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This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
This character is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is most often translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Some people will simply translate this as “spirit”, but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice is shown to the right.
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like one the symbols shown to the right.
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical is shown to the right.
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the “flow” of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.
You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.
In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.
The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese, but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.
More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee”, but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.
This is the simplest form of spirit. This single character alone will conjure up ideas of the spiritual world. This character can also be translated as "vital awareness" as in the fact that one must know they exist to exist (I think, therefore I am).
Other translations include:
God, mysterious, divine essence, lively, spiritual being, divinity, supernatural, soul, mind, nerves, and energy. In some extended context it can mean genius or unusual.
This is spirit or soul in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you look in the dictionary, you'll also find definitions for this character like:
quick; alert; efficacious; effective; departed soul; coffin; spiritual; energy; effective; clever.
This word can mean any of the words in the title above, and in some context, can also mean, effort, will-power, or talent. This word refers mostly to physical strength (as opposed to mental or spiritual).
In modern Japan, they use a simplified first character for this word. If you want to order this title with that special Japanese version, click on the character to the right instead of the button above.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your spiritual energy search...
|Characters / Kanji
If shown, second row is Simplified Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| líng / ling2
| quick; alert; efficacious; effective; to come true; spirit; departed soul; coffin
Spirit, spiritual, energy, effective, clever.
More info / calligraphy:
Spirit / Soul
| wǔ gēn / wu3 gen1
| pañcendriyāṇi. (1) The five roots, i. e. the five organs of the senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body as roots of knowing. (2) The five spiritual organs pr positive agents: 信 faith, 精進 energy, 念 memory, 定 visionary meditation, 慧 wisdom. The 五力 q. v. are regarded as negative agents.
| tāi zàng jiè / tai1 zang4 jie4
t`ai tsang chieh / tai tsang chieh
| Garbhadhātu, or Garbhakośa-(dhātu), the womb treasury, the universal source from which all things are produced; the matrix; the embryo; likened to a womb in which all of a child is conceived— its body, mind, etc. It is container and content; it covers and nourishes; and is the source of all supply. It represents the 理性 fundamental nature, both material elements and pure bodhi, or wisdom in essence or purity; 理 being the garbhadhātu as fundamental wisdom, and 智 acquired wisdom or knowledge, the vajradhātu. It also represents the human heart in its innocence or pristine purity, which is considered as the source of all Buddha-pity and moral knowledge. And it indicates that from the central being in the maṇḍala, viz. the Sun as symbol of Vairocana, there issue all the other manifestations of wisdom and power, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, demons, etc. It is 本覺 original intellect, or the static intellectuality, in contrast with 始覺 intellection, the initial or dynamic intellectuality represented in the vajradhātu; hence it is the 因 cause and vajradhātu the 果 effect; though as both are a unity, the reverse may be the rule, the effect being also the cause; it is also likened to 利他 enriching others, as vajradhātu is to 自利 enriching self. Kōbō Daishi, founder of the Yoga or Shingon 眞言 School in Japan, adopted the representation of the ideas in maṇḍalas, or diagrams, as the best way of revealing the mystic doctrine to the ignorant. The garbhadhātu is the womb or treasury of all things, the universe; the 理 fundamental principle, the source; its symbols are a triangle on its base, and an open lotus as representing the sun and Vairocana. In Japan this maṇḍala is placed on the east, typifying the rising sun as source, or 理. The vajradhātu is placed west and represents 智 wisdom or knowledge as derived from 理 the underlying principle, but the two are essential one to the other, neither existing apart. The material and spiritual; wisdom-source and intelligence; essence and substance; and similar complementary ideas are thus portrayed; the garbhadhātu may be generally considered as the static and the vajradhātu as the dynamic categories, which are nevertheless a unity. The garbhadhātu is divided into 三部 three sections representing samādhi or quiescence, wisdom-store, and pity-store, or thought, knowledge, pity; one is called the Buddha-section, the others the Vajra and Lotus sections respectively; the three also typify vimokṣa, prajñā, and dharmakāya, or freedom, understanding, and spirituality. There are three heads of these sections, i. e. Vairocana, Vajrapāṇi, and Avalokiteśvara; each has a mother or source, e. g. Vairocana from Buddha's-eye; and each has a 明王 or emanation of protection against evil; also a śakti or female energy; a germ-letter, etc. The diagram of five Buddhas contains also four bodhisattvas, making nine in all, and there are altogether thirteen 大院 or great courts of various types of ideas, of varying numbers, generally spoken of as 414. Cf. 金剛界; 大日; 兩部.
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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 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 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)
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.
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...
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!!!
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
|Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Life Energy / Spiritual Energy||气 / 気|
|Spirit / Spiritual Essence||神|
|kami / shin||shén|
|Spirit / Soul||灵|
|Strength / Vigor / Energy||气力 / 気力|
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