麒麟 in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an 麒麟 calligraphy wall scroll here!

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

qí lǐn
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll

麒麟 is the title of a mythical beast of Asia.

The animal is thought to be related to the giraffe, and in some ways, it is a giraffe. However, it is often depicted with the horns of a dragon or deer and sometimes with the body like a horse but many variations exist.

In Japanese it is pronounced "Kirin" as in "Kirin Ichiban" beer.

Kirin - Mythical Beast and Great Japanese Beer!

1. 麒麟 is sometimes spelled as "kylin".

2. In Japanese, this is the only Kanji word for giraffe. Therefore in Japan, this word needs context to know whether you are talking about the mythical creature or the long-necked giraffe of Africa.

3. Apparently, this was the first word used for regular giraffes in China (some were brought from Africa to China during the Ming Dynasty - probably around the year 1400). Though the mythical creature may have existed before, the name "qilin" was given to the "new giraffe". 麒麟 is because, more than 600 years ago, giraffes somewhat matched the mythical creature's description when Chinese people saw them for the first time. Later, to avoid such an ambiguous title, a three-character word was devised to mean a "giraffe of Africa". The characters for "qilin" shown here are only for the mythological version in modern Chinese.

4. More information about the qilin / kirin from Wikipedia.

5. This creature is sometimes translated as the "Chinese Unicorn", even though it is generally portrayed with two horns. I think this is done more for the fantasy aspect of the unicorn and because most westerners don't know what a qilin or kirin is (this avoids a long explanation by the translator).

6. In Korean, this can mean kirin or simply giraffe (usually the mythological creature is what they would think of when seeing these characters alone on a wall scroll).

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Mythical Creature
麒麟kirinqí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilinch`i lin / chilin / chi lin

Not the results for 麒麟 that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
qí lín / qi2 lin2
ch`i lin / chi lin
 kirin / きりん
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll
qilin (mythical Chinese animal); kylin; Chinese unicorn; commonly mistranslated as giraffe
(1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (3) Kirin (brand of beer); (surname, female given name) Kirin
Male and female unicorns; the qilin in general; male and female unicorns


see styles
 daikirin / だいきりん (surname) Daikirin


see styles
 tamakirin / たまきりん (surname) Tamakirin


see styles
 wakakirin / わかきりん (surname) Wakakirin (Sumo shikona)


see styles
 kirinji / きりんじ child prodigy; wonder child; (surname) Kirinji



see styles
qí lín qū / qi2 lin2 qu1
ch`i lin ch`ü / chi lin chü
Qilin district, Qujing city, Yunnan


see styles
 kirinzan / きりんざん (place-name) Kirinzan


see styles
qí lín zuò / qi2 lin2 zuo4
ch`i lin tso / chi lin tso
 kirinza / きりんざ
Monoceros (constellation)
{astron} Camelopardalis (constellation); the Giraffe


see styles
 kirinbashi / きりんばし (place-name) Kirinbashi


see styles
qí lín diàn / qi2 lin2 dian4
ch`i lin tien / chi lin tien
see 麒麟閣|麒麟阁[Qi2 lin2 Ge2]


see styles
 kirinketsu / きりんけつ (kana only) dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops draco); bright red resin used in medicine, dyes, etc.


see styles
 kirinsou;kirinsou / kirinso;kirinso / きりんそう;キリンソウ (kana only) Kamchatka stonecrop (Sedum kamtschaticum); (given name) Kirinsou


see styles
qí lín cài / qi2 lin2 cai4
ch`i lin ts`ai / chi lin tsai
 kirinsai;kirinsai / きりんさい;キリンサイ
eucheuma, a type of red algae (used in TCM)
(kana only) Eucheuma muricatum (species of red algae)


see styles
 kirinketsu / きりんけつ (kana only) dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops draco); bright red resin used in medicine, dyes, etc.


see styles
qí lín gé / qi2 lin2 ge2
ch`i lin ko / chi lin ko
Qilin Pavilion, located in the Weiyang Palace, a hall decorated with portraits of famous officials


see styles
 kirinreiyou;kirinreiyou / kirinreyo;kirinreyo / きりんれいよう;キリンレイヨウ (kana only) (See ジェレヌク) gerenuk (Litocranius walleri); Waller's gazelle


see styles
 daikirintakayoshi / だいきりんたかよし (person) Daikirin Takayoshi (1942.6.20-)


see styles
 kirinjikazuharu / きりんじかずはる (person) Kirinji Kazuharu (1953.3.9-)


see styles
 miyamaakinokirinsou;miyamaakinokirinsou / miyamakinokirinso;miyamakinokirinso / みやまあきのきりんそう;ミヤマアキノキリンソウ (kana only) European goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea); woundwort


see styles
 kirinketsu;kirinketsu / きりんけつ;キリンケツ (kana only) (See 竜血樹) dragon's blood palm (Daemonorops draco); bright red resin used in medicine, dyes, etc.


see styles
 kirin(p);kirin / きりん(P);キリン (1) (kana only) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis); (2) qilin (Chinese unicorn); (3) (麒麟 only) Kirin (brand of beer); (4) (騏驎 only) (archaism) horse that can ride 1000 ri in a day


see styles
 kirinmooinurebadobaniotoru / きりんもおいぬればどばにおとる (expression) (proverb) even an outstanding person becomes inferior when getting old

Many custom options...

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Wall Scroll

And formats...

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Portrait
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Horizontal Wall Scroll
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature Vertical Portrait

Lookup 麒麟 in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

AdventureAllisonAnnieAubreyBearCalmCarsonCodyColemanConfuciusConfucius TenetsCourageDaoismDavidDelaneyDennisDragonFamilyForeverFortuneFour SeasonsGabriellaGavinGeishaGhostGood HealthHannahHappiness and JoyHappiness Good FortuneHealthHeartHomeHopeJadeJaidenJasonJeffreyJuliaJustinKevinKnightKumaKung FuLiamLongevityLoveMakennaMarkMarriageMarshallMikaylaMinaMindMotherMushinPeacePeace and HarmonyPeace and SecurityPerserverancePhoenixProsperityReeseRelaxRespectRomance of the Three KingdomsRyanSarahShadowShadow WarriorSimonSophieStoneStrengthStrongTai Chi ChuanTaijutsuTao Te ChingThree KingdomsTranquilityVivianWing Chun

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.

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