We have many options to create artwork with Birth characters on a wall scroll or portrait.
If you want to create an Birth Asian character tattoo, you can purchase that here: Asian / Chinese / Japanese Tattoo Image Service ...and we'll give you many tattoo image templates of the ancient Asian symbols that express the idea of Birth.
1. Birth / Life
2. Life Force
3. Life Energy / Spiritual Energy
生 is a Chinese word that means “to be born” and “to give birth.”
Also, it's often used to refer to life itself, and sometimes “to grow.”
生 is used in a lot of compound words such as “yi sheng,” which means “doctor” (literally “healer of life”), “sheng ri” which means “birthday” (literally “birth-day”), and “xue sheng” which means student (literally “studying life” or “learner [about] life”). Few Chinese people will think of the literal meaning when this uses words like doctor and student - but it is interesting to note.
生 has the same root meaning in Korean Hanja and Japanese. However, in Japanese, there are many possible pronunciations, and this can be used to mean “raw” or “unprocessed” (as in draft beer). Therefore, not be the best if your audience is Japanese.
See Also: Vitality
This Chinese, Korean and Japanese word means “life force” or simply “life.”
The first character means “life” or “birth.” The second means “life” or “fate.” Together they create the meaning of “life force,” though some will translate this as “existence” and sometimes “vitality.”
See Also: Vitality
Chi Energy: Essence of Life / Energy Flow
This 氣 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 must consider 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 looks like this:
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 these samples:
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 looks like this:
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.
See Also: Energy | Life Force | Vitality | Life | Soul
重生 is the Chinese word for rebirth. This can be used literally or metaphorically. As a metaphor, you could use this to say something like, “We are watching the rebirth of New Orleans after the disaster of Katrina.”
重生 is sometimes translated as “renaissance.”
Note: 重生 is not the Buddhist concept of reincarnation or re-birth.
See Also: Reincarnation
復活 is the Chinese, Japanese and Korean word for resurrection or rebirth.
復活 literally means “return to life.”
It is the term used in most Asian Bibles to refer to the resurrection of Christ. In Japanese, it is sometimes used to mean a Christian Revival. In some contexts, it can mean resuscitation.
See Also: Christianity | Jesus Christ | God of Abraham
Born to Suffer
生老病死 means “to be born, to grow old, to get sick and to die” or “birth, aging, sickness, and death.”
This is an old somewhat-morbid Chinese proverb that is also used in Korean and Japanese. It figuratively means the fate of humankind (i.e. mortality) or suggests that we are all born to suffer.
In the Buddhist context, there are the “four inevitables in human life” or “four afflictions that are the lot of every human” known as “四苦” (literally “four afflictions”). Sometimes this proverb is written with that affliction character, 苦, at the end like 生老病死苦.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|生||shou / iku / sho / iku||shēng / sheng1 / sheng|
|Life Force||生命||seimei / inochi||shēng mìng|
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|hukkatsu / hukatsu||fù huó / fu4 huo2 / fu huo / fuhuo|
|Birth Old-Age Sickness Death||生老病死||shou rou byou shi|
sho ro byo shi
|shēng lǎo bìng sǐ|
sheng1 lao3 bing4 si3
sheng lao bing si
|sheng lao ping ssu
|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.