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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Tactics"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Tactics of War
  2. Art of War
  3. Sun Tzu - Art of War
  4. Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis
  5. Shaolin Generational Poem
  6. Soldiers
  7. Value of Warrior Generals
  8. Drain the pond to get all the fish
  9. Aikido
10. Furinkazan
11. Warriors: Quality Over Quantity
12. Attack When The Enemy Has Low Morale

Tactics of War

China zhàn shù
Japan senjutsu
Tactics of War Wall Scroll

This can mean "tactics of war," "battle tactics" or simply "tactics" (being that warfare is implied in that English word).

This word is written in the ancient and traditional form of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


In modern Japan, the first character has been simplified or modified. If you want the modern Japanese Kanji version, just click on that character shown to the right.

Art of War

China bīng fǎ
Japan hyou hou
Art of War Wall Scroll

兵法 means "Art of War." It also part of the title of a famous book of tactics by Sun Tzu. These characters could also be translated as "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures." If you are a military tactician, this is the wall scroll for you.

See Also:  Military

Sun Tzu - Art of War

military strategy, tactics, and procedure
China sūn zǐ bīng fǎ
Japan son shi hyou hou
Sun Tzu - Art of War Wall Scroll

孫子兵法 is the full title of the most famous book of military proverbs about warfare.

The English title is "Sun Tzu's The Art of War."

The last two characters have come to be known in the west as "The Art of War" but a better translation would be, "military strategy and tactics," "military skills" or "army procedures."

Note: Sometimes the author's name is Romanized as "Sun Zi" or "Sunzi."

It's written the same in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja.

See Also:  Military | Warrior

Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis

China dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
Japan dou ten chi shou hou
Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis Wall Scroll

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.

Shaolin Generational Poem

China sōng shān shào lín sì cáo dòng zhèng zōng chuán xù qī shí zì bèi jué fú huì zhì zǐ jiào běn yuán kě wù zhōu hóng pǔ guǎng zōng dào qìng tóng xuán zǔ qīng jìng zhēn rú hǎi zhàn jì chún zhēn sù dé xíng yǒng yán héng miào tǐ cháng jiān gù xīn lǎng zhào yōu shēn xìng míng jiàn chóng zuò zhōng zhēng shàn xǐ xiáng jǐn zhì yuán jì dù xuě tíng wéi dǎo shī yǐn rǔ guī xuàn lù
Shaolin Generational Poem Wall Scroll

嵩山少林寺曹洞正宗傳續七十字輩訣福慧智子覺了本圓可悟周洪普廣宗道慶同玄祖清靜真如海湛寂淳貞素德行永延恆妙體常堅固心朗照幽深性明鑒崇祚忠正善禧祥謹志原濟度雪庭為導師引汝歸鉉路 is a poem, including title, that celebrates the tactics and virtues of the Shaolin Kung Fu Monks for future generations.


China bīng
Japan hei
Soldiers Wall Scroll

This character can be used to express soldiers, troops, a force, an army, weapons, arms, military, warfare, tactics, strategy, or warlike. The final meaning depends on context. It's also part of the Chinese title for the Terracotta soldiers. In fact, this character is usually used in compound words (words of more than one character). Sometimes this single character is the title used for the pawns in a chess game (in a related issue, this is also a nickname for soldiers with the rank of Private).

See Also:  Military | Warrior

Value of Warrior Generals

China bīng zài jīng ér bú zài duō jiàng zài móu ér bú zài yǒng
Value of Warrior Generals Wall Scroll

This literally means: [Just as] soldiers/warriors [are valued for their] quality and not [just] for quantity, [so] generals [are valued] for their tactics, not [just] for [their] bravery.

兵在精而不在多將在謀而不在勇 is a proverb that follows one about how it is better to have warriors of quality, rather than just a large quantity of warriors in your army/force.

See Also:  兵在精而不在多

Drain the pond to get all the fish

Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
China jié zé ér yú
Drain the pond to get all the fish Wall Scroll

In 632 BC, Duke Wen of the Kingdom of Jin was about to lead an army against the forces of the Kingdom of Chu.
The Duke asked one of his advisers, Jiu Fan, how they could possibly win the impending battle, as they were drastically outnumbered.
Jiu Fan said, "All is fair in war," and went on to suggest a plan of dishonorable tactics (cheating).
The Duke was not sure of this advice, so he asked another adviser, Yong Ji, who replied, "If you catch fish by draining the pond, you can certainly get all the fish. But there will be no fish the following year. You can cheat this one time in battle but such tactics can only be used once, as the enemy will be wise in future encounters."

The Duke heard the words of his wiser adviser but cheated to gain victory in the battle. However, he rewarded Yong Ji more than Jiu Fan at the victory celebration, stating that while Jiu Fan's advice gained one victory, the wise words of Yong Ji would last forever.

This Chinese idiom/proverb is still used, over 2600 years later to remind people not to burn bridges, cheat, or dishonor oneself in exchange for a short term gain, while sacrificing the future.

竭澤而漁 is very similar to the meaning of the English phrase, "Kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."


China hé qì dào
Japan ai ki dou
Aikido Wall Scroll

合気道 is the modern Japanese way to write Aikido.

Aikido is often referred to as the defensive martial art.

While Aikido was born in Japan, it has become a somewhat famous form of defensive tactics taught to soldiers and Marines, as well as some law enforcement officers in the West.

Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony."
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit."
The third means "way" or "method."

Please note that while the original 合氣道 characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.

Note: It is somewhat accepted that this is the origin of Hapkido in Korea. And other than a modern simplification to the middle Kanji of this 3-Kanji word, it is written the same in Korean Hanja.

See Also:  Martial Arts | Hapkido


military strategy
China fēng lín huǒ shān
Japan fuu rin ka zan
Furinkazan Wall Scroll

風林火山 is the battle strategy and proverb of Japanese feudal lord Takeda Shingen (1521–1573 A.D.).

This came from the Art of War by Chinese strategist and tactician Sun Tzu (Sunzi).

You can think of this as a sort of abbreviation to remind officers and troops how to conduct battle.

風林火山 is literally a word list: Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain.

The more expanded meaning is supposed to be...

"Swift as the wind, quiet as the forest, fierce as fire, and immovable as a mountain"

"As fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain"

"Move as swift as the wind, stay as silent as a forest, attack as fierce as fire, undefeatable defense like a mountain"

"Move swiftly like the wind, stay silent like the forest, attack fiercely like fire, take tactical position on the mountain"

See Also:  Art of War

Warriors: Quality Over Quantity

China bīng zài jīng ér bú zài duō
Warriors: Quality Over Quantity Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally means: [The value of] soldiers/warriors lies in [their] quality, not [just] in [their] quantity.

In simple terms, this says that in regard to warriors, quality is better than quantity.

Most tacticians will agree that this can aid in the factor known as "force multiplication." Having good troops, of high morale, excellent training, and good discipline is like having a force that is three times larger.

See Also:  兵在精

Attack When The Enemy Has Low Morale

China bì qí ruì qì jī qí duò guī
Attack When The Enemy Has Low Morale Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Avoid [your enemy's] fighting spirit [and] attack [when] his [morale is] declining.

Figuratively, this means: Avoid the enemy when his morale is high. and strike him when his morale is flagging.

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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Tactics of War 戰術 / 戦術
senjutsuzhàn shù / zhan4 shu4 / zhan shu / zhanshu chan shu / chanshu
Art of War 兵法hyou hou / hyouhou / hyo ho / hyohobīng fǎ / bing1 fa3 / bing fa / bingfa ping fa / pingfa
Sun Tzu - Art of War 孫子兵法
son shi hyou hou
son shi hyo ho
sūn zǐ bīng fǎ
sun1 zi3 bing1 fa3
sun zi bing fa
sun tzu ping fa
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
Shaolin Generational Poem 嵩山少林寺曹洞正宗傳續七十字輩訣福慧智子覺了本圓可悟周洪普廣宗道慶同玄祖清靜真如海湛寂淳貞素德行永延恆妙體常堅固心朗照幽深性明鑒崇祚忠正善禧祥謹志原濟度雪庭為導師引汝歸鉉路
sōng shān shào lín sì cáo dòng zhèng zōng chuán xù qī shí zì bèi jué fú huì zhì zǐ jiào běn yuán kě wù zhōu hóng pǔ guǎng zōng dào qìng tóng xuán zǔ qīng jìng zhēn rú hǎi zhàn jì chún zhēn sù dé xíng yǒng yán héng miào tǐ cháng jiān gù xīn lǎng zhào yōu shēn xìng míng jiàn chóng zuò zhōng zhēng shàn xǐ xiáng jǐn zhì yuán jì dù xuě tíng wéi dǎo shī yǐn rǔ guī xuàn lù
song1 shan1 shao4 lin2 si4 cao2 dong4 zheng4 zong1 chuan2 xu4 qi1 shi2 zi4 bei4 jue2 fu2 hui4 zhi4 zi3 jiao4 le5 ben3 yuan2 ke3 wu4 zhou1 hong2 pu3 guang3 zong1 dao4 qing4 tong2 xuan2 zu3 qing1 jing4 zhen1 ru2 hai3 zhan4 ji4 chun2 zhen1 su4 de2 xing2 yong
song shan shao lin si cao dong zheng zong chuan xu qi shi zi bei jue fu hui zhi zi jiao le ben yuan ke wu zhou hong pu guang zong dao qing tong xuan zu qing jing zhen ru hai zhan ji chun zhen su de xing yong
sung shan shao lin ssu ts`ao tung cheng tsung ch`uan hsü ch`i shih tzu pei chüeh fu hui chih tzu chiao le pen yüan k`o wu chou hung p`u kuang tsung tao ch`ing t`ung hsüan tsu ch`ing ching chen ju hai chan chi ch`un chen su te hsing yung
sung shan shao lin ssu tsao tung cheng tsung chuan hsü chi shih tzu pei chüeh fu hui chih tzu chiao le pen yüan ko wu chou hung pu kuang tsung tao ching tung hsüan tsu ching ching chen ju hai chan chi chun chen su te hsing yung
Soldiers heibīng / bing1 / bing ping
Value of Warrior Generals 兵在精而不在多將在謀而不在勇
bīng zài jīng ér bú zài duō jiàng zài móu ér bú zài yǒng
bing1 zai4 jing1 er2 bu2 zai4 duo1 jiang4 zai4 mou2 er2 bu2 zai4 yong3
bing zai jing er bu zai duo jiang zai mou er bu zai yong
ping tsai ching erh pu tsai to chiang tsai mou erh pu tsai yung
Drain the pond to get all the fish 竭澤而漁
jié zé ér yú
jie2 ze2 er2 yu2
jie ze er yu
chieh tse erh yü
Aikido 合氣道
ai ki dou / aikidou / ai ki do / aikidohé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
ho ch`i tao
ho chi tao
Furinkazan 風林火山
fuu rin ka zan
fu rin ka zan
fēng lín huǒ shān
feng1 lin2 huo3 shan1
feng lin huo shan
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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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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