Four Elements in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Four Elements

  2. Five Elements

  3. Godai / Five Elements

  4. Five Elements

  5. Five Elements Tai Chi Fist


Four Elements

Buddhist Term
dì shuǐ huǒ fēng
chisuikafuu
Four Elements Scroll

地水火風 is a Buddhist term that means "earth, water, fire, wind".

地水火風 is often just referred to as "the four elements". There is a more common title (the five elements) which adds wood to the mix. These four elements are used in some sects of Japanese Buddhism (not so much in Chinese).

Five Elements

wǔ xíng
gogyou
Five Elements Scroll

五行 is the title of the five elements which are: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal.

The first character means "5" and the second character is simply "elements".

According to ancient Chinese science, all matter in the world is made up of these elements. One idea presented with the five elements is that when energy is added, matter is believed to expand. When energy is removed, matter contracts. Oddly, this concept is not far from Einstein's theories, and modern science. Just a few thousand years before Einstein.


More info: Wikipedia - Five Elements (Wu Xing).


See Also:  Wood | Fire | Water | Earth | Metal | Five Elements

Five Elements

chi sui ka fuu kuu
Five Elements Scroll

地水火風空 is the specifically-Japanese version of the five elements.

地水火風空 is a little different than the ancient or original Chinese version.

The elements are written in this order:
1. Earth / Terra / Ground
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Wind / Air
5. Sky / Emptiness / Void / Ether

Note: This set of Kanji can also be romanized as "ji sui ka fuu kuu", "jisuikafuukuu", or "jisuikafuku".


These can also be written in the order 地火風水空 (chi ka sui fuu kuu). Let me know when you place your order if you want the Kanji to be in this character order.

Godai / Five Elements

wǔ dà
godai
Godai / Five Elements Scroll

五大 is the Japanese title for the five elements.

In Japan, the five elements differ slightly from the original Chinese. Therefore, in Japanese philosophy you have: earth, water, fire, wind and void (space).

The meaning of the first character is 5, but the second character means great or large. Some translate this as the five majors. 大 is only understood to be "elements" when you have 五 in front of it.

In Buddhism, this can be short for 五大明王, or the five great and wise kings.

Five Elements

jīn mù shuǐ huǒ tǔ
Five Elements Scroll

金木水火土 is a list of the Chinese characters for the five elements in a comfortable order (meaning that they simply "feel right" to a Chinese person who views this arrangement).

The order is metal, wood, water, fire, earth.

Note that sometimes the metal element is translated as gold. And earth refers to soil versus the whole planet earth.

Five Elements Tai Chi Fist

wǔ xíng tài jí quán
go gyou tai kyoku ken
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Scroll

五行太極拳 is a certain school or style of Tai Chi (Taiji).

The characters literally mean "Five Elements Tai Chi Fist".

Notes:
In Taiwan, it would be Romanized as "Wu Hsing Tai Chi Chuan" - see the standard Mandarin method above in the gray box (used in mainland China and the official Romanization used by the Library of Congress).

The last three characters are sometimes translated as "Grand Ultimate Fist", so the whole thing can be "Five Elements Grand Ultimate Fist" if you wish.

I have not confirmed the use of this title in Korean but if it is used, it's probably only by martial arts enthusiasts. The pronunciation is correct as shown above for Korean.




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Gallery Price: $72.00

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Four Elements地水火風
地水火风
chisuikafuu
chisuikafu
dì shuǐ huǒ fēng
di4 shui3 huo3 feng1
di shui huo feng
dishuihuofeng
ti shui huo feng
tishuihuofeng
Five Elements五行gogyou / gogyowǔ xíng / wu3 xing2 / wu xing / wuxingwu hsing / wuhsing
Five Elements地水火風空
地水火风空
chi sui ka fuu kuu
chisuikafuukuu
chi sui ka fu ku
chisuikafuku
Godai
Five Elements
五大godaiwǔ dà / wu3 da4 / wu da / wudawu ta / wuta
Five Elements金木水火土jīn mù shuǐ huǒ tǔ
jin1 mu4 shui3 huo3 tu3
jin mu shui huo tu
jinmushuihuotu
chin mu shui huo t`u
chinmushuihuotu
chin mu shui huo tu
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist五行太極拳
五行太极拳
go gyou tai kyoku ken
gogyoutaikyokuken
go gyo tai kyoku ken
gogyotaikyokuken
wǔ xíng tài jí quán
wu3 xing2 tai4 ji2 quan2
wu xing tai ji quan
wuxingtaijiquan
wu hsing t`ai chi ch`üan
wuhsingtaichichüan
wu hsing tai chi chüan
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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Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Scroll
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Scroll
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Scroll
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Scroll


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Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Vertical Portrait
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Horizontal Wall Scroll
Five Elements Tai Chi Fist Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Four Elements in my Japanese & Chinese 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.
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Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

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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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