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Praying Mantis in Chinese / Japanese...

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Mantis / Praying Mantis

China táng láng
Japan tou rou
Mantis / Praying Mantis

螳螂 / 蟷螂 is mantis or "praying mantis" as it's often titled in English.

Technically speaking, this is especially applies to the narrow-winged mantis (Tenodera angustipennis)

It is best to use this very common two-character Asian title for mantis, as the second character alone can mean mantis or dragonfly (totally ambiguous).

This title is antiquated in Japanese, as they tend to write カマキリ (kama kiri) in Katakana to mean praying mantis.

蟷Note: There is an alternate form of this title which uses the character shown to the right instead of the first character shown above. This is uncommon in both Japan and China (if you really want it anyway, please let us know).

Southern Praying Mantis

China nán pài táng láng
Southern Praying Mantis

This can be translated literally as "Southern School Praying Mantis" or "Southern Style Praying Mantis."

Despite its name, the Southern Praying Mantis style of Chinese martial arts is unrelated to the Northern Praying Mantis style. Southern Praying Mantis is instead related most closely to fellow Hakka styles such as Dragon and more distantly to the Fujian family of styles that includes Fujian White Crane, Five Ancestors, and Wing Chun.

This style of martial arts focuses more on fighting skills rather than aesthetics.

Of course, you already knew that if you were looking for this term.

Note: This title can be pronounced and does have meaning in Korean but only to Koreans familiar with Chinese martial arts.

Northern Praying Mantis

China táng láng quán
Japan tou rou ken
Northern Praying Mantis

This can be translated literally as "Praying Mantis Fist."
This is sometimes called Shandong Praying Mantis after its place of origin. It was created by Wang Lang and was named after the praying mantis, an insect, the aggressiveness of which inspired the style.
Shaolin records document that Wang Lang was one of the 18 masters gathered by the Shaolin Abbot Fu Ju, which dates him and Northern Praying Mantis style to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.).
The fact that the word "Northern" is used in the English title has more to do with where this style came from (Shandong is in northern China) but "north" is absent from this Chinese title.

Note: This is also a title in Japanese - however, only a Japanese person who practices or is familiar with "Praying Mantis Fist" style would recognize it.

Not the results for praying mantis that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
Mandarin táng láng / tang2 lang2
Taiwan t`ang lang / tang lang
Japanese tourou / toro とうろう
 kamakiri かまきり
Chinese mantis; praying mantis
Japanese (kana only) praying mantis (esp. the narrow-winged mantis, Tenodera angustipennis)
More info / calligraphy:
Mantis / Praying Mantis


see styles
Japanese tourouken / toroken とうろうけん
Japanese (martial arts term) praying mantis style
More info / calligraphy:
Northern Praying Mantis


see styles
Mandarin nán pài táng láng / nan2 pai4 tang2 lang2
Taiwan nan p`ai t`ang lang / nan pai tang lang
Chinese Chow Gar - "Southern Praying Mantis" - Martial Art
More info / calligraphy:
Southern Praying Mantis

see styles
Mandarin táng / tang2
Taiwan t`ang / tang
Chinese praying mantis

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see styles
Japanese tourou / toro とうろう
Japanese (kana only) praying mantis (esp. the narrow-winged mantis, Tenodera angustipennis); (surname) Tourou

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see styles
Mandarin piāo xiāo / piao1 xiao1
Taiwan p`iao hsiao / piao hsiao
Chinese egg case of a praying mantis (used in TCM); cuttlebone

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see styles
Japanese kamakiri かまきり
Japanese (kana only) praying mantis (esp. the narrow-winged mantis, Tenodera angustipennis)

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see styles
Japanese kamakubi かまくび
Japanese sickle-shaped neck (e.g. snake, praying mantis); crooked neck; gooseneck

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see styles
Japanese tourouken / toroken とうろうけん
Japanese (martial arts term) praying mantis style

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see styles
Japanese kamakiri カマキリ
Japanese (kana only) praying mantis (esp. the narrow-winged mantis, Tenodera angustipennis)

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see styles
Mandarin běi pài táng láng quán / bei3 pai4 tang2 lang2 quan2
Taiwan pei p`ai t`ang lang ch`üan / pei pai tang lang chüan
Chinese Beipai Tanglang Quan - "Northern Praying Mantis" (Chinese Martial Art)

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Search for Praying Mantis 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
Praying Mantis
螳螂 / 蟷螂
tou rou / tourou / to ro / torotáng láng
tang2 lang2
tang lang
t`ang lang
tang lang
Southern Praying Mantis 南派螳螂nán pài táng láng
nan2 pai4 tang2 lang2
nan pai tang lang
nan p`ai t`ang lang
nan pai tang lang
Northern Praying Mantis 螳螂拳tou rou ken
to ro ken
táng láng quán
tang2 lang2 quan2
tang lang quan
t`ang lang ch`üan
tang lang chüan
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.

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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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.

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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

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