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This Japanese proverb can be translated as, "flourish and wither, prosper and perish," "life is full of fortune and misfortune," or simply "vicissitudes of life."
This is about the rise and fall of human affairs or the ups and downs of life. Prosperity comes and goes, everything is fleeting and temporary but like waves, another swell of prosperity may come.
Here's how the Kanji break down in this proverb:
栄 = prosper; thrive; flourish; boom.
枯 = wither; die.
盛 = prosperous; flourishing; thriving; successful; energetic; vigorous; enthusiastic.
衰 = become weaker; decline; get weak; die down; subside; abate; fail.
Notes: The original version of the first character looks like the image to the right. In modern Japan, they simplified that Kanji a bit into the version shown above. If you have a preference for which style is used for your calligraphy, please let me know when you place your order.
Apparently, with that original version of the first character, this is also used in Korean Hanja. However, I have not confirmed that it's used in the same way or is widely-known in Korean.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Rise and Fall|
Ups and Downs
|栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰|
|ei ko sei sui
|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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