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Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Where There is a Will, There is a Way
2. Where there’s a will there’s a way
3. Love Will Find A Way
4. A Truly Determined Person Will Find a Solution
5. The Guts Theory
| 6. To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible
7. Smooth Sailing
8. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa
9. Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis
10. Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also
|11. Nothing is Impossible|
12. In Wine there is Truth
13. Asian Pride / Oriental Pride...
14. Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu
15. Better Late Than Never
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.
This 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
This Japanese title refers to the belief that where there's a will, there's a way.
Another way to translate this is, "The Guts Theory" or "The Doctrine of Will-Power." Maybe breaking down the meaning of the characters will help clarify this:
根性 = will-power; guts; temper; nature; spirit; nature and character; the nature of the powers of any sense.
論 = theory; doctrine; treatises on dogma, philosophy, discipline, etc.
This old Chinese proverb has been translated many different ways into English. As you read the translations below, keep in mind that in Chinese, heart=mind.
Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.
Nothing is impossible to a willing mind.
Nothing is difficult to a willing heart.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
Nothing in the world is impossible if you set your mind to do it.
A willful man will have his way.
If you wish it, you will do it.
A determined heart can accomplish anything.
All things are possible to a strong mind.
This is just what you think it means. It suggests that you are on a trouble-free voyage through life, or literally on a sailing ship or sail boat. It is often used in China as a wish for good luck on a voyage or as you set out on a new quest or career in your life. Some may use this in lieu of "bon voyage."
The literal meaning is roughly, "Once you raise your sail, you will get the wind you need, and it will take you where you want to go." Another way to translate it is "Your sail and the wind follow your will."
This is a great gift for a mariner, sailor, adventurer, or someone starting a new career.
Note: Can be understood in Korean Hanja but rarely used.
This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist," or even "law of the fist." The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.
Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.
These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).
The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).
Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:
1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.
2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist."
3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense." I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.
The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.
It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:
1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.
2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.
3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.
4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.
5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.
CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu's writings would understand.
Many things have opposite properties. The water you drink can also drown you. Pork may nourish you and keep you alive but under-cook it and it could kill you. Potassium nitrate is often used as a fertilizer to grow the food that sustains us but it's also been used as an explosive to topple buildings and destroy us.
This concept is easily associated with "yin yang" where an element has two opposite properties that are as different as night and day.
This proverb's meaning can be summed up this way: "Anything that can lead you to success may also contain great risks."
This phrase is known in literary circles by Korean people (scholars or literature). It is therefore also a valid proverb in Korean Hanja, though most Koreans would not be able to make sense of it.
Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.
This is a Japanese phrase that means, "nothing is impossible."
This is just one of a few ways to express this idea. This one is probably the most common but other valid versions include these:
Some shorter versions that just mean "not impossible" include these:
Another common phrase that roughly means, "No such thing as impossible" looks like this: 不可能なことはない
Some others include these...
Impossible things are possessed not by me: 無理なことなんてない
Where there's a will, there's a way: 精神一到何事か成らざらん
If you want any of these other versions for your wall scroll, just contact me and I'll set it up for you.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
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.
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.
東方自尊 is the most universal way to write "Asian Pride."
We worked on this one for a long time. The effort involved both Chinese and Japanese translators and lengthy discussions. If you have been searching for this term, there is a reason that it's hard to find the way to write "Asian Pride" in Chinese and Japanese - it's because of the inherent difficulties in figuring out a universal combination of characters that can be read in all languages that use forms of Chinese characters.
This final solution that you see to the left creates a reasonable title in Chinese, and an exotic (perhaps unusual) title in Japanese (This could be read as "Eastern Self-Respect" in Japanese").
Although not as natural, it does have the same meaning in Korean Hanja and the older-generation of Vietnamese people will be able to read it too.
The first two characters literally mean "Oriental" and the second two mean "pride," "self-esteem," or "self-respect" (we chose the most non-arrogant way to say "pride"). If you have "Asian Pride" (sometimes spelled Asian Pryde) these are the characters for you.
Note: For those of you that wonder, there is nothing technically wrong with the word "Oriental." It is a correct word, and any bad meanings were created by so-called "Asian Americans" and Caucasians in the United States. To say "Asian" would not completely correct to the intended meaning, since that would include people from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, India, and portions of Russia.
For further proof, if you were of East Asian ancestry and born in England, you would be known as a "British Oriental" (The "Oriental stigma" is basically an American creation and, therefore, applies mostly to the American English language - where they get a bit overzealous with political correctness).
Further, since the Chinese and Japanese word for Oriental is not English, it can not be construed having ill-meaning. One trip to China or Japan, and you will find many things titled with these two characters such as malls, buildings, and business names. These places also use "Oriental" as their English title (much as we do, since our Chinese business name starts with these same two characters).
In short, the first two character have the meaning that Americans attach to "Asian" but is more technically correct.
This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty. It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.
First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.
I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.
Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds peoples homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.
Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: .
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is:
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.
More about the poet:
Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.
He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.
During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.
His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.
The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.
Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.
Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King's court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.
The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.
One of the King's ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins."
This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation." The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin's words.
Seeing the King's displeasure with him and the King's fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.
Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.
The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"
Zhuang Xin told the King this story:
A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.
The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it's never too late to mend the fence."
This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.
I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.
Note: This does have Korean pronunciation but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.
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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|
|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
|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
|yü kung i shan
|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
|yu chih ching ch`eng
yu chih ching cheng
|Love Will Find A Way||有情人終成眷屬|
|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
|A Truly Determined Person Will Find a Solution||有志者事竟成||yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng
you3 zhi4 zhe3 shi4 jing4 cheng2
you zhi zhe shi jing cheng
|yu chih che shih ching ch`eng
yu chih che shih ching cheng
|The Guts Theory||根性論||kon jou ron|
kon jo ron
|To a Willing Heart, All Things Are Possible||有志者事竟成 / 有誌者事竟成|
|yǒu zhì zhě shì jìng chéng
you3 zhi4 zhe3 shi4 jing4 cheng2
you zhi zhe shi jing cheng
|yu chih che shih ching ch`eng
yu chih che shih ching cheng
|yī fán fēng shùn
yi1 fan2 feng1 shun4
yi fan feng shun
|i fan feng shun
|拳法||kenpou / kenpo||quán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfa||ch`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa|
|Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis||道天地將法|
|dou ten chi shou hou|
do ten chi sho ho
|dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
|tao t`ien ti chiang fa
tao tien ti chiang fa
|Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also||水能載舟亦能覆舟|
|shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
shui3 neng2 zai4 zhou1 yi4 neng2 fu4 zhou1
shui neng zai zhou yi neng fu zhou
|shui neng tsai chou i neng fu chou|
|Nothing is Impossible||何も不可能じゃない||nan mo fukanou janai|
nan mo fukano janai
|In Wine there is Truth||酒后吐真言 / 酒後吐真言|
|jiǔ hòu tǔ zhēn yán
jiu3 hou4 tu3 zhen1 yan2
jiu hou tu zhen yan
|chiu hou t`u chen yen
chiu hou tu chen yen
|tou hou zi son|
to ho zi son
|dōng fāng zì zūn
dong1 fang1 zi4 zun1
dong fang zi zun
|tung fang tzu tsun
|Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu||遠上寒山石徑斜白雲生處有人家停車坐愛楓林晚霜葉紅於二月花|
|yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā
yuan3 shang4 han2 shan1 shi2 jing4 xia2 bai2 yun2 sheng1 chu4 you3 ren2 jia1 ting2 che1 zuo4 ai4 feng1 lin2 wan3 shuang4 ye4 hong2 yu2 er4 yue4 hua1
yuan shang han shan shi jing xia bai yun sheng chu you ren jia ting che zuo ai feng lin wan shuang ye hong yu er yue hua
|yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng ch`u yu jen chia t`ing ch`e tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng chu yu jen chia ting che tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
|Better Late Than Never||亡羊補牢猶未為晚|
|wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
|wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
|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 Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Kanji, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Characters, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in Mandarin Chinese, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Characters, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in Chinese Writing, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in Japanese Writing, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in Asian Writing, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Ideograms, Chinese Where There Is a Will There Is a Way symbols, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Hieroglyphics, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Glyphs, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in Chinese Letters, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Hanzi, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in Japanese Kanji, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way Pictograms, Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in the Chinese Written-Language, or Where There Is a Will There Is a Way in the Japanese Written-Language.