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1. Good Health
11. Birth / Life
14. Life Force
15. Robust / Sturdy
18. Power / Strength
康 is a single character that means good health or vigor in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
康 can also mean peaceful, at ease, or abundant in some contexts.
Please note that this is rarely seen alone in Japanese Kanji. In Japanese, it is used both for health-related compound words and to denote the kouhou through koushou eras of Japan.
In Korean, this can also be the family name "Kang" (caution: not the only family name romanized as Kang in Korean).
If you are into healthy living, this might be an excellent selection for a wall scroll to hang in your home.
The first two characters speak of health, vitality, vigor, and being of sound body. The second two characters mean living or life (daily existence).
安康 means just what it says. It's a word that expresses both the idea of being at peace and healthy at the same time.
Note: 安康 is a bona-fide word in Chinese and Korean, and the characters will at least make sense in Japanese.
This "strong" character is the more "healthy" version of strong. 健 is the "strong" that is appropriate for an athlete.
Beyond "healthy," it can also mean strength, persistence, vigorous or invigorated.
健やか is a verbose way to say strong and healthy in Japanese. 健やか is the "strong" that is appropriate for an athlete.
Beyond "healthy," it can also mean strength, persistence, vigorous or invigorated.
Japanese also use the first Kanji to mean the same thing. This version just adds two hiragana which serve to emphasize or amplify the word and clarify the meaning.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
生命力 can mean "vitality" or "libido."
The first two characters mean "life" or "life force." The last character is a common word that means "strength." So together you get the meaning "life strength" which is the essence of vitality.
Some will also translate this word as "good health."
See Also: Life Force
This two-character Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word means vitality or virility.
Depending on context, this can also mean, "mind and spirit," "life energy," or "essence."
This term is often used in Buddhism with the same meaning.
Note: In modern Japanese, they have simplified the last Kanji to look like the version shown to the right. If you want this modern version, please click on this Kanji. Otherwise, if you click the button above, you'll get the ancient or traditional version (which is also universal between Chinese, old Korean, and old Japanese).
身體健康 is how to express "wellness" in Chinese. The meaning is not much different than the idea of "good health." In fact, the first two characters alone are often translated as "health." Some will also translate this title as "physical health."
If you want to fill your room with a feeling of wellness, this is the wall scroll for you.
身體健康 is also the ancient way to express wellness in Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja. The modern Japanese form is only different on the second Kanji but Koreans have completely changed their common writing system in the last 100 years.
See Also: Vitality
This Chinese word 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 use 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, Japanese, and Korean word can be defined as energy, vitality, vigor, vital force, enthusiasm, energetic, or dynamism.
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 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.
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."
強健 means robustness or sturdiness in regards to being healthy and fit.
This can also be used to say "persistently good health."
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.
力 is the simplest form of "power" or "strength."
In Japanese it is pronounced "chikara" when used alone, and "ryoku" when used in a sentence (there are also a few other possible pronunciations of this Kanji in Japanese).
In some context, this can mean ability, force, physical strength, capability, and influence.
強壯 is an adjective that means powerful or strong.
It can also be translated as able-bodied, robust, or sturdy.
This version of strength also suggests muscularity.
Note that the second character was simplified in Japan after WWII (also simplified in mainland China but not for calligraphy). If you want the modern Japanese/simplified version, please click on the Kanji shown to the right.
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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|
|Good Health||健康||kenkou / kenko||jiàn kāng|
|康||kou / ko||kāng / kang1 / kang||k`ang / kang|
|Healthy Living||健康生活||kenkou seikatsu|
|jiàn kāng shēng huó|
jian4 kang1 sheng1 huo2
jian kang sheng huo
|chien k`ang sheng huo
chien kang sheng huo
Inner Well-Being and Health
|內健||nèi jiàn / nei4 jian4 / nei jian / neijian||nei chien / neichien|
|Peace and Good Health||安康||ān kāng / an1 kang1 / an kang / ankang||an k`ang / ankang / an kang|
|Restoration to Good Health||平復|
|byou fuku / byoufuku / byo fuku / byofuku||píng fù / ping2 fu4 / ping fu / pingfu||p`ing fu / pingfu / ping fu|
|健||ken||jiàn / jian4 / jian||chien|
|Vitality||生命力||seimeiryoku||shēng mìng lì|
sheng1 ming4 li4
sheng ming li
|seiki||jīng qì / jing1 qi4 / jing qi / jingqi||ching ch`i / chingchi / ching chi|
|shin tai ken kou|
shin tai ken ko
|shēn tǐ jiàn kāng|
shen1 ti3 jian4 kang1
shen ti jian kang
|shen t`i chien k`ang
shen ti chien kang
|生||shou / iku / sho / iku / sho / iku||shēng / sheng1 / sheng|
|活力||katsuryoku||huó lì / huo2 li4 / huo li / huoli|
|活力四射||huó lì sì shè|
huo2 li4 si4 she4
huo li si she
|huo li ssu she
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|Life Force||生命||seimei / inochi||shēng mìng|
|kyouken / kyoken||qiáng jiàn|
|Spirit||精神||sei shin / seishin||jīng shén|
|tai ryoku / tairyoku||tǐ lì / ti3 li4 / ti li / tili||t`i li / tili / ti li|
|力||chikara / ryoku||lì / li4 / li|
|kyousou / kyoso||qiáng zhuàng|
|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.