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真愛 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!
我心真愛 is a slightly poetic way to express this sentiment to someone.
The meaning is "My True Love" but the characters directly translate as "I/Me/My Heart/Mind True/Real Love."
Note that Chinese grammar and construction are different, so this sounds very eloquent and artsy in Chinese.
In Korean Hanja, the third character should be written differently, just let me know when you place your order if you want that version - it will still make sense in Chinese. This phrase makes sense in Korean but not commonly used.
真 is a simple way to express the idea that something is real, true, truth or genuine.
Occasionally, this character is used to refer to a Buddhist sect that originated in the 13th century.
真 is commonly used as a compound with other characters to create ideas like "true love." It's also used like the English "really" or "truly," to say "really good" or "He is really knowledgeable." Those phrases start with "他真的是..." (note second character is this one).
There are two ways to write this character, shown here is the most common way in China; however, a slight stroke variation is used in Korean Hanja. If you want that version, just let us know when you place your order.
See Also: Honesty
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.
This Japanese title can be translated as "for this time only," "chance meeting," "one meeting, one opportunity," "never again," or "one chance in a lifetime."
The characters literally mean "one time one meeting" - of course, the Kanji characters have meaning far beyond a direct translation like this.
Some might use this proverb to talk of an opportunity that presents itself just once in your life. It could also be the single chance-meeting with your true soul mate. Basically an expression for any event that might happen once in a lifetime.
This is primarily a Japanese title, however, there is also a Traditional Chinese (and old Korean) version of this proverb. Just the last character is different.
The traditional form was used in Japan before WWII and in Korea prior to 1900. This title is somewhat known in China.
If you want the older traditional form, just click on the character to the right.
至誠 is the idea that you enter into something with the utmost sincerity and fidelity. Ideas such as devotion, honesty, and "one's true heart" are also contained in this word.
至誠 is a universal word as the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja are all identical.
This literally translates as: [Only one who does] not sleep, learns how long the night is; [Only by] long acquaintance [does one] learn a person ['s true] character.
Basically, this proverb suggests that we really need to experience something intimately and for a long time to really know everything about it.
This can also be translated as, "Spending years with someone is the only way to know them."
Note: Sometimes this proverb is split into just the first or second idea alone (first 5 or last 5 characters only).
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [One who is] close to gold [is] like gold [and one who is] close to jade [is] like jade.
Figuratively, this means:
A good environment produces good people.
People are in influenced by the company they keep.
Basically, if you hang out with good people, you are likely to become or stay good yourself. The opposite also being true. This is like the moral version of "You are what you eat."
Note: In Japanese, they have a similar phrase, 類は友を呼ぶ (rui wa tomo o yobu) Birds of a feather flock together. However, this is not a good meaning, so we're not offering it for wall scrolls.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Without being knocked around a bit, [one's] bones won't become hard.
Figuratively, this means: One can't become strong without first being tempered by "hard knocks."
While true for everyone, this sounds like the "Iron Body" form of Kung Fu, where practitioners bodies are beaten (and often bone fractured) in order to become stronger.
For the rest of us, this is just about how we can be tempered and build character through the hardships in our lives.
This is not a common title for a wall scroll in China.
地 is the single-character element and title of the planet Earth in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.
Because this is a single-character, the definition is a little ambiguous, and can have many meanings depending on the context in which it is used. These meanings include: earth, ground, land, soil, dirt, place, territory, bottom (of a package, book, etc.), earth (one of the Japanese five elements), the region in question, the local area, skin, texture, fabric, material, weave, base, background, one's true nature, narrative (i.e. descriptive part of a story), real life, actuality, etc.
In Japanese, this Kanji can be pronounced several ways, including chi, ji, tsushi, or tsuchi.
地 is also an element of the Japanese version of the five elements (the original Chinese version uses a different version of earth).
This is referred to as passage or chapter 33 of the Dao De Jing (often Romanized as "Tao Te Ching").
These are the words of the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).
During our research, the Chinese characters shown here are probably the most accurate to the original text of Laozi. These were taken for the most part from the Mawangdui 1973 and Guodan 1993 manuscripts which pre-date other Daodejing texts by about 1000 years.
Grammar was a little different in Laozi's time. So you should consider this to be the ancient Chinese version. Some have modernized this passage by adding, removing, or swapping articles and changing the grammar (we felt the oldest and most original version would be more desirable). You may find other versions printed in books or online - sometimes these modern texts are simply used to explain to Chinese people what the original text really means.
This language issue can be compared in English by thinking how the King James (known as the Authorized version in Great Britain) Bible from 1611 was written, and comparing it to modern English. Now imagine that the Daodejing was probably written around 403 BCE (2000 years before the King James Version of the Bible). To a Chinese person, the original Daodejing reads like text that is 3 times more detached compared to Shakespeare's English is to our modern-day speech.
While on this Biblical text comparison, it should be noted, that just like the Bible, all the original texts of the Daodejing were lost or destroyed long ago. Just as with the scripture used to create the Bible, various manuscripts exist, many with variations or copyist errors. Just as the earliest New Testament scripture (incomplete) is from 170 years after Christ, the earliest Daodejing manuscript (incomplete) is from 100-200 years after the death of Laozi.
The reason that the originals were lost probably has a lot to do with the first Qin Emperor. Upon taking power and unifying China, he ordered the burning and destruction of all books (scrolls/rolls) except those pertaining to Chinese medicine and a few other subjects. The surviving Daodejing manuscripts were either hidden on purpose or simply forgotten about. Some were not unearthed until as late as 1993.
We compared a lot of research by various archeologists and historians before deciding on this as the most accurate and correct version. But one must allow that it may not be perfect, or the actual and original as from the hand of Laozi himself.
基督教 is the Chinese, Japanese and Korean word for "Christianity." Just as in English, this word is often used to mean "Protestant" but includes Catholics in the true definition.
It is the word used to refer to the whole "Christian religion" or "Christian Faith" and therefore, it can be translated as "Christianity." However, used as an adjective in regards to a person, it would translate as "Christian." But more like saying "His religion is Christianity" rather than a noun form.
If you break it apart, the characters mean Base/Foundation Leading/Supervising Religion/Teaching. It makes more sense in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The first two characters together are translated as "Christ." So you can also say this means "Christ's Religion" or "Christ's Teachings" when directly translated, or in reverse, "The Religion of Christ" or "The Teaching of Christ."
Notes: The last character has a slight difference in one stroke - however, in calligraphic form, this will not be apparent. This entry can easily be read by any Korean person who knows Hanja characters (Chinese characters used in Korean).
First off, this should only be used in context of Japanese martial arts. In Chinese, it's a rather sad title (like a broken heart). In Chinese, the first character alone means destroyed, spoiled, ruined, injured, cruel, oppressive, savage, incomplete, disabled. However, in Japanese, it's remainder, leftover, balance, or lingering.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence in both languages.
殘心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining or lingering spirit. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness and mental follow-through. However, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a technique, where a link or connection between uke and nage is preserved. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.
In modern Japan (and Simplified Chinese), they use a different version of the first character, as seen to the right. Click on this character to the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version of lingering mind / zanshin.
These four characters together relay the meaning that can be expressed in English as, "When three people say there's a tiger running in the street, you believe it."
Of course, there is an ancient story behind this idiom...
三人成虎 is actually a proverb that resulted from a conversation that occurred around 300 B.C.
The conversation was between the king of the Wei kingdom and one of the king's ministers named Pang Cong.
It was near the end of one of many wars, this time with the Zhao kingdom. Pang Cong was to be sent by the king to the Zhao kingdom with the king's son who was to be held hostage. It was common at the time for a king to make his son a hostage to secure stable peace between warring kingdoms.
Before minister Pang Cong departed, he asked his king, "If one person told you there was a tiger running in the street, would you believe it?."
"No," the king said.
The minister continued, "What if two people told you?"
The king replied, "Well, I would have my doubts but I might believe it."
The minister continued, "So, what if three people told you that there is a tiger running in the streets?"
The king replied, "Yes, I would believe it, it must be true if three people say it."
The minister then reminded the king, "Your son and I are now traveling far away to live in the distant Zhao kingdom - much farther from your palace than the street. Rumors may fly about me in my absence, so I hope your majesty will weight such rumors appropriately."
The king replied, "I have every trust in you, do not worry"
While the minister was gone, the king's enemies gossiped about minister Pang Cong on many occasions. At first, the king thought nothing of these comments and rumors. But slowly as the rumors mounted, the king began to suspect ill of his minister.
Some time later when peace was well-established, the minister and prince were freed and returned to the kingdom of Wei. The king received his son, BUT DID NOT EVEN SUMMON MINISTER PANG CONG TO THE PALACE!
Hopefully this story will help you see how dangerous words can be when used to promote rumors, or create ill will. And perhaps will inspire you to not believe everything you hear.
There is also a secondary suggestion in this idiom that gossip is as ferocious as a tiger. Some Chinese people who don't know the ancient story above may believe that this scroll means that rumors are as vicious as three tigers.
Note: This proverb appears in my Korean dictionary but is not well-known in Korea.
This is a nice Asian proverb if you know a vintner or wine seller - or wine lover - although the actual meaning might not be exactly what you think or hope.
The literal meaning is that someone drinking wine is more likely to let the truth slip out. It can also be translated as, "People speak their true feelings after drinking alcohol."
It's long-believed in many parts of Asia that one can not consciously hold up a facade of lies when getting drunk, and therefore the truth will come out with a few drinks.
I've had the experience where a Korean man would not trust me until I got drunk with him (I was trying to gain access to the black market in North Korea which is tough to do as an untrusted outsider) - so I think this idea is still well-practiced in many Asian countries.
Please note that there are two common ways to write the second character of this phrase. The way it's written will be left up to the mood of the calligrapher, unless you let us know that you have a certain preference.
One of the most famous types of martial arts in the world - and not just because of Bruce Lee.
Some translate the meaning as "Accomplishment by Great Effort." I think this is partially true but directly translated it literally means "Merit/Achievement/Accomplishment Man." The word "fu" can sometimes mean "husband" or "porter" but in this case, it can only mean "man." However, few in China will think "man" when they hear the word "Gong Fu" spoken.
This term is also used for things other than martial arts. In fact, it's used to refer to a person with excellent skills in crafts that require a great deal of effort such as cooking, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy.
What a lot of people don't know is that the spelling of "Kung Fu" was actually taken from the old Wade Giles form of Romanization. Using this method, the sounds of the English "G" and "K" were both written as "K" and an apostrophe after the "K" told you it was supposed to sound like a "G." Nobody in the west knew this rule, so most people pronounce it with a "K-sound." And so Gong Fu will always be Kung Fu for most westerners.
Also, just to educate you a little more, the "O" in "Gong" has a sound like the English word "oh."
The popular Chinese dish "Kung Pao Chicken" suffers from the same problem. It should actually be "Gong Bao Chicken."
Historical note: Many will claim that Kung Fu was invented by the monks of the Shaolin monastery. This fact is argued in both directions by scholars of Chinese history. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the Shaolin Monks brought the original fame to Kung Fu many generations ago.
Japanese note: While most Japanese martial artists will recognize these characters, Katakana is more often used to approximate the pronunciation of "Kung Fu" with "カンフー." Some will argue as to whether this should be considered a Japanese word at all.
See Also: Bruce Lee
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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|
|True to Yourself||真實的自己|
|zuò zhēn shí de zì jǐ|
zhen1 shi2 de zi4 ji3
zhen shi de zi ji
|chen shih te tzu chi
|My True Love||真実の愛||shin jitsu no ai|
|shinai||zhēn ài / zhen1 ai4 / zhen ai / zhenai||chen ai / chenai|
|My True Love||我心真愛|
|wǒ xīn zhēn ài|
wo3 xin1 zhen1 ai4
wo xin zhen ai
|wo hsin chen ai
|真 or 眞|
|shin / makoto||zhēn / zhen1 / zhen||chen|
|Dream Come True|
|dé zhì / de2 zhi4 / de zhi / dezhi||te chih / techih|
|shí / shi2 / shi||shih|
|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
|Once in a Lifetime||一期一會|
|ichigoichie||yī qī yī huì|
yi1 qi1 yi1 hui4
yi qi yi hui
|i ch`i i hui
i chi i hui
|Sincerity and Devotion||至誠|
|Only the sleepless know the length of night||不眠之夜長久交知人心|
|bù mián zhī yè cháng jiǔ jiāo zhī rén xīn|
bu4 mian2 zhi1 ye4 chang2 jiu3 jiao1 zhi1 ren2 xin1
bu mian zhi ye chang jiu jiao zhi ren xin
|pu mien chih yeh ch`ang chiu chiao chih jen hsin
pu mien chih yeh chang chiu chiao chih jen hsin
|You are who you hang out with.||挨金似金挨玉似玉||āi jīn sì jīn āi yù sì yù|
ai1 jin1 si4 jin1 ai1 yu4 si4 yu4
ai jin si jin ai yu si yu
|ai chin ssu chin ai yü ssu yü
|Strong bones come from hard knocks||不磕不碰骨頭不硬|
|bù kē bù pèng gǔ tóu bù yìng|
bu4 ke1 bu4 peng4 gu3 tou2 bu4 ying4
bu ke bu peng gu tou bu ying
|pu k`o pu p`eng ku t`ou pu ying
pu ko pu peng ku tou pu ying
|Earth||地||chi / ji / tsushi / tsuchi||dì / di4 / di||ti|
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33
|zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě|
zhi1 ren2 zhe3 zhi1 ye3 zi4 zhi1 zhe3 ming2 ye3 sheng4 ren2 zhe3 you3 li4 ye3 zi4 sheng4 zhe3 qiang2 ye3 zhi1 zu2 zhe3 fu4 ye3 qiang2 xing2 zhe3 you3 zhi4 ye3 bu4 zhi1 qi2 suo3 zhe3 jiu3 ye3 si3 er2 bu4 wang2 zhe3 shou4 ye3
zhi ren zhe zhi ye zi zhi zhe ming ye sheng ren zhe you li ye zi sheng zhe qiang ye zhi zu zhe fu ye qiang xing zhe you zhi ye bu zhi qi suo zhe jiu ye si er bu wang zhe shou ye
|chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che ch`iang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh ch`iang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih ch`i so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che chiang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh chiang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih chi so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
|jī dū jiào|
ji1 du1 jiao4
ji du jiao
|chi tu chiao
|zan shin / zanshin||cán xīn / can2 xin1 / can xin / canxin||ts`an hsin / tsanhsin / tsan hsin|
|Tiger Rumor||三人成虎||sān rén chéng hǔ|
san1 ren2 cheng2 hu3
san ren cheng hu
|san jen ch`eng hu
san jen cheng hu
|In Wine there is Truth||酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言|
|jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán|
jiu3 hou4 tu3 zhen1 yan2
jiu hou tu zhen yan
|chiu hou t`u chen yen
chiu hou tu chen yen
|功夫||kan fu / ku fu|
kanfu / kufu
|gōng fu / gong1 fu / gong fu / gongfu||kung fu / kungfu|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as One True Kanji, One True Characters, One True in Mandarin Chinese, One True Characters, One True in Chinese Writing, One True in Japanese Writing, One True in Asian Writing, One True Ideograms, Chinese One True symbols, One True Hieroglyphics, One True Glyphs, One True in Chinese Letters, One True Hanzi, One True in Japanese Kanji, One True Pictograms, One True in the Chinese Written-Language, or One True in the Japanese Written-Language.