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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Relentless / Stubborn
3. Tenacious / Tenacity
| 5. Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude|
6. Strong / Powerful / Force
7. Strong Willed
8. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks
執拗 means relentless or stubborn in Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja. It can also be translated as: willful; pigheaded; persistent; obstinate; tenacious; insistent; importunate; persevering.
This is a rather negative word. It's really inappropriate for a wall scroll, so please don't order this unless you really want to shock Asian people who see it.
Can also mean "opinionated" or "stubborn," in Chinese and Japanese but in the nicest way possible (still bad). This just means "stubborn" in Korean (not a good scroll if your audience is Korean, in fact, we don't recommend this word at all). There are better ways to express this idea, such as tenacious or perseverance... ...see links below...
These two characters together mean "Tenacious," "Hard to Defeat," or "Dogged."
Alone, the first character means mischievous, obstinate or stubborn. But it loses some of the mischievous meaning when the second character is added.
The second character means strength, force, powerful or better.
毅 is the simplest way to express perseverance in Chinese and Korean Hanja.
This single-character version leaves a bit of mystery about what kind of perseverance you might want to convey.
In Korean, this is usually associated with "strength of character."
In Japanese, this character can be pronounced about a dozen different ways (so we have left out the Japanese pronunciation guide that normally appears above). In Japanese this Kanji would usually be translated "strong" (perhaps strong-willed).
堅韌 is a simpler version that just holds the meaning of "fortitude," "steadfast" and "persistent."
Perseverance is being steadfast and persistent. You commit to your goals and overcome obstacles, no matter how long it takes. When you persevere, you don't give up...you keep going. Like a strong ship in a storm, you don't become battered or blown off course. You just ride the waves.
The translation of this proverb literally means, "something so persistent or steadfast, that it is not uprootable / movable / surpassable."
堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔 means determined, steadfast, unswerving, or unshakable in Japanese.
堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔 is the Japanese version of an old Chinese 4-character perseverance proverb.
This would be understood in Chinese but it's not commonly written this way in Chinese.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese calligraphers sometimes write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. Yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in this alternate Japanese Kanji form. If you have a preference, let us know when you order.
Due to some odd computer coding conventions, these two character forms were combined/merged into the same code point - thus, you will not see Kanji images of more Japanese form as you select options for your scroll.
This "strong" character means strength, force, powerful, better, stubborn, and stiff (yes, all of this in one character). This "strong" has less to do with physical strength and more to do with having a winning attitude, or just having the ability to win at something.
Note that most of the time, this character is pronounced "qiang" but when used with the meaning of stubborn, unyielding, or stiff, it is pronounced "jiang" in Chinese.
Also, sometimes "qiang" is used in modern Chinese to describe people that do crazy things (Example: Bicycling from Beijing to Tibet alone). I sometimes can be found outside my Beijing apartment wearing nothing but shorts and a tee-shirt while eating an ice cream during a snow storm, just to hear my neighbors call me "qiang." Maybe they mean "strong" but perhaps they are using the new meaning of "crazy strong."
Also a Korean Hanja with same meaning but mostly used in compound words.
強 is used in Japanese (though normally in compound words). In Japanese, it has the same meaning but in some context can mean "a little more than..." or "a little over [some amount]." Most Japanese would read this as tough, strength, stiff, hard, inflexible, obstinate, or stubborn.
This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).
This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.
Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.
Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.
His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.
My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."
Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.
Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shitsu you / shitsuyou / shitsu yo / shitsuyo||zhí niù / zhi2 niu4 / zhi niu / zhiniu||chih niu / chihniu|
|koshuu / koshu||gù zhí / gu4 zhi2 / gu zhi / guzhi||ku chih / kuchih|
|gan kyou / gankyou / gan kyo / gankyo||wán qiáng
|Perseverance||毅||see note / seenote / se note / senote||yì / yi4 / yi||i|
|jiān rèn / jian1 ren4 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|jiān rèn bù bá
jian1 ren4 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
|chien jen pu pa
|堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔|
|kenninfubatsu||jiān rěn bù bá
jian1 ren3 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
|chien jen pu pa
|kyou / kyo||qiáng / qiang2 / qiang||ch`iang / chiang|
|yìng qì / ying4 qi4 / ying qi / yingqi||ying ch`i / yingchi / ying chi|
|Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks||百折不撓|
|hyaku setsu su tou|
hyaku setsu su to
|bǎi zhé bù náo
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
|pai che pu nao
|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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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.
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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Stubborn Kanji, Stubborn Characters, Stubborn in Mandarin Chinese, Stubborn Characters, Stubborn in Chinese Writing, Stubborn in Japanese Writing, Stubborn in Asian Writing, Stubborn Ideograms, Chinese Stubborn symbols, Stubborn Hieroglyphics, Stubborn Glyphs, Stubborn in Chinese Letters, Stubborn Hanzi, Stubborn in Japanese Kanji, Stubborn Pictograms, Stubborn in the Chinese Written-Language, or Stubborn in the Japanese Written-Language.