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2. Three Souls
道士 is a Japanese Kanji, Korean Hanja, and Chinese title that means Daoist or Taoist.
This can refer to a Taoist priest, or a person of high morals. This can also be applied to Buddhists and to Śākyamuni (especially in Japanese). It suggest a person (or soldier) who follows the way or the right path. Thus a person who follows a path of virtue.
道場 is the Japanese term for a room or hall in which martial arts are taught. 道場 is often spelled "dojo" which has become a word in the English lexicon. However, the true Romaji is "doujou" or "dōjō."
Please note: The Chinese definition of these characters is quite different. In Chinese, this is a place where Buddhist or Taoist mass is held. It could also be the place where spiritual or psychic events are performed.
In Taoist and Buddhist context, this means to "Walk in the Way." In Buddhism, that further means to follow the Buddha truth. In some Buddhist sects, this can mean to make a procession around a statue of the Buddha (always with the right shoulder towards the Buddha).
Outside of that context, this can mean route (when going somewhere), the way to get somewhere, etc.
In Japanese, this can be the surname or given name Yukimichi.
Wu Wei is a Daoist (Taoist) tenet, that speaks to the idea of letting nature take its course.
Some will say it's about knowing when to take action and when not to. In reality, it's more about not going against the flow. What is going to happen is controlled by the Dao (Tao), for which one who follows the Dao will not resist or struggle against.
There is a lot more to this concept but chances are, if you are looking for this entry, you already know the expanded concept.
Warning: Outside of Daoist context, this means idleness or inactivity (especially in Japanese where very few know this as a Daoist concept).
道 is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.
道 is the base of what is known as "Taoism." If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path."
Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)
The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.
More about Taoism / Daoism here.
Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.
Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.
Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.
See our Taoism Page
太極拳 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).
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|道士||dou shi / doushi / do shi / doshi||dào shì / dao4 shi4 / dao shi / daoshi||tao shih / taoshih|
|Three Souls||三魂||san tamashi |
|sān hún / san1 hun2 / san hun / sanhun|
|Eight Immortals||八仙||hassen / hasen||bā xiān / ba1 xian1 / ba xian / baxian||pa hsien / pahsien|
|The Way of Five Pecks of Rice||五斗米道||gotobeidou / gotobeido||wǔ dǒu mǐ dào|
wu3 dou3 mi3 dao4
wu dou mi dao
|wu tou mi tao
Martial Arts Studio
|dou jou / doujou / do jo / dojo||dào cháng|
|Walk in the Way||行道||yukimichi||xíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdao||hsing tao / hsingtao|
|mui||wú wéi / wu2 wei2 / wu wei / wuwei|
|道||michi / -do||dào / dao4 / dao||tao|
|Tai Chi Chuan|
Tai Ji Quan
|tai kyoku ken|
|tài jí quán|
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
|t`ai chi ch`üan
tai chi chüan
|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.
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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 Taoist Kanji, Taoist Characters, Taoist in Mandarin Chinese, Taoist Characters, Taoist in Chinese Writing, Taoist in Japanese Writing, Taoist in Asian Writing, Taoist Ideograms, Chinese Taoist symbols, Taoist Hieroglyphics, Taoist Glyphs, Taoist in Chinese Letters, Taoist Hanzi, Taoist in Japanese Kanji, Taoist Pictograms, Taoist in the Chinese Written-Language, or Taoist in the Japanese Written-Language.
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