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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "Void"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Nothingness / Empty / Void
  2. Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality
  3. True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence
  4. Five Elements
  5. Nothingness
  6. Nothing / Nothingness
  7. Sky / Air / Ether / Space
  8. The Three Truths
  9. Humble / Modesty / Humility

Nothingness / Empty / Void

China xū kōng
Japan kokuu
Nothingness / Empty / Void Wall Scroll

虛空 means empty space, empty sky, or void.

In the Buddhist context, it can mean "emptiness of the material world." This can also be used as an adjective to modify other words with a meaning of unreal or insubstantial.

Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality

(Used in Japanese version of five elements)
China kōng
Japan kuu / kara / sora / ron
Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality Wall Scroll

This single character means empty, void, hollow, vacant, vacuum, blank, nonexistent, vacuity, voidness, emptiness, non-existence, immateriality, unreality, the false or illusory nature of all existence, being unreal.

In Buddhist context, this relates to the doctrine that all phenomena and the ego have no reality but are composed of a certain number of skandhas or elements, which disintegrate. The void, the sky, space. The universal, the absolute, complete abstraction without relativity. The doctrine further explains that all things are compounds, or unstable organisms, possessing no self-essence, i.e. are dependent, or caused, come into existence only to perish. The underlying reality, the principle of eternal relativity, or non-infinity, i.e. śūnya, permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution.

From Sanskrit and/or Pali, this is the translation to Chinese and Japanese of the title śūnya or śūnyatā.

In Japanese, when pronounced as "ron" (sounds like "roan") this can be a given name. It should be noted that this Kanji has about 5 different possible pronunciations in Japanese: kuu, kara, sora, ron, and uro. 空 is also an element in the Japanese version of the five elements.

True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence

China zhēn kōng miào yǒu
Japan shin kuu myou u
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence Wall Scroll

According to Soothill 眞空妙有 means:
The true void is the mysteriously existing; truly void, or immaterial, yet transcendentally existing.

眞空妙有 is the state of being absolutely nonexistent after removing all errant worldly influences. 眞空妙有 is achieved when all forms of existence is seen for their real nature.

This is a complex Buddhist concept. Feel free to add to the conversation about this concept here: Asian Forum: Shinku Myou

Five Elements

Japan chi sui ka fuu kuu
Five Elements Wall Scroll

地水火風空 is the specifically-Japanese version of the five elements. 地水火風空 is a little different than the ancient or original Chinese version.

The elements are written in this order:
1. Earth / Terra / Ground
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Wind / Air
5. Sky / Emptiness / Void / Ether

Note: This set of Kanji can also be romanized as "ji sui ka fuu kuu," "jisuikafuukuu," or "jisuikafuku."

These can also be written in the order 地火風水空 (chi ka sui fuu kuu). Let me know when you place your order if you want the Kanji to be in this character order.


China kōng wú
Japan kuu mu
Nothingness Wall Scroll

空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.

The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).

The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.

Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness."

I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery." Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).

Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature."

Nothing / Nothingness

Japan mu
Nothing / Nothingness Wall Scroll

無 is the simple way to express "nothing." However, this single character leaves a bit of mystery as to what you might really mean if you hang it as a wall scroll. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; as you can decide what it means to you, and you won't be wrong if you stay within the general context.

More info: This character is usually used as a suffix or prefix for Chinese and Japanese words (also old Korean). It can be compared to "un-" or "-less" in English. It can also mean "not to have," no, none, not, "to lack," or nothingness.

Sky / Air / Ether / Space

China tiān kōng
Japan ten kuu
Sky / Air / Ether / Space Wall Scroll

天空 means sky in most context but it can also refer to air, space, the heavens, or ether.

The Three Truths

China sān dì
Japan san dai / san tai
The Three Truths Wall Scroll

三諦 is a Buddhist term that means "threefold truth" or "three dogmas."

The three truths are:
1. All things are void (卽空).
2. All things are temporary (卽假).
3. All things are in the middle state between these two (卽中).

Humble / Modesty / Humility

China qiān xū
Japan ken kyo
Humble / Modesty / Humility Wall Scroll

In Japanese, first Kanji means "self-effacing," "humble oneself," "condescend," "be modest." The second means "void" or "emptiness."

謙虚 is the most common way to say humble or modest in Japanese without a derogatory meaning (some other words suggest weakness but this version holds a better humble meaning).

See Also:  Moderation

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
kokuu / kokuxū kōng / xu1 kong1 / xu kong / xukong hsü k`ung / hsükung / hsü kung
kuu / kara / sora / ron
ku / kara / sora / ron
kōng / kong1 / kong k`ung / kung
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence 眞空妙有shin kuu myou u
shin ku myo u
zhēn kōng miào yǒu
zhen1 kong1 miao4 you3
zhen kong miao you
chen k`ung miao yu
chen kung miao yu
Five Elements 地水火風空
chi sui ka fuu kuu
chi sui ka fu ku
Nothingness 空無
kuu mu / kuumu / ku mu / kumukōng wú / kong1 wu2 / kong wu / kongwu k`ung wu / kungwu / kung wu

muwú / wu2 / wu
天空ten kuu / tenkuu / ten ku / tenkutiān kōng
tian1 kong1
tian kong
t`ien k`ung
tien kung
The Three Truths 三諦
san dai / san tai
sandai / santai
sān dì / san1 di4 / san di / sandi san ti / santi
謙虚ken kyo / kenkyoqiān xū / qian1 xu1 / qian xu / qianxu ch`ien hsü / chienhsü / chien hsü
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 Void Kanji, Void Characters, Void in Mandarin Chinese, Void Characters, Void in Chinese Writing, Void in Japanese Writing, Void in Asian Writing, Void Ideograms, Chinese Void symbols, Void Hieroglyphics, Void Glyphs, Void in Chinese Letters, Void Hanzi, Void in Japanese Kanji, Void Pictograms, Void in the Chinese Written-Language, or Void in the Japanese Written-Language.