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王后 is another way to write queen in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
王后 is sometimes used for the title of empress.
The first character means "king" and the second means "wife," or a short form to say "wife of the king / emperor." So this is literally, "king's wife" or "emperor's wife." Some will translate this as "queen consort."
皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor. 皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's first born son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.
The first character means emperor by itself.
The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress, and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.
Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.
皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).
From times of old, the emperors of Asia ruled under the authority of God himself. In fact, one definition of an emperor is a ruler put in power by God. This definition separates emperors from the various kings in Chinese history (although defining who is a king versus an emperor gets vague sometimes).
Occasionally, the emperor's wife was widowed, and she took the role of empress until her death (see our entry for empress if that is what you are looking for).
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|王后||ou kou / oukou / o ko / oko||wáng hòu / wang2 hou4 / wang hou / wanghou|
|Queen||女王||jo ou / joou / jo o / joo||nǚ wáng / nv3 wang2 / nv wang / nvwang||nü wang / nüwang|
|Empress||皇后||kou gou / kougou / ko go / kogo||huáng hòu|
|Emperor||皇帝||koutei / kotei||huáng dì / huang2 di4 / huang di / huangdi||huang ti / huangti|
|Emperor||皇||kou / ko||huáng / huang2 / huang|
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
Some people may refer to this entry as Queen Empress Kanji, Queen Empress Characters, Queen Empress in Mandarin Chinese, Queen Empress Characters, Queen Empress in Chinese Writing, Queen Empress in Japanese Writing, Queen Empress in Asian Writing, Queen Empress Ideograms, Chinese Queen Empress symbols, Queen Empress Hieroglyphics, Queen Empress Glyphs, Queen Empress in Chinese Letters, Queen Empress Hanzi, Queen Empress in Japanese Kanji, Queen Empress Pictograms, Queen Empress in the Chinese Written-Language, or Queen Empress in the Japanese Written-Language.