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Suffer in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Four Noble Truths: Suffering
  2. Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering
  3. Four Noble Truths
  4. Pain of Seperation from Your Loves
  5. The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100
  6. Release / Let Go
  7. Perseverance / Fortitude
  8. Blue Lotus
  9. Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself
10. Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment
11. Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity
12. Phoenix Rise from the Ashes
13. Four Noble Truths
14. If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian?
15. No Pain No Gain


Four Noble Truths: Suffering

Dukkha
China kǔ dì
Japan kutai
Four Noble Truths: Suffering

Part of life in this universe is suffering. All living things experience some form of suffering according to Buddhist teaching.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering

Magga
China dào dì
Japan doutai
Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering

Once you have dealt with your desires, and left all desire and attachment behind, only then are on you the path away from suffering (and on your way to enlightenment). This is also called the path to liberation in some English texts on Buddhism.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)

China sì dì
Japan shitai
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)

四諦 is the title of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).

The suggestion behind these truths is that all things in nature suffer. All things in nature have desire. The enlightened can release themselves from the bonds of desire. And finally, once they release all desire and attachment, the enlightened will find a path that leads away from suffering.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Pain of Seperation from Your Loves

China ài bié lí kǔ
Japan ai betsu ri ku
Pain of Seperation from Your Loves

愛別離苦 is a Buddhist term that refers to "the pain of separation from loved ones," or "the suffering of being separated from those whom one loves."

If you translate each character separately, you get, "love(s) separated [and] departed [yields] pain."

The pain character can also be defined as: anguish; suffering; distress; anxiety; worry; trouble; difficulty; hardship; bitterness; to suffer; anguish; distress; anxiety; worry; trouble; difficulty; bitterness; unhappiness; misery.

The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100

The pot calls the kettle black
China wù shí bù xiào bǎi bù
The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100

During the Warring States Period of what is now China (475 - 221 B.C.), the King of Wei was in love with war. He often fought with other kingdoms just for spite or fun.

One day, the King of Wei asked the philosopher Mencius, "I love my people, and all say I do the best for them. I move the people from famine-stricken areas to places of plenty, and transport grains from rich areas to the poor. Nobody goes hungry in my kingdom, and I treat my people far better than other kings. But why does the population of my kingdom not increase, and why does the population of other kingdoms not decrease?"

Mencius answered, "Since you love war, I will make this example: When going to war, and the drums beat to start the attack, some soldiers flee for their lives in fear. Some run 100 paces in retreat, and others run 50 steps. Then the ones who retreated 50 paces laugh and taunt those who retreated 100 paces, calling them cowards mortally afraid of death. Do you think this is reasonable?

The King of Wei answered, "Of course not! Those who run 50 paces are just as timid as those who run 100 paces."

Mencius then said, "You are a king who treats his subjects better than other kings treat their people but you are so fond of war, that your people suffer from great losses in battle. Therefore, your population does not grow. While other kings allow their people to starve to death, you send your people to die in war. Is there really any difference?"

This famous conversation led to the six-character proverb shown here. It serves as a warning to avoid hypocrisy. It goes hand-in-hand with the western phrase, "The pot calls the kettle black," or the Biblical phrase, "Before trying to remove a splinter from your neighbor's eye, first remove the plank from your own eye."

Release / Let Go

China fàng
Japan hana / pang
Release / Let Go

This means to release, to free, to let go, to let out, to set off (fireworks)

In Japanese, this can also be a place called Hanashi

This is also used in the context of Buddhism. In Buddhism, this can represent the release of desire, materialism, suffering, or mortality.

Perseverance / Fortitude

China jiǎn rěn
Japan ken nin
Perseverance / Fortitude

The first character means "strong," "solid," "firm," "unyielding" or "resolute."
The second character means "to beat," "to endure," or "to tolerate."
Together they speak of the strength from within yourself. Some may also translate this as "long-suffering" in a more Biblical sense.

This is a common term in Chinese and Korean Hanja but a little less commonly used in modern Japanese Kanji. For that reason, this selection is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean.


忍忍 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the second Kanji a little differently. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect the form where the little horizontal stroke crosses the vertical stroke. See differences in the images to the right. Technically, they are both the same character, and will be read the same in either language.

Blue Lotus

China qing lián
Japan seiren
Blue Lotus

靑蓮 is a common title for Blue Lotus. 靑蓮 is often used in a Buddhist context for blue lotus from the Sanskrit "utpala." This often refers to the clarity and purity of the lotus blue eyes possessed by a Living Buddha. It can also represent purity of mind (without desire, suffering, fear etc).

Self-Love / Love Yourself / Love Onself

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

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.

Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment

Samudaya
China jí dì
Japan jittai
Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment

At the core of suffering is often the concept of desire or attachment. This can be carnal desire, monetary desire, or the attachment you have to something that you are unwilling to part with (such as a fancy car). This is a simplification of the second noble truth which is really and exploration into the root causes of suffering - it's deeper than I can go in a few sentences.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity

China kè kǔ nài láo
Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity

This Chinese proverb suggests that you should always bear hardships and work hard.

Some will translate it as a suggestion to be assiduous and long-suffering.

My favorite is to use this to remind myself to be hard-working and capable of overcoming adversity.

Phoenix Rise from the Ashes

China fèng huáng niè pán
Phoenix Rise from the Ashes

This proverb suggests "Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes." Literally, it means, "Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana."

There is a legend in China of a great bird which is reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill-will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the whole world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).

500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.

Four Noble Truths (Full List)

China kǔ dì jí dì miè dì dào dì
Japan kutai jittai mettai doutai
Four Noble Truths (Full List)

This is the list of tenets of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).

If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian?

Only by experiencing hardship will allow you to understand the plight of others
China bù dāng hé shang bù zhī zhāi jiè kǔ
If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian?

This literally translates as:
[One who has] not been a monk [does not] know the suffering of [being on a] vegetarian diet.

This is a bit like the "walk a mile in another man's shoes" saying. Basically it's about you cannot fully understand the plight of others until you experience it yourself.

No Pain No Gain

Japan itami naku shite erumono wa nashi
No Pain No Gain

This Japanese phrase means "no pain, no gain."

Literally, this suggests that with pain, a gain must follow.

The pain Kanji here can also be translated as sorrow or suffering. The gain can also mean profit, advantage, or benefit. In Japanese Buddhist context, that gain Kanji can mean rebirth in paradise, entering nirvana.

The character break down:
痛みなく (itami naku) pain; ache; sore; grief; distress. The naku part adds a meaning of "a lot of" or "extended"
して (shite) and then. (indicates a causative expression; acts as a connective particle)
得る (eru) to get; to acquire; to obtain; to procure; to earn; to win; to gain; to secure; to attain.
もの (mono) conjunctive particle indicating a cause or reason.
なし (nashi) none of; -less; without; no.


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

Search for Suffer in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Four Noble Truths: Suffering 苦諦
苦谛
kutaikǔ dì / ku3 di4 / ku di / kudi k`u ti / kuti / ku ti
Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering 道諦
道谛
doutai / dotaidào dì / dao4 di4 / dao di / daodi tao ti / taoti
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism) 四諦
四谛
shitaisì dì / si4 di4 / si di / sidi ssu ti / ssuti
Pain of Seperation from Your Loves 愛別離苦
爱别离苦
ai betsu ri ku
aibetsuriku
ài bié lí kǔ
ai4 bie2 li2 ku3
ai bie li ku
aibieliku
ai pieh li k`u
aipiehliku
ai pieh li ku
The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100 五十步笑百步wù shí bù xiào bǎi bù
wu4 shi2 bu4 xiao4 bai3 bu4
wu shi bu xiao bai bu
wushibuxiaobaibu
wu shih pu hsiao pai pu
wushihpuhsiaopaipu
Release
Let Go
hana / pangfàng / fang4 / fang
Perseverance
Fortitude
堅忍
坚忍
ken nin / kenninjiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren chien jen / chienjen
Blue Lotus 靑蓮
靑莲
seirenqing lián / qing lian2 / qing lian / qinglian ch`ing lien / chinglien / ching lien
Self-Love
Love Yourself
Love Onself
自愛
自爱
ji ai / jiaizì ài / zi4 ai4 / zi ai / ziai tzu ai / tzuai
Four Noble Truths: Desire and Attachment 集諦
集谛
jittaijí dì / ji2 di4 / ji di / jidi chi ti / chiti
Use Hard Work to Overcome Adversity 刻苦耐勞
刻苦耐劳
kè kǔ nài láo
ke4 ku3 nai4 lao2
ke ku nai lao
kekunailao
k`o k`u nai lao
kokunailao
ko ku nai lao
Phoenix Rise from the Ashes 鳳凰涅磐
凤凰涅磐
fèng huáng niè pán
feng4 huang2 nie4 pan2
feng huang nie pan
fenghuangniepan
feng huang nieh p`an
fenghuangniehpan
feng huang nieh pan
Four Noble Truths (Full List) 苦諦集諦滅諦道諦
苦谛集谛灭谛道谛
kutai jittai mettai doutai
kutaijittaimettaidoutai
kutai jittai mettai dotai
kutaijittaimettaidotai
kǔ dì jí dì miè dì dào dì
ku3 di4 ji2 di4 mie4 di4 dao4 di4
ku di ji di mie di dao di
kudijidimiedidaodi
k`u ti chi ti mieh ti tao ti
kutichitimiehtitaoti
ku ti chi ti mieh ti tao ti
If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian? 不當和尚不知齋戒苦
不当和尚不知斋戒苦
bù dāng hé shang bù zhī zhāi jiè kǔ
bu4 dang1 he2 shang bu4 zhi1 zhai1 jie4 ku3
bu dang he shang bu zhi zhai jie ku
pu tang ho shang pu chih chai chieh k`u
pu tang ho shang pu chih chai chieh ku
No Pain No Gain 痛みなくして得るものなしitami naku shite erumono wa nashi
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.


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