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Your Chinese / Japanese Calligraphy Search for "You Only Live Once"...

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. You Only Live Once
  2. Live In The Moment / Live In The Now
  3. Live Without Regret
  4. Live For The Day
  5. Live For The Day / Seize The Day
  6. No Regrets
  7. Carpe Diem / Seize the Day
  8. Die Without Regret
  9. Better Late Than Never


You Only Live Once

Japan ichi do da ke i ki ru
You Only Live Once Wall Scroll

一度だけ生きる is the simplest Japanese phrase that means, "[you] only live once" or "only one [life] to live."

The first four characters create a word that means "only once."
The last three characters create a word that means, "to live" or "to exist."


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

You Only Live Once

China shēng mìng zhǐ yǒu yí cì
You Only Live Once Wall Scroll

生命隻有一次 is the translation to Chinese of the popular English phrase, "You only live once."

生命隻有一次 is a more modern idea for Chinese people. The reason is, most Chinese people were taught quite the opposite idea from Buddhism.

Live In The Moment / Live In The Now

China xiàn shì
Japan gen sei
Live In The Moment / Live In The Now Wall Scroll

現世 is a very short way to write "live in the moment" or "live in the now" in Japanese.

This short word is open to interpretation. It's used in Japanese Buddhism to mean "the current epoch" or "the current age" (the current age is but a brief moment in the greater scope of existence). When used in that context, this is pronounced "utsushiyo" or "ustusiyo" in Japanese. Otherwise, it's pronounced "gensei" in Japanese.

Other translation possibilities include:
Live for now
Earthly world
This world
This life
Earthly life
Present life
Present generation
Present incarnation
Current age
This existence
This (momentary) reality


Note: This is also a word in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. While the meaning is more or less the same, this is not recommended for a wall scroll if your audience is Chinese or Korean. This selection is best if your audience is Japanese.

Live Without Regret

Japan jinsei kui nashi
Live Without Regret Wall Scroll

人生悔い無し is how to say "live without regrets" in Japanese.


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


See Also:  Live for Today

Live Without Regret

China shēng ér wú huǐ
Live Without Regret Wall Scroll

生而無悔 is how to say "live without regrets" in Mandarin Chinese.


Note: There is some debate about whether this makes sense in Japanese. It would be read, "nama ji mu ke," and be understood in Japanese. But, a Japanese person will probably think it's Chinese (not Japanese).


See Also:  Live for Today

Live For The Day

China huó zài jīn tiān
Live For The Day Wall Scroll

活在今天 is not really an eastern concept, so it does not translate into a phrase that seems natural on a wall scroll. However, if this is your philosophy, the characters shown here do capture your idea of living for today or living in the moment. These characters literally say "Live in today" and they are grammatically correct in Chinese.


Note: This kind of makes sense in Korean Hanja but the grammar is Chinese, so it's not that natural in Korean.

Live For The Day / Seize The Day

Japan ima wo i ki ru
Live For The Day / Seize The Day Wall Scroll

This Japanese phrase can be translated as "live for the day," "live for the moment," "seize the day," or "make the most of the present." You can think of this as the Japanese version of "Carpe Diem."


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

No Regrets

China wú huǐ
Japan mu ke
No Regrets Wall Scroll

無悔 is how to say "no regrets" in Mandarin Chinese. This also makes sense in Japanese though not the most common way to express "no regrets" in Japanese.


See Also:  Live for Today

No Regrets

Japan kou kai na shi
No Regrets Wall Scroll

後悔無し is how to say "no regrets" in Japanese.


See Also:  Live for Today

Carpe Diem / Seize the Day

China bǎ wò jīn rì
Carpe Diem / Seize the Day Wall Scroll

把握今日 is the closest and most natural way to express this proverb in Chinese.

The first two characters mean "to seize" but can also be translated as "take control of."

The last two characters mean "today."

Die Without Regret

China sǐ ér wú huǐ
Die Without Regret Wall Scroll

死而無悔 is how to say "die with no regrets" in Mandarin Chinese.

This proverb comes from the Analects of Confucius.


See Also:  No Regrets

Better Late Than Never

It's Never Too Late Too Mend
China wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
Better Late Than Never Wall Scroll

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 CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
You Only Live Once 一度だけ生きるichi do da ke i ki ru
ichidodakeikiru
You Only Live Once 生命隻有一次
生命只有一次
shēng mìng zhǐ yǒu yí cì
sheng1 ming4 zhi3 you3 yi2 ci4
sheng ming zhi you yi ci
shengmingzhiyouyici
sheng ming chih yu i tz`u
shengmingchihyuitzu
sheng ming chih yu i tzu
Live In The Moment
Live In The Now
現世
现世
gen sei / genseixiàn shì / xian4 shi4 / xian shi / xianshi hsien shih / hsienshih
Live Without Regret 人生悔い無しjinsei kui nashi
jinseikuinashi
Live Without Regret 生而無悔
生而无悔
shēng ér wú huǐ
sheng1 er2 wu2 hui3
sheng er wu hui
shengerwuhui
sheng erh wu hui
shengerhwuhui
Live For The Day 活在今天huó zài jīn tiān
huo2 zai4 jin1 tian1
huo zai jin tian
huozaijintian
huo tsai chin t`ien
huotsaichintien
huo tsai chin tien
Live For The Day
Seize The Day
今を生きるima wo i ki ru
imawoikiru
No Regrets 無悔
无悔
mu ke / mukewú huǐ / wu2 hui3 / wu hui / wuhui
No Regrets 後悔無しkou kai na shi
koukainashi
ko kai na shi
kokainashi
Carpe Diem
Seize the Day
把握今日bǎ wò jīn rì
ba3 wo4 jin1 ri4
ba wo jin ri
bawojinri
pa wo chin jih
pawochinjih
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...

Aikido
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Angie
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Belierve in Yourself
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Earth
Enough
Family
Father
Fire
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Friendship
Golden Dragon
Happy
Heroic Spirit
Honor
Hope
Humble
I Miss You
Jean
Jeanine
Jenna
Kari
Karma
Kind Heart
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Life Force
Lotus
Love
Luna
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Miranda
Namaste
Noah
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Power of Understanding
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Rebirth
Revenge
Robert
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Senpai
Sensei
Strong Will
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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.

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