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Truth in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Truth calligraphy wall scroll here!

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

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Truth
  2. True Religion / Buddha Truth
  3. Thirst for Truth
  4. Honesty
  5. Honesty / Fidelity
  6. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation
  7. In Wine there is Truth
  8. Seeking Truth
  9. Truth Flashed Through The Mind
10. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism
11. Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment


China zhēn xiàng
Japan shin sou
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Beyond "truth" in Chinese, this can also be used to say "the actual facts" or "genuine" depending on context.

This also means "truth" in Japanese, just not as commonly used.

See Also...  Honesty


Japan shinjitsu / sana
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Means "truth", "actual" or "reality" in Japanese. The second character is modified or no longer used in Chinese vocabulary - so this is Japanese only.

True Religion / Buddha Truth

The way of the truth
China shí dào
Japan jitsu dou
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True Religion / Buddha <mark>Truth</mark>

This Buddhist title means, "The true way", "The true religion", "The way of the truth", or "The absolute Buddha-truth".

Thirst for Truth

China kě fǎ
Japan katsuhō
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Thirst for <mark>Truth</mark>

This means to thirst for the truth, or for the Buddha-way. This is the internal need to seek the way of the truth in Buddhism.


China zhèng zhí
Japan shoujiki
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Honesty is being truthful and sincere. It is important because it builds trust. When people are honest, they can be relied on not to lie, cheat or steal. Being honest means that you accept yourself as you are. When you are open and trustworthy, others can believe in you.

This is one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do.

Note: This entry is cross-listed as "integrity" because it also fits that definition.

Japanese jikiPlease note that the second Kanji sometimes has an alternate form in Japanese. Let us know if you want the alternate form shown to the right.

See Also...   Trust | Integrity


China shí
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This character means real, true, honest, or solid. It is one of several ways to express the idea of truth.

Note: In some context, this can carry extended meanings of reality, actuality, really, sincerity, or substance.

See Also...  Trust | Justice


China chéng
Japan makoto
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This character means truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

As a single-character wall scroll, this suggests that you believe "honesty is the best policy", as your personal philosophy.

This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also...  Sincerity | Sincere

Honesty / Fidelity

China xìn
Japan shin
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Honesty / Fidelity

This is another character that expresses the idea of honesty. It can also mean truth, faith, believe in, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although "makoto" is probably more common/popular.

Note: In some context, this character can mean letter; news or envoy. However, alone, it will generally be read with the honesty-meaning.

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

See Also...  Loyalty Trustworthiness Trustworthy

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

China xīn yìn
Japan shin nin
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Appreciation of <mark>Truth</mark> by Meditation

This is a Buddhist concept that simply stated is "appreciation of truth by meditation".

It's a deep subject, but my understanding is that you can find truth through meditation, and once you've found truth, you can learn to appreciate it more through further meditation. This title is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist community (your Asian friends may or may not understand it). The literal translation would be something like "the mind seal", I've seen this term translated this way from Japanese Buddhist poetry. But apparently, the seal that is stamped deep in your mind is the truth. You just have to meditate to find it.

Soothill defines it this way: Mental impression, intuitive certainty; the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, which can seal or assure the truth; the term indicates the intuitive method of the Chan (Zen) school, which was independent of the spoken or written word.

Reference:Soothill-Hodous Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism

See Also...  Zen

In Wine there is Truth

China jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán
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In Wine there is <mark>Truth</mark>

This is a nice Asian proverb if you know a vintner or wine seller - or wine lover - although the actual meaning might not be exactly what you think or hope.

The literal meaning is that someone drinking wine is more likely to let the truth slip out. It can also be translated as, "People speak their true feelings after drinking alcohol".

It's long-believed in many parts of Asia that one can not consciously hold up a facade of lies when getting drunk, and therefore the truth will come out with a few drinks.

I've had the experience where a Korean man would not trust me until I got drunk with him (I was trying to gain access to the black market in North Korea which is tough to do as an untrusted outsider) - so I think this idea is still well-practiced in many Asian countries.

后 VS 後

Please note that there are two common ways to write the second character of this phrase. The way it's written will be left up to the mood of the calligrapher, unless you let us know that you have a certain preference.

See Also...  Honesty

Seeking Truth

China qiú dào
Japan gu dou
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Seeking <mark>Truth</mark>

This means seeking for truth, or to seek (practice for, strive for) enlightenment.

This is used mostly in Buddhist context, so some non-Buddhists may not recognize it.

Truth Flashed Through The Mind

China cān wù
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<mark>Truth</mark> Flashed Through The Mind

This is a Chan / Zen Buddhism concept that means "to understand (mystery) from meditation", or "to see truth flash through the mind".

This is a pretty deep idea, therefore, your own study and contemplation may be required before you can fully appreciate it.

Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

Japan ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoiyari no seishin
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Triple <mark>Truth</mark> of Japanese Buddhism

The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

This is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.

Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment

China bù bǐ bù zhī dào yī bǐ xià yì tiào
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Comparison Leads to <mark>Truth</mark> and Enlightenment

This Chinese proverb literally means: [If one not does] not make comparisons, [one will] not know [the truth] when [one] compares, [one will be] greatly surprised.

This goes to the idea that if you do not know bad times, you cannot know what good times are.
You can not know light without experiencing darkness.

Another way to translate this would be: If you wish to be enlightened, you need to make comparisons and analyze every aspect (of a situation, issue or problem).

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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...

Dragon Warrior
Life is A Journey
Lost Soul
Seize the Day
Tai Chi
Warrior Spirit

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

Romaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
shin sou
shin so
zhēn xiàng
zhen xiang
chen hsiang
zhen1 xiang4
shinjitsu / sanan/a
True Religion / Buddha Truth实道
jitsu dou
jitsu do
shí dào
shi dao
shih tao
shi2 dao4
Thirst for Truth渴法
katsuhōkě fǎ
ke fa
k`o fa
ke3 fa3
ko fa
zhèng zhí
zheng zhi
cheng chih
zheng4 zhi2
Honesty / Fidelity
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation心印
shin nin
xīn yìn
xin yin
hsin yin
xin1 yin4
In Wine there is Truth酒后吐真言
酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言
n/ajiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán
jiu hou tu zhen yan
chiu hou t`u chen yen
jiu3 hou4 tu3 zhen1 yan2
chiu hou tu chen yen
Seeking Truth求道
gu dou
gu do
qiú dào
qiu dao
ch`iu tao
qiu2 dao4
chiu tao
Truth Flashed Through The Mind参悟
n/acān wù
can wu
ts`an wu
can1 wu4
tsan wu
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoiyari no seishin
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyo na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba hoshi to omoiyari no seishin
Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment不比不知道一比吓一跳
n/abù bǐ bù zhī dào yī bǐ xià yì tiào
bu bi bu zhi dao yi bi xia yi tiao
pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i t`iao
bu4 bi3 bu4 zhi1 dao4 yi1 bi3 xia4 yi4 tiao4
pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i tiao

Some people may refer to this entry as Truth Kanji, Truth Characters, Truth in Mandarin Chinese, Truth Characters, Truth in Chinese Writing, Truth in Japanese Writing, Truth in Asian Writing, Truth Ideograms, Chinese Truth symbols, Truth Hieroglyphics, Truth Glyphs, Truth in Chinese Letters, Truth Hanzi, Truth in Japanese Kanji, Truth Pictograms, Truth in the Chinese Written-Language, or Truth in the Japanese Written-Language.

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