 ding4
zheng ding
zhengding
cheng ting
chengting
Dōgen道元dou gen / dougen / do gen / dogendào yuán / dao4 yuan2 / dao yuan / daoyuantao yüan / taoyüan
Destiny Determined by Heaven天意tenitiān yì / tian1 yi4 / tian yi / tianyit`ien i / tieni / tien i
6. Right Effort
Right Endeavor
Perfect Effort
正精進
正精进
sei shou jin
seishoujin
sei sho jin
seishojin
zhèng jīng jìn
zheng4 jing1 jin4
zheng jing jin
zhengjingjin
cheng ching chin
chengchingchin
5. Right Living
Right Livelihood
Perfect Livelihood
正命sei myou / seimyou / sei myo / seimyozhèng mìng
zheng4 ming4
zheng ming
zhengming
cheng ming
chengming
4. Right Action
Perfect Conduct
正業
正业
sei gyou / seigyou / sei gyo / seigyozhèng yè / zheng4 ye4 / zheng ye / zhengyecheng yeh / chengyeh
Martial Arts
Budo
武道bu dou / budou / bu do / budowǔ dào / wu3 dao4 / wu dao / wudaowu tao / wutao
7. Right Mindfulness
Right Memory
Perfect Mindfulness
正念sei nen / seinenzhèng niàn
zheng4 nian4
zheng nian
zhengnian
cheng nien
chengnien
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu遠上寒山石徑斜白雲生處有人家停車坐愛楓林晚霜葉紅於二月花
远上寒山石径斜白云生处有人家停车坐爱枫林晚霜叶红于二月花
yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā
yuan3 shang4 han2 shan1 shi2 jing4 xia2 bai2 yun2 sheng1 chu4 you3 ren2 jia1 ting2 che1 zuo4 ai4 feng1 lin2 wan3 shuang4 ye4 hong2 yu2 er4 yue4 hua1
yuan shang han shan shi jing xia bai yun sheng chu you ren jia ting che zuo ai feng lin wan shuang ye hong yu er yue hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng ch`u yu jen chia t`ing ch`e tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng chu yu jen chia ting che tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
Better Late Than Never亡羊補牢猶未為晚
亡羊补牢犹未为晚
wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
wangyangpulaoyuweiweiwan
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...

Achieve Inner Peace
Archangel
Believe
Bible
Black
Bond
Bushido Code
Butterfly
Commitment
Dance
Dragon and Phoenix
Endure
Family
Forgiveness
Fortune
Four Noble Truths
Guardian
Holy Ghost
Inner Beauty
Knowledge
Lone Wolf
Long Life
Love
Luck and Fortune
Martial Arts
Never Give Up
Overcome
Phoenix and Dragon
Prince
Prosperity
Protector
Rabbit
Resolve
Safety and Well Being of Family
Siddhartha
Snake
Soul
Strength
Tae Kwon Do
Wave
Wealth
Wellness
Winter
Wood
Yellow

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