Custom Taoism Chinese & Japanese Calligraphy Wall Scroll

We have many options to create artwork with Taoism characters on a wall scroll or portrait.
If you want to create a cool Taoism Asian character tattoo, you can purchase that on our Chinese and Japanese Tattoo Image Service page and we'll help you select from many forms of ancient Asian symbols that express the idea of taoism.

Quick links to words on this page...

  1. Daoism / Taoism
  2. Ethics / Ethical / Morality
  3. The Dao of Filial Piety
  4. Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation
  5. Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine
  6. Karate-Do
  7. Kodokan
  8. Lao Tzu / Laozi
  9. Martial Arts / Budo
10. The Old Way / Old School
11. Sit Quietly in Meditation
12. The Tao or Dao of Being Human / Humanity
13. Tao / Dao of the Heart / Soul
14. Daoism / Taoism
15. Yin Yang

Daoism / Taoism

Literally: The Way or Road
China dào
Japan michi / -do
Daoism / Taoism Wall Scroll

道 is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.

道 is the base of what is known as "Taoism." If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path."

Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)

The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.

More about Taoism / Daoism here.

Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.

Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.

Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.

See our Taoism Page

Ethics / Ethical / Morality

China dào dé
Japan dou toku
Ethics / Ethical / Morality Wall Scroll

This Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean word can also be defined as "moral principles," morality, ethics, ethical, morals, or virtue.

The first character is the same that is associated with Daoism / Taoism. This word is also used to express morality, virtue, or simply morals.

徳There is a slight deviation in the Japanese Kanji form. If you want the modern Japanese version, please click on the special Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note that the traditional Chinese form is still readable and understood by Japanese people.

See Also:  Chastity | Prudence

The Dao of Filial Piety

China xiào dào
Japan kou dou
The Dao of Filial Piety Wall Scroll

These two characters most clearly express the Confucian philosophy of filial piety. Confucius taught that all should be respectful and obedient to their parents. Included in this idea is honoring your ancestors.

The second character is "dao/tao" or "the way" as in Taoism. You can say this title is "The Tao of Filial Piety" or "The Way of Filial Piety."

See Also:  Confucius

Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation

China chán yuè
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation Wall Scroll

This term transcends a few religions, including Taoism and Buddhism. This title refers to the inner bliss and peace that you can achieve from meditation. It can also be translated as "joy of the mystic trance" or simply "meditative bliss."

Amazing that such a complex idea can be expressed in just two Chinese characters. Note that the first character is Chan/Zen (Chinese/Japanese) which means "meditation" in both languages.

Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine

China jīng qì shén
Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine Wall Scroll

These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.

As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.

Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.

Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being

To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit," to define these.


China kōng shǒu dào
Japan kara te dou
Karate-Do Wall Scroll

Credit is given that karate started in China but migrated and became refined, and vastly popular in Japan. The literal meaning of these characters is "empty hand method" or "empty hand way." Karate is a martial art that uses no blades of weapons other than the "natural weapons" that God gave to humans (fists and feet). The last character somehow became optional but the meaning of that character is "method" or "the way" as in Taoism / Daoism.


Japan kou dou kan
Kodokan Wall Scroll

This title refers to a certain kind or school of Judo martial arts.

Here's how the characters break down in meaning for this one:
1. Mutual Assistance or Association. Can also refer to a lecture, speech, or explaining something (as in teaching).
2. Way / Path (the Tao/Dao as in Taoism/Daoism)
3. Schoolroom / Building / Establishment / Mansion / Small Castle / Hall (of learning)

Altogether, you get something like, "The Path of Mutual Learning Hall."

More about Kodokan from the Institute of Kodokan.


Japan kou dou kan
Kodokan Wall Scroll

光道館 is Kodokan. 光道館 is the title of an Aikido dojo, studio, or hall.

Be careful in selecting the correct Kodokan, as there are two different titles that romanize as Kodokan.

Here's how the characters break down in meaning for this one:
1. Light / Bright
2. Way / Path (the Tao/Dao as in Taoism/Daoism)
3. Schoolroom / Building / Establishment / Mansion / Hall (of learning)

Altogether, you get something like, "The Path of Light Establishment."

Lao Tzu / Laozi

China lǎo zǐ
HK 노자
Japan roushi
Lao Tzu / Laozi Wall Scroll

Depending on the romanization scheme you use, this man's name can be spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tze. In older English usage, he was known as Laocius. He is believed to have lived around 500 B.C.

He was a Chinese philosopher, founder of Daoism/Taoism, credited with being the author of the sacred and wise book of Daoism/Taoism.

There is a theory that Lao Tzu's soul traveled to India and was reborn as the Buddha.

Martial Arts / Budo

Way of the Warrior
China wǔ dào
Japan bu dou
Martial Arts / Budo Wall Scroll

武道 is the very common Japanese way to say "Martial Arts."

武道 is used mostly in Japanese dojos but is also understood in Chinese and Korean.

Some will use this title to mean chivalry (the conduct of a knight) or military art. The way this word is understood would depend on the context in which it is used.

The first character means "force" or "warlike" or "essence of a warrior."

The second character means "method," "path," and "the way." It is the same character used to describe/mean the philosophy of Taoism / Daoism.

Some will also translate this as, "The Way of the Warrior," especially in the context of Korean martial arts.

The Old Way / Old School

Japan kodou
The Old Way / Old School Wall Scroll

古道 is the Japanese word meaning "The Old Way." The first character literally means old or ancient. The second character means "the way" and is the same character as used in Taoism / Daoism (Taoism literally means "the way").

This second character can also be translated as "method," as in a way of doing things.

This word is sometimes Romanized as "kodo" though officially, the Romaji should be "Kodou."

My Japanese-English dictionary further translates this word as old road, ancient methods, ancient moral teachings, the way of learning.

Note that this would be understood differently in Chinese. Most Chinese people would just read this as, "The old road" without the other meanings derived in Japanese.

Sit Quietly in Meditation

A state of mind
China rù jìng
Sit Quietly in Meditation Wall Scroll

This title is used in Taoism and Qi Gong to describe the state you can reach while sitting quietly in meditation. It contains the ideas of achieving a highly-tranquil and peaceful state. Some may describe this state as "sleeping while still awake."

If you have a relaxation or meditation room, this is the calming wall scroll that you would want hanging in that room.

The Tao or Dao of Being Human / Humanity

China rén dào
Japan jindou
The Tao or Dao of Being Human / Humanity Wall Scroll

人道 is literally the "The Way of Being Human," or "The Human Way." It can also be translated as "humanity."

This word has a secondary meaning of "sidewalk" as in "the way for people to walk" (in Japanese and Korean only). But as calligraphy artwork, nobody will read it with that translation.

Please note that there are two ways to Romanized Dao or Tao as in Daoism = Taoism. It's the same word in Chinese.

Tao / Dao of the Heart / Soul

China xīn dào
Tao / Dao of the Heart / Soul Wall Scroll

心道 means "The Way of the Heart" or "The Way of the Soul." The first character means "heart" but can also mean soul, spirit, mind, or your essence. In this case, it is most accurately translated with the heart or soul meaning.

The second character is Dao as in Daoism. Please note, this is the same thing as Tao as in Taoism (just Romanized differently - it's always been the same in Chinese for about 2300 years.

Daoism / Taoism

China dào jiào
Japan doukyou
Daoism / Taoism Wall Scroll

道教 is the title often used in both Chinese and Japanese to describe the beliefs or religion of Taoism / Daoism. The first character is simply "dao" and the second character can be translated as "teachings," "faith" or "doctrine."

Yin Yang

China yīn yáng
Japan in you
Yin Yang Wall Scroll

These are the characters that literally mean yin and yang in written form (versus the common yin yang symbol). The first character has the element of the moon, while the second character has the element of the sun, so you can see, even in written form, they suggest the balance of opposites (of night and day). You could also translate this title as "sun and moon."

Note: This title is often misspelled as Ying Yang instead of Yin Yang.

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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
michi / -dodào / dao4 / dao tao
道德 / 道徳
dou toku / doutoku / do toku / dotokudào dé / dao4 de2 / dao de / daode tao te / taote
The Dao of Filial Piety 孝道kou dou / koudou / ko do / kodoxiào dào / xiao4 dao4 / xiao dao / xiaodao hsiao tao / hsiaotao
Inner Bliss and Peace from Meditation 禪悅
chán yuè / chan2 yue4 / chan yue / chanyue ch`an yüeh / chanyüeh / chan yüeh
Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine 精氣神
jīng qì shén
jing1 qi4 shen2
jing qi shen
ching ch`i shen
ching chi shen
Karate-Do 空手道kara te dou
kara te do
kōng shǒu dào
kong1 shou3 dao4
kong shou dao
k`ung shou tao
kung shou tao
Kodokan 講道館
kou dou kan
ko do kan
Kodokan 光道館
kou dou kan
ko do kan
Lao Tzu
老子roushi / roshilǎo zǐ / lao3 zi3 / lao zi / laozi lao tzu / laotzu
Martial Arts
武道bu dou / budou / bu do / budowǔ dào / wu3 dao4 / wu dao / wudao wu tao / wutao
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.

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.