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Wisdom and Learning in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Learning is Eternal
  2. Experience is the Mother of Wisdom
  3. When Three People Gather,...
  4. Learn from Wisdom
  5. The Ease of the Scholar
  6. An Open Book Benefits Your Mind
  7. Wisdom from Hard Knocks
  8. When Three People Gather,...
  9. Confucius: Universal Education
10. You May Learn from Victory,...
11. Wisdom / Intelligence
12. Failure is the Mother of Success
13. Learn New Ways From Old
14. Open the Minds of the Next Generation To Stimulate Thinking
15. Perception of Knowledge

Learning is Eternal

China xué wú zhǐ jìng
Learning is Eternal

This Chinese philosophy tells of how we continue to learn throughout our lives. This proverb can be translated in a few ways such as "Study has no end," "Knowledge is infinite," "No end to learning," "There's always something new to study," or "You live and learn."

The deeper meaning: Even when we finish school we are still students of the world gaining more knowledge from our surroundings with each passing day.


See Also:  An Open Book Benefits Your Mind | Wisdom | Learn From Wisdom

Experience is the Mother of Wisdom

China jīng yàn shì zhì huì zhī mǔ
Experience is the Mother of Wisdom

It's been said that wisdom comes from good judgment, and good judgment comes from experience, while experience comes from a series of times when you used bad judgment.

This Chinese proverb makes the simplest connection between experience and wisdom.


See Also:  Failure Is the Mother of Success | Wisdom | Learn From Wisdom

When Three People Gather,
Wisdom is Multiplied

Japan san nin yore ba monju no chie
When Three People Gather, / Wisdom is Multiplied

This literally means, "when three people meet, wisdom is exchanged."

Some will suggest this means when three people come together, their wisdom is multiplied.

That wisdom part can also be translated as wit, sagacity, intelligence, or Buddhist Prajna (insight leading to enlightenment).

In the middle of this proverb is "monju," suggesting "transcendent wisdom." This is where the multiplication of wisdom idea comes from.


Note: This is very similar to the Chinese proverb, "When 3 people meet, one becomes a teacher."


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

Learn from Wisdom

(When you see a wise person, try to be like them)
China jiàn xián sī qí
Learn from Wisdom

When you meet a wise person, you should learn from them and be inspired to become as wise as they are.

見賢思齊 is a pretty long proverb in English but in Chinese it's only four characters.
However, in Chinese the deeper meaning often surpass the dictionary definition of each character.

In this case, you should seek wise people to learn from throughout your life...
Always try to learn enough to become equal to them. It also suggests that the process of learning and seeking wisdom is a non-ending cycle.


See Also:  Knowledge

The Ease of the Scholar

Quote from Confucius
China mò ér zhì zhī xué ér bù yàn huǐ rén bù juàn hé yòu yú wǒ zāi
The Ease of the Scholar

This quote from the Analects of Confucius translates as:

To quietly recite and memorize the classics,
to love learning without tiring of it,
never be bored with teaching,
How could these be difficult for me?

This is a suggestion that for a true scholar, all of these things come with ease.


This was written over 2500 years ago. The composition is in ancient Chinese grammar and phrasing. A modern Chinese person would need a background in Chinese literature to understand this without the aid of a reference.

An Open Book Benefits Your Mind

China kāi juàn yǒu yì
An Open Book Benefits Your Mind

There are several ways to translate this ancient proverb. Translated literally and directly it says, "Open roll has/yields benefit."

To understand that, you must know a few things...

First, Chinese characters and language have deeper meanings that often are not spoken but are understood - especially with ancient text like this. Example: It's understood that the "benefit" referred to in this proverb is to the mind of the reader. Just the last character expresses that whole idea.

Second, Chinese proverbs are supposed to make you think, and leave a bit of mystery to figure out.

Third, for this proverb, it should be noted that roll = book. When this proverb came about (about two thousand years ago) books were really rolls of bamboo slips strung together. The first bound books like the ones we use today did not come about until about a thousand years after this proverb when they invented paper in China.

開卷有益 is a great gift for a bookworm who loves to read and increase their knowledge. Or for any friend that is or wants to be well-read.

Some other translations of this phrase:
Opening a book is profitable
The benefits of education.

Wisdom from Hard Knocks

The school of hard knocks
China ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
Wisdom from Hard Knocks

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Receive on blow, [and one] learns a lesson; Receive ten blows, [and one] becomes a great Zhuge [Liang]. You must first understand that a man named Zhuge Liang was one of the great strategists and philosophers in Chinese history. He's known as a man of great wisdom.

Figuratively, this phrase means:
One can learn much from failure or "hard knocks."

When Three People Gather,
One Becomes a Teacher

China sān rén xíng bì yǒu wǒ shī
When Three People Gather, / One Becomes a Teacher

This literally means, "when three people meet, one becomes the teacher."

This famous Chinese philosophy suggests that when people come together, they can always learn from each other.

One person must be the teacher and others learn. And in turn, the others become the teachers of the knowledge they posses.

It is important to remember that we all have something to teach, and we all have something to learn as well.

Confucius: Universal Education

China zì xíng shù xiū yǐ shàng wú wèi cháng wú huì yān
Confucius: Universal Education

This quote from the Analects of Confucius translates as:

For anyone who brings even the smallest token of appreciation, I have yet to refuse instruction.

Another way to put it is: If a student (or potential student) shows just an ounce of interest, desire, or appreciation for the opportunity to learn, a teacher should offer a pound of knowledge.


This was written over 2500 years ago. The composition is in ancient Chinese grammar and phrasing. A modern Chinese person would need a background in Chinese literature to understand this without the aid of a reference.

You May Learn from Victory,
You Will Learn from Failure

China bǎi shèng nán lǜ dí sān zhé nǎi liáng yī
You May Learn from Victory, / You Will Learn from Failure

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [Even a general who has won a] hundred victories [may be] hard put to see through the enemy's [strategy], [but one who has] broken [his] arm three [times] [will] be a good doctor.

Figuratively, this means: One cannot always depend on past successes to guarantee future success but one can always learn from lessons drawn from failure.


See Also:  Failure - Mother of Success | Experience - Mother of Success | Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8 | Hard Knocks

Wisdom / Intelligence

China huì
Japan e / kei
Wisdom / Intelligence

This single character can be translated as wisdom but it has more of an "intelligent" flavor. This can also mean cleverness or wit.

Japanese note: 慧 is understood in Japanese but seldom seen as a lone Kanji.


See Also:  Knowledge | Learning | Read

Failure is the Mother of Success

China shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ
Failure is the Mother of Success

This Chinese and Korean proverb means, "Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success."

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


See Also:  Experience Is the Mother of Wisdom

Failure is the Mother of Success

Japan shippai wa seikou no haha
Failure is the Mother of Success

This Japanese proverb means exactly what you think.

Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success.

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


Note: This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb.


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


See Also:  Experience Is the Mother of Wisdom

Learn New Ways From Old

New ideas coming from past history
China wēn gù zhī xīn
Japan on ko chi shin
Learn New Ways From Old

溫故知新 is a proverb from Confucius that is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures.

It can be translated several ways:
Coming up with new ideas based on things learned in the past.
Examine things of the past, and obtain the new knowledge.
Developing new ideas based on study of the past.
Gain new insights through restudying old issues.
Understand the present by reviewing the past.
Learning from the past.
Review the old and know the new.
Taking a lesson from the past.
Taking a lesson from the wisdom of the ancients.
Follow the old ways.

The direct translation would be, "By asking old things know new things."
The Character meanings breakdown this way:
溫故 = ask old
知新 = know new

Explained: To learn new things that are outside of your experience, you can learn from old things of the past. You can find wisdom from history.


温 Note: Japanese use a simplified version of the first Kanji in modern times. So if you order this from our Japanese master calligrapher, expect the first Kanji to look like the one shown to the right.

Open the Minds of the Next Generation To Stimulate Thinking

China qǐ dí
Open the Minds of the Next Generation To Stimulate Thinking

啟迪 is often used to describe the idea of opening the minds of the young or the new generation.


See Also:  Wisdom | Learning Is Eternal | Learn From Wisdom

Perception of Knowledge

China zhī shi
Japan chishiki
Perception of Knowledge

The first character represents "to know" or "to realize." The second character alone refers to the ability to "recognize," or "realize" and can also be used to mean "knowing." Combined, these two characters have the very strong meaning of "knowledge" and in some context, "learning."


See Also:  Wisdom | Learn From Wisdom

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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
Learning is Eternal學無止境
学无止境
xué wú zhǐ jìng
xue2 wu2 zhi3 jing4
xue wu zhi jing
xuewuzhijing
hsüeh wu chih ching
hsüehwuchihching
Experience is the Mother of Wisdom經驗是智慧之母
经验是智慧之母
jīng yàn shì zhì huì zhī mǔ
jing1 yan4 shi4 zhi4 hui4 zhi1 mu3
jing yan shi zhi hui zhi mu
jingyanshizhihuizhimu
ching yen shih chih hui chih mu
When Three People Gather, Wisdom is Multiplied三人寄れば文殊の知恵san nin yore ba monju no chie
sanninyorebamonjunochie
Learn from Wisdom見賢思齊
见贤思齐
jiàn xián sī qí
jian4 xian2 si1 qi2
jian xian si qi
jianxiansiqi
chien hsien ssu ch`i
chienhsienssuchi
chien hsien ssu chi
The Ease of the Scholar默而識之學而不厭誨人不倦何有于我哉
默而识之学而不厌诲人不倦何有于我哉
mò ér zhì zhī xué ér bù yàn huǐ rén bù juàn hé yòu yú wǒ zāi
mo4 er2 zhi4 zhi1 xue2 er2 bu4 yan4 hui3 ren2 bu4 juan4 he2 you4 yu2 wo3 zai1
mo er zhi zhi xue er bu yan hui ren bu juan he you yu wo zai
mo erh chih chih hsüeh erh pu yen hui jen pu chüan ho yu yü wo tsai
An Open Book Benefits Your Mind開卷有益
开卷有益
kāi juàn yǒu yì
kai1 juan4 you3 yi4
kai juan you yi
kaijuanyouyi
k`ai chüan yu i
kaichüanyui
kai chüan yu i
Wisdom from Hard Knocks挨一拳得一招挨十拳變諸葛
挨一拳得一招挨十拳变诸葛
ái yī quán dé yī zhāo ái shí quán biàn zhū gě
ai2 yi1 quan2 de2 yi1 zhao1 ai2 shi2 quan2 bian4 zhu1 ge3
ai yi quan de yi zhao ai shi quan bian zhu ge
ai i ch`üan te i chao ai shih ch`üan pien chu ko
ai i chüan te i chao ai shih chüan pien chu ko
When Three People Gather, One Becomes a Teacher三人行必有我師
三人行必有我师
sān rén xíng bì yǒu wǒ shī
san1 ren2 xing2 bi4 you3 wo3 shi1
san ren xing bi you wo shi
sanrenxingbiyouwoshi
san jen hsing pi yu wo shih
sanjenhsingpiyuwoshih
Confucius: Universal Education自行束脩以上吾未嘗無誨焉 (note 嘗 = 嚐)
自行束脩以上吾未尝无诲焉
zì xíng shù xiū yǐ shàng wú wèi cháng wú huì yān
zi4 xing2 shu4 xiu1 yi3 shang4 wu2 wei4 chang2 wu2 hui4 yan1
zi xing shu xiu yi shang wu wei chang wu hui yan
tzu hsing shu hsiu i shang wu wei ch`ang wu hui yen
tzu hsing shu hsiu i shang wu wei chang wu hui yen
You May Learn from Victory, You Will Learn from Failure百勝難慮敵三折乃良醫
百胜难虑敌三折乃良医
bǎi shèng nán lǜ dí sān zhé nǎi liáng yī
bai3 sheng4 nan2 lv4 di2 san1 zhe2 nai3 liang2 yi1
bai sheng nan lv di san zhe nai liang yi
pai sheng nan lü ti san che nai liang i
Wisdom
Intelligence
e / keihuì / hui4 / hui
Failure is the Mother of Success失敗是成功之母
失败是成功之母
shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ
shi1 bai4 shi4 cheng2 gong1 zhi1 mu3
shi bai shi cheng gong zhi mu
shibaishichenggongzhimu
shih pai shih ch`eng kung chih mu
shih pai shih cheng kung chih mu
Failure is the Mother of Success失敗は成功の母shippai wa seikou no haha
shippaiwaseikounohaha
shipai wa seiko no haha
shipaiwaseikonohaha
Learn New Ways From Old溫故知新
温故知新
on ko chi shin
onkochishin
wēn gù zhī xīn
wen1 gu4 zhi1 xin1
wen gu zhi xin
wenguzhixin
wen ku chih hsin
wenkuchihhsin
Open the Minds of the Next Generation To Stimulate Thinking啟迪
启迪
qǐ dí / qi3 di2 / qi di / qidich`i ti / chiti / chi ti
Perception of Knowledge知識
知识
chishikizhī shi / zhi1 shi / zhi shi / zhishichih shih / chihshih
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.



Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Aiki Jujutsu
Archangel
Aster
Berserk
Bushido
Christ
Create
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Energy
Enlighten
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Family
Father
Fortune
Heart of a Warrior
House
Iaido
Jesus
Keep Fighting
Kung Fu
Love
Loyalty
Mind Body Soul Spirit
Mind Body Spirit
Mother
Mushin
Music
Overcome
Pleasure
Protector
Rain
Rebirth
Right Intention
Rooster
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Strength
Strength of Spirit
Strong Heart
The Red String
The Way
The Way of the Warrior
Thunder Lightning in Kanji
Trust in God
Trust No Man
Victory
Wedding
White
Wing Chun
Winter
Wolf
Yin Yang

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