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Overcoming Hardships in Chinese / Japanese...

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

  1. Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity
  2. Overcome
  3. Strong bones come from hard knocks
  4. Overcome the Devil
  5. Overcome / Surpass / Rise Above
  6. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks
  7. Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks
  8. Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind
  9. Carry On, Undaunted
10. To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It
11. Warriors Adapt and Overcome
12. Regardless of the Weather,...
13. Wisdom from Hard Knocks
14. Improvise Adapt Overcome

Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity

China kè kǔ nài láo
Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity

This Chinese proverb suggests that you should always bear hardships and work hard.

Some will translate it as a suggestion to be assiduous and long-suffering.

My favorite is to use this to remind myself to be hard-working and capable of overcoming adversity.

Overcome

Overcoming Hardships
China kè fú
Japan koku fuku
Overcome

In Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja, this means "overcome" (as in overcome hardships, etc). It can also mean to conquer, to put up with, or to endure.
This can be a conquest over a problem, disease, handicap, poverty, or illness. Other definitions include overcoming, bringing under control, subjugation, or victory over something.

This can be used as an inspirational wall scroll to remind someone to try to overcome difficulties that may arise in life.

Strong bones come from hard knocks

China bù kē bù pèng gǔ tóu bù yìng
Strong bones come from hard knocks

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.

Overcome the Devil

China xiáng mó
Japan gou ma
Overcome the Devil

降魔 means to overcome the Devil, Satan, Demons or Evil. There's a lot of ways to translate this including conquering the devil, evil spirits, evil influences, or someone who habitually performs negative/evil acts.

In Buddhist context, it means to overcome demons, e.g. as the Buddha did at his enlightenment.

Overcome / Surpass / Rise Above

China chāo yuè
Japan chou etsu
Overcome / Surpass / Rise Above

In Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja, this means overcome, surpass, transcendence, excel, to exceed, go beyond, to rise above, or to transcend.

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence

Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks

Japan hyakusenrenma
Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks

百戦錬磨 is a Japanese proverb or title that mean veteran, or rather, someone schooled by adversity in many battles, or someone rich in life experience.

If you are who you are because of the adversity you experienced in life, this could be the title for you.

Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind

China fēng yǔ wú zǔ
Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind

This proverb is often translated as, "Go ahead as planned regardless of the weather" or, "[Overcome] despite the rain and wind."

This Chinese proverb suggests that you are willing (or should be willing) to overcome any adversity, and accomplish your task at hand.

There is a second/optional part to this phrase which suggests that you should do this together with someone (see our other 8-character version if you want the full phrase).

Carry On, Undaunted

China qián fù hòu jì
Carry On, Undaunted

This Chinese proverb figuratively means, "to advance dauntlessly in wave upon wave."

It suggests that you should or can carry on, and have the strength to keep going.

While this proverb is a little bit militaristic, it suggests that in spite of a fallen comrade (or perhaps a loved one), you should keep going and work towards the goal they intended.

To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It

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

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.

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Soldiers need a fluid plan
China bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
Warriors Adapt and Overcome

This literally translates as: Troops/soldiers/warriors have no fixed [battlefield] strategy [just as] water has no constant shape [but adapts itself to whatever container it is in].

Figuratively, this means: One should seek to find whatever strategy or method is best suited to resolving each individual problem.

This proverb is about as close as you can get to the military idea of "adapt improvise overcome." This is best way to express that idea in both an ancient way, and a very natural way in Chinese.

Regardless of the Weather,
We Overcome Troubles Together

China fēng yǔ wú zǔ tóng zhōu gòng jì
Regardless of the Weather, / We Overcome Troubles Together

The first four characters are often translated as, "Go ahead as planned regardless of the weather" or, "[Overcome] despite the rain and wind." The last four characters can mean, "Stick together" but literally means "Take the same boat [together]."

This Chinese proverb suggests that you are willing (or should be willing) to overcome any adversity, and accomplish your task at hand. The second part (last four characters) is sometimes left off but this second part strongly suggests that you should overcome that adversity together.

Wisdom from Hard Knocks

The school of hard knocks
China ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
Wisdom from Hard Knocks

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Receive on blow, [and one] learns a lesson; Receive ten blows, [and one] becomes a great Zhuge [Liang]. You must first understand that a man named Zhuge Liang was one of the great strategists and philosophers in Chinese history. He's known as a man of great wisdom.

Figuratively, this phrase means:
One can learn much from failure or "hard knocks."

Improvise Adapt Overcome

China jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
Improvise Adapt Overcome

即興發揮即刻適應即時克服 is the coolest way to put together this famous word list, "Improvise Adapt Overcome."

There are shorter ways to write "adapt," and "overcome", but "improvise" needs a four-character word to be expressed accurately in Chinese. To match them up, the other two are using four-character words as well. This makes it sound more natural in Chinese (though word lists are not a natural construct in Chinese grammar).

The words break down like this: 即興發揮, 即刻適應, 即時克服. I suggest the 3-column option when you customize your wall scroll. That way, the words will occupy one column each.

A great gift for a U.S. Marine, or anyone who follows this mantra.

Search for Overcoming Hardships in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity刻苦耐勞
刻苦耐劳
kè kǔ nài láo
ke4 ku3 nai4 lao2
ke ku nai lao
kekunailao
k`o k`u nai lao
kokunailao
ko ku nai lao
Overcome克服 / 剋服
克服
koku fuku / kokufukukè fú / ke4 fu2 / ke fu / kefuk`o fu / kofu / ko fu
Strong bones come from hard knocks不磕不碰骨頭不硬
不磕不碰骨头不硬
bù kē bù pèng gǔ tóu bù yìng
bu4 ke1 bu4 peng4 gu3 tou2 bu4 ying4
bu ke bu peng gu tou bu ying
bukebupenggutoubuying
pu k`o pu p`eng ku t`ou pu ying
pukopupengkutoupuying
pu ko pu peng ku tou pu ying
Overcome the Devil降魔gou ma / gouma / go ma / gomaxiáng mó / xiang2 mo2 / xiang mo / xiangmohsiang mo / hsiangmo
Overcome
Surpass
Rise Above
超越chou etsu / chouetsu / cho etsu / choetsuchāo yuè / chao1 yue4 / chao yue / chaoyuech`ao yüeh / chaoyüeh / chao yüeh
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks百折不撓
百折不挠
hyaku setsu su tou
hyakusetsusutou
hyaku setsu su to
hyakusetsusuto
bǎi zhé bù náo
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
baizhebunao
pai che pu nao
paichepunao
Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks百戦錬磨hyakusenrenma
Overcome: Regardless of the Rain and Wind風雨無阻
风雨无阻
fēng yǔ wú zǔ
feng1 yu3 wu2 zu3
feng yu wu zu
fengyuwuzu
feng yü wu tsu
fengyüwutsu
Carry On, Undaunted前赴後繼
前赴后继
qián fù hòu jì
qian2 fu4 hou4 ji4
qian fu hou ji
qianfuhouji
ch`ien fu hou chi
chienfuhouchi
chien fu hou chi
To Know Hardship, One Must Experience It不當和尚不知頭冷
不当和尚不知头冷
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
Warriors Adapt and Overcome兵無常勢水無常形
兵无常势水无常形
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
bing1 wu2 chang2 shi4 shui3 wu2 chang2 xing2
bing wu chang shi shui wu chang xing
ping wu ch`ang shih shui wu ch`ang hsing
ping wu chang shih shui wu chang hsing
Regardless of the Weather, We Overcome Troubles Together風雨無阻同舟共濟
风雨无阻同舟共济
fēng yǔ wú zǔ tóng zhōu gòng jì
feng1 yu3 wu2 zu3 tong2 zhou1 gong4 ji4
feng yu wu zu tong zhou gong ji
fengyuwuzutongzhougongji
feng yü wu tsu t`ung chou kung chi
feng yü wu tsu tung chou kung chi
Wisdom from Hard Knocks挨一拳得一招挨十拳變諸葛
挨一拳得一招挨十拳变诸葛
ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
ai2 yi1 quan2 de2 yi1 zhao1 ai2 shi2 quan2 bian4 zhu1 ge3
ai yi quan de yi zhao ai shi quan bian zhu ge
ai i ch`üan te i chao ai shih ch`üan pien chu ko
ai i chüan te i chao ai shih chüan pien chu ko
Improvise Adapt Overcome即興發揮即刻適應即時克服
即兴发挥即刻适应即时克服
jí xìng fā huī jí kè shì yìng jí shí kè fú
ji2 xing4 fa1 hui1 ji2 ke4 shi4 ying4 ji2 shi2 ke4 fu2
ji xing fa hui ji ke shi ying ji shi ke fu
chi hsing fa hui chi k`o shih ying chi shih k`o fu
chi hsing fa hui chi ko shih ying chi shih ko fu
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...

Aiki Jujutsu
Archangel
Aster
Believe
Berserk
Bushido
Calm
Change
Christ
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Enlighten
Enlightened
Faith in God
Family
Father
Fortune
Furinkazan
Gemini
Heart of a Warrior
Hello
I Love You Forever and Always
Iaido
Jesus
Keep Fighting
Kenshin
Kung Fu
Lion
Love
Loyalty
Mind Body Soul Spirit
Mind Body Spirit
Mother
Mushin
Music
Overcome
Pleasure
Powerful
Protector
Rain
Rebirth
Right Intention
Rooster
Strength
Strong Heart
The Red String
The Way
The Way of the Warrior
Thunder Lightning in Kanji
Trust in God
Trust No Man
Victory
White
Wing Chun
Winter
Wolf
Yin Yang

All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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