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| 1. Three Souls
2. Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine
3. Inner Beauty / Beauty of Spirit
| 4. Mind, Body and Spirit|
5. Immovable Mind
6. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.
As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.
Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.
Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being
To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit," to define these.
This is probably the best way to express the idea of "Body, Mind and Spirit" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. We are actually using the word for "heart" here because for thousands of years, the heart was thought to be the place where your thoughts, feelings and emotions came from. We do something similar in the west when we say "warm-hearted" or "I love you with all of my heart." In this context, heart = mind in Asian language and culture.
The very literal translation of these three characters is "body, heart & spirit" which could also be interpreted as "body mind & soul."
We have arranged these characters in this order because it simply "feels" like the proper order in the Chinese language. Word lists like this are not so common for calligraphy artwork, so we have to be careful to put them in the most natural order. It should be noted that this is not a common title in Asia, nor is it considered an actual phrase (as it lacks a clear subject, verb, and object).
In Japanese Kanji, they use an alternate form of the character for soul or spirit. If you want this using the Japanese alternate, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above.
Japanese disclaimer: This is not a natural phrase/list in Japanese. While not totally-natural in Chinese, this word list is best if your audience is Chinese.
不動心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet.
Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: An unshakable mind and an immovable spirit is the state of fudoshin. It is courage and stability displayed both mentally and physically. Rather than indicating rigidity and inflexibility, fudoshin describes a condition that is not easily upset by internal thoughts or external forces. It is capable of receiving a strong attack while retaining composure and balance. It receives and yields lightly, grounds to the earth, and reflects aggression back to the source.
Other translations of this title include imperturbability, steadfastness, keeping a cool head in an emergency, or keeping one's calm (during a fight).
The first two Kanji alone mean immobility, firmness, fixed, steadfastness, motionless, idle.
The last Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
Together, these three Kanji create a title that is defined as "immovable mind" within the context of Japanese martial arts. However, in Chinese it would mean "motionless heart" and in Korean Hanja, "wafting heart" or "floating heart."
This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
氣 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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|
|Three Souls||三魂||san tamashi |
|sān hún / san1 hun2 / san hun / sanhun|
|Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine||精氣神|
|jīng qì shén
jing1 qi4 shen2
jing qi shen
|ching ch`i shen
ching chi shen
Beauty of Spirit
|nèi zài měi
nei4 zai4 mei3
nei zai mei
|nei tsai mei
Beauty of Spirit
|内面美||nai men bi / naimenbi|
|Mind, Body and Spirit||身心靈 / 身心霊|
|mi shin rei|
|shēn xīn líng
shen1 xin1 ling2
shen xin ling
|shen hsin ling
|Immovable Mind||不動心||fu dou shin|
fu do shin
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|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.
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 Three Souls Kanji, Three Souls Characters, Three Souls in Mandarin Chinese, Three Souls Characters, Three Souls in Chinese Writing, Three Souls in Japanese Writing, Three Souls in Asian Writing, Three Souls Ideograms, Chinese Three Souls symbols, Three Souls Hieroglyphics, Three Souls Glyphs, Three Souls in Chinese Letters, Three Souls Hanzi, Three Souls in Japanese Kanji, Three Souls Pictograms, Three Souls in the Chinese Written-Language, or Three Souls in the Japanese Written-Language.