Note that the idea of "spiritual essence" is different than "Olympic spirit", yet we use the same word for both ideas in English. Both ideas are included below. You may also want to try Heart, Mind, or Soul if you don't find what you want here.
Quick links to words on this page...
| 1. Spirit
2. Spirit / Spiritual Essence
3. Spiritual Strength / Strength of Spirit
4. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
5. Independent Spirit...
6. Advance Bravely...
7. Beautiful Heart / Beautiful Spirit
8. Beautiful Spirit
9. Courageous Spirit
10. Divine Spirit
11. The Spirit of the Dragon Horse
12. The Spirit of the Dragon Horse,...
13. Dragon Spirit
14. The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger
15. Fighting Spirit
|16. Free Spirit
17. Ghost / Soul / Spirit
18. Goddess of Beauty / Beautiful Spirit
19. Heart / Mind / Spirit
20. Heroic Spirit
21. Heroic Spirit / Great Ambition
22. Heroic Spirit / Heroism
23. Holy Spirit / Holy Ghost
24. Indomitable Spirit / Indomitable Attitude
25. Indomitable Spirit
26. Inner Beauty / Beauty of Spirit
27. Mind, Body and Spirit
28. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude
29. Spiritual Soul Mates
30. Spirit / Soul
|31. Spirit of Taekwondo|
32. Spiritual Peace / Enlightened Peace
33. Spiritual Warrior
35. Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do
36. Warrior Soul / Heroic Spirit
37. Warrior Soul / Spirit of a Fighter
38. Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial
39. Wolf Spirit...
40. Esprit de Corps / Team Spirit
精神 is the kind of spirit that you have if you perform well in sports or competition. It is the idea of having a good attitude, and putting your all into something - so much so that others can see or feel your spirit. It is the essence of your being that can only be subjectively described because there are no words that can fully explain what "spirit" really is.
For your information:
My Japanese dictionary further tries to explain this word by comparing it to mind, soul, heart or intention.
My Chinese dictionary compares these characters to meanings like vigor, vitality, drive and mentality.
My Korean dictionary defines this as mind, spirit and soul.
神 is the simplest way to write spirit in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean.
This single character alone will conjure up ideas of the spiritual world. 神 can also be translated as "vital awareness" as in the fact that one must know they exist to exist (I think, therefore, I am).
Other translations include:
God, deity, mysterious, divine essence, lively, spiritual being, divinity, supernatural, soul, mind, nerves, and energy. In some extended context it can mean genius or unusual.
Japanese romanizations vary a lot when this character is combined into other words. However, shin is the original pronunciation taken from Chinese into Japanese. You'll also see it romanized as kami, gami, jin, and a few others, depending on context.
This title speaks of one's soul or spirit, and the capacity or strength that soul possesses.
The first two characters mean mind, heart, spirit, and/or soul.
The last two characters mean strength, capacity, or ability.
Note: Separately, these are two words in Japanese, and can be pronounced but this does not make a natural title in Japanese (best if your audience is Chinese).
This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
氣 is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in “life force” or “spiritual energy”. It is most often translated as “energy flow,” or literally as “air” or “breath”. Some people will simply translate this as “spirit” but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice is shown to the right.
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like one the symbols shown to the right.
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical is shown to the right.
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the “flow” of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.
You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.
In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.
The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.
More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.
The first two characters mean independent or independence. The third character means spirit, heart or mind.
This is a Japanese and Korean term, although Chinese people would be able to guess the meaning (the characters make sense individually in Chinese but are not used in this order).
御影 is a Japanese word that means divine spirit, or honorific language for "spirit of the dead."
This can also refer to an image of a deity, buddha, royal, noble, etc.)
In Buddhist context, it can mean (wooden) images of saints or deities.
御影 is also a Japanese name, Mikage.
Note: This is also a word in Chinese but not used very often in China (except perhaps by certain Buddhists).
龍馬精神 is an old proverb that is used to wish someone good health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse." These four characters are often accompanied by four more which mean, "...and the power and prestige of the tiger." Here we are just offering the first part which is considered the short version.
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have an amazing quality. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
Note: In Japanese, this would be read as the spirit of 坂本龍馬 (Sakamoto_Ryōma), a beloved rebel who help abolish the old Japanese feudal system. This can be confusing, so I am declaring this proverb to be Chinese only.
This is an old proverb that is used to wish someone great health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse, and the power and prestige of the tiger."
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have these qualities. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
This Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title can mean, "dragon god," "dragon king," or "dragon spirit."
In the context of Buddhism, this is one of eight kinds of spiritual beings found in Mahāyāna texts.
This means the spirit of the dragon and tiger. It speaks to the vitality and vigor that is the nature of these two creatures.
Beyond "spirit," the second two characters can also mean mind, soul, or heart. Therefore, you can also say this means "Heart of the Dragon and Tiger," etc.
This is often titled as "Ryukoseishin" in many Japanese martial arts.
This literally means fighting spirit. As in the spirit that a warrior, soldier, athlete or fighter must possess.
Note: There is more than one way to write the first character of this word. It is sometimes written like the version shown to the right (yes, it's completely different but has the same meaning & pronunciation). If you have a preference, please let us know in the special instructions about your order.
The first two characters mean freedom or liberty.
The middle character is a connecting Hiragana which is needed for Japanese grammar.
The last two characters mean spirit, heart, mind, or soul.
Together, this is a title that is very similar to the English term "free spirit."
魂魄 is a Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja term for ghost, soul, or spirit.
It's used in the context of Buddhism as:
Animus and anima; the spiritual nature or mind, and the animal soul; the two are defined as mind and body or mental and physical, the invisible soul inhabiting the visible body, the former being celestial, the latter terrestrial.
In Chinese, this means Goddess of Beauty.
The first character means beauty or beautiful.
The second character means spirit (can also mean god, goddess, or soul).
Some will use this as a short way to say, "Beautiful Spirit."
This has a similar meaning in Japanese but is used more often as a female given name in Japan. As a Japanese given name, it can be pronounced Mikami, Mikan, or Binasu.
心 would often be translated as “heart”.
However, because it was believed in Chinese culture thousands of years that your consciousness and thoughts came from the big red organ in the middle of your chest, it also means “mind” or “spirit” and sometimes even “soul.”
In Korean, beyond heart, mind, and spirit, this character can mean moral, nature, mind, affections, intentions, core, and center. In fact, it is used in Chinese to mean "center" as well but only with another character in front of it. For instance, "medical center" or even "shopping center." Separately and alone, it will not be read with that "center" meaning unless thought of as "the center of your soul."
豪氣 is heroic spirit or heroism in Chinese and old Korean Hanja.
This might come across as a bit arrogant to hang on your wall.
聖靈 / 聖霊 is the title for the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost as used by Jewish, Catholic and Protestant (and other Christian) Chinese people. And yes, Chinese Jews do exist, but there are not many of them.
The first character means Holy, Sacred, Saint or Sage. The second means ghost, spirit, efficacious or intelligence.
聖靈 / 聖霊 is valid in Chinese characters and old Korean Hanja. This will be recognized in Japan but see note below...
This Korean proverb means "indomitable spirit," at least, that is the way it is commonly translated in martial arts circles (Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc.).
The literal translation is "[one] hundred [times] broken [still] don't succumb."
Or more naturally translated, "Even if attacked/beaten one hundred times, still be undaunted/indomitable."
Some will say this is one long word rather than a proverb.
This is also a proverb/word in Chinese though rarely used in modern times.
This is probably the best way to express the idea of "Body, Mind and Spirit" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. We are actually using the word for "heart" here because for thousands of years, the heart was thought to be the place where your thoughts, feelings and emotions came from. We do something similar in the west when we say "warm-hearted" or "I love you with all of my heart." In this context, heart = mind in Asian language and culture.
The very literal translation of these three characters is "body, heart & spirit" which could also be interpreted as "body mind & soul."
We have arranged these characters in this order because it simply "feels" like the proper order in the Chinese language. Word lists like this are not so common for calligraphy artwork, so we have to be careful to put them in the most natural order. It should be noted that this is not a common title in Asia, nor is it considered an actual phrase (as it lacks a clear subject, verb, and object).
In Japanese Kanji, they use an alternate form of the character for soul or spirit. If you want this using the Japanese alternate, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above.
Japanese disclaimer: This is not a natural phrase/list in Japanese. While not totally-natural in Chinese, this word list is best if your audience is Chinese.
The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.
The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.
This is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.
This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.
This word does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.
There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.
精神伴侶 is title means "Spiritual Soul Mates." The first two characters mean "spiritual" or "soul." The second two characters mean "mates," "companions" or "partners."
精神伴侶 is more about the spiritual connection between partners rather than a "fate-brought-us-together" kind of soul mates.
Both halves of this title have meaning in Japanese but I've not yet confirmed that this is a commonly used title in Japan.
靈 is spirit or soul in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you look in the dictionary, you'll also find definitions for this character like:
quick; alert; efficacious; effective; departed soul; coffin; spiritual; energy; effective; clever.
This title means, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo." This is the title of General Choi's calligraphy often referred to as "The Tenets of Taekwon-do."
These Japanese Kanji can be translated as "religious enlightenment" or "spiritual peace gained through faith."
Other dictionaries define as, "spiritual peace and enlightenment" or "keeping an unperturbed mind through faith."
My Buddhist dictionary defines it as, "spiritual peace and realization of enlightenment."
This is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do." The actual title would be translated as, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo." It was originally written in Korean Hanja (Chinese characters used in Korea for about 1600 years).
General Choi's original calligraphy is shown to the right. Your custom calligraphy will be unique, and not an exact match, as each calligrapher has their own style.
In modern times, the common form of written Korean is Hangul (a phonetic character set). The table below shows the text in Hangul and Hanja along with a pronunciation guide and a brief English translation:
|Traditional Korean Hanja||Modern Korean Hangul||Pronunciation||English|
|跆拳道精神||태권도정신||tae gweon do jeong sin||Taekwondo Spirit|
|禮儀||예의||ye yi||Courtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality|
|廉耻||염치||yeom ci||Integrity / Sense of Honor|
|忍耐||인내||in nae||Patience / Perseverance / Endurance|
|克己||극기||geug gi||Self-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation|
|百折不屈||백절불굴||baeg jeor bur gur||Indomitable Spirit (Undaunted even after repeated attacks from the opponent)|
|Note that the pronunciation is the official version now used in South Korea. However, it is different than what you may be used to. For instance, "Taekwon-do" is "tae gweon do." This new romanization is supposed to be closer to actual Korean pronunciation.|
This can be translated as the warrior's spirit or warrior's soul. The first two characters can be translated as "warrior" or literally "brave soldier/man" although some will translate this word as "hero." Therefore, this is also how to say "heroic spirit."
The second two characters mean vigor, vitality, drive, spirit, mind, heart, mental essence and psychological component. Basically "your soul."
We have two versions of this phrase. The only difference is the first two and last two characters are swapped. The version here suggests that you admire or like the idea of the spirit of a warrior. The other version suggests that you are the warrior or hero.
武 is the essence or spirit of a warrior. 武 is part of the word "wu shu" which is sometimes translated as "martial arts" or "kung fu."
In more modern speech and other context, this can mean military, martial, warlike, fierce, and perhaps violent but usually as a prefix for a longer word or phrase.
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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|
|Spirit||精神||sei shin / seishin||jīng shén
|神||shin / kami||shén / shen2 / shen|
Strength of Spirit
|jīng shén lì liàng
jing1 shen2 li4 liang4
jing shen li liang
|ching shen li liang
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|勇往直前||yǒng wǎng zhí qián
yong3 wang3 zhi2 qian2
yong wang zhi qian
|yung wang chih ch`ien
yung wang chih chien
|měi lì de xīn líng
mei3 li4 de xin1 ling2
mei li de xin ling
|mei li te hsin ling
|Beautiful Spirit||美しい精神||utsukushi seishin|
|gǔ qì / gu3 qi4 / gu qi / guqi||ku ch`i / kuchi / ku chi|
|Divine Spirit||御影||goei||yù yǐng / yu4 ying3 / yu ying / yuying||yü ying / yüying|
|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.
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.