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水平 means level, standard; horizontal, or horizontality.
水平 is also a surname in Japanese which romanizes as Midzuhira or Mizuhira.
志操 / 誌操 is personal integrity - basically, holding yourself to a higher standard of honesty and reliability. These two characters also contain the ideas of constancy, principles, and faithfulness.
Note: In Japanese, this just means "principle."
型 is often used in Japanese martial arts to mean a certain set of movements and techniques.
The meaning in other context (and in Chinese or Korean) can be model, type, style, pattern, mold, mould, template, or form.
One Japanese dictionary defines it as, "standard form of a movement, posture, etc. in martial arts, sport, etc."
This is an excerpt from Revelations 22:20. It says "Surely, I am coming quickly" or "Surely I come quickly" depending on which Bible translation you use.
The Chinese translation here comes from the Chinese Union Bible which has been around for almost 100 years and it the standard for Chinese Christians.
アメフト is a short word that means "American football" in Japanese.
It is supposed to sound like an abbreviated version, "ame futo" which sounds like "ah-may foot-oh" (American Football).
There's not a great standard way to say "football" in Japanese, as the sport is not popular in Japan. Other Japanese terms for football can be confused with soccer or rugby.
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana , it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
See Also: Soccer
安赫爾 is another common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Angel.
This one misses the mark too - It uses a hard "H" sound to simulate the "J" sound of the "G" in this name. I don't know who transliterated these first and how it became the standard.
Again, I recommend using the meaning of Angel above.
If anything, this is the more masculine form of Angel. 安赫爾 is also the form commonly used for the masculine Latin name Ángel.
詠春拳 is the title for the "Wing Chun" school of martial arts but with the addition of the character for "fist" on the end. So this is "Wing Chun Fist" or literally "Singing Spring Fist."
There are lots of alternate Cantonese romanizations for this such as "Wing Chun Kuen," "Wing Tsun Cheun," "Eng Chun Pai," and "Wing Ceon Kyun." The characters are the same, just the lack of a standard Cantonese romanization means that people make up their own based on what they think it sounds like.
剱 is the modern Japanese way to write sword.
This Kanji character comes from original Chinese. This form would also be understood in Chinese (there are often several ways to write the same character) but I suggest this one only if your audience is Japanese (because they've settled on a slightly different form as the standard in China).
In Japanese, this character also means saber/sabre, blade, bayonet, stinger and clock hand (clock hands are the "swords" of the clock).
See Also: Katana
体力 means "physical strength" or "physical power."
The first character was first simplified in Japan. Later, that simplified version became the standard in mainland China. Just in case you want this version, it is offered here. I suggest it if you audience is Japanese. Most Chinese know the older traditional version which looks like 體力.
体力 can also be defined: stamina; endurance; physical strength; resilience; resistance to disease; clout; stability.
仏 is the single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.
This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).
仏 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.
五行太極拳 is a certain school or style of Tai Chi (Taiji). The characters literally mean "Five Elements Tai Chi Fist."
In Taiwan, it would be Romanized as "Wu Hsing Tai Chi Chuan" - see the standard Mandarin method above in the gray box (used in mainland China and the official Romanization used by the Library of Congress).
The last three characters are sometimes translated as "Grand Ultimate Fist," so the whole thing can be "Five Elements Grand Ultimate Fist" if you wish.
I have not confirmed the use of this title in Korean but if it is used, it's probably only by martial arts enthusiasts. The pronunciation is correct as shown above for Korean.
散手 is a martial arts title sometimes spelled in English as "San Soo" or "San Shou."
Mandarin version romanizes as "San Shou." Mandarin Chinese is the most common dialect in China (literally 99% of Chinese people speak standard Mandarin along with their local dialect).
There is another martial arts style that spells this "San Soo." My guess is, this was supposed to approximate Cantonese pronunciation for which the scholarly romanization is generally agreed to be "Saan Sau." However, only about 5% of Chinese people in China can speak the Cantonese dialect. A lot of theories exist as to why Cantonese is more common outside of China than inside.
唐手道 is the alternate title for Karate-do. This title uses a character which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the "Tang Hand Way" or incorrectly, "Tang Fist Way." I have also seen some call it "China Hand Way."
There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China, and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means "Empty Hand" (as in, without weapons).
In Korean, this title represents a certain style of martial arts. From Korean, this is often romanized as "Tang Soo Do," "Tangsudo," "Dang Su Do," or "Dangsudo." The last two romanizations on that list are the official Korean government romanization, though martial arts schools tend to use other non-standard versions.
仏教 can mean Buddha or Buddhism in Japanese.
Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.
Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.
仏 is also a rare form of Buddha Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.
This the last sentence of Joshua 24:15 in Chinese.
might look like
Joshua 24:15 (KJV) ...as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15 (NIV) ...as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
We used the only official Christian Chinese Bible that I know of so that the translation would be as accurate and standard as possible. Any Chinese Christian worth their salt will easily be able to identify this verse from the Chinese words on this scroll.
I think it is a bit like having a secret code on your wall that quietly expresses to whom your are faithful.
A great gift for your devout Christian or Jewish friend if they happen to be fond of Asian art.
Or perhaps a wonderful "conversation starter" for your own home.
Note: If you are curious, the last three characters represent they way "LORD" is used in most English Bibles. In Chinese, this is actually the phonetic name in Mandarin Chinese for "Jehovah."
身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.
身土不二 literally reads, "Body [and] earth [are] not two".
Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).
Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is used often when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.
Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body rather a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, in can refer to the land or realm we live in.
Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is "healthy propaganda."
Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source for Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize 身土不二 as a native phrase and concept.
See Also: Strength and Love in Unity
愛是恆久忍耐又有恩慈愛是不嫉妒愛是不自誇不張狂 is 1st Corinthians 13:4 in Chinese.
With large "love" character in Xing An-Ping's "Personal Lishu" style.
In English, this reads:
1st Corinthians 13:4 (KJV) Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up...
1st Corinthians 13:4 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1st Corinthians 13:4 (Basic English) Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride.
The Chinese translation follows the love meaning, rather than the King James use of "charity." I was a little confused when writing this description with the significant differences between the NIV vs. KJV translations. After speaking to a Greek scholar about this, it would seem that the KJV has an almost errant translation with the use of "charity" in place of "love."
We used the most popular Christian Chinese Bible, which is the Chinese Union Version (CUV). The CUV was first published in 1919. We use this so that the Chinese translation would be as accurate and standard as possible. Any Chinese Christian worth their salt will easily be able to identify this verse when they see these characters.
If you want a big "love" character written above the verse on your artwork, just make a note in the "special instructions" tab when you are customizing your artwork. There is no extra charge for that service on this special verse.
The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.
It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:
1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.
2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.
3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.
4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.
5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.
CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.
Hapkido is a mostly-defensive martial art of Korea. It has some connection to Aikido of Japan. In fact, they are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.
The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is a bit muddled in history. 合氣道 is probably due to the relationship between the two countries - especially during WWII when many Koreans became virtual slaves for the Japanese (many Koreans are still bitter about that, so many things were disassociated from having any Japanese origin).
Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."
One way to translate this into English is "Harmonizing Energy Method." This makes since, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy, rather that fighting with strength against strength.
More Hapkido info
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as "hap ki do," "hapki-do" "hab gi do" or "hapgido."
2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than can read English.
3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|ào lì wéi yà|
ao4 li4 wei2 ya4
ao li wei ya
|yī shā bèi lā|
yi1 sha1 bei4 la1
yi sha bei la
|i sha pei la
|Personal Integrity||志操 / 誌操|
|shi sou / shisou / shi so / shiso||zhì cāo / zhi4 cao1 / zhi cao / zhicao||chih ts`ao / chihtsao / chih tsao|
|ài lín / ai4 lin2 / ai lin / ailin|
|Kata||型||kata||xíng / xing2 / xing||hsing|
|Surely I come quickly||是了我必快來|
|shì le wǒ bì kuài lái|
shi4 le wo3 bi4 kuai4 lai2
shi le wo bi kuai lai
|shih le wo pi k`uai lai
shih le wo pi kuai lai
|American Football||アメフト||ame futou / amefutou / ame futo / amefuto|
|ān hè ěr|
an1 he4 er3
an he er
|an ho erh
|Wing Chun Fist||詠春拳|
|yǒng chūn quán|
yong3 chun1 quan2
yong chun quan
|yung ch`un ch`üan
yung chun chüan
|ken||jiàn / jian4 / jian||chien|
|tairyoku||tǐ lì / ti3 li4 / ti li / tili||t`i li / tili / ti li|
|仏 / 佛|
|hotoke / butsu|
|Five Elements Tai Chi Fist||五行太極拳|
|go gyou tai kyoku ken|
go gyo tai kyoku ken
|wǔ xíng tài jí quán|
wu3 xing2 tai4 ji2 quan2
wu xing tai ji quan
|wu hsing t`ai chi ch`üan
wu hsing tai chi chüan
|散手||sàn shǒu / san4 shou3 / san shou / sanshou|
Tang Hand Way
Tang Soo Do
|唐手道||kara te do / karatedo||táng shǒu dào|
tang2 shou3 dao4
tang shou dao
|t`ang shou tao
tang shou tao
|Buddhism||仏教||bukkyou / bukyo|
|zhì yú wǒ hé wǒ jiā wǒ men bì dìng shì fèng yē hé huá|
zhi4 yu2 wo3 he2 wo3 jia1 wo3 men bi4 ding4 shi4 feng4 ye1 he2 hua2
zhi yu wo he wo jia wo men bi ding shi feng ye he hua
|chih yü wo ho wo chia wo men pi ting shih feng yeh ho hua|
|Body and Earth in Unity||身土不二||shindofuni / shindofuji|
|ài shì héng jiǔ rěn nài yòu yǒu én cí ài shì bú jì dù ài shì bú zì kuā bù zhāng kuáng|
ai4 shi4 heng2 jiu3 ren3 nai4 you4 you3 en2 ci2 ai4 shi4 bu2 ji4 du4 ai4 shi4 bu2 zi4 kua1 bu4 zhang1 kuang2
ai shi heng jiu ren nai you you en ci ai shi bu ji du ai shi bu zi kua bu zhang kuang
|ai shih heng chiu jen nai yu yu en tz`u ai shih pu chi tu ai shih pu tzu k`ua pu chang k`uang
ai shih heng chiu jen nai yu yu en tzu ai shih pu chi tu ai shih pu tzu kua pu chang kuang
|Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis||道天地將法|
|dou ten chi shou hou|
do ten chi sho ho
|dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ|
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
|tao t`ien ti chiang fa
tao tien ti chiang fa
|ai ki do / aikido||hé qì dào|
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
|ho ch`i tao
ho chi tao
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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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.
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.
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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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