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麒麟 in Chinese / Japanese...

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Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

qí lǐn
keilun
kirin
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!
Notes:

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
Kirin
Giraffe
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...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

麒麟

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

大麒麟

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

玉麒麟

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

若麒麟

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

麒麟児

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

麒麟區


麒麟区

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

麒麟山

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

麒麟座

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

麒麟橋

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

麒麟殿

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]

麒麟竭

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

麒麟草

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

麒麟菜

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)

麒麟血

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

麒麟閣

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

麒麟羚羊

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

大麒麟將能

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

麒麟児和春

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

深山秋の麒麟草

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

麒麟竭;麒麟血

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.

麒麟(P);騏驎

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

麒麟も老いぬれば駑馬に劣る;騏驎も老いぬれば駑馬に劣る

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
Dictionary

Lookup 麒麟 in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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