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仙 means immortal (as in a being or person).
In some context, it can mean hermit, ascetic, man of the hills, or wizard. The Buddha is often put in this category.
In Chinese mythology and folklore, there is a famous group of eight immortals (八仙).
The 楞嚴經 (Śūraṅgama Sūtra) speaks of many kinds of immortals including walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will (into space or into the deva heavens), beings with the ability to transform themselves into any form, etc.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Eight Immortals||八仙||hassen / hasen||bā xiān / ba1 xian1 / ba xian / baxian||pa hsien / pahsien|
|Immortal||仙||sento / sen||xiān / xian1 / xian||hsien|
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your Eight Immortals search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| xiān / xian1
sen / せん
(1) (See 仙人・1) hermit; wizard; (2) (See 仙術) wizardry; (personal name) Hisa
僊 ṛṣi, 哩始 an immortal. 仙人; 人仙 the genī, of whom there is a famous group of eight 八仙; an ascetic, a man of the hills, a hermit; the Buddha. The 楞嚴經 gives ten kinds of immortals, walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will, into space, into the deva heavens, transforming themselves into any form, etc. The names of ten ṛṣis, who preceded Śākyamuni, the first being 闍提首那? Jatisena; there is also a list of sixty-eight 大仙 given in the 大孔雀咒經下 A classification of five is 天仙 deva genī, 神仙 spirit genī, 人仙 human genī, 地仙 earth, or cavern genī, and 鬼仙 ghost genī; renunciant
| bā xiān / ba1 xian1
hassen / はっせん
the Eight Immortals (Daoist mythology)
(given name) Hassen
| ní cháng / ni2 chang2
ni ch`ang / ni chang
nichang, rainbow colored clothes worn by the Eight Immortals 八仙[Ba1 xian1]
| lǚ dòng bīn / lu:3 dong4 bin1
lü tung pin
Lü Dongbin (796-), Tang Dynasty scholar, one of the Eight Immortals 八仙[Ba1 xian1]
| lǐ tiě guǎi / li3 tie3 guai3
li t`ieh kuai / li tieh kuai
Iron-Crutch Li, one of the Eight Immortals 八仙[Ba1 xian1] in Chinese mythology, walking around with an iron crutch and carrying a gourd with special medicine
| bā xiān guò hǎi , gè xiǎn shén tōng / ba1 xian1 guo4 hai3 , ge4 xian3 shen2 tong1
pa hsien kuo hai , ko hsien shen t`ung / pa hsien kuo hai , ko hsien shen tung
lit. the Eight Immortals cross the sea, each showing his own special talent (idiom); fig. (of each individual in a group) to give full play to one's unique capabilities
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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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