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初心 in Chinese / Japanese...

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Mind of the Beginner

China chū xīn
Japan sho shin
Mind of the Beginner Vertical Wall Scroll

初心 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind" or "beginner's spirit."

In Chinese, the dictionary definition is "one's original intention."

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

初心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness the remains always fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.


Japan shou shin ryuu
Shoshin-Ryu Vertical Wall Scroll

初心流 is often translated in Japanese as "beginner's mind style" or "beginner's spirit method."

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

The third character means style, method, or some will translate it as school.

Please note, there is more than one martial arts school that romanizes as Shoshin-Ryu.

Never Forget Your First Resolution

Never Lose Your Beginner's Spirit
Japan sho shin wasu ru be ka ra zu
Never Forget Your First Resolution Vertical Wall Scroll

This is an old Japanese proverb that suggests you try to never forget the enthusiasm you had as a child when you try new things (or even face the day-to-day). Basically avoid having a mundane attitude that many people get with age.

You'll find this Japanese proverb translated a few different ways. Here are some of them:
Don't forget your first resolution.
Never forget your child-like enthusiasm.
Forget not the beginner's mind.
Try never to lose your initial enthusiasm (freshness of attitude).

Note: This is sometimes written as 初心忘る可からず. The one shown above is used about 10x more often. There's only one character difference between the two versions.

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

Not the results for 初心 that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your 初心 search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
Mandarin chū xīn / chu1 xin1
Taiwan ch`u hsin / chu hsin
Japanese shoshin / しょしん
Never Forget Your First Resolution Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese (one's) original intention, aspiration etc; (Buddhism) "beginner's mind" (i.e. having an attitude of openness when studying a subject just as a beginner in that subject would)
Japanese (noun or adjectival noun) original intention; initial resolution; (female given name) Ubu
The initial resolve or mind of the novice; beginner's mind


see styles
Japanese shoshinwasurubekarazu / しょしんわするべからず
Never Forget Your First Resolution Vertical Wall Scroll
Japanese (expression) (idiom) Don't forget your first resolution


see styles
Japanese shoshinsha / しょしんしゃ Japanese beginner



see styles
Mandarin chū xīn shǐ yè pú sà / chu1 xin1 shi3 ye4 pu2 sa4
Taiwan ch`u hsin shih yeh p`u sa / chu hsin shih yeh pu sa
Japanese shoshin shigō bosatsu
beginner bodhisattvas who have just begun to practice


see styles
Japanese shoshinshamaaku / shoshinshamaku / しょしんしゃマーク Japanese (See 若葉マーク) sticker for new car drivers (green and yellow)



see styles
Mandarin jiè chū xīn xuer én wén / jie4 chu1 xin1 xuer2 en2 wen2
Taiwan chieh ch`u hsin xuer en wen / chieh chu hsin xuer en wen
Japanese Kai shoshin gakunin mon
Admonitions for Beginning Students


see styles
Japanese shoshinuntenshahyoushiki / shoshinuntenshahyoshiki / しょしんうんてんしゃひょうしき Japanese (See 若葉マーク) sticker for new car drivers (green and yellow)


see styles
Japanese ubu / うぶ Japanese (adj-na,n,adj-no) (1) (kana only) (esp. 初, 初心) innocent; naive; unsophisticated; inexperienced; green; wet behind the ears; (prefix noun) (2) (産, 生) birth-


see styles
Japanese shoshinwasurubekarazu / しょしんわするべからず Japanese (expression) (idiom) Don't forget your first resolution


see styles
Japanese shoshinwasurubekarazu / しょしんわするべからず Japanese (expression) (proverb) we were all beginners once; never lose your humility; don't let success get to your head; don't forget where you came from

Search for 初心 in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Mind of the Beginner初心sho shin / shoshinchū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxinch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin
Shoshin-Ryu初心流shou shin ryuu
sho shin ryu
Never Forget Your First Resolution初心忘るべからず / 初心忘る可からず
sho shin wasu ru be ka ra zu
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.

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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.

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初心 was last searched for by someone else on May 11th, 2018