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Sacrifice in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Sacrifice calligraphy wall scroll here!

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Sacrifice
  2. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
  3. Better to sacrifice your life than your principles
  4. Discipline
  5. Drinking the water of a well,...
  6. Bodhisattva
  7. Honorable Death - No Surrender
  8. Phoenix Rise from the Ashes
  9. Pure Heart


Sacrifice

China xī shēng
Japan gi sei
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This 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 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.

Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

(complete bodily devotion)
China xiàn shēn
Japan ken shin
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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...
Self-devotion
Dedication
Commit ones energy to...
Devote to...
Self-sacrifice
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.


献
身
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

Better to sacrifice your life than your principles

China shě shēng qǔ yì
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This 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.

Discipline

China jì lǜ
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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

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

China chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén
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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.

Bodhisattva

A deity in Buddhism that exists to
help you reach enlightenment
China pú sà
Japan bosatsu
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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

Honorable Death - No Surrender

Japan gyokusai shugi
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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".

This 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
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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.

Pure Heart

pure and innocent
China chún qíng
Japan jun jou
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This 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, "naivete". 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.


Check dictionary for sacrifice
A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The scroll that I am holding in this picture is a "medium size"
4-character wall scroll.
As you can see, it is a great size to hang on your wall.
(We also offer custom wall scrolls in larger sizes)

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.




If your search is not successful, just post your request on our forum, and we'll be happy to do research or translation for any reasonable request.

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Bon Voyage
Dragon and Phoenix
Energy
Family
Family First
Family First and Forever
Family Over Everything
Friend
Gratitude
Lover
Loving Father
Meditation
Peace and Prosperity
Power
Protector
Silence
Strength and Courage
Water Dragon

With so many searches, we had to upgrade to our own Linux server.
Of course, only one in 500 searches results in a purchase - Hey buy a wall scroll!!!



See: Our list of specifically Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls. And, check out Our list of specifically old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

The following table is only helpful for those studying Chinese (or Japanese), and perhaps helps search engines to find this page when someone enters Romanized Chinese or Japanese

Title
Characters 
Simplified
Traditional
Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Sacrifice牺牲
犧牲 / 犠牲
gi sei
gisei
xī shēng
xi sheng
hsi sheng
xi1 sheng1
xisheng
Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication献身
獻身
ken shin
kenshin
xiàn shēn
xian shen
hsien shen
xian4 shen1
xianshen
Better to sacrifice your life than your principles舍生取义
捨生取義
n/ashě shēng qǔ yì
she sheng qu yi
she sheng ch`ü i
she3 sheng1 qu3 yi4
sheshengquyi
sheshengchüi
she sheng chü i
Discipline纪律
紀律
n/ajì lǜ
ji lv
chi lü
ji4 lv4
jilv
Drinking the water of a well, one should never forget who dug it吃水不忘掘井人
吃水不忘掘井人
n/achī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén
chi shui bu wang jue jing ren
ch`ih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
chi1 shui3 bu2 wang4 jue2 jing3 ren2
chishuibuwangjuejingren
chih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
Bodhisattva菩萨
菩薩
bosatsupú sà
pu sa
p`u sa
pu2 sa4
pusa
pusa
pu sa
Honorable Death - No Surrender玉砕主義
玉砕主義
gyokusai shugi
gyokusaishugi
n/a
Phoenix Rise from the Ashes凤凰涅磐
鳳凰涅磐
n/afèng huáng niè pán
feng huang nie pan
feng huang nieh p`an
feng4 huang2 nie4 pan2
fenghuangniepan
fenghuangniehpan
feng huang nieh pan
Pure Heart纯情
純情
jun jou
junjou
jun jo
chún qíng
chun qing
ch`un ch`ing
chun2 qing2
chunqing
chunching
chun ching

Some people may refer to this entry as Sacrifice Kanji, Sacrifice Characters, Sacrifice in Mandarin Chinese, Sacrifice Characters, Sacrifice in Chinese Writing, Sacrifice in Japanese Writing, Sacrifice in Asian Writing, Sacrifice Ideograms, Chinese Sacrifice symbols, Sacrifice Hieroglyphics, Sacrifice Glyphs, Sacrifice in Chinese Letters, Sacrifice Hanzi, Sacrifice in Japanese Kanji, Sacrifice Pictograms, Sacrifice in the Chinese Written-Language, or Sacrifice in the Japanese Written-Language.

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