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The Way in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a The Way calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "The Way" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "The Way" title below...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Daoism / Taoism
  2. The Way of Tea
  3. Bushido / The Way of the Samurai
  4. Kendo / The Way of the Sword
  5. Walk in the Way
  6. The Way of Five Pecks of Rice
  7. The Way of the Wave
  8. The Way of the Dragon
  9. Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do
10. Love Will Find A Way
11. Milky Way Galaxy
12. Where There is a Will, There is a Way
13. Move On / Change Way of Thinking
14. The Old Way / Old School
15. Walking 100 Miles:...
16. Way of Life / Art of Life
17. Where there’s a will there’s a way
18. Where There is a Will, There is a Way
19. Zendo / The Zen Way


Daoism / Taoism

Literally: The Way or Road
China dào
Japan michi / -do
Daoism / Taoism

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

Daoism / Taoism

China dào jiào
Japan doukyou
Daoism / Taoism

道教 is the title often used in both Chinese and Japanese to describe the beliefs or religion of Taoism / Daoism. The first character is simply "dao" and the second character can be translated as "teachings," "faith" or "doctrine."

The Way of Tea

China chá dào
Japan cha dou
The Way of Tea

茶道 means The Way of Tea (literally, "tea way") in Chinese and Japanese.

This may refer to a tea ceremony or a general lifestyle of tea preparing and drinking.

In Japanese, this can be pronounced sadō or chadō (seems that sadō refers more often to a tea ceremony, and chadō when it's the Way of Tea).

茶道 is also used in Buddhist context with the same meaning of the Way of Tea.

Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

China wǔ shì dào
Japan bu shi do
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

武士道 is the title for, "The Code of the Samurai."

Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai," "The Bushido Code," or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry."

This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior," "The Warrior's Way," or "The Warrior's Code."

It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan, and thought of as being of Japanese origin.

The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Benevolence 仁, Courage 勇, Honesty 誠, Honour 名誉, Loyalty 忠実, Respect 礼(禮), and Rectitude 義. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Samurai | Warrior

Kendo / The Way of the Sword

China jiàn dào
Japan kendou
Kendo / The Way of the Sword

Often associated with Kenjutsu, this word means "The way of the sword" in Japanese (and Korean with alternate form of the first character).
This is also the term used for swordsmanship and even fencing in Japanese and Korean, depending on context.

Note: These same characters are also used separately in Chinese but this exact combination yields a common title in Japanese only (perhaps someone who is really into swords would use this in China).

Note: There is more than one way to write the "sword" character (shown above is the Japanese version - if you want the Korean version, please let me know when you place your order).


See Also:  Sword | Katana

Walk in the Way

The Way of Buddha Truth
China xíng dào
Japan yukimichi
Walk in the Way

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.

The Way of Five Pecks of Rice

China wǔ dǒu mǐ dào
Japan gotobeidou
The Way of Five Pecks of Rice

This Chinese and Japanese Kanji title means, "Way of the Five Pecks of Rice."

This is a Taoist/Daoist movement which later became known as, "The Way of the Celestial Masters."

The Way of the Wave

The Tao of the Waves
China làng zhī dào
The Way of the Wave

浪之道 is a great title for a surfer whose lifestyle is entwined with the surf and waves.
This can be translated a few different ways:
The Way of the Wave
The Dao of the Wave
The Tao of the Waves
Note: Dao and Tao are the same character, just sometimes romanized differently.

The Way of the Dragon

China měng lóng guò jiāng
The Way of the Dragon

猛龍過江 is the title of the 1972 movie, "The Way of the Dragon."

This actually means, "Fierce dragons crossing the river."
If you want a title that means, "way of the dragon," please see the more accurate 龍之道 3-character title.

The Way of the Dragon

China lóng zhī dào
The Way of the Dragon

龍之道 is how the way of the dragon is written in Chinese.

龍之道 is not the same as the Chinese movie that was titled in English as "The Way of the Dragon". 龍之道 is rather, the literal meaning, of the dragon's way. The first character is dragon, the second is a possessive article, and the third character means way or path.

Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do

China táng shǒu dào
Japan kara te do
Old Karate / Tang Hand Way / Tang Soo Do

唐手道 is the alternate title for Karate-do. This title uses a character which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the "Tang Hand Way" or incorrectly, "Tang Fist Way." I have also seen some call it "China Hand Way."

There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China, and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means "Empty Hand" (as in, without weapons).

In Korean, this title represents a certain style of martial arts. From Korean, this is often romanized as "Tang Soo Do," "Tangsudo," "Dang Su Do," or "Dangsudo." The last two romanizations on that list are the official Korean government romanization, though martial arts schools tend to use other non-standard versions.

Love Will Find A Way

China zhōng chéng juàn shǔ
Love Will Find A Way

終成眷屬 is a Chinese proverb that translated roughly as, "Love will find a way to come together."

Love Will Find A Way

China yǒu qíng rén zhōng chéng juàn shǔ
Love Will Find A Way

This is the long version of the Chinese proverb that translates as, "Where there are lovers, love will find a way (to come together)".

Milky Way Galaxy

China yín hé
Japan ginga
Milky Way Galaxy

銀河 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja name for the Milky Way (our galaxy).

This can also be the Japanese female given name, Ginga.

Milky Way Galaxy

China yín hé xì
Japan gingakei
Milky Way Galaxy

銀河系 is the long form of the Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean name for the Milky Way Galaxy (our galactic system).

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

China yú gōng yí shān
Where There is a Will, There is a Way

愚公移山 is the Chinese proverb (also somewhat known in Japan and Korea) for, "the silly old man moves a mountain."

Figuratively, this means, "where there's a will, there's a way."

Based on a fable of Lord Yu (愚公). He moved the soil of the mountain in front of his house. After years of effort, he finally moved the entire mountain.

The moral of the story: Anything can be accomplished if one works at it ceaselessly.


The Japanese version of this is 愚公山を移す (gu kou yama wo utsu su). But better to get the Chinese version, since this is originally a Chinese proverb.


See Also:  Nothing Is Impossible

Move On / Change Way of Thinking

Japan norikaeru
Move On / Change Way of Thinking

乗り換える is the Japanese way to say, "move on." This can also be translated as, "to change one's mind," "to change methods," "to change one's way of thinking." For instance, if you changed your love interest, or political ideology, you might describe the act of that change with this title.

Colloquially in Japan, this is also used to describe the act of transferring trains or to change from one bus or train to another.


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

The Old Way / Old School

Japan kodou
The Old Way / Old School

古道 is the Japanese word meaning "The Old Way." The first character literally means old or ancient. The second character means "the way" and is the same character as used in Taoism / Daoism (Taoism literally means "the way").

This second character can also be translated as "method," as in a way of doing things.

古道 is sometimes Romanized as "kodo" though officially, the Romaji should be "Kodou."

My Japanese-English dictionary further translates this word as old road, ancient methods, ancient moral teachings, the way of learning.

Note that this would be understood differently in Chinese. Most Chinese people would just read this as, "The old road" without the other meanings derived in Japanese.

Walking 100 Miles:
Stopping at 90 miles, is the same as stopping half-way.

China xíng bǎi lǐ zhě bàn jiǔ shí
Walking 100 Miles: / Stopping at 90 miles, is the same as stopping half-way.

This old Chinese proverb speaks to the act of giving up. This phrase suggests that no matter how close you are to finishing your task or journey, giving up just before you finish, is just as bad as giving up halfway.

50% finished or 90% finished, the result is the same: "You are not finished."

You can take what you want from this proverb but I think it suggests that you should finish what you start, and especially finish that last 10% of your journey or project so that you can honestly say "it's finished."

Some notes: The character, 里, that I am translating as "mile" is really an ancient "Chinese mile" which is actually about half a kilometer - it just doesn't sound right to say "When walking 100 half-kilometers..."

Way of Life / Art of Life

China shēng huó fǎ
Japan seikatsuhou
Way of Life / Art of Life

生活法 is a Japanese and Chinese title meaning, "art of living" or "way of life."

This can also be translated a few other ways, such as, "rule of life" and "the act of living."

The "art" title kind of comes from the fact that the last character is the same as the book, "The Art of War." So when you write your book, this is the title for, "The Art of Life," in Chinese and Japanese.

Where there’s a will there’s a way

persevere and you will succeed
China yǒu zhì jìng chéng
Where there’s a will there’s a way

This Chinese proverb means, "persevere and you will succeed."

It's very much like the English idiom, "where there's a will, there's a way."

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

Japan seishin ittou nanigoto ka nara zaran
Where There is a Will, There is a Way

This Japanese expression means, "Where there is a will, there is a way. There are other Japanese phrases with similar meaning but this one is the most commonly used (according to number of results on Japanese Google).

This can also be romanized as, "seshinittonanigotokanarazaran."


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

Zendo / The Zen Way

China chán dào
Japan zen dou
Zendo / The Zen Way

This title is used in certain contexts but is not widely-known by the general population of China or Japan.

From Japanese, you will see this title romanized as "zendo," which is the brand name of a board game, and also a title used by some martial arts studios and karate dojos. Oddly, many translate this as "zen fist" although there is no "fist" in the title. If you literally translated this title, it would be "meditation way" or "meditation method."

In Chinese, this would be "chan dao" with the same literal meaning as the Japanese title. It's used in China by just a handful of martial arts styles/studios.

You should only order this title if you really understand the meaning, and it has some personal connection to you (such as practicing a martial art style that uses this title, or if you love the board game Zendo). Many who see your wall scroll will not be familiar with this title, and you'll have some explaining to do.


禪The first character can also be written in a more complex traditional way as shown to the right. Let us know in the special instructions for your calligraphy project if you want this style.

禅If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, the first character will automatically be written with an extra dot on top. This is the variant form of the original Chinese character which is commonly used in modern Japan Kanji. See sample to the right.

Search for The Way in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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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
Daoism
Taoism
michi / -dodào / dao4 / dao tao
Daoism
Taoism
道教doukyou / dokyodào jiào / dao4 jiao4 / dao jiao / daojiao tao chiao / taochiao
The Way of Tea 茶道cha dou / chadou / cha do / chadochá dào / cha2 dao4 / cha dao / chadao ch`a tao / chatao / cha tao
Bushido
The Way of the Samurai
武士道bu shi do / bushidowǔ shì dào
wu3 shi4 dao4
wu shi dao
wushidao
wu shih tao
wushihtao
Kendo
The Way of the Sword
剱道 / 劍道
剣道
kendou / kendojiàn dào / jian4 dao4 / jian dao / jiandao chien tao / chientao
Walk in the Way 行道yukimichixíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdao hsing tao / hsingtao
The Way of Five Pecks of Rice 五斗米道gotobeidou / gotobeidowǔ dǒu mǐ dào
wu3 dou3 mi3 dao4
wu dou mi dao
wudoumidao
wu tou mi tao
wutoumitao
The Way of the Wave 浪之道làng zhī dào
lang4 zhi1 dao4
lang zhi dao
langzhidao
lang chih tao
langchihtao
The Way of the Dragon 猛龍過江
猛龙过江
měng lóng guò jiāng
meng3 long2 guo4 jiang1
meng long guo jiang
menglongguojiang
meng lung kuo chiang
menglungkuochiang
The Way of the Dragon 龍之道
龙之道
lóng zhī dào
long2 zhi1 dao4
long zhi dao
longzhidao
lung chih tao
lungchihtao
Old Karate
Tang Hand Way
Tang Soo Do
唐手道kara te do / karatedotáng shǒu dào
tang2 shou3 dao4
tang shou dao
tangshoudao
t`ang shou tao
tangshoutao
tang shou tao
Love Will Find A Way 終成眷屬
终成眷属
zhōng chéng juàn shǔ
zhong1 cheng2 juan4 shu3
zhong cheng juan shu
zhongchengjuanshu
chung ch`eng chüan shu
chungchengchüanshu
chung cheng chüan shu
Love Will Find A Way 有情人終成眷屬
有情人终成眷属
yǒu qíng rén zhōng chéng juàn shǔ
you3 qing2 ren2 zhong1 cheng2 juan4 shu3
you qing ren zhong cheng juan shu
yu ch`ing jen chung ch`eng chüan shu
yu ching jen chung cheng chüan shu
Milky Way Galaxy 銀河
银河
gingayín hé / yin2 he2 / yin he / yinhe yin ho / yinho
Milky Way Galaxy 銀河系
银河系
gingakeiyín hé xì
yin2 he2 xi4
yin he xi
yinhexi
yin ho hsi
yinhohsi
Where There is a Will, There is a Way 愚公移山yú gōng yí shān
yu2 gong1 yi2 shan1
yu gong yi shan
yugongyishan
yü kung i shan
yükungishan
Move On
Change Way of Thinking
乗り換えるnorikaeru
The Old Way
Old School
古道kodou / kodo
Walking 100 Miles: Stopping at 90 miles, is the same as stopping half-way. 行百里者半九十xíng bǎi lǐ zhě bàn jiǔ shí
xing2 bai3 li3 zhe3 ban4 jiu3 shi2
xing bai li zhe ban jiu shi
xingbailizhebanjiushi
hsing pai li che pan chiu shih
hsingpailichepanchiushih
Way of Life
Art of Life
生活法seikatsuhou
seikatsuho
shēng huó fǎ
sheng1 huo2 fa3
sheng huo fa
shenghuofa
Where there’s a will there’s a way 有志竟成yǒu zhì jìng chéng
you3 zhi4 jing4 cheng2
you zhi jing cheng
youzhijingcheng
yu chih ching ch`eng
yuchihchingcheng
yu chih ching cheng
Where There is a Will, There is a Way 精神一到何事か成らざらんseishin ittou nanigoto ka nara zaran
seishin itto nanigoto ka nara zaran
seishinittonanigotokanarazaran
Zendo
The Zen Way
禅道 / 禪道
禅道
zen dou / zendou / zen do / zendochán dào / chan2 dao4 / chan dao / chandao ch`an tao / chantao / chan tao
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.


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