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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Sacred"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Sacred Fire
  2. Holy Land
  3. The Saint
  4. Precious
  5. Ministry / Priesthood
  6. Holy Bible
  7. Forest
  8. Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost
  9. Lao Tzu / Laozi
10. Sanctified by God
11. Words Have Enormous Weight...
12. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude
13. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
14. Self Sacrifice
15. Bodhisattva
16. Discipline
17. Pure Heart
18. Sacrifice
19. Drain the pond to get all the fish
20. Honorable Death - No Surrender
21. Phoenix Rise from the Ashes
22. Better to sacrifice your life than your principles
23. Drinking the water of a well,...
24. Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity

Sacred Fire

China shèng huǒ
Japan seika
Sacred Fire Wall Scroll

聖火 is a Chinese, Japanese and Korean term that applies to the sacred fire of the ancient Greek Olympic torch or games.

This could also apply to other sacred or holy fires, as it can be a somewhat generic term.

Holy Land

China shèng dì
Japan seichi
Holy Land Wall Scroll

This can be titled or translated a lot of different ways: sacred ground, the Holy Land, Holy city, sacred place, Holy ground, or shrine. I have actually seen all of these English translations used when coming from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

The Saint

China shèng
Japan sei
The Saint Wall Scroll

聖 is the simple, single-character religious form of "saint" in Chinese (also holds same meaning in Japanese and Korean, though rarely used alone like this).

This can also mean: holy, sage, master, or priest.
Note: This character is often used in compound words (words of more than one character) to create further meanings. In compounds, it can mean holy, sacred or divine.

This character is also used as the first word for Spanish and English place names such as "San Diego" and "St. Louis" in Chinese (not Japanese).

In Buddhist context, this can represent ārya or sādhu. And mean a sage; wise and good; upright, or correct in all his character; sacred, holy, or saintly.


Japan tattoi
Precious Wall Scroll

This Japanese word means precious, valuable, priceless, noble, exalted, or sacred.

Ministry / Priesthood

China shèng zhí
Japan seishoku
Ministry / Priesthood Wall Scroll

These two characters can be translated as ministry, priesthood, holy orders, or sacred profession in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Holy Bible

China shèng jīng
Holy Bible Wall Scroll

聖經 is how to write Bible in Chinese.

The first character means Holy, sacred, saint, or sage.
The second character means sacred book or scripture.

Each Sunday morning, if you are near a Catholic or Protestant Church, you will see plenty of Chinese people carrying their Bibles. Virtually every large or medium city in China has, at least, one Christian church. Beijing has about 14 Christian churches of Catholic and various Protestant denominations. That number doubles if you count all the church services that are for foreigners only, and doubles again if you count all of the underground Christian Churches. Many Embassies (Canadian, Italian, French, etc.) offer Protestant and Catholic services. However, the U.S. Embassy is the most unfriendly Embassy in all of China, and offers no such religious services and regularly denies entry and kicks out Americans and others, whether or not they have official business.

See Also:  Christian | Disciple

Holy Bible

Japan seisho
Holy Bible Wall Scroll

聖書 is how to write Bible in Japanese.

The first character means Holy, sacred, saint, or sage.
The second character means book (can also mean scroll or letter).

See Also:  Christian | Disciple


China sēn
Japan mori
Forest Wall Scroll

森 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for forest.

This can also refer to a dense forest-like place or thing. It can also refer to a shrine grove or sacred grove (a forest of religious significance).

Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost

China shèng líng
Japan sei rei
Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost Wall Scroll

聖靈 / 聖霊 is the title for the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost as used by Jewish, Catholic and Protestant (and other Christian) Chinese people. And yes, Chinese Jews do exist, but there are not many of them.

The first character means Holy, Sacred, Saint or Sage. The second means ghost, spirit, efficacious or intelligence.

聖靈 / 聖霊 is valid in Chinese characters and old Korean Hanja. This will be recognized in Japan but see note below...

霊 In modern Japan, they now use a variant/simplified Kanji of the second character of Holy Spirit. If you want this Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.

Lao Tzu / Laozi

China lǎo zǐ
HK 노자
Japan roushi
Lao Tzu / Laozi Wall Scroll

Depending on the romanization scheme you use, this man's name can be spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tze. In older English usage, he was known as Laocius. He is believed to have lived around 500 B.C.

He was a Chinese philosopher, founder of Daoism/Taoism, credited with being the author of the sacred and wise book of Daoism/Taoism.

There is a theory that Lao Tzu's soul traveled to India and was reborn as the Buddha.

Sanctified by God

China shèng dì shǐ nǐ shén shèng
Sanctified by God Wall Scroll

上帝使你神聖 means, "Sanctified by God," in Chinese.

This was added at the request of a customer. This may be more appropriate for a priest or reverend than a layman. But that depends on how your religion sees the order of things.

If you directly translate, you get something like, "God made you Holy."

Here's the character breakdown:
上帝 = God
 使 = Makes; Made; Let
 你 = You
神聖 = Sacred; Holy; Sanctification; Divine; Hallow; Holiness

Words Have Enormous Weight
One Word Worth Nine Caldrons

China yī yán jiǔ dǐng
Words Have Enormous Weight / One Word Worth Nine Caldrons 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.

Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

A Japanese martial arts title/concept
China xǐ xīn
Japan sen shin
Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude Wall Scroll

The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.

The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.

洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.

This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.

This word does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.

先心 There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.

Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

(complete bodily devotion)
China xiàn shēn
Japan ken shin
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication Wall Scroll

This word is used to describe being so devoted to something that you will make sacrifices for that goal/thing/person. You can also translate this word as any of the following:
Give one's life for...
Sacrifice one's life for...
To dedicate oneself to...
Commit ones energy to...
Devote to...
Giving your whole body to...

This can be a dedication to or for someone but more often is used in reference to a dedication or making sacrifices for your country, public service, or a cause. For instance, an Olympic athlete makes great sacrifices to train in his/her sport for their country and compatriots.

While the form shown to the upper-left is considered an ancient Japanese version, in modern Japan, they use the simplified version of the first Kanji (shown to the right). Click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version.

If you are looking for a more religious meaning of devotion, see Faith.

See Also:  Confidence | Dedication

Self Sacrifice

China shě jǐ
Japan sutemi / suteki
Self Sacrifice Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese word means selfless, self-sacrifice (to help others), self-renunciation, or altruism.


China pú sà
Japan bosatsu
Bodhisattva Wall Scroll

菩薩 is the title of a deity in Buddhism that exists to help you reach enlightenment.

In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is a being who is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally means enlightenment truth which is bodhi sattva in Sanskrit.

This term is sometimes used to refer to a kindhearted person, one who will sacrifice himself/herself for others, and lacks ego or desire but is instead devoted to the good and well-being of others.

See Also:  Buddha | Namo Amitabha


China jì lǜ
Discipline Wall Scroll

Discipline: There are a few different ways to define this word in English. This Asian word conveys the idea of extreme self-control and perhaps self-sacrifice, and obedience. This matches what I was taught as the meaning of "discipline" when I was in the Marine Corps. There is also an additional idea of maintaining order or being orderly in your tasks.

This idea would also fit an athlete training for the Olympics who gives up many pleasures to stay focused on their training.

See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

Pure Heart

Pure and Innocent
China chún qíng
Japan jun jou
Pure Heart Wall Scroll

純情 means, "Pure Heart" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

It's used to reflect the ideas of being "pure and innocent."

Depending on the context in which this title is used, it can relay "self-sacrificing devotion" or in some cases, "naïveté."
This would be in the same way we might refer to a young girl giving her lunch money to a beggar on the street. She has a pure and precious heart but perhaps is also a bit naive.


China xī shēng
Japan gi sei
Sacrifice Wall Scroll

犧牲 / 犠牲 means sacrifice in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

There is a suggestion in this word that this regards sacrificing your life.

Note: Depending on context, this can also mean victim or scapegoat in Japanese.

In original and ancient Chinese, this word referred to sacrificial animals. It can still have this meaning in a Buddhist context.

犠The version of the first character used in modern Japan looks like the image to the right. If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, it will be written in this Japanese version.

Drain the pond to get all the fish

Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
China jié zé ér yú
Drain the pond to get all the fish Wall Scroll

In 632 BC, Duke Wen of the Kingdom of Jin was about to lead an army against the forces of the Kingdom of Chu.
The Duke asked one of his advisers, Jiu Fan, how they could possibly win the impending battle, as they were drastically outnumbered.
Jiu Fan said, "All is fair in war," and went on to suggest a plan of dishonorable tactics (cheating).
The Duke was not sure of this advice, so he asked another adviser, Yong Ji, who replied, "If you catch fish by draining the pond, you can certainly get all the fish. But there will be no fish the following year. You can cheat this one time in battle but such tactics can only be used once, as the enemy will be wise in future encounters."

The Duke heard the words of his wiser adviser but cheated to gain victory in the battle. However, he rewarded Yong Ji more than Jiu Fan at the victory celebration, stating that while Jiu Fan's advice gained one victory, the wise words of Yong Ji would last forever.

This Chinese idiom/proverb is still used, over 2600 years later to remind people not to burn bridges, cheat, or dishonor oneself in exchange for a short term gain, while sacrificing the future.

竭澤而漁 is very similar to the meaning of the English phrase, "Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."

Honorable Death - No Surrender

Japan gyokusai shugi
Honorable Death - No Surrender Wall Scroll

This ancient Japanese proverb can be translated as "The principle of honorable death and no surrender," or simply "No surrender." If you directly translate this, you get something that means "Doctrine of suicide," or "Ideology of honorable death."

玉砕主義 is a specifically-Japanese proverb that embraces the long history of honorable suicide or self-sacrifice for honor in Japanese culture.

Phoenix Rise from the Ashes

China fèng huáng niè pán
Phoenix Rise from the Ashes Wall Scroll

This proverb suggests "Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes." Literally, it means, "Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana."

There is a legend in China of a great bird which is reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill-will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the whole world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).

500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.

Better to sacrifice your life than your principles

China shě shēng qǔ yì
Better to sacrifice your life than your principles Wall Scroll

捨生取義 is a Chinese proverb that comes from the philosopher Mencius.

It can be translated a few different ways:
To give up life for righteousness.
To choose honor over life
Better to sacrifice one's life than one's principles.

Drinking the water of a well,
one should never forget who dug it

China chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén
Drinking the water of a well, / one should never forget who dug it Wall Scroll

This proverb suggests that one should always be grateful to those who helped you succeed.

And remember your ancestors and those that came before you whose sacrifices made your present life better.

Some Chinese will separate the intended meaning from this proverb and translate this as "Don't forget the people who once helped you." In Modern China, this idiom is virtually never used to refer to an actual well.

Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.

Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity

Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself
China jǐ suǒ bú yù wù shī yú rén
Confucius: Golden Rule / Ethic of Reciprocity Wall Scroll

Some may think of this as a "Christian trait" but actually it transcends many religions.

This Chinese teaching dates back to about 2,500 years ago in China. Confucius had always taught the belief in being benevolent (ren) but this idea was hard to grasp for some of his students, as benevolence could be kind-heartedness, or an essence of humanity itself.

When answering Zhong Gong's question as to what "ren" actually meant, Confucius said:

"When you go out, you should behave as if you were in the presence of a distinguished guest, when people do favors for you, act as if a great sacrifice was made for you. Whatever you wouldn't like done to you, do not do that thing to others. Don't complain at work or at home."

Hearing this, Zhong Gong said humbly, "Although I am not clever, I will do what you say."

From this encounter, the Chinese version of the "Golden Rule" or "Ethic of Reciprocity" came to be.
The characters you see above express, "Do not do to others whatever you do not want done to yourself."

See Also:  Confucius Teachings | Benevolence

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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
Sacred Fire 聖火
seikashèng huǒ
sheng4 huo3
sheng huo
Holy Land 聖地
seichishèng dì / sheng4 di4 / sheng di / shengdi sheng ti / shengti
The Saint
seishèng / sheng4 / sheng
Precious 貴いtattoi
seishokushèng zhí
sheng4 zhi2
sheng zhi
sheng chih
Holy Bible 聖經
shèng jīng
sheng4 jing1
sheng jing
sheng ching
Holy Bible 聖書
Forest morisēn / sen1 / sen
Holy Spirit
Holy Ghost
聖靈 / 聖霊
sei rei / seireishèng líng
sheng4 ling2
sheng ling
Lao Tzu
老子roushi / roshilǎo zǐ / lao3 zi3 / lao zi / laozi lao tzu / laotzu
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...

4 Noble Truths
Cherry Blossom
Compassionate Heart
Heart and Soul
Inner Power
Inner Strength
Ki Aikido
Martial Arts
Mind Body Spirit
Mind Like Water
No Worries
Peaceful Warrior
Right Decision
Serenity Prayer
Spirit of Taekwondo
Tao Te Ching

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