Asian Art Gallery

Adventures in Asian Art



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1. Other similar-meaning words.
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Tai Chi in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Tai Chi calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "Tai Chi" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Tai Chi" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Tai Chi / Tai Ji
  2. Tai Chi Chuan Dao...
  3. Five Elements Tai Chi Fist
  4. Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu
  5. Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan
  6. Sword
  7. Pushing Hands / Tui Sau
  8. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
  9. Qi Gong / Chi Kung


Tai Chi / Tai Ji

China tài jí
Japan taikyoku
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This is the shortened title for Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Ji Quan that as sometimes used in Western countries. Basically just removing the last character which means fist. I don't recommend this two-character selection because it's not really a word without the third character in Japanese and Chinese.

Tai Chi Chuan Dao
Tai Ji Quan Dao

China tài jí quán dào
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This is the common Tai Chi Chuan title with "Dao" (the Way) added to the end.

If you're not sure, I suggest the shorter titles such as "Tai Chi Chuan", or just "Tai Chi".

Five Elements Tai Chi Fist

China wǔ xíng tài jí quán
Japan go gyou tai kyoku ken
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This is a certain school or style of Tai Chi (Taiji). The characters literally mean "Five Elements Tai Chi Fist".

Notes:
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 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.

Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu

China tài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu
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This is the title Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu. Please note that it can be romanized a variety of ways such as:
Tai Chi Ving Tsun Kung Fu
Tai Qi Yong Chun Gong Fu
Taai Gik Wing Ceon Gung Fu

Be sure this is the right title for what you are looking for before you order.

Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan

China tài jí quán
Japan tai kyoku ken
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This is the famous Taoist meditation and martial art exercise. The direct translation of these characters would be something like "grand ultimate fist", but that does not quite hit the mark for what this title really means.

An early-morning walk through any city in China near a park or open area will yield a view of Chinese people practicing this ancient technique.

The typical scene is an old man of no less than 80 years on this earth, with a wispy white beard and perhaps a sword in one hand. He makes slow moves that are impossibly smooth. He is steady-footed, and always in balance. For him, time is meaningless and proper form and technique is far more important than speed.

For the younger generation, faster moves may look impressive and seem smooth to the casual observer. But far more discipline and mental strength is needed to create perfectly smooth moves in virtual slow motion.

Note: There are two ways to Romanize these Chinese characters as seen in the title above. The pronunciation and actual characters are the same in Chinese. If you really used English sounds/words to pronounce this, it would be something like "tie jee chew-on" (just make the "chew-on" as one flowing syllable).

Sword

China jiàn
Japan ken / tsurugi
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This Character is pronounced "jian" in Chinese. When you say it, imagine that you are making the sound of a sword as it clashes with a metal shield. This might get you closer to the correct pronunciation in Chinese.

I actually wonder if this word came from the metallic ringing sounds of a sword in battle - but such knowledge is lost in history.

The sword is a symbol of a warrior. The one thing that a soldier in ancient China lived and died by. A warrior with his skills and sword proves himself of great value. A warrior who losses his sword instantly becomes worthless.

This is an excellent scroll for someone in the military (especially officers of all services - as well as enlisted NCO Marines since they still carry swords even if mainly for ceremonial purposes). Or perhaps someone who practices variations of kung fu or tai chi that involve weapons.

Please note that while this character is understood with the sword meaning in Japanese, you might be looking for the word "katana" which also means sword in Japanese, but means "knife" in Chinese.


There are other ways to write sword, and here are a few...
Common Japanese and rare Chinese traditional form of sword Typical traditional form of sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese This one kind of means Typical traditional form of sword in Chinese Common Japanese and rare Chinese traditional form of sword Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese This one kind of means Typical traditional form of sword in Chinese Typical traditional form of sword in Chinese Common Japanese and rare Chinese traditional form of sword Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese This one kind of means Typical traditional form of sword in Chinese Common Japanese and rare Chinese traditional form of sword Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese This one kind of means Typical traditional form of sword in Chinese Common Japanese and rare Chinese traditional form of sword Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese Old/Alternative way to write sword in Chinese This one kind of means
If you are particular about the version you receive, please let me know when you place your order (Note: Special styles are only available from one of our master calligraphers).

We have a forum entry that addresses the many ways to write sword. You can find that here: 100 Ways to Write Sword - Deciphering Ancient Seal Script

Pushing Hands / Tui Sau

China tuī shǒu
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This is the martial arts title "Pushing Hands".

This is the title for two-person training routines practiced in internal Chinese martial arts such as Baguazhang, Xingyiquan, Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan), Liuhebafa, Chuan Fa, and Yiquan.

The first character means "pushing".
The second character means "hand" (or "hands").

This term can be romanized as "Tui Sau", "Tui Sao", or from Mandarin, "Tui Shou".

If you are looking for this term, chances are, you already know the meaning within the context of Tai Chi and other martial arts.

Life Energy / Spiritual Energy

Chi Energy: Essence of Life / Energy Flow
China
Japan ki
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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.

米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.

氣氣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.

氣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.


気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.


See Also...  Energy | Life Force | Vitality | Life | Birth | Soul

Qi Gong / Chi Kung

China qì gōng
Japan kikou
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Qigong is the title of a technique that is somewhere between a medical practice, meditation, and in some cases a religion. The definition is blurred depending on which school of Qigong you are following. In some cases, it is even incorporated with martial arts.

Some people (even Chinese people) mix this title with Tai Chi (Tai Qi) exercises.

Lately in China, people will claim to practice Tai Chi rather than Qigong because the Qigong title was recently used as a cover for an illegal pseudo-religious movement in China with the initials F.G. or F.D. (I can not write those names here for fear of our website being banned in China).

You can learn those names and more here: Further info about Qigong

If you are wondering about why I wrote "Qi Gong" and "Chi Kung" as the title of this calligraphy entry, I should teach you a little about the various ways in which Chinese can be Romanized. One form writes this as "Chi Kung" or "Chikung" (Taiwan). In the mainland and elsewhere, it is Romanized as "Qi Gong" or "Qigong". The actual pronunciation is the same in Taiwan, mainland, and Singapore Mandarin. Neither Romanization is exactly like English. If you want to know how to say this with English rules, it would be something like "Chee Gong" (but the "gong" has a vowel sound like the "O" in "go").

Romanization is a really confusing topic and has caused many Chinese words to be mispronounced in the west. One example is "Kung Pao Chicken" which should actually be more like "Gong Bao" with the "O" sounding like "oh" for both characters. Neither system of Romanization in Taiwan or the Mainland is perfect in my opinion and lead to many misunderstandings.


Check dictionary for tai chi


You should look at these ready-to-ship pieces of artwork:

Old Tai Gong Fishing Wall Scroll

Old Tai Gong Fishing Wall Scroll

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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)

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.




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...

Aikido
Ambition
Autumn
Axel
Balanced Life
Bamboo
Be Happy
Beautiful
Beautiful Girl
Beautiful Princess
Beautiful Woman
Beauty
Beloved Son
Best Love
Bird
Black Belt
Bless and Protect
Blossom
Bodhi
Brother
Brotherly Love
Buddha
Bushido
Cause and Effect
Charles
Cherry Blossom
Christian
Death Before Surrender
Determination
Double Happiness
Dragon
Dragon Tiger
Drink
Effort
Enlightenment
Erin
Fall
Family
Fight
Fish
Flower
Flowers
Forest
Free Spirit
Frog
Geisha
Ghost
God is Always With You
God is Love
Gold Fish
Golden
Grace
Grace from Heaven
Great
Great Ambitions
Guan Gong
Happiness
Happy
Harmony
Hazel
Hero
Horse
I Love You
I Need You
Infinite
Inner Beauty
Jasmine
John
Koi Fish
Live for the Day
Live for the Moment
Live for Today
Live in Prosperity
Live Love Die
Live the Moment
Longevity
Lotus
Love
Love Always
Love and Respect
Love You Forever
Luck
Miguel
Miles
Moon
Mountain
Mountains
Nothing
Nothingness
One Life One Chance
One True Love
Peace
Peace of Mind
Pearl
People
Plum
Precious
Rain and Wind
Regina
Remember
River
Saint
Sakura
Scorpio
Seasons
Serena
Sexy
Spirit of the Tiger
Steve
Strength
Strong
Strong Will
Three
Tiger
Tigers
Warrior
Water
Wisdom from Hard Knocks
Woman
Year of the Dragon
Yin Yang

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!!!



See: Our list of specifically Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls. And, check out Our list of specifically old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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

Title
Characters 
Simplified
Traditional
Japanese Romaji
(Romanized Japanese)
Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Tai Chi / Tai Ji太极
太極
taikyokutài jí
tai ji
t`ai chi
tai4 ji2
taiji
taichi
tai chi
Tai Chi Chuan Dao
Tai Ji Quan Dao
太极拳道
太極拳道
n/atài jí quán dào
tai ji quan dao
t`ai chi ch`üan tao
tai4 ji2 quan2 dao4
taijiquandao
taichichüantao
tai chi chüan tao
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist五行太极拳
五行太極拳
go gyou tai kyoku ken
gogyoutaikyokuken
go gyo tai kyoku ken
wǔ xíng tài jí quán
wu xing tai ji quan
wu hsing t`ai chi ch`üan
wu3 xing2 tai4 ji2 quan2
wuxingtaijiquan
wuhsingtaichichüan
wu hsing tai chi chüan
Tai Chi Wing Chun Kung Fu太极咏春功夫
太極詠春功夫
n/atài jí yǒng chūn gōng fu
tai ji yong chun gong fu
t`ai chi yung ch`un kung fu
tai4 ji2 yong3 chun1 gong1 fu
taijiyongchungongfu
taichiyungchunkungfu
tai chi yung chun kung fu
Tai Chi Chuan / Tai Ji Quan太极拳
太極拳
tai kyoku ken
taikyokuken
tài jí quán
tai ji quan
t`ai chi ch`üan
tai4 ji2 quan2
taijiquan
taichichüan
tai chi chüan
Sword
ken / tsurugijiàn
jian
chien
jian4
Pushing Hands / Tui Sau推手
推手
n/atuī shǒu
tui shou
t`ui shou
tui1 shou3
tuishou
tuishou
tui shou
Life Energy / Spiritual Energy气 / 気
ki
qi
ch`i
qi4
chi
chi
Qi Gong / Chi Kung气功
氣功
kikou
kiko
qì gōng
qi gong
ch`i kung
qi4 gong1
qigong
chikung
chi kung

If you have not set up your computer to display Chinese, the characters in this table probably look like empty boxes or random text garbage.
This is why I spent hundreds of hours making images so that you could view the characters in the "tai chi" listings above.
If you want your Windows computer to be able to display Chinese characters you can either head to your Regional and Language options in your Win XP control panel, select the [Languages] tab and click on [Install files for East Asian Languages]. This task will ask for your Win XP CD to complete in most cases. If you don't have your Windows XP CD, or are running Windows 98, you can also download/run the simplified Chinese font package installer from Microsoft which works independently with Win 98, ME, 2000, and XP. It's a 2.5MB download, so if you are on dial up, start the download and go make a sandwich.

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