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Oriental Art in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an Oriental Art calligraphy wall scroll here!

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

  1. Art

  2. Art of War

  3. Art of Healing

  4. Sun Tzu - Art of War

  5. Beauty: The art of makeup / cosmetics

  6. Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

  7. Way of Life / Art of Life

  8. Martial Arts / Budo

  9. Wing Chun Fist Maxims

10. Martial Arts Master

11. Furinkazan

12. Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open

13. Dance / Dancing

14. Drunken Fist

15. Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

16. Bojutsu / Bojitsu

17. Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour

18. Charm / Grace

19. Wabi Sabi

20. Wing Chun

21. Green Fire

22. Kintsukuroi

23. Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu

24. Shaolin Kung Fu

25. Shaolin Chuan / Shao Lin Quan

26. Jesus

27. Elegant / Exquisite / Grace

28. Jujitsu / Jujutsu

29. Johrei / Jyorei

30. Taekwondo

31. Ninjutsu / Ninjitsu

32. Blacksmith

33. Grandmaster

34. Iaido

35. Judo

36. Jeet Kune Do

37. Sun Tzu: Regard Your Soldiers as Children

38. Avenger

39. Naginata / Halberd

40. Nurse

41. Aikido

42. Griffin / Gryphon

43. Beauty of Nature

44. Jackie Chan

45. Karate-Do

46. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

47. Brevity: Fewer Words are Best

48. Words Have Enormous Weight...

49. Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose

50. Ba Ji Quan

51. Shihan

52. Let Us Try

53. Ninpo

54. Bonsai / Penzai

55. You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes

56. Balance / Peace

57. Achieve Inner Peace; Find Deep Understanding

58. Daodejing / Tao Te Ching

59. Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand

60. Geisha

61. Shaolin

62. Katana

63. Zendo / The Zen Way

64. Joshua 24:15

65. Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

66. Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

67. A Bright Future

68. Wing Chun Fist Maxims

69. Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

70. Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

71. Hapkido

72. Double Happiness Guest Book

73. Kyuki-Do

74. Life in Balance / Balancing Life


Art

China yì shù
Japan geijutsu
Art Vertical Wall Scroll

藝術 is a Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean Hanja word that means art, as in fine art, the arts, or artwork.

Art

China yǎ tè
Art Vertical Wall Scroll

亞特 is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Art.

Art

Japan aato
Art Vertical Wall Scroll

アート is the name Art written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese).


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Art of War

China bīng fǎ
Japan hyou hou
Art of War Vertical Wall Scroll

兵法 means "Art of War." It also part of the title of a famous book of tactics by Sun Tzu. 兵法 could also be translated as "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures." If you are a military tactician, this is the wall scroll for you.


See Also:  Military

Art of Healing

China yī dào
Japan idou
Art of Healing Vertical Wall Scroll

醫道 means art of healing or medical skill.

This can also refer to a Korean TV show, Hur Jun about an ancient doctor. The Chinese-subtitled version of the show is also quite popular in China.

While this is a common title in Chinese and Korean, it's not used as often in Japanese where someone might read it as "medical course" or "the way of medicine".

Sun Tzu - Art of War

military strategy, tactics, and procedure
China sūn zǐ bīng fǎ
Japan son shi hyou hou
Sun Tzu - Art of War Vertical Wall Scroll

孫子兵法 is the full title of the most famous book of military proverbs about warfare.

The English title is "Sun Tzu's The Art of War."

The last two characters have come to be known in the west as "The Art of War" but a better translation would be, "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures."

Note: Sometimes the author's name is Romanized as "Sun Zi" or "Sunzi."

It's written the same in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Military | Warrior

Beauty: The art of makeup / cosmetics

China měi róng
Japan biyou
Beauty: The art of makeup / cosmetics Vertical Wall Scroll

In Chinese, this is the title for the art of beauty, as applying makeup or cosmetics to enhance beauty.

Note: In Japanese and Korean, this takes the meaning of beautiful face or beauty of figure or form. Be sure you know who your audience is, and have matched the desired meaning.

Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

China dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
Japan dou ten chi shou hou
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis Vertical Wall Scroll

The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.

It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:

1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.

2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.

3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.

4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.

5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).


Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.

CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.

Way of Life / Art of Life

China shēng huó fǎ
Japan seikatsuhou
Way of Life / Art of Life Vertical Wall Scroll

生活法 is a Japanese and Chinese title meaning, "art of living" or "way of life."

This can also be translated a few other ways, such as, "rule of life" and "the act of living."

The "art" title kind of comes from the fact that the last character is the same as the book, "The Art of War." So when you write your book, this is the title for, "The Art of Life," in Chinese and Japanese.

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.

Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1)

Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1) Vertical Wall Scroll

A customer asked me to split these Wing Chun maxims into two parts, so he could order a couplet. It thought this was a good idea, so it's been added here.

Chinese text of part 1:
1 有手黐手,無手問手
2 來留區送, 甩手直沖
3 怕打終歸打, 貪打終被打
4 粘連迫攻, 絕不放鬆
5 來力瀉力, 借力出擊

A couplet is a set of two wall scrolls that start and finish one phrase or idea. Often, couplets are hung with the first wall scroll on the right side, and the second on the left side of a doorway or entrance. The order in Chinese is right-to-left, so that's why the first wall scroll goes on the right as you face the door.

Of course, couplets can also be hung together on a wall. Often they can be hung to flank an alter, or table with incense, or even flanking a larger central wall scroll. See an example here from the home of Confucius

Be sure to order both part 1 and 2 together. One without the other is like Eve without Adam.

Martial Arts Master

China wǔ yún zhě
Japan bugeisha
Martial Arts Master Vertical Wall Scroll

武芸者 is the Japanese Kanji title for "Martial Arts Master." It suggests that you have reached at least the level of black belt, and are probably to the level where you are ready to become an instructor.

Please consider carefully where you stand before ordering this phrase on a wall scroll. If you are not a master, this will make you look a bit foolish.

If you want to get this as a gift for your master at the dojo. Try to discreetly make sure this term is used in your school. Different schools and styles of Japanese martial arts use different terms. You may notice in the Romaji and the characters, this has the same characters as "geisha" which means "person skilled in arts" (what a geisha girl really is). The title here has the character for "martial," "warrior," and/or "military" in front of it. Therefore the literal translation is "martial art person."

These Kanji are valid Chinese characters and Korean Hanja but this title does not really make sense in Chinese and not often used in Korean, though a Chinese or Korean would be able to guess the meaning by looking at the first and last characters.

Furinkazan

military strategy
China fēng lín huǒ shān
Japan fuu rin ka zan
Furinkazan Vertical Wall Scroll

風林火山 is the battle strategy and proverb of Japanese feudal lord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573 A.D.).

This came from the Art of War by Chinese strategist and tactician Sun Tzu (Sunzi).

You can think of this as a sort of abbreviation to remind officers and troops how to conduct battle.

風林火山 is literally a word list: Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain.

The more expanded meaning is supposed to be...

"Swift as the wind, quiet as the forest, fierce as fire, and immovable as a mountain"

"As fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain"

"Move as swift as the wind, stay as silent as a forest, attack as fierce as fire, undefeatable defense like a mountain"

"Move swiftly like the wind, stay silent like the forest, attack fiercely like fire, take tactical position on the mountain"


See Also:  Art of War

Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open

China àn dǎ hú li míng dǎ láng
Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open Vertical Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Hunt foxes stealthily, [and] hunt wolves openly [just as they themselves do].

Figuratively, this means:
Different opponents require different appropriate strategies.

This is a suggestion that you should know your enemy, and know that each enemy is different, that therefore requires a specialized approach (attack).


See Also:  Art of War Military

Dance / Dancing

China wǔ dǎo
Japan butou
Dance / Dancing Vertical Wall Scroll

舞蹈 is the clearest way to express the art of dancing in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. If you are a dancer, or love the art of dance, this is the calligraphy selection for you.

Drunken Fist

(A legitimate style of Kung Fu)
China zuì quán
Japan suiken
Drunken Fist Vertical Wall Scroll

Drunken Fist is a traditional Chinese martial art / technique of Kung Fu.

It is a northern style of martial art that imitates a drunk person in its movements. Many staggering movements serve to deceive the opponent and keep them off-balance.

Some consider Drunken Fist to be among the harder styles of martial arts due to the need for powerful joints and fingers.


See Also:  Drunken Monkey

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

China zhí bǐ zhí jī
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself Vertical Wall Scroll

This proverb is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself. There is a secondary four characters that come after this in the Art of War (not included here) which suggest you cannot lose a battle when you follow this philosophy.

In a very literal and somewhat-boring way, this can also be translated as, "Estimate correctly one's strength as well as that of one's opponent."

Bojutsu / Bojitsu

The art of using a stick as a weapon
China bàng shù
Japan bou jutsu
Bojutsu / Bojitsu Vertical Wall Scroll

棒術 is the title Bōjutsu (though some use the romanization Bojitsu). A martial art centered around the use of a "bō" or staff as a weapon.

This title is a combination of the Japanese word "bō" (which means staff, stick, club, rod, pole, or cudgel) with the Japanese word "jutsu" (which means art, or technique).

While this word can be pronounced in Chinese (bang shu), it's not a common term in China. Please consider this title to be "Japanese only."

Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour

China yǎng bīng qiān rì, yàng bīng yì shí
Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour Vertical Wall Scroll

Nothing could be more true. When I was in the Marine Corps, we trained for years for combat that often lasts only hours.

This Chinese proverb also reminds me of a common phrase used in the military to describe combat: "Weeks of total boredom, punctuated with five minutes of shear terror."

This may have some roots in Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Though I can not find this passage in his writings.

On the subject of the Art of War, if you have a favorite passage, we can create a custom calligraphy scroll with that phrase.

Charm / Grace

China shén yùn
Japan shi nin
Charm / Grace Vertical Wall Scroll

神韻 is the Chinese and Japanese word for charm or grace (in poetry or art) or exceptional artistry.

Wabi Sabi

Japan wabi sabi
Wabi Sabi Vertical Wall Scroll

侘寂 is Wabi-Sabi, the aesthetic sense in Japanese art emphasizing quiet simplicity and subdued refinement.


More about this subject at Wikipedia: Wabi Sabi

Wing Chun

China yǒng chūn
HK wing2 cheun1
Japan ei haru
Wing Chun Vertical Wall Scroll

This martial arts technique has an oral history (versus a written one) so very little can be said for sure about its origins.
Wing Chun (or Wing Cheun) is a Chinese martial art that emphasizes short combat strokes.

The characters literally mean "Singing Spring" (as in springtime).

If you are wondering, the spelling and pronunciation of this martial arts style in English comes from the Cantonese pronunciation of these characters. The second character sounds similar in both Mandarin and Cantonese but the first is quite different.

Note: This title can be pronounced in Japanese but only a Japanese practitioner of Wing Chun would recognize or understand this title. It is not considered to be a Japanese word or martial art at all.

Green Fire

China lú huǒ chún qīng
Green Fire Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally means, "[The] furnace fire [has become] pure green.

爐火純青 is an allusion to Daoist alchemy. figuratively, this speaks of an art or technique brought to the point of perfection.

Kintsukuroi

Japan kintsukuroi
Kintsukuroi Vertical Wall Scroll

金繕い is kintsukuroi or kinzukuroi, the Japanese art of repairing pottery with a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, etc.

I added this because many people searched for this title. Not sure how appropriate this is for a calligraphy wall scroll.

Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu

China jiàn shù
Japan kenjutsu
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll

In Japanese, the modern definition, using simple terms is "A martial art involving swords" or "The art of the sword." However, in Chinese, this is the word for fencing (as in the Olympic sport).

I will suppose that you want this for the Japanese definition which comes from skills and techniques developed in the 15th century. At that time, Kenjutsu (or swordsmanship) was a strictly military art taught to Samurai and Bushi (soldiers). The fact that swords are rarely used in military battles anymore, and with the pacification of Japan after WWII, Kenjutsu is strictly a ceremonial practice often studied as a form of martial art (more for the discipline aspect rather than practical purpose).

Language note: The Korean definition is close the Japanese version described above. However, it should be noted that this can mean "fencing" depending on context in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

術Character alternative notes: Japanese tend to write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. It is a very slight difference, and the two forms were merged under the same computer font code point (thus, you will not see the Japanese version in Kanji images shown during the options selection process). If you choose our Japanese Master Calligrapher, this will be automatically written in the proper Japanese form.
Since there are about 5 common ways to write the sword character, if you are particular about which version you want, please note that in the "special instructions" when you place your order.

Romanization note: This term is often Romanized as Kenjitsu, however, following the rules of Japanese Romaji, it should be Kenjutsu.

Shaolin Kung Fu

China shǎo lín gōng fu
Japan sho rin kan fu
Shaolin Kung Fu Vertical Wall Scroll

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years.

少林功夫 is the full title, "Shao Lin Kung Fu."

Shaolin Chuan / Shao Lin Quan

China shǎo lín quán
Shaolin Chuan / Shao Lin Quan Vertical Wall Scroll

少林拳 is the title of the martial art (style of Kung Fu) that is taught to the monks and students in the Shaolin Buddhist Monastery. The addition of Chuan or Quan which means fist is what signifies that you are talking about this school or form of martial arts.

Jesus

Japan jiizasu
Jesus Vertical Wall Scroll

ジーザス is the name Jesus written in Katakana (phonetic Japanese). ジーザス is a common version that approximates pronunciation in English. However, there are many variations for writing Jesus in Japanese, and it's hard to come up with an absolute answer (transliteration of names is more art than science).


Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Elegant / Exquisite / Grace

China měi miào
Japan bimyou
Elegant / Exquisite / Grace Vertical Wall Scroll

Beyond elegant and exquisite elegance, this is also the word used to say "beautiful" or "marvelous" when referring to a work of art.

Can also be translated as exquisiteness, gracefulness.

Note: Not a commonly used word in Japanese.

Jujitsu / Jujutsu

China róu shù
Japan juu jutsu
Jujitsu / Jujutsu Vertical Wall Scroll

柔術 has been somewhat incorrectly spelled and pronounced "Jujitsu" for some time in the English-speaking world. The correct Japanese Romaji is Jujutsu or Juujutsu.

A little background on the word: By combining the Kanji pronounced "Ju" (which means flexible, pliable, gentle, yielding) with the Kanji pronounced "Jutsu" (which means art, or technique), we get a meaning that can be translated as "flexible technique," "gentle art" or "yielding technique."
柔術 does make sense in Chinese as well, although pronounced, "rou shu" in China.

The Jujutsu system has a history in Japan that started well-before the 1600's. Some see this style as a variation of the "Empty Hand Method" (Karate-do). Even the samurai of old used some Jujutsu methods in defending themselves with their unarmed hands against weapons that could pierce their heavy armor.

There are convoluted relationships between various schools and systems of martial arts but it's generally accepted that Jujutsu led to the development of Judo and a few other variations.

Johrei / Jyorei

Japan jourei
Johrei / Jyorei Vertical Wall Scroll

Jyorei or Johrei is a healing art that uses divine light to dissolve the spiritual impurities that are the source of all physical, emotional, and personal problems.

浄霊 / 浄靈 is a Japanese title that can refer to the purification of spirit described above, but this is also the word for exorcism in Japanese.


Romanization variations include Jyorei, Johrei, Jourei and Jore. Regardless of romanization, the actual pronunciation is like "Joe Ray."

Taekwondo

China tái quán dào
Japan te kon do
Taekwondo Vertical Wall Scroll

跆拳道 is one of the most widespread types of martial arts in the world as well as being an Olympic sport. Taekwondo was born in Korea with influences of Chinese and Japanese styles, combined with traditional Korean combat skills. Some will define it as the "Korean art of empty-handed self-defense."

In the simplest translation, the first character means "kick," the second character can mean either "fist" or "punching" the third means "way" or "method." Altogether, you could say this is "Kick Punch Method." When heard or read in various Asian languages, all will automatically think of this famous Korean martial art. It is written the same in Japanese Kanji, Chinese, and Korean Hanja characters - so the appearance of the characters are rather universal. However, you should note that there is another way to write this in modern Korean Hangul characters which looks like the image to the right. Taekwondo Hangul Characters

We suggest the original Korean Hanja (Chinese characters) for a wall scroll but if you really need the Hangul version, you must use master calligrapher Xing An-Ping: Order Taekwondo in Korean Hangul

Note: Taekwondo is sometimes Romanized as Tae-Kwondo, Tae Kwon Do, Taekwon-do, Taegwondo, Tae Gweon Do, Tai Kwon Do, Taikwondo, Taekwando, Tae Kwan Do and in Chinese Taiquandao, Tai Quan Dao, Taichuando, or Tai Chuan Tao.

Ninjutsu / Ninjitsu

China rěn shù
Japan ninjutsu
Ninjutsu / Ninjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll

忍術 is the "art of the ninja" in Japanese. Most Japanese people associate ninjas with some degree of romance and reverence to Japan's ancient past. But most will accept that the ninja is an idea or way of life whose time has passed. However, this has not stopped floods of movies about ninjas and dojos offering Ninjutsu training from keeping the idea of the ninja alive in modern times.

My modern Japanese dictionary defines this term as "assassination, stealth and combat techniques," or "fighting art of the ninja."

忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. Because this is specifically a Japanese title, we only suggest our Japanese master calligrapher for this selection - and you will get the form shown to the right if you do that (please ignore the fact that some of the images you see during the following pages in the options process will be the Chinese/alternate form).

Blacksmith

Japan tan ya
Blacksmith Vertical Wall Scroll

鍛冶 is a Japanese title that means blacksmith, or the art of smithing.

鍛 means to forge or wrought.

冶 means to melt, smelt, cast, and/or mould.

This can also be a Japanese surname with romanization of Kaji, Kamachi, Kajiya, or Imoji.

Grandmaster

Japan daishihan
Grandmaster Vertical Wall Scroll

大師範 is a Japanese title for master, grandmaster, or senior instructor.

大師範 is a bit of an odd selection for a piece of calligraphy artwork, so proceed with caution. Better to find an appropriate phrase or title (such as the name of the martial art), and then add something like "Grandmaster Smith" as a smaller inscription down the side.

Iaido

Japan iaidou
Iaido Vertical Wall Scroll

居合道 is the Japanese Kanji title for the martial art of Iaidō, which emphasizes the smooth and elegant draw of the sword from its scabbard.

These same characters are used in Chinese and old Korean but not with the same meaning as read in Japanese. Therefore, this should be considered a "Japanese only" title.

Judo

China róu dào
Japan judo
Judo Vertical Wall Scroll

柔道 is the martial art invented in Japan and known as "Judo" around the world.

Translated directly, it means "Gentle Way" or "Flexible Way"

More about Judo

Jeet Kune Do

China jié quán dào
HK jeet kune do
Japan sekken dou
Jeet Kune Do Vertical Wall Scroll

In Cantonese, this is Jeet Kune Do. Often it is explained as the "Way of the Intercepting Fist." 截拳道 is a martial art style founded by Bruce Lee.

The first character means to cut-off or sever.
The second character is fist.
The last character means way or method.


See Also:  Bruce Lee

Sun Tzu: Regard Your Soldiers as Children

China shì cù rú yīng ér gù kě yǐ yú zhī fù shēn xī shì cù rú ài zǐ gù kě yú zhī jū sǐ
Sun Tzu: Regard Your Soldiers as Children Vertical Wall Scroll

This is an entry from the 10th section within the Earth/Terrain chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War.

This is often translated as, "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death."

Avenger

China fù chóu zhě
Avenger Vertical Wall Scroll

復仇者 is a Chinese title that means avenger or taker of revenge.

The first two characters literally mean avenge, vengeance, reprisal, or revenge.

The last character is a way to say person. This last character is like adding -er or -ist to subjects like write and art to get writer and artist.

Naginata / Halberd

Japan naginata
Naginata / Halberd Vertical Wall Scroll

Samurai with Naginata 薙刀 is the Japanese word naginata.

A naginata is a special kind of halberd or long sword carried by some Samurai and other warriors. It is still used ceremonially in some schools of martial arts.

Nurse

China kān hù
Japan kango
Nurse Vertical Wall Scroll

看護 is one title (of a few) for nurse in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

In most cases, this title refers to a hospital nurse, those who participate in the art of nursing, and is a term for an army nurse (especially in Japan).

The first character means, "to look after," or "to watch over." The second character means, "to protect," or "to guard."

Aikido

China hé qì dào
Japan ai ki dou
Aikido Vertical Wall Scroll

合気道 is the modern Japanese way to write Aikido.

Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art.

While Aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the West.

Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."


Please note that while the original 合氣道 characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.

Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Martial Arts | Hapkido

Griffin / Gryphon

China yīng tóu shī
Griffin / Gryphon Vertical Wall Scroll

Griffin 鷹頭獅 is the Chinese title for a Griffin.

This refers to the legendary creature with the head, talons, and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. Sometimes also spelled Gryphon or Griffon. From the Greek γρύφων or γρύπων, or Latin Gryphus.

This Chinese title, 鷹頭獅, literally means, "Eagle Head Lion."

Beauty of Nature

Ka-Chou-Fuu-Getsu
Japan ka chou fuu getsu
Beauty of Nature Vertical Wall Scroll

花鳥風月 is the Japanese Kanji proverb for "Beauties of Nature."

The dictionary definition is, "the traditional themes of natural beauty in Japanese aesthetics."

The Kanji each represents an element of nature that constitute beauty in traditional Japanese art and culture.

The Kanji breakdown:
花 = ka = flower (also pronounced "hana")
鳥 = chou = bird (also pronounced "tori").
風 = fuu = wind (also pronounced "kaze").
月 = getsu = moon (also pronounced "tsuki")

Jackie Chan

China chéng lóng
HK sing lung
Japan jakkii chiin
Jackie Chan Vertical Wall Scroll

Jackie Chan 成龍 is the Chinese and Japanese stage name of Jackie Chan, Kung Fu film, and Cantonese pop star icon.

His birth name was 陳港生 (romanized as Chan Kong-sang or Can Gong-sang in Cantonese, or Chén Gǎng-shēng in Mandarin.

Karate-Do

China kōng shǒu dào
Japan kara te dou
Karate-Do Vertical Wall Scroll

Credit is given that karate started in China but migrated and became refined, and vastly popular in Japan. The literal meaning of these characters is "empty hand method" or "empty hand way." Karate is a martial art that uses no blades of weapons other than the "natural weapons" that God gave to humans (fists and feet). The last character somehow became optional but the meaning of that character is "method" or "the way" as in Taoism / Daoism.

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

China quán fǎ
Japan kenpou
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Vertical Wall Scroll

This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist," or even "law of the fist." The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.

Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.

These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).

The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).

Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:

1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.

2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist."

3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense." I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.

Brevity: Fewer Words are Best

China shǎo shuō wéi jiā
Brevity: Fewer Words are Best Vertical Wall Scroll

Get to the point quickly with the fewest words possible is the suggestion of this Chinese proverb. But taking it deeper, there is a warning that using too many words may act to "tip your hat" or "show your hand" (to use two American idioms).

It can also be said that using many words does not make the message have more value.

This proverb is really about the art of brevity.

Now my only hope is that I did not use too many words to explain this proverb.

Words Have Enormous Weight
One Word Worth Nine Caldrons

China yī yán jiǔ dǐng
Words Have Enormous Weight / One Word Worth Nine Caldrons Vertical Wall Scroll

Highly-Valued Bronze Tripod Caldron 一言九鼎 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times talk of profound or powerful words.

The literal meaning is, "one word [worth] nine [sacred] tripods." The tripod is a highly-prized three-legged (sometimes four-legged) metal pot or kettle of ancient China. They are often made of bronze, and the Emperor would have very large ones gilded in gold. See the image to the right for an example.

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose

China zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose Vertical Wall Scroll

This is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself, and thus with this complete understanding, you cannot lose.

This proverb is often somewhat-directly translated as, "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without defeat."

It can also be translated as, "If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can come out of hundreds of battles without danger," or "Know your enemy, know yourself, and your victory will not be threatened."

Ba Ji Quan

China bā jí quán
Japan hakkyo ku ken
Ba Ji Quan Vertical Wall Scroll

八極拳 is "Ba Ji Quan" or "Eight Extremes Fist."

Some also translate this as "Eight Extremities Fist," though I don't feel that's accurate.

八極拳 (Bājíquán) is a Chinese martial art that features explosive, short-range power and is famous for its elbow strikes. It originated in the Hebei Province in Northern China but spread to Taiwan and other places.

The full title is 開門八極拳 (Kāimén Bājíquán), which means Open-Door Bajiquan.

Other romanizations include: BaJiQuan, Pa Chi Ch`üan, or Pa Chi Chuan.

In Japan, this is known as Hakkyokuken.

Shihan

China shī fàn
Japan shi han
Shihan Vertical Wall Scroll

Shihan is a Japanese term, often used in Japanese martial arts.

In typical Japanese language, it can refer to a teacher or instructor. However, in martial arts, it's often an honorific title for an expert or master instructor.

Example: In Aikido the title can refer to someone with the rank of 7th dan. But other schools us it to mean a master who has earned the right to award black belts.

This term is also used in Chinese, where it refers to teacher-training or the art of teaching by example. It's used within the proper name of certain types of universities in China.

Let Us Try

Essayons
China cháng shì
Let Us Try Vertical Wall Scroll

Essayons 嘗試 is a close match for the English phrase, "let us try" or the French word "Essayons" as used by Combat Engineers in the U.S. Army.

嘗試 can also be translated as "to try" or "to attempt."

Even if you're not a Combat Engineer, this word should inspire you to attempt to accomplish difficult things. If you don't try, you are certain to fail, if you do try, at least there is a chance of success.

The worst thing is not failure, the worst thing is not trying at all.

Ninpo

China rěn fǎ
Japan nin pou
Ninpo Vertical Wall Scroll

忍法 is Ninpo which can be translated as "Ninja Arts" from Japanese.

If you want this to mean "Ninja Arts," you should consider this to be Japanese only. In Chinese, someone might read this as "patience law" or "the art of patience."

The first character can be associated with "Ninja" since it is the "Nin" of "Ninja." But the literal meaning is patience or perseverance. The second character means "law" or "method." Often this is extended to mean or be translated as "arts."

Within a Buddhist context (especially Chinese Buddhism), this is the method or stage of patience, the sixth of the seven stages of the Hīnayāna in the attainment of arhatship, or sainthood.

Bonsai / Penzai

Dwarf Tree Culture
China pén zāi
Japan bon sai
Bonsai / Penzai Vertical Wall Scroll

盆栽 is the word that refers to the culture, hobby and to the miniature trees themselves that have become popular around the world. Like many things, this art migrated from China to Japan some time ago but we tend to associate it with Japanese culture and even use the Japanese word in English.

Granted, in present day, this hobby seems to be more popular in Japan but still has a great following in China and even a little in Korea as well.

Note: Many people confuse the title of the bonsai tree with "banzai" which is a form of "hooray" in Japanese. I have also seen it misspelled as "bansai." The correct Romanization (Romaji) is "bonsai."

You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes

China qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī
You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes Vertical Wall Scroll

Any woman with affection for Asian art and you will love a gift of this Chinese proverb calligraphy on a wall scroll. She will melt in your arms as you tell her the meaning of these characters.

Contained in this phrase is a reference to the most beautiful woman in Chinese history. Her name was Xi Shi, and she was known to have good looks that need not fine robes or make up. Her charms were so powerful that she brought down an entire kingdom (in a successful effort to bring honor and pride back to her people).

This is a great way to express that the woman in your life is your one love.

Balance / Peace

China píng
Japan hira
Balance / Peace Vertical Wall Scroll

平 is a single-character that means balance in Chinese but it's not too direct or too specific about what kind of balance.

Chinese people often like calligraphy art that is a little vague or mysterious. In this way, you can decide what it means to you, and you'll be right.

平 is also part of a word that means peace in Chinese, Japanese and old Korean.

Some alternate translations of this single character include: balanced, peaceful, calm, equal, even, level, smooth or flat.

Note that in Japanese, this just means "level" or "flat" by itself (not the best choice for balance if your audience is Japanese).

Achieve Inner Peace; Find Deep Understanding

China níng jìng ér zhì yuǎn
Achieve Inner Peace; Find Deep Understanding Vertical Wall Scroll

Zhuge Liang

诸葛亮 Zhuge Liang

寧靜而致遠 is five characters from a longer ten-character proverb composed by Zhuge Liang about 1800 years ago.

The proverb means, "Your inner peace / tranquility / serenity will help you see or reach far (into the world)."

The last word means "far" but the deeper meaning is that you will surpass what you can currently see or understand. Perhaps even the idea of opening up vast knowledge and understanding of complex ideas.

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching

Except from Chapter 67
China yī yuē cí èr yuē jiǎn sān yuē bù gǎn wéi tiān xià xiān
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching Vertical Wall Scroll

This is an except from the 67th Chapter of Lao Tzu's (Lao Zi's) Te-Tao Ching (Dao De Jing). This is the part where the three treasures are discussed. In English, we'd say these three treasures are compassion, frugality, and humility. Some may translate these as love, moderation, and lack of arrogance. I have also seen them translated as benevolence, modesty, and "Not presuming to be at the forefront in the world." You can mix them up the way you want, as translation is not really a science but rather an art.

I should also explain that the first two treasures are single-character ideas, yet the third treasure was written out in six characters (there are also some auxiliary characters to number the treasures).

If Lao Tzu's words are important to you, then a wall scroll with this passage might make a great addition to your home.

Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand

China kōng shǒu quán fǎ
Japan kara te ken pou
Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand Vertical Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "karate" - technically they express "empty hand."

The last two express "fist law" which is Romanized from Japanese as "Kenpo" or "Kempo."

That "empty hand" translation can be understood better when you grasp the idea that karate is a martial art without weapons (other than the weapons organic to your body, such as your foot, hand, fist, etc). When you practice karate, you do so with empty hands (no weapons).

Note: There is also an antiquated way to write karate. It has the same pronunciation but a different first character which means "Tang" as in the Tang Dynasty. Some dojos use that form - let us know if you need that alternate form, and we'll add it for you.

Geisha

China yún zhě
Japan geisha
Geisha Vertical Wall Scroll

芸者 is the real basis for the way we spell geisha.

However, there are many more ways to refer to a woman that fills the role that westerners think of when they hear the word geisha.

In Japanese, these characters literally mean "artful person." But in English, it might be better translated as "a person (woman) highly trained/accomplished in the arts."

However, my Japanese dictionary says "a singing and dancing girl."

Many will argue as to whether "geisha" = "prostitute" or not. My Japanese friends seem to have the opinion that a geisha is so highly trained in the art playing musical instruments and dancing that the fact she might also be a prostitute is secondary to her performance on stage.

芸者 is a "Japanese only" term, they use a slightly different first character to express "geisha" in Chinese. Since this is a Japanese term, I have not included the Chinese version.

Shaolin

Little Forest
China shǎo lín
Japan sho rin
Shaolin Vertical Wall Scroll

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years. While there are many schools of Kung Fu in China, Shaolin are one of the more religiously devout and disciplined.

The title of Shaolin actually refers to a specific Buddhist monastery. It should be noted that the Shaolin were famous in China long before the Kung Fu TV show. Their fame in China is due to the monks' heroic and swift rescue an emperor during the Tang Dynasty. Most Chinese people are not keenly aware of the Kung Fu TV show, and have no idea who David Carradine is or anything about his character, Kwai Chang Caine.

Note: The literal meaning of these two characters is "little forest."

The fame of the Shaolin has spread all over Asia, as even though this is a Chinese title, the same characters are used in Japanese with the same meaning.

Katana

Japanese Samurai Sword
China dāo
Japan katana
Katana Vertical Wall Scroll

刀 is the Japanese Kanji for "sword." This refers to the style of sword carried by warriors, samurai, and shogun of ancient Japan.

With the pacification of Japan, such swords are now only used for ceremony and decoration. The true art of sword-smithing is all but lost in Japan with new sword production dedicated to making inexpensive replicas for the tourist and foreign market.

For those of you that want to ask whether I can get you a real antique sword. Let me tell you that most real Asian swords were melted down after WWII in Japan, and during the Great Leap Forward in China. Any remaining swords are family heirlooms that nobody will part with.

Please carefully note that the Japanese kanji character shown above is only for a Japanese audience. In China, this character means "knife." See our other entry for "sword" in Chinese.
Note: 刀 can mean knife, sword, or blade in Korean, depending on context.


See Also:  Sword

Zendo / The Zen Way

China chán dào
Japan zen dou
Zendo / The Zen Way Vertical Wall Scroll

This title is used in certain contexts but is not widely-known by the general population of China or Japan.

From Japanese, you will see this title romanized as "zendo," which is the brand name of a board game, and also a title used by some martial arts studios and karate dojos. Oddly, many translate this as "zen fist" although there is no "fist" in the title. If you literally translated this title, it would be "meditation way" or "meditation method."

In Chinese, this would be "chan dao" with the same literal meaning as the Japanese title. It's used in China by just a handful of martial arts styles/studios.

You should only order this title if you really understand the meaning, and it has some personal connection to you (such as practicing a martial art style that uses this title, or if you love the board game Zendo). Many who see your wall scroll will not be familiar with this title, and you'll have some explaining to do.


禪The first character can also be written in a more complex traditional way as shown to the right. Let us know in the special instructions for your calligraphy project if you want this style.

禅If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will automatically be written with an extra dot on top. This is the variant form of the original Chinese character which is commonly used in modern Japan Kanji. See sample to the right.

Joshua 24:15

This House Serves the LORD
China zhì yú wǒ hé wǒ jiā wǒ men bì dìng shì fèng yē hé huá
Joshua 24:15 Vertical Wall Scroll

This the last sentence of Joshua 24:15 in Chinese.

Joshua 24:15 in Chinese

What your
calligraphy
might look like
from our
Chinese Master
Calligrapher

Joshua 24:15 (KJV) ...as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15 (NIV) ...as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

We used the only official Christian Chinese Bible that I know of so that the translation would be as accurate and standard as possible. Any Chinese Christian worth their salt will easily be able to identify this verse from the Chinese words on this scroll.

I think it is a bit like having a secret code on your wall that quietly expresses to whom your are faithful.

A great gift for your devout Christian or Jewish friend if they happen to be fond of Asian art.

Or perhaps a wonderful "conversation starter" for your own home.

Note: If you are curious, the last three characters represent they way "LORD" is used in most English Bibles. In Chinese, this is actually the phonetic name in Mandarin Chinese for "Jehovah."

Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

Japan en sou
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Vertical Wall Scroll

〇 is the famous Enso symbol, which you will see widely-used by Japanese Zen Buddhists. In a twist, I am starting to see Enso used more and more by Chinese Buddhists.

Enso Circle


Here is the typical appearance of Enso artwork by Japanese calligrapher Kougetsu.

Enso is not a Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. There is some debate, but many consider Enso to be a religious symbol.

Some call this "The Circle of Enlightenment." Others call it the "Infinity Circle." If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji (円相) that make up the word "En-so," you could read it as "Mutual Circle" or "Circle of Togetherness." I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.

The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc.


Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

China tài jí quán
Japan tai kyoku ken
Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan Vertical Wall Scroll

太極拳 is the famous Taoist meditation and martial art exercise. The direct translation of these characters would be something like "grand ultimate fist" but that does not quite hit the mark for what this title really means.

An early-morning walk through any city in China near a park or open area will yield a view of Chinese people practicing this ancient technique.

The typical scene is an old man of no less than 80 years on this earth, with a wispy white beard and perhaps a sword in one hand. He makes slow moves that are impossibly smooth. He is steady-footed, and always in balance. For him, time is meaningless and proper form and technique is far more important than speed.

For the younger generation, faster moves may look impressive and seem smooth to the casual observer. But far more discipline and mental strength is needed to create perfectly smooth moves in virtual slow motion.

Note: There are two ways to Romanize these Chinese characters as seen in the title above. The pronunciation and actual characters are the same in Chinese. If you really used English sounds/words to pronounce this, it would be something like "tie jee chew-on" (just make the "chew-on" as one flowing syllable).

A Bright Future

Incredible 10,000-Mile Flight of the Peng
China péng chéng wàn lǐ
A Bright Future Vertical Wall Scroll

鵬程萬里 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times to wish someone a long and successful career.

It's really about the 10,000 Flight of the Peng (Peng, also known as Roc is a mythical fish that can turn into a bird and take flight).

Zhuangzi

庄子 - Zhuangzi

Breaking down each character:
1. Peng or Roc (a kind of bird).
2. Journey (in this case, a flight).
3. 10,000 (Ten Thousand).
4. Li is a unit of distance often referred to as a "Chinese Mile," though the real distance is about half a kilometer.

Direct Translation: "Peng's Journey [of] 10,000 Li."
Literal meaning: "The 10,000-Li Flying Range Of The Roc."
Perceived meaning: "To have a bright future" or "To go far."

This proverb/idiom comes from the book of Zhuangzi. It tells the tale of a huge fish which could turn into a gigantic bird. This bird was called "peng" and was many miles long. This legendary size allowed the Peng to fly from the Northern Sea to the Southern Sea in a single bound.

Wishing someone "a Peng's Journey of 10,000 Li," will imply that they will be able to travel far without stopping, and will have great success, a long career, and a prosperous future.

Wing Chun Fist Maxims

Wing Chun Kuen Kuit
Wing Chun Fist Maxims Vertical Wall Scroll

This is the chant or poem of Wing Chun. I call it a "chant" because it was meant to be a somewhat rhythmic poem to help practitioners memorize many aspects of Wing Chun.

You will see this referred to as, "Wing Chun Kuem Kuit." This Cantonese romanization is popular in the west (and there is no official way to romanize Cantonese, so many variations exist). In Mandarin it would be, "Yong Chun Quan Jue." The last character (kuit or kyut from Cantonese, jue or chüeh from Mandarin) kind of means "secrets of the art." It's a short way to write 口訣, meaning "mnemonic chant" or "rhyme for remembering."

In the west (especially in the military), we often use acronyms to remember things. There's no initials to make acronyms in Chinese, so in ancient times, chants like this are used to remember vast amounts of information.

This is the Chinese text:
1 有手黐手,無手問手
2 來留區送, 甩手直沖
3 怕打終歸打, 貪打終被打
4 粘連迫攻, 絕不放鬆
5 來力瀉力, 借力出擊
6 步步追形, 點點朝午
7 以形補手, 敗形不敗馬
8 腰馬一致, 心意合一
9 拳由心發, 動法無形
10 活人練活死功夫

I will presume you already know the meaning of the 10 maxims, so I will skip that to keep this calligraphy entry from getting too large.

Some think 练拳者必记 is the title but that just says, "Training fist people should remember:." Therefore, I've not included that in the calligraphy. However, you can put a note in the special instructions if you want it added.

Note: On a traditional calligraphy wall scroll, the characters will be written in vertical columns, starting from the right, and proceeding left.


Note: This is an except and variation from a huge 口訣. These 10 maxims are used extensively in Wing Chun training, and you'll find them all over the internet. Just know there is a much longer version out there, along with several variations and excepts like this one. If you know of, or want a different version, just contact me, and I will add it for you.

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

China qí lǐn
HK keilun
Japan kirin
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll

麒麟 is the title of a mythical beast of Asia.

The animal is thought to be related to the giraffe, and in some ways, it is a giraffe. However, it is often depicted with the horns of a dragon or deer and sometimes with the body like a horse but many variations exist.

In Japanese it is pronounced "Kirin" as in "Kirin Ichiban" beer.

Kirin - Mythical Beast and Great Japanese Beer!
Notes:

1. 麒麟 is sometimes spelled as "kylin".

2. In Japanese, this is the only Kanji word for giraffe. Therefore in Japan, this word needs context to know whether you are talking about the mythical creature or the long-necked giraffe of Africa.

3. Apparently, this was the first word used for regular giraffes in China (some were brought from Africa to China during the Ming Dynasty - probably around the year 1400). Though the mythical creature may have existed before, the name "qilin" was given to the "new giraffe". 麒麟 is because, more than 600 years ago, giraffes somewhat matched the mythical creature's description when Chinese people saw them for the first time. Later, to avoid such an ambiguous title, a three-character word was devised to mean a "giraffe of Africa". The characters for "qilin" shown here are only for the mythological version in modern Chinese.

4. More information about the qilin / kirin from Wikipedia.

5. This creature is sometimes translated as the "Chinese Unicorn", even though it is generally portrayed with two horns. I think this is done more for the fantasy aspect of the unicorn and because most westerners don't know what a qilin or kirin is (this avoids a long explanation by the translator).

6. In Korean, this can mean kirin or simply giraffe (usually the mythological creature is what they would think of when seeing these characters alone on a wall scroll).

Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

China tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū
Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do Vertical Wall Scroll

Taekwondo TenetsThis is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do." The actual title would be translated as, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo." It was originally written in Korean Hanja (Chinese characters used in Korea for about 1600 years).

General Choi's original calligraphy is shown to the right. Your custom calligraphy will be unique, and not an exact match, as each calligrapher has their own style.

In modern times, the common form of written Korean is Hangul (a phonetic character set). The table below shows the text in Hangul and Hanja along with a pronunciation guide and a brief English translation:

Traditional Korean HanjaModern Korean HangulPronunciationEnglish
跆拳道精神태권도정신tae gweon do jeong sinTaekwondo Spirit
禮儀예의ye yiCourtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality
廉耻염치yeom ciIntegrity / Sense of Honor
忍耐인내in naePatience / Perseverance / Endurance
克己극기geug giSelf-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation
百折不屈백절불굴baeg jeor bur gurIndomitable Spirit (Undaunted even after repeated attacks from the opponent)
Note that the pronunciation is the official version now used in South Korea. However, it is different than what you may be used to. For instance, "Taekwon-do" is "tae gweon do." This new romanization is supposed to be closer to actual Korean pronunciation.

Hapkido

Korean Martial Art of re-directing force
China hé qì dào
Japan ai ki do
Hapkido Vertical Wall Scroll

Hapkido is a mostly-defensive martial art of Korea. It has some connection to Aikido of Japan. In fact, they are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.

The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is a bit muddled in history. 合氣道 is probably due to the relationship between the two countries - especially during WWII when many Koreans became virtual slaves for the Japanese (many Koreans are still bitter about that, so many things were disassociated from having any Japanese origin).

Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
One way to translate this into English is "Harmonizing Energy Method." This makes since, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy, rather that fighting with strength against strength.

More Hapkido info

More notes:
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as "hap ki do," "hapki-do" "hab gi do" or "hapgido."

2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than can read English.

3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.

Double Happiness Guest Book

Customize a special Asian guest book for your wedding
China
Double Happiness Guest Book Vertical Wall Scroll

Start customizing a "Double Happiness Guest Book Wall Scroll" Here!

The paper panel length can be whatever you choose from 68cm to 135cm (27" to 53").

If you don't mention what paper length you want in the special instructions tab (on the next page), we'll make it about 100cm (40").

How many signatures fit

The medium size scroll with a 33cm x 100cm (13" x 40") paper panel can usually handle up to 89 signatures. That breaks down to 37 signatures per empty square and 15 signatures around the 囍 character. If you switch to a 135cm paper panel, add another 37 potential signatures.

We can splice two 135cm papers together, but that would be a crazy-long scroll. These are only estimates, your mileage may vary.


With silk panels this will yield a wall scroll about 155cm (61") long. That's enough for up to 89 signatures. Of course, that depends on if your guests just sign a brief salutation and name, or more verbose good wishes. Customer feedback is that 126 people can sign the 135cm long paper on a medium-sized scroll. If we go bigger than that, there will be a minor paper seam and an extra charge. Email me with your specifications if you need something special.

Most customers pick the festive red paper with gold flecks and white or ivory silk. Red is a good luck color in Chinese culture, thus the most popular choice. But, you can do any color combination that you want.

There is a long history of Chinese-character-use outside of mainland China. This Double Happiness character is also seen at weddings in Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as Chinese communities in Thailand, Indonesia, and elsewhere. While Japan borrowed Chinese characters into their language, you won't see 囍 as often at Japanese weddings.

Kyuki-Do

Korean Martial Art
China jī qì dào
Kyuki-Do Vertical Wall Scroll

擊氣道 is the title of the Kyuki-Do form of Korean martial arts.

In Korean Hangul, it's 격기도.

While "Kyuki-Do" is the most common romanized form of this title, the official Korean romanization is actually "Gyeog Gi Do" or "Gyeoggi-Do.">

The first character means to hit, strike, attack, rout, or break.
The second means "life energy" or "atmosphere."
The last means "the way" or "method."

FYI: The last two characters are the same as the last two in the titles Hapkido and Aikido.

I have included Mandarin Chinese pronunciation above, however, this term would only be known by Chinese people familiar with this style of martial arts. Consider this to be a Korean-only title.

Life in Balance / Balancing Life

The art of balancing your life
China píng héng rén shēng
Japan hei kou jin sei
Life in Balance / Balancing Life Vertical Wall Scroll

This title suggests that you are actively trying to keep your life in balance. Think of this as being the action-verb of seeking or having a balanced life.

The first two characters mean balance, equilibrium or keeping things equal.

The last two characters mean "life." Literally "human life."

Search for Oriental Art 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
Art藝術
艺术
geijutsuyì shù / yi4 shu4 / yi shu / yishui shu / ishu
Art亞特
亚特
yǎ tè / ya3 te4 / ya te / yateya t`e / yate / ya te
Artアートaato / ato
Art of War兵法hyou hou / hyouhou / hyo ho / hyohobīng fǎ / bing1 fa3 / bing fa / bingfaping fa / pingfa
Art of Healing醫道
医道
idou / idoyī dào / yi1 dao4 / yi dao / yidaoi tao / itao
Sun Tzu - Art of War孫子兵法
孙子兵法
son shi hyou hou
sonshihyouhou
son shi hyo ho
sonshihyoho
sūn zǐ bīng fǎ
sun1 zi3 bing1 fa3
sun zi bing fa
sunzibingfa
sun tzu ping fa
suntzupingfa
Beauty: The art of makeup
cosmetics
美容biyou / biyoměi róng / mei3 rong2 / mei rong / meirongmei jung / meijung
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis道天地將法
道天地将法
dou ten chi shou hou
doutenchishouhou
do ten chi sho ho
dotenchishoho
dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
daotiandijiangfa
tao t`ien ti chiang fa
taotientichiangfa
tao tien ti chiang fa
Way of Life
Art of Life
生活法seikatsuhou
seikatsuho
shēng huó fǎ
sheng1 huo2 fa3
sheng huo fa
shenghuofa
Martial Arts
Budo
武道bu dou / budou / bu do / budowǔ dào / wu3 dao4 / wu dao / wudaowu tao / wutao
Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1)有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊
有手黐手无手问手来留区送甩手直冲怕打终归打贪打终被打粘连迫攻绝不放松来力泻力借力出击
Martial Arts Master武芸者bugeishawǔ yún zhě
wu3 yun2 zhe3
wu yun zhe
wuyunzhe
wu yün che
wuyünche
Furinkazan風林火山
风林火山
fuu rin ka zan
fuurinkazan
fu rin ka zan
furinkazan
fēng lín huǒ shān
feng1 lin2 huo3 shan1
feng lin huo shan
fenglinhuoshan
Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open闇打狐狸明打狼
暗打狐狸明打狼
àn dǎ hú li míng dǎ láng
an4 da3 hu2 li ming2 da3 lang2
an da hu li ming da lang
andahulimingdalang
an ta hu li ming ta lang
antahulimingtalang
Dance
Dancing
舞蹈butou / butowǔ dǎo / wu3 dao3 / wu dao / wudaowu tao / wutao
Drunken Fist醉拳suikenzuì quán / zui4 quan2 / zui quan / zuiquantsui ch`üan / tsuichüan / tsui chüan
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself知彼知己zhí bǐ zhí jī
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1
zhi bi zhi ji
zhibizhiji
chih pi chih chi
chihpichihchi
Bojutsu
Bojitsu
棒術
棒术
bou jutsu / boujutsu / bo jutsu / bojutsubàng shù / bang4 shu4 / bang shu / bangshupang shu / pangshu
Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour養兵千日用兵一時
养兵千日用兵一时
yǎng bīng qiān rì, yàng bīng yì shí
yang3 bing1 qian1 ri4 yang4 bing1 yi4 shi2
yang bing qian ri yang bing yi shi
yang ping ch`ien jih yang ping i shih
yang ping chien jih yang ping i shih
Charm
Grace
神韻
神韵
shi nin / shininshén yùn / shen2 yun4 / shen yun / shenyunshen yün / shenyün
Wabi Sabi侘寂wabi sabi / wabisabi
Wing Chun詠春
咏春
ei haru / eiharuyǒng chūn
yong3 chun1
yong chun
yongchun
yung ch`un
yungchun
yung chun
Green Fire爐火純青
炉火纯青
lú huǒ chún qīng
lu2 huo3 chun2 qing1
lu huo chun qing
luhuochunqing
lu huo ch`un ch`ing
luhuochunching
lu huo chun ching
Kintsukuroi金繕いkintsukuroi
Kenjutsu
Kenjitsu
剣術
剑术
kenjutsujiàn shù / jian4 shu4 / jian shu / jianshuchien shu / chienshu
Shaolin Kung Fu少林功夫sho rin kan fu
shorinkanfu
shǎo lín gōng fu
shao3 lin2 gong1 fu
shao lin gong fu
shaolingongfu
shao lin kung fu
shaolinkungfu
Shaolin Chuan
Shao Lin Quan
少林拳shǎo lín quán
shao3 lin2 quan2
shao lin quan
shaolinquan
shao lin ch`üan
shaolinchüan
shao lin chüan
Jesusジーザスjiizasu / jizasu
Elegant
Exquisite
Grace
美妙bimyou / bimyoměi miào / mei3 miao4 / mei miao / meimiao
Jujitsu
Jujutsu
柔術
柔术
juu jutsu / juujutsu / ju jutsu / jujutsuróu shù / rou2 shu4 / rou shu / roushujou shu / joushu
Johrei
Jyorei
浄霊 / 浄靈
浄霊 / 浄灵
jourei / jorei
Taekwondo跆拳道te kon do / tekondotái quán dào
tai2 quan2 dao4
tai quan dao
taiquandao
t`ai ch`üan tao
taichüantao
tai chüan tao
Ninjutsu
Ninjitsu
忍術
忍术
ninjutsurěn shù / ren3 shu4 / ren shu / renshujen shu / jenshu
Blacksmith鍛冶tan ya / tanya
Grandmaster大師範daishihan
Iaido居合道iaidou / iaido
Judo柔道judoróu dào / rou2 dao4 / rou dao / roudaojou tao / joutao
Jeet Kune Do截拳道sekken dou / sekkendou / seken do / sekendojié quán dào
jie2 quan2 dao4
jie quan dao
jiequandao
chieh ch`üan tao
chiehchüantao
chieh chüan tao
Sun Tzu: Regard Your Soldiers as Children視卒如嬰兒故可以與之赴深溪視卒如愛子故可與之俱死
视卒如婴儿故可以与之赴深溪视卒如爱子故可与之俱死
shì cù rú yīng ér gù kě yǐ yú zhī fù shēn xī shì cù rú ài zǐ gù kě yú zhī jū sǐ
shi4 cu4 ru2 ying1 er2 gu4 ke3 yi3 yu2 zhi1 fu4 shen1 xi1 shi4 cu4 ru2 ai4 zi3 gu4 ke3 yu2 zhi1 ju1 si3
shi cu ru ying er gu ke yi yu zhi fu shen xi shi cu ru ai zi gu ke yu zhi ju si
shih ts`u ju ying erh ku k`o i yü chih fu shen hsi shih ts`u ju ai tzu ku k`o yü chih chü ssu
shih tsu ju ying erh ku ko i yü chih fu shen hsi shih tsu ju ai tzu ku ko yü chih chü ssu
Avenger復仇者
复仇者
fù chóu zhě
fu4 chou2 zhe3
fu chou zhe
fuchouzhe
fu ch`ou che
fuchouche
fu chou che
Naginata
Halberd
薙刀naginata
Nurse看護
看护
kangokān hù / kan1 hu4 / kan hu / kanhuk`an hu / kanhu / kan hu
Aikido合氣道
合気道
ai ki dou / aikidou / ai ki do / aikidohé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
heqidao
ho ch`i tao
hochitao
ho chi tao
Griffin
Gryphon
鷹頭獅
鹰头狮
yīng tóu shī
ying1 tou2 shi1
ying tou shi
yingtoushi
ying t`ou shih
yingtoushih
ying tou shih
Beauty of Nature花鳥風月ka chou fuu getsu
kachoufuugetsu
ka cho fu getsu
kachofugetsu
Jackie Chan成龍
成龙
jakkii chiin
jakkiichiin
jaki chin
jakichin
chéng lóng
cheng2 long2
cheng long
chenglong
ch`eng lung
chenglung
cheng lung
Karate-Do空手道kara te dou
karatedou
kara te do
karatedo
kōng shǒu dào
kong1 shou3 dao4
kong shou dao
kongshoudao
k`ung shou tao
kungshoutao
kung shou tao
Kenpo
Kempo
Quan Fa
Chuan Fa
拳法kenpou / kenpoquán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfach`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa
Brevity: Fewer Words are Best少說為佳
少说为佳
shǎo shuō wéi jiā
shao3 shuo1 wei2 jia1
shao shuo wei jia
shaoshuoweijia
shao shuo wei chia
shaoshuoweichia
Words Have Enormous Weight
One Word Worth Nine Caldrons
一言九鼎yī yán jiǔ dǐng
yi1 yan2 jiu3 ding3
yi yan jiu ding
yiyanjiuding
i yen chiu ting
iyenchiuting
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose知彼知己百戰不殆
知彼知己百战不殆
zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1 bai3 zhan4 bu2 dai4
zhi bi zhi ji bai zhan bu dai
zhibizhijibaizhanbudai
chih pi chih chi pai chan pu tai
Ba Ji Quan八極拳
八极拳
hakkyo ku ken
hakkyokuken
hakyo ku ken
hakyokuken
bā jí quán
ba1 ji2 quan2
ba ji quan
bajiquan
pa chi ch`üan
pachichüan
pa chi chüan
Shihan師範
师范
shi han / shihanshī fàn / shi1 fan4 / shi fan / shifanshih fan / shihfan
Let Us Try嘗試
尝试
cháng shì
chang2 shi4
chang shi
changshi
ch`ang shih
changshih
chang shih
Ninpo忍法nin pou / ninpou / nin po / ninporěn fǎ / ren3 fa3 / ren fa / renfajen fa / jenfa
Bonsai
Penzai
盆栽bon sai / bonsaipén zāi / pen2 zai1 / pen zai / penzaip`en tsai / pentsai / pen tsai
You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes情人眼里出西施qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī
qing2 ren2 yan3 li3 chu1 xi1 shi1
qing ren yan li chu xi shi
qingrenyanlichuxishi
ch`ing jen yen li ch`u hsi shih
chingjenyenlichuhsishih
ching jen yen li chu hsi shih
Balance
Peace
hirapíng / ping2 / pingp`ing / ping
Achieve Inner Peace; Find Deep Understanding寧靜而致遠
宁静而致远
níng jìng ér zhì yuǎn
ning2 jing4 er2 zhi4 yuan3
ning jing er zhi yuan
ningjingerzhiyuan
ning ching erh chih yüan
ningchingerhchihyüan
Daodejing
Tao Te Ching
一曰慈二曰儉三曰不敢為天下先
一曰慈二曰俭三曰不敢为天下先
yī yuē cí èr yuē jiǎn sān yuē bù gǎn wéi tiān xià xiān
yi1 yue1 ci2 er4 yue1 jian3 san1 yue1 bu4 gan3 wei2 tian1 xia4 xian1
yi yue ci er yue jian san yue bu gan wei tian xia xian
i yüeh tz`u erh yüeh chien san yüeh pu kan wei t`ien hsia hsien
i yüeh tzu erh yüeh chien san yüeh pu kan wei tien hsia hsien
Kempo Karate
Law of the Fist Empty Hand
空手拳法kara te ken pou
karatekenpou
kara te ken po
karatekenpo
kōng shǒu quán fǎ
kong1 shou3 quan2 fa3
kong shou quan fa
kongshouquanfa
k`ung shou ch`üan fa
kungshouchüanfa
kung shou chüan fa
Geisha芸者geishayún zhě / yun2 zhe3 / yun zhe / yunzheyün che / yünche
Shaolin少林sho rin / shorinshǎo lín / shao3 lin2 / shao lin / shaolin
Katanakatanadāo / dao1 / daotao
Zendo
The Zen Way
禅道 / 禪道
禅道
zen dou / zendou / zen do / zendochán dào / chan2 dao4 / chan dao / chandaoch`an tao / chantao / chan tao
Joshua 24:15至於我和我家我們必定事奉耶和華
至于我和我家我们必定事奉耶和华
zhì yú wǒ hé wǒ jiā wǒ men bì dìng shì fèng yē hé huá
zhi4 yu2 wo3 he2 wo3 jia1 wo3 men bi4 ding4 shi4 feng4 ye1 he2 hua2
zhi yu wo he wo jia wo men bi ding shi feng ye he hua
chih yü wo ho wo chia wo men pi ting shih feng yeh ho hua
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle〇 / 円相en sou / ensou / en so / enso
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Ji Quan
太極拳
太极拳
tai kyoku ken
taikyokuken
tài jí quán
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
taijiquan
t`ai chi ch`üan
taichichüan
tai chi chüan
A Bright Future鵬程萬里
鹏程万里
péng chéng wàn lǐ
peng2 cheng2 wan4 li3
peng cheng wan li
pengchengwanli
p`eng ch`eng wan li
pengchengwanli
peng cheng wan li
Wing Chun Fist Maxims有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫
有手黐手无手问手来留区送甩手直冲怕打终归打贪打终被打粘连迫攻绝不放松来力泻力借力出击步步追形点点朝午以形补手败形不败马腰马一致心意合一拳由心发动法无形活人练活死功夫
Kirin
Giraffe
Mythical Creature
麒麟kirinqí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilinch`i lin / chilin / chi lin
Taekwondo Tenets
Spirit of Taekwon-do
跆拳道精神禮義廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈
跆拳道精神礼义廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈
tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū
tai2 quan2 dao4 jing1 shen2 li3 yi4 lian2 chi3 ren3 nai4 ke4 ji3 bai3 zhe2 bu4 qu1
tai quan dao jing shen li yi lian chi ren nai ke ji bai zhe bu qu
t`ai ch`üan tao ching shen li i lien ch`ih jen nai k`o chi pai che pu ch`ü
tai chüan tao ching shen li i lien chih jen nai ko chi pai che pu chü
Hapkido合氣道
合气道
ai ki do / aikidohé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
heqidao
ho ch`i tao
hochitao
ho chi tao
Double Happiness Guest Book
喜喜
xǐ / xi3 / xihsi
Kyuki-Do擊氣道
击气道
jī qì dào
ji1 qi4 dao4
ji qi dao
jiqidao
chi ch`i tao
chichitao
chi chi tao
Life in Balance
Balancing Life
平衡人生hei kou jin sei
heikoujinsei
hei ko jin sei
heikojinsei
píng héng rén shēng
ping2 heng2 ren2 sheng1
ping heng ren sheng
pinghengrensheng
p`ing heng jen sheng
pinghengjensheng
ping heng jen sheng
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...

Balance
Be True to Yourself
Believe
Benevolence
Bible
Blood
Bull
Bushido Code
Charity
Chicken
Courageous
Determination
Dragon and Phoenix
Endurance
Energy
Enso
Faith
Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8
Family
Fate
Father
Fearless
Fiddle
Fire
Four Noble Truths
Healthy
Heart of a Lion
Heaven Blesses the Diligent
Honesty
Humble
I Love You
I Love You Forever and Always
Integrity
Light Dark
Lion
Love
Love Always
Loyalty
Never Give Up
Pain
Passion
Patience
Peace and Harmony
Perserverance
Princess
Prosperity
Protector
Rebel
Resolve
Responsibility
Safety and Well Being of Family
Samurai
Scorpio Zodiac Sign
Shotokan
Soul
Strength
Survive
Truth
Vampire
Wave
Will Power
Wing Chun
Wolf

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