無常 in Chinese / Japanese...

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Impermanence

wú cháng
mujou
Impermanence Vertical Wall Scroll

無常 is the state of being "not permanent," "not enduring," transitory, or evolving.

It can also mean variable or changeable. In some context, it can refer to a ghost that is supposed to take a soul upon death. Following that, this term can also mean to pass away or die.

In the Buddhist context, this is a reminder that everything in this world is ever-changing, and all circumstances of your life are temporary.
If you take the Buddhist philosophy further, none of these circumstances are real, and your existence is an illusion anyway. Thus, the idea of the eternal soul is perhaps just the attachment you have to your ego. Once you release your attachment to all impermanent things, you will be on your way to enlightenment and Buddhahood.

Language notes for this word when used outside the context of Buddhism:
In Korean Hanja, this means uncertainty, transiency, mutability, or evanescent.
In Japanese, the definition orbits closer to the state of being uncertain.

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Soldiers need a fluid plan
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Wall Scroll

This literally translates as: Troops/soldiers/warriors have no fixed [battlefield] strategy [just as] water has no constant shape [but adapts itself to whatever container it is in].

Figuratively, this means: One should seek to find whatever strategy or method is best suited to resolving each individual problem.

This proverb is about as close as you can get to the military idea of "adapt improvise overcome." This is best way to express that idea in both an ancient way, and a very natural way in Chinese.


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Impermanence無常
无常
mujou / mujowú cháng / wu2 chang2 / wu chang / wuchangwu ch`ang / wuchang / wu chang
Warriors Adapt and Overcome兵無常勢水無常形
兵无常势水无常形
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
bing1 wu2 chang2 shi4 shui3 wu2 chang2 xing2
bing wu chang shi shui wu chang xing
ping wu ch`ang shih shui wu ch`ang hsing
ping wu chang shih shui wu chang hsing
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.


Not the results for 無常 that you were looking for?

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

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

無常


无常

see styles
wú cháng / wu2 chang2
wu ch`ang / wu chang
 mujou / mujo / むじょう
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Wall Scroll
variable; changeable; fickle; impermanence (Sanskrit: anitya); ghost taking away the soul after death; to pass away; to die
(adj-na,n,adj-no) {Buddh} (ant: 常住・2) uncertainty; transiency; impermanence; mutability
anitya. Impermanent; the first of the 三明 trividyā; that all things are impermanent, their birth, existence, change, and death never resting for a moment.

世無常


世无常

see styles
shì wú cháng / shi4 wu2 chang2
shih wu ch`ang / shih wu chang
 se mujō
impermanent world

二無常


二无常

see styles
èr wú cháng / er4 wu2 chang2
erh wu ch`ang / erh wu chang
 ni mujō
Two kinds of impermanence, immediate and delayed. 念念無常 things in motion, manifestly transient; 相續無常 things that have the semblance of continuity, but are also transient, as life ending in death, or a candle in extinction; two kinds of impermanence

無常依


无常依

see styles
wú cháng yī / wu2 chang2 yi1
wu ch`ang i / wu chang i
 mujō e
The reliance of the impermanent, i.e. Buddha, upon whom mortals can rely; reliance for impermanence

無常修


无常修

see styles
wú cháng xiū / wu2 chang2 xiu1
wu ch`ang hsiu / wu chang hsiu
 mujō shu
cultivation of (awareness of) impermanence

無常偈


无常偈

see styles
wú cháng jié / wu2 chang2 jie2
wu ch`ang chieh / wu chang chieh
 mujō ge
Verse of Impermanence

無常堂


无常堂

see styles
wú cháng táng / wu2 chang2 tang2
wu ch`ang t`ang / wu chang tang
 mujō dō
無常院; 延壽堂; 湼槃堂 The room where a dying monk was placed, in the direction of the sunset at the north-west corner; hall of impermanence

無常性


无常性

see styles
wú cháng xìng / wu2 chang2 xing4
wu ch`ang hsing / wu chang hsing
 mujō shō
impermanence

無常想


无常想

see styles
wú cháng xiǎng / wu2 chang2 xiang3
wu ch`ang hsiang / wu chang hsiang
 mujō sō
conception of impermanence

無常感

see styles
 mujoukan / mujokan / むじょうかん sense of the vanity of life; perception of the evanescence of life

無常相


无常相

see styles
wú cháng xiàng / wu2 chang2 xiang4
wu ch`ang hsiang / wu chang hsiang
 mujō sō
characteristic of impermanence

無常磬


无常磬

see styles
wú cháng qìng / wu2 chang2 qing4
wu ch`ang ch`ing / wu chang ching
 mujō kei
無常鐘 The passing bell, or gong, for the dying; gong for the deceased

無常等


无常等

see styles
wú cháng děng / wu2 chang2 deng3
wu ch`ang teng / wu chang teng
 mujō tō
impermanence and so forth

無常苦


无常苦

see styles
wú cháng kǔ / wu2 chang2 ku3
wu ch`ang k`u / wu chang ku
 mujō ku
suffering caused by impermanence

無常観

see styles
 mujoukan / mujokan / むじょうかん sense of the vanity of life; perception of the evanescence of life

無常觀


无常观

see styles
wú cháng guān / wu2 chang2 guan1
wu ch`ang kuan / wu chang kuan
 mujō kan
contemplation of impermanence

無常鐘


无常钟

see styles
wú cháng zhōng / wu2 chang2 zhong1
wu ch`ang chung / wu chang chung
 mujō shō
gong for the deceased

無常院


无常院

see styles
wú cháng yuàn / wu2 chang2 yuan4
wu ch`ang yüan / wu chang yüan
 mujō in
hall of impermanence

無常鳥

see styles
 mujouchou / mujocho / むじょうちょう (obscure) (See 時鳥) lesser cuckoo (Cuculus poliocephalus)

無常鵑


无常鹃

see styles
wú cháng juān / wu2 chang2 juan1
wu ch`ang chüan / wu chang chüan
 mujō ken
The bird which cries of impermanence, messenger of the shades, the goat-sucker; cuckoo of impermanence

聲無常


声无常

see styles
shēng wú cháng / sheng1 wu2 chang2
sheng wu ch`ang / sheng wu chang
 shō mujō
sound is impermanent

行無常


行无常

see styles
xíng wú cháng / xing2 wu2 chang2
hsing wu ch`ang / hsing wu chang
 gyō mujō
impermanence of conditioned phenomena

七種無常


七种无常

see styles
qī zhǒng wú cháng / qi1 zhong3 wu2 chang2
ch`i chung wu ch`ang / chi chung wu chang
 shichishumujō
sapta-anitya. The seven impermanences, a non-Buddhist nihilistic doctrine discussed in the 楞 伽 經 4; seven kinds of impermanence

世間無常


世间无常

see styles
shì jiān wú cháng / shi4 jian1 wu2 chang2
shih chien wu ch`ang / shih chien wu chang
 seken mujō
the world is impermanent

出沒無常


出没无常

see styles
chū mò wú cháng / chu1 mo4 wu2 chang2
ch`u mo wu ch`ang / chu mo wu chang
to appear and disappear unpredictably

刹那無常


刹那无常

see styles
chàn à wú cháng / chan4 a4 wu2 chang2
ch`an a wu ch`ang / chan a wu chang
 setsu namujō
Not a moment is permanent, but passes through the stages of birth, stay, change, death; momentary

反覆無常


反复无常

see styles
fǎn fù wú cháng / fan3 fu4 wu2 chang2
fan fu wu ch`ang / fan fu wu chang
unstable; erratic; changeable; fickle

喜怒無常


喜怒无常

see styles
xǐ nù wú cháng / xi3 nu4 wu2 chang2
hsi nu wu ch`ang / hsi nu wu chang
temperamental; moody

四無常偈


四无常偈

see styles
sì wú cháng jié / si4 wu2 chang2 jie2
ssu wu ch`ang chieh / ssu wu chang chieh
 shi mujō ge
(or 四非常偈) Eight stanzas in the 仁王經, two each on 無常 impermanence, 苦 suffering, 空 the void, and 無我 non-personality; the whole four sets embodying the impermanence of all things; four stanzas on impermanence

念念無常


念念无常

see styles
niàn niàn wú cháng / nian4 nian4 wu2 chang2
nien nien wu ch`ang / nien nien wu chang
 nennen mujō
Instant after instant, no permanence, i. e. the impermanence of all phenomena; unceasing change; moment-to-moment impermanence

Many custom options...


Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Wall Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Wall Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Wall Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Wall Scroll


And formats...

Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Portrait
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Horizontal Wall Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

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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.

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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.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

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