Sorry, too late for Christmas delivery of custom calligraphy. But I do have a lot of in-stock calligraphy. If you have an emergency, I have a limited number of blank scrolls and can have a local calligrapher create something for you.
Want to order a custom scroll now? I can also create a web page to show the gift recipient about the scroll they will receive in January. Contact me!

Not what you want?

Try searching again using:
1. Other similar-meaning words.
2. Fewer words or just one word.

Self-Restraint Self-Control in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Self-Restraint Self-Control calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Self-Restraint Self-Control" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Self-Restraint Self-Control" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Self-Restraint / Self-Control
  2. Self-Respect / Self-Esteem
  3. Self-Discipline / Will-Power
  4. Prideful Mind...
  5. Self-Reliance
  6. Self-Improvement
  7. Self-Confidence
  8. Introspection / Self-Awareness
  9. Inner Strength / Self-Improvement
10. Self-Confidence
11. Self-Control
12. Will-Power / Self-Control
13. Self-Control
14. Discipline / Training / Tempering Character
15. Discipline
16. Well-Disciplined / Orderly
17. Pride
18. Discipline
19. Self Sacrifice
20. Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient
21. Consciousness of Self
22. Self-Defense
23. Self Consciousness
24. To thine own self be true
25. Changing Oneself / Self Reformation
26. ...And this above all to thine own self be true.
27. Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself
28. Always Striving for Inner Strength
29. Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself
30. Moderation
31. Confidence / Faithful Heart
32. Military Discipline
33. Independence
34. Korean CKD Virtues
35. Gaman
36. Presence of Mind
37. Gentleness
38. Selflessness
39. Lone Wolf
40. Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication
41. Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do
42. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha
43. I am Enough
44. Selflessness
45. Tang Soo Do Tenets
46. Mistress / Concubine / Servant
47. Kyokushin
48. Non-Violence
49. True Victory is Victory Over Oneself
50. Forgive Yourself
51. Humble / Modesty / Humility
52. Heijoshin / Presence of Mind
53. Pure Heart
54. Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial
55. Honorable Death - No Surrender
56. Asian Pride / Oriental Pride...
57. Five Reflections / Gosei
58. Dragon
59. Live Free or Die
60. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
61. Tiger
62. Integrity
63. Mutual Welfare and Benefit
64. Death Before Dishonor
65. Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality
66. Nothingness
67. Taekwondo
68. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa
69. Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself


Self-Restraint / Self-Control

China kè jǐ
Japan kokki
Self-Restraint / Self-Control Wall Scroll

克己 / 剋己 can be translated as "self-denial," "self-abnegation," "self-restraint," "self-discipline," "self-mastery" or selflessness.

As a tenet of Korean taekwondo, and other martial arts, this is often used with the title "self-control."

Self-Respect / Self-Esteem

China zì zūn
Japan jison
Self-Respect / Self-Esteem Wall Scroll

自尊 means self-respect or self-esteem in Chinese, Korean and Japanese. It can also mean "pride in oneself."

Note: Japanese sometimes put the character for heart after these two. However, this two-character word is universal between all three languages (which is often better since more than a third of the world's population can read this version as a native word).

Self-Discipline / Will-Power

China zì lǜ
Japan jiritsu
Self-Discipline / Will-Power Wall Scroll

Self-discipline means self-control. It is doing what you really want to do, rather than being tossed around by your feelings like a leaf in the wind. You act instead of react. You get things done in an orderly and efficient way. With self-discipline, you take charge of yourself.


Not sure if this one works for a Japanese audience.


See Also:  Discipline | Self-Control

Prideful Mind
Self-Respecting Heart

China zì zūn xīn
Japan ji son shin
Prideful Mind / Self-Respecting Heart Wall Scroll

This Japanese and Korean word means "pride" or "self-respect."

The first Kanji/Hanja means oneself. The second can mean revered, valuable, precious, noble or exalted. And the last Kanji/Hanja means heart, mind and/or spirit.


While these characters make sense and hold the same general meaning in Chinese, this is not a normal Chinese word. This selection should only be used if your audience is Japanese or Korean.


See Also:  Respect | Pride | Self-Reliance | Self-Control | Self-Discipline

Self-Reliance

China zì shì
Self-Reliance Wall Scroll

自恃 means self-reliance but is often used to mean self-confidence or the state of being self-assured.

Basically this means you can rely on yourself (with a slight suggestion that others can rely on you as well).

The first character means "oneself" while the second means "to rely upon."


See Also:  Confidence | Self-Confidence

Self-Improvement

China xiū yǎng
Japan shuuyou / shuyo
Self-Improvement Wall Scroll

修養 means self-improvement in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Other translations for this word include: accomplishment; training; self-cultivation; (mental) training; self-discipline; cultivation; cultivating moral character.

Self-Confidence

China zì xìn xīn
Self-Confidence Wall Scroll

自信心 is the long title for self-confidence. It differs from the other version, only with the addition of the character for heart or soul at the end. With that addition, you could say this means self-confident heart.


See Also:  Confidence

Introspection / Self-Awareness

China zì xǐng
Japan jisei
Introspection / Self-Awareness Wall Scroll

自省 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja means: to examine oneself; to reflect on one's shortcomings; introspection; self-awareness; self-criticism; self-examination; reflection.

In Japanese, this can be the given name, Jisei.

Inner Strength / Self-Improvement

China zì qiáng
Inner Strength / Self-Improvement Wall Scroll

自強 is the kind of inner-strength that applies to a person who has will-power and can inspire themselves to do great things.

自強 can also be the creed of a person that always pursues self-improvement.

Other translations: self-strengthening, striving for improvement, self-improvement, strive to become stronger, and self-renewal.

Self-Confidence

China zì xìn
Japan jishin
Self-Confidence Wall Scroll

This word is created by simply putting the character for "faith/believe/confidence" with the character for "oneself" in front of it.

The literal translation holds the same meaning in English, Chinese and Japanese.

It's like a self-affirmation to say, "you can do it."

Some may also use this to mean self-esteem or a sense of self-worth. This is also how to say, "believe in oneself."


See Also:  Confidence

Self-Control

China zì zhì
Japan jisei
Self-Control Wall Scroll

The short and sweet version of self-control.

Note: This can also mean self-restraint.


See Also:  Will-Power | Discipline

Will-Power / Self-Control

China yì zhì lì
Japan ishi ryoku
Will-Power / Self-Control Wall Scroll

意志力 is the form of will power or self-control is about having the determination or tenacity to keep going.

In Japanese, this is the power of will, strength of will, volition, intention, intent, or determination.

Self-Control

China zì jǐ yì zhì
Japan jikoyokusei
Self-Control Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "regarding oneself," and the second two mean "to refrain" or "to restrain." So together, this has a meaning like "to restrain oneself."


See Also:  Discipline | Will-Power

Discipline / Training / Tempering Character

China mó liàn
Discipline / Training / Tempering Character Wall Scroll

This is a form of discipline which suggests training of the mind and character, aimed at producing self-control, obedience, etc.

One of my Chinese-English dictionaries even translates this as "tempering oneself" or turning yourself into hardened steel.


In old Korean Hanja, they use these characters in reverse order but with the same meaning. If you want the Korean version, please click this link instead of the button above: Korean version.

Discipline

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

Well-Disciplined / Orderly

Special Military Term
China yán zhěng
Well-Disciplined / Orderly Wall Scroll

When reading an account of some battles in China, I came across this Chinese word. As it turns out, it's only used in military circles to describe neat, orderly, and well-disciplined troops. Perhaps this is actually closer to the meaning I was taught while in the U.S. Marines.

The first character literally means stern, serious, strict, or severe (it can also mean "air tight" or "water tight."
The second character means exact, in good order, whole, complete, and orderly.
Together, these two characters multiply each other into a word that expresses the highest military level of discipline.


See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

Pride

China zì zūn
HK chi juen
Japan jison
Pride Wall Scroll

自尊 can mean "pride," "self-respect" or "self-esteem." The first character means "oneself" and the second can mean revered, valuable, precious, noble, exalted, honorable or simply "pride."

I have also seen this two-character word translated as "amour propre," self-regard, and self-pride.

自尊 is universal between Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja written languages. It may also be understood in old Vietnamese (they once used Chinese characters as well).

Discipline

China guī
Japan kiritsu
Discipline Wall Scroll

This Japanese word for discipline relays the ideas of keeping order, observance (of rules, laws, regulations).

This is also a word in Chinese and old Korean Hanja where it suggests that you are one who follows a certain law of behavior, or have a regular and dependable pattern of behavior, personal regime or rhythm.


See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

Discipline

China duàn liàn
Japan tan ren
Discipline Wall Scroll

鍛練 / 鍛錬 is the Japanese Kanji and Korean Hanja word that is used for discipline. This has a meaning like "forging or creating something from lots of training and practice." My Japanese dictionary translates this as, "tempering, forging, hardening, disciplining, training."

鍛練 / 鍛錬 is for Japanese and Korean only. In Chinese, these characters might be translated as (physical) "exercise."


練'
練'
錬

The modern form of the second Japanese Kanji looks like the first image to the right. There's also an alternate modern form after that, and finally, an alternate traditional form. Because calligraphy is an art, the calligrapher could choose any of these possible forms. Let us know if you have a preference.


See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

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.

Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient

China zì lì
Japan jiriki
Power of Oneself / Self-Sufficient Wall Scroll

自力 is a word in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean, and Buddhist term meaning: power within oneself; self-sufficient; by oneself; self-made; self-power; inner ability.

Consciousness of Self

China zì jué
Japan jikaku
Consciousness of Self Wall Scroll

自覺 is the idea of being conscious, self-aware and sometimes "on one's own initiative."


覚After WWII, they started using a simplified form of the second Kanji for this word in Japan. That version is shown to the right, and you can click on that Kanji if you want the modern Japanese form. Otherwise, the characters shown in the upper left are the correct ones for ancient/old/traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Self-Defense

China zì wèi
Japan ji ei
Self-Defense Wall Scroll

自衛 means self-defense in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Self Consciousness

Japan jiishiki
Self Consciousness Wall Scroll

自意識 is the idea of being conscious and self-aware in Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.

自意識 is not a normal word in Chinese.

To thine own self be true

Japan onore ni chuujitsu nare
To thine own self be true Wall Scroll

This is "...to thine own self be true" in Japanese.

This is a small portion of the classic line from Shakespeare's Hamlet.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Changing Oneself / Self Reformation

Japan ji ko kai kaku
Changing Oneself / Self Reformation Wall Scroll

This Japanese title refers to one who changes themselves or improves themselves by reforming their lives.

Another way to translate it is, "A person who changes their attitude or something about themselves."

...And this above all to thine own self be true.

Line from Shakespeare's Hamlet
China yóu qí yào jǐn de nǐ bì xū duì nǐ zì jǐ zhōng shí
...And this above all to thine own self be true. Wall Scroll

This is the classic translation of a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet into Chinese.

Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself

Japan do kuritsu do ppo
Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb, Dokuritsu-Doppo, is an indication of your independence, self-reliance, standing on one's own two feet, or making one's own way in life.

Always Striving for Inner Strength

China zì qiáng bú xī
Always Striving for Inner Strength Wall Scroll

This proverb or idiom suggests that the pursuit self-improvement is eternal. It can also be a suggestion to strive unremittingly in life.

The first two characters mean inner-strength with the idea of self-improvement. The last two characters mean "never rest" or "striving without giving up."

Some will translate these four characters as, "Exert and strive hard without any let up."

Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself

China zì ài
Japan ji ai
Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself Wall Scroll

This title means: self-love; self-regard; regard for oneself; to cherish one's good name; taking care of oneself.

In Buddhist context, this is the cause of all pursuit or seeking, which in turn causes all suffering. All Buddhas discharge themselves from self-love and all pursuits of personal gratification. Such elimination of self-love is a step towards nirvāṇa.

This title can be taken as positive or negative, depending on how you read it. Some will see it as arrogant, others will read it as a token of self-respect. Because of this ambiguity, I do not recommend this title for a wall scroll.

Moderation

China jié zhì
Japan sessei
Moderation Wall Scroll

Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don't overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.

This word can also be translated as sobriety, self-restraint, or temperance.

This is often used as part of the Seven Heavenly Virtues to represent sobriety and/or temperance.


See Also:  Prudence | Ethics | Humble | Humility

Confidence / Faithful Heart

China xìn xīn
Japan shin jin
Confidence / Faithful Heart Wall Scroll

信心 is a Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word that means confidence, faith, or belief in somebody or something.

The first character means faith, and the second can mean heart or soul. Therefore, you could say this means "faithful heart" or "faithful soul."

In Korean especially, this word has a religious connotation.

In old Japanese Buddhist context, this was a word for citta-prasāda (clear or pure heart-mind).
In modern Japan (when read by non-Buddhists), this word is usually understood as, "faith," "belief" or "devotion."


See Also:  Self-Confidence

Military Discipline

China jūn jì
Japan gun ki
Military Discipline Wall Scroll

軍紀 means military discipline or military principles.

If maintaining your military discipline is important to you personally, or important to your military unit, this is the wall scroll to have up behind your desk. In fact, it's the kind of thing I expect to see behind the desk of a First Sergeant or maybe a hardcore NCO.

Note: In some rare context, it could be extended to mean "morale" but "discipline" is much closer to the commonly-held definition.

Note: This term is not well-known outside of the military services in Asia (not used by the common person).


See Also:  Self-Discipline

Independence

China dú lì
Japan dokuritsu
Independence Wall Scroll

Besides meaning "to be independent," this can also mean "to stand alone," self-reliance or self-support.


独Modern Japanese use a simplified version of the first character of independence. It's the same simplified version currently used in mainland China, so understood by most Chinese and all Japanese people. Click on the character to the right if you want the simplified/Japanese version.

Korean CKD Virtues

China qiān xùn zhèng zhí wēn róu rěn nài kè jǐ bù qū
Korean CKD Virtues Wall Scroll

These are the virtues used by Choi Kwang Do Martial Arts.

EnglishHanjaHangulPronunciation
1. Humility (Humble / Modesty)謙遜겸손gyeom son
2. Honesty (Integrity)正直정직jeong jig
3. Gentleness溫柔온유on yu
4. Perseverance (To Endure)忍耐인내in nae
5. Self-Control (Self-Restraint)克己극기geug gi
6. Unbreakable Spirit (Unyielding / Unbending)不屈불굴bur gur

The characters shown here are the ancient Korean Hanja form of writing. If you wish for a Korean Hangul form of these tenets, we can arrange that with our Master Calligrapher Xing An-Ping (click on the Hangul next to the South Korean flag above to order this in Hangul).

Gaman

China wǒ màn
Japan ga man
Gaman Wall Scroll

Gaman is a Zen Buddhist term from Japan that means "enduring the seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity."

This title can also be translated as patience, perseverance, tolerance, or self-denial.

This is also a Chinese Buddhist term with a different pronunciation. It comes from Sanskrit abhimāna or ātma-mada. Chinese Buddhism defines this very differently as, "Egoism exalting self and depreciating others," "self-intoxication," or "pride." Alone, the first character means "Me, I, or Self," and the second character in a Buddhist context comes from Sanskrit māna and means pride, arrogance, self-conceit, looking down on others, supercilious, etc.


I'm currently working with Japanese and Chinese translators to try and reconcile the true meaning or any commonality of this word between languages. For now, please only consider this if your audience is Japanese.

Presence of Mind

China tài rán zì ruò
Japan taizenjijaku
Presence of Mind Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese proverb/word means, "cool and collected," "showing no sign of nerves," "perfectly composed," "having presence of mind," "self-possessed," "imperturbable," and/or "calm and self-possessed."

Gentleness

China wēn róu
Gentleness Wall Scroll

Gentleness is moving wisely, touching softly, holding carefully, speaking quietly and thinking kindly. When you feel mad or hurt, use your self-control. Instead of harming someone, talk things out peacefully. You are making the world a safer, gentler place.


See Also:  Kindness | Caring

Selflessness

China wú wǒ
Japan muga
Selflessness Wall Scroll

無我 is a more common way to say selflessness in Japanese. This literally means "no self" or a better translation might be "not thinking of oneself." 無我 is also understood in Chinese and Korean. 無我 is a very old word in CJK languages.

無我 is the word a Buddhist would use express the idea of selflessness or unselfishness. For Korean Buddhists it can mean self-renunciation.


See Also:  Altruism

Lone Wolf

Japan ippiki ookami
Lone Wolf Wall Scroll

一匹狼 is literally "lone wolf." It suggests you are a "loner" or a "self-reliant person." It can be taken with both positive and negative aspects.

Sacrifice / Devotion / Dedication

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

獻身 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

Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

China tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū
Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do Wall Scroll

Taekwondo TenetsThis is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do." The actual title would be translated as, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo." It was originally written in Korean Hanja (Chinese characters used in Korea for about 1600 years).

General Choi's original calligraphy is shown to the right. Your custom calligraphy will be unique, and not an exact match, as each calligrapher has their own style.

In modern times, the common form of written Korean is Hangul (a phonetic character set). The table below shows the text in Hangul and Hanja along with a pronunciation guide and a brief English translation:

Traditional Korean HanjaModern Korean HangulPronunciationEnglish
跆拳道精神태권도정신tae gweon do jeong sinTaekwondo Spirit
禮儀예의ye yiCourtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality
廉耻염치yeom ciIntegrity / Sense of Honor
忍耐인내in naePatience / Perseverance / Endurance
克己극기geug giSelf-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation
百折不屈백절불굴baeg jeor bur gurIndomitable Spirit (Undaunted even after repeated attacks from the opponent)
Note that the pronunciation is the official version now used in South Korea. However, it is different than what you may be used to. For instance, "Taekwon-do" is "tae gweon do." This new romanization is supposed to be closer to actual Korean pronunciation.

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Wall Scroll

見性成佛 is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成佛 is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

I am Enough

China jǐ zú yǐ
I am Enough Wall Scroll

己足以 is a profound and philosophical way to say "I am enough" in Chinese.

The first character means self or oneself.

The last two characters are a word that means sufficient or enough.

Selflessness

China wú sī
Japan mushi
Selflessness Wall Scroll

This would be literally translated as "none self" in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. It is used to express "selflessness" or "unselfish." This is a popular term for the idea of being selfless or unselfish in modern China and Japan.
This term is not as commonly used in Korea but still has good meaning.


See Also:  Unselfish | Altruism

Tang Soo Do Tenets

Tang Soo Do Tenets Wall Scroll

These are the tenets of Tang Soo Do...

EnglishOld HanjaModern HangulPronunciation
1. Integrity廉耻렴치 or 염치yeom ci
2. Concentration精進정진jeong jin
3. Perseverence忍耐인내in nae
4. Respect & Obedience遵守준수jun su
5. Self-Control克己극기geug gi
6. Humility謙遜겸손gyeom son
7. Indomitable Spirit百折不屈백절불굴baeg jeor bur gur

After some research, it appears this list was compiled in English based on Taekwondo tenets. We filled in a few of the words that did not have a corresponding Hanja or Hangul. If someone else has a better list with characters included, please contact me.

Mistress / Concubine / Servant

China qiè
Japan mekake / sobame / onname
Mistress / Concubine / Servant Wall Scroll

妾 is the most simple way to say concubine or mistress in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes this can mean servant. Occasionally, a woman may use this title in place of "I" or "me" to say "your humble servant" in a self-deprecating way.

Kyokushin

Japan kyoku shin
Kyokushin Wall Scroll

極真 is the Japanese title Kyokushin.

The literal meaning is "great truth" or "ultimate truth". However, 極真 is usually associated with the style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Masutatsu Oyama (大山倍達).

Practitioners of the Kyokushinkai Karate follow a philosophy of discipline and self-improvement.

Non-Violence

China fēi bào lì
Japan hibouryoku
Non-Violence Wall Scroll

非暴力 is fairly self-explanatory.

The first character means "not," "non-" or "un-"
The middle and last character together mean "violence," "use of force" or simply "violent."

Together, these three characters would normally be translated as "nonviolence." A great gift for your favorite peace-lover.


See Also:  Peace

True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

Japan masa katsu a gatsu
True Victory is Victory Over Oneself Wall Scroll

This proverb is often translated as, "True victory is victory over oneself."

However, literally, Kanji by Kanji, it means, "True victory [is] my/self victory."

My Japanese friends rate this very highly for a wall scroll.


See Also:  Know Thy Enemy Know Thyself

Forgive Yourself

China yuán liàng zì jǐ
Forgive Yourself Wall Scroll

原諒自己 is how to write "forgive yourself" in Chinese.

The first two characters mean, "to excuse," "to forgive," or "to pardon."

The last two characters mean, "self" (reflexive pronoun), "yourself," or "oneself."

Humble / Modesty / Humility

China qiān xū
Japan ken kyo
Humble / Modesty / Humility Wall Scroll

In Japanese, first Kanji means "self-effacing," "humble oneself," "condescend," "be modest." The second means "void" or "emptiness."

This is the most common way to say humble or modest in Japanese without a derogatory meaning (some other words suggest weakness but this version holds a better humble meaning).


See Also:  Moderation

Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

China píng cháng xīn
Japan hei jou shin
Heijoshin / Presence of Mind Wall Scroll

平常心 is the title Heijoshin, as associated with Kendo and Aikido schools of Japanese martial arts.

平常心 is also a word in Japanese which can be translated as "one's self-possession" or "presence of mind."

In Chinese and Korean, this means "simplicity heart," "composure," "calmness," or a "sense of orderliness." In Chinese and Korean, this implies that you enjoy what you have, keep your heart in balance, and have no over-blown ambitions.

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.

Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial

China dà gōng wú sī
Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb comes from an old story from some time before 476 BC. About a man named Qi Huangyang, who was commissioned by the king to select the best person for a certain job in the Imperial Court.

Qi Huangyang selected his enemy for the job. The king was very confused by the selection but Qi Huangyang explained that he was asked to find the best person for the job, not necessarily someone that he personally liked or had a friendship with.

Later, Confucius commented on how unselfish and impartial Qi Huangyang was by saying "Da Gong Wu Si" which if you look it up in a Chinese dictionary, is generally translated as "Unselfish" or "Just and Fair."

If you translate each character, you'd have something like,

"Big/Deep Justice Without Self."

Direct translations like this leave out a lot of what the Chinese characters really say. Use your imagination, and suddenly you realize that "without self" means "without thinking about yourself in the decision" - together, these two words mean "unselfish." The first two characters serve to really drive the point home that we are talking about a concept that is similar to "blind justice."

One of my Chinese-English dictionaries translates this simply as "just and fair." So that is the short and simple version.

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


See Also:  Selflessness | Work Unselfishly for the Common Good | Altruism

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."

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

Asian Pride / Oriental Pride
Asian Pryde / AZN Pryde

China dōng fāng zì zūn
HK dung fong chi juen
Japan tou hou zi son
Asian Pride / Oriental Pride / Asian Pryde / AZN Pryde Wall Scroll

東方自尊 is the most universal way to write "Asian Pride."

We worked on this one for a long time. The effort involved both Chinese and Japanese translators and lengthy discussions. If you have been searching for this term, there is a reason that it's hard to find the way to write "Asian Pride" in Chinese and Japanese - it's because of the inherent difficulties in figuring out a universal combination of characters that can be read in all languages that use forms of Chinese characters.

This final solution that you see to the left creates a reasonable title in Chinese, and an exotic (perhaps unusual) title in Japanese (This could be read as "Eastern Self-Respect" in Japanese").
Although not as natural, it does have the same meaning in Korean Hanja and the older-generation of Vietnamese people will be able to read it too.

The first two characters literally mean "Oriental" and the second two mean "pride," "self-esteem," or "self-respect" (we chose the most non-arrogant way to say "pride"). If you have "Asian Pride" (sometimes spelled Asian Pryde) these are the characters for you.

Note: For those of you that wonder, there is nothing technically wrong with the word "Oriental." It is a correct word, and any bad meanings were created by so-called "Asian Americans" and Caucasians in the United States. To say "Asian" would not completely correct to the intended meaning, since that would include people from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, India, and portions of Russia.

For further proof, if you were of East Asian ancestry and born in England, you would be known as a "British Oriental" (The "Oriental stigma" is basically an American creation and, therefore, applies mostly to the American English language - where they get a bit overzealous with political correctness).

Further, since the Chinese and Japanese word for Oriental is not English, it can not be construed having ill-meaning. One trip to China or Japan, and you will find many things titled with these two characters such as malls, buildings, and business names. These places also use "Oriental" as their English title (much as we do, since our Chinese business name starts with these same two characters).

In short, the first two character have the meaning that Americans attach to "Asian" but is more technically correct.

Five Reflections / Gosei

Japan shi se i ni moto ru na ka ri shi ka? gen kou ni ha zu ru na ka ri shi ka? ki ryo ku ni ka ku ru na ka ri shi ka? do ryo ku ni u ra mi na ka ri shi ka? bu sho u ni wa ta ru na ka ri shi ka?
Five Reflections / Gosei Wall Scroll

These are the "Five Reflections" of Vice Admiral Hajime Matsushita of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

These days, the Five Reflections are recited or contemplated daily by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force recruits in training. This long proverb is popularly translated into English this way:

Hast thou not gone against sincerity?
Hast thou not felt ashamed of thy words and deeds?
Hast thou not lacked vigor?
Hast thou not exerted all possible efforts?
Hast thou not become slothful?


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Dragon

Year of the Dragon / Zodiac Sign
China lóng
Japan ryuu / tatsu
Dragon Wall Scroll

龍 is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.

From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .

Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face."


See also our Chinese Zodiac or Dragon Calligraphy pages.

Live Free or Die

Give me liberty or give me death
China bú zì yóu wú nìng sǐ
Live Free or Die Wall Scroll

不自由毋寧死 means, "Give me liberty or give me death," in Chinese.

This is also the best way to say, "Live free or die."

The characters break down this way:
不 = Not; none; without.
自由 = Freedom; liberty; freewill; self-determination.
毋寧 = Rather; would rather; rather be.
死 = Dead; death.

This will go nicely next to your, "Don't tread on me," flag. This phrase is known well enough in China that it's listed in a few dictionaries. Though I doubt you will find too many Chinese citizens willing to yell this on the steps of the capital in Beijing.


See Also:  Death Before Dishonor

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Japan ai wa kan youdeari ai wa shinsetsudesu mata hito o netamimasen ai wa jiman sezu kouman ni narimasen reigi ni hansuru koto o sezu jibun no rieki o motomezu okorazu hito no shita aku o omowazu fusei o yorokobazu ni shinri o yorokobimasu subete o gaman shi s
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Wall Scroll

This is 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 (just the first sentence of verse 8).

In the familiar NIV, this would read:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails...

The Japanese text is from the 新改訳聖書 (Shinkaiyaku) or New Japanese Bible. Popular among most Protestant denominations in modern Japan.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Tiger

Year of the Tiger / Zodiac Sign
China
Japan tora
Tiger Wall Scroll

虎 is the character for tiger in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

Since you already know what a tiger is, here's some trivia: If you look at the Japanese pronunciation, you might remember a movie called "Tora Tora Tora" which was the code word used to initiate the attack on Pearl Harbor. It simply means "Tiger Tiger Tiger."

In Chinese culture, the tiger is considered to be the king of all animals (in much the way we see the lion in western culture).

From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the tiger, you . . .

Have a strong personality.
Are full of self-confidence.
Love adventure
Don't like to obey others.


See also our Chinese Zodiac or Tiger Calligraphy pages.

Integrity

China zhèng zhí
Japan shoujiki
Integrity Wall Scroll

Integrity is living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere. Integrity helps you to listen to your conscience, to do the right thing, and to tell the truth. You act with integrity when your words and actions match. Integrity gives you self-respect and a peaceful heart.

Japanese jikiPlease note that the second Kanji sometimes has an alternate form in Japanese. Let us know if you want the alternate form shown to the right.

Note: This entry is cross-listed as "honesty" because it also fits that definition.


Beyond Integrity, this word also means "upright" and "honest" in Chinese. Means "integrity," "honesty" or "frankness" in Japanese.


See Also:  Honor | Honesty | Truth | Trust

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Jita-Kyoei
Japan ji ta kyou ei
Mutual Welfare and Benefit Wall Scroll

自他共榮 can be translated a few different ways. Here are some possibilities:
Benefit mutually and prosper together.
Mutual welfare and benefit.
A learning concept of mutual benefit and welfare (that applies to all fields of society).
Mutual prosperity.

The first two characters are easy to explain. They are "self" and "others." Together, these two characters create a word which means "mutual" (literally "me and them").

The third character can have different meanings depending on context. Here, it means "in common" or "to share."

The fourth character suggests the idea of "prosperity," "flourishing" or becoming "glorious."

It should be noted that these Kanji are used almost exclusively in the context of Judo martial arts. This is not a common or recognized Japanese proverb outside of Judo.


In modern Japanese Kanji, the last character looks like 栄 instead of 榮. If you want this slightly-simplified version, please let us know when you place your order.

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì bú wéi wǎ quán
Death Before Dishonor Wall Scroll

This is the long version of a Chinese proverb which means, "rather be shattered piece of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery."

A little more explanation:
Death is implied with the "broken" meaning. Jade is one of the most precious materials in Chinese history, and in this case is compared with one's honor and self-worth. Pottery is just something you eat off of, it has no deep value, just as a person who has lost their honor, or had none to begin with.
Thus, this means, "better to die with honor than to live in shame" or words to that effect.

This is often translated in English as "Death Before Dishonor," the famous military slogan.

I would also compare this to the English proverb, "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."


This is an idiom. It therefore doesn't directly say exactly what it means. If you think about the English idiom, "The grass is always greener," it does not directly say "jealousy" or "envy" but everyone knows that it is implied.

Death Before Dishonor

Better to be broken jade than unbroken pottery
China níng wéi yù suì
Death Before Dishonor Wall Scroll

寧為玉碎 is the short version of a longer Chinese proverb which means, "rather be shattered piece of jade than an unbroken piece of pottery." The characters shown above just say the "rather be a broken piece of jade" part (the second half is implied - everyone in China knows this idiom).

A little more explanation:
Death is implied with the "broken" meaning. Jade is one of the most precious materials in Chinese history, and in this case is compared with one's honor and self-worth. Pottery is just something you eat off of, it has no deep value, just as a person who has lost their honor, or had none to begin with.
Thus, this means, "better to die with honor than to live in shame" or words to that effect.

寧為玉碎 is often translated in English as "Death Before Dishonor," the famous military slogan.

I would also compare this to the English proverb, "Better to die on your feet than live on your knees."

Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality

(Used in Japanese version of five elements)
China kōng
Japan kuu / kara / sora / ron
Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality Wall Scroll

This single character means empty, void, hollow, vacant, vacuum, blank, nonexistent, vacuity, voidness, emptiness, non-existence, immateriality, unreality, the false or illusory nature of all existence, being unreal.

In Buddhist context, this relates to the doctrine that all phenomena and the ego have no reality but are composed of a certain number of skandhas or elements, which disintegrate. The void, the sky, space. The universal, the absolute, complete abstraction without relativity. The doctrine further explains that all things are compounds, or unstable organisms, possessing no self-essence, i.e. are dependent, or caused, come into existence only to perish. The underlying reality, the principle of eternal relativity, or non-infinity, i.e. śūnya, permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution.

From Sanskrit and/or Pali, this is the translation to Chinese and Japanese of the title śūnya or śūnyatā.

In Japanese, when pronounced as "ron" (sounds like "roan") this can be a given name. It should be noted that this Kanji has about 5 different possible pronunciations in Japanese: kuu, kara, sora, ron, and uro. This is also an element in the Japanese version of the five elements.

Nothingness

China kōng wú
Japan kuu mu
Nothingness Wall Scroll

空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.

The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).

The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.

Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness."

I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery." Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).

Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature."

Taekwondo

China tái quán dào
Japan te kon do
Taekwondo Wall Scroll

跆拳道 is one of the most widespread types of martial arts in the world as well as being an Olympic sport. Taekwondo was born in Korea with influences of Chinese and Japanese styles, combined with traditional Korean combat skills. Some will define it as the "Korean art of empty-handed self-defense."

In the simplest translation, the first character means "kick," the second character can mean either "fist" or "punching" the third means "way" or "method." Altogether, you could say this is "Kick Punch Method." When heard or read in various Asian languages, all will automatically think of this famous Korean martial art. It is written the same in Japanese Kanji, Chinese, and Korean Hanja characters - so the appearance of the characters are rather universal. However, you should note that there is another way to write this in modern Korean Hangul characters which looks like the image to the right. Taekwondo Hangul Characters

We suggest the original Korean Hanja (Chinese characters) for a wall scroll but if you really need the Hangul version, you must use master calligrapher Xing An-Ping: Order Taekwondo in Korean Hangul

Note: Taekwondo is sometimes Romanized as Tae-Kwondo, Tae Kwon Do, Taekwon-do, Taegwondo, Tae Gweon Do, Tai Kwon Do, Taikwondo, Taekwando, Tae Kwan Do and in Chinese Taiquandao, Tai Quan Dao, Taichuando, or Tai Chuan Tao.

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

China quán fǎ
Japan kenpou
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Wall Scroll

This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist," or even "law of the fist." The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.

Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.

These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).

The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).

Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:

1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.

2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist."

3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense." I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

China zhí bǐ zhí jī
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself Wall Scroll

This proverb is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself. There is a secondary four characters that come after this in the Art of War (not included here) which suggest you cannot lose a battle when you follow this philosophy.

In a very literal and somewhat-boring way, this can also be translated as, "Estimate correctly one's strength as well as that of one's opponent."

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

Japan te ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself Wall Scroll

This is the Japanese version of "know your enemy, know yourself." There is a longer version of this proverb which adds, "...and you can win 100 battles."


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Self-Restraint
Self-Control
克己 / 剋己
克己
kokki / kokikè jǐ / ke4 ji3 / ke ji / keji k`o chi / kochi / ko chi
Self-Respect
Self-Esteem
自尊jisonzì zūn / zi4 zun1 / zi zun / zizun tzu tsun / tzutsun
Self-Discipline
Will-Power
自律jiritsuzì lǜ / zi4 lv4 / zi lv / zilv tzu lü / tzulü
Prideful Mind
Self-Respecting Heart
自尊心ji son shin
jisonshin
zì zūn xīn
zi4 zun1 xin1
zi zun xin
zizunxin
tzu tsun hsin
tzutsunhsin
Self-Reliance 自恃zì shì / zi4 shi4 / zi shi / zishi tzu shih / tzushih
Self-Improvement 修養
修养
shuuyou / shuyo
shuyo / shuyo
shuyo/shuyo
xiū yǎng / xiu1 yang3 / xiu yang / xiuyang hsiu yang / hsiuyang
Self-Confidence 自信心zì xìn xīn
zi4 xin4 xin1
zi xin xin
zixinxin
tzu hsin hsin
tzuhsinhsin
Introspection
Self-Awareness
自省jiseizì xǐng / zi4 xing3 / zi xing / zixing tzu hsing / tzuhsing
Inner Strength
Self-Improvement
自強
自强
zì qiáng / zi4 qiang2 / zi qiang / ziqiang tzu ch`iang / tzuchiang / tzu chiang
Self-Confidence 自信jishinzì xìn / zi4 xin4 / zi xin / zixin tzu hsin / tzuhsin
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...

Application
Bamboo
Bruce Lee
Bushido
Calm Mind
Compassion
Courage
Crane
Devil
Dragon
Earth
Endurance
Enso
Fortitude
God Protect Me
Gold
Grace
Heart Sutra
Heaven
I Love You
Inner Strength
Integrity
Jade
Jasmine
Judo
Longevity
Lotus
Lover
Mind
Mother and Son
Music
Patience
Peace
Perserverance
Pine
Princess
Rooster
Sei Shin
Sheep
Shizen
Snoopy
Strength
Strong of Heart
Tao Te Ching
Tiger
Wedding
Wind

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