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Buddhism in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Buddhism

  2. Buddhism / Buddha

  3. Buddha / Buddhism

  4. Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

  5. Shin Buddhism

  6. Four Noble Truths

  7. Reincarnation

  8. Zen Buddhism

  9. Three Treasures of Buddhism

10. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

11. Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

12. Namo Amitabha Buddha

13. The Aura of Buddha

14. Buddha Seeking

15. Shakyamuni / The Buddha

16. True Religion / Buddha Truth

17. The Eye of the Buddha

18. Happy Buddha

19. Amitabha Buddha

20. Shakyamuni / The Buddha

21. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha


Buddhism

(2 characters)
China fó jiào
Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism. It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings." 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.

Buddhism

(2 Kanji)
Japan bukkyou
Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

仏教 can mean Buddha or Buddhism. Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write Buddha in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.

The first character is also a rare form of Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.

Buddhism / Buddha

China
Japan hotoke
Buddhism / Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

佛 is the essence of the Buddha or Buddhism. Depending on context, this word and character can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

It is interesting to note that this word is separate from all others in the Chinese language. The sound of "fo" has only this meaning. 佛 is in contrast to many sounds in the Chinese language which can have one of four tones, and more than 20 possible characters and meanings. This language anomaly shows just how significant Buddhism has affected China since the ancient times.

More about Buddhism

佛 is also used with the same meaning in Korean Hanja.

It's used in the very religious context of Buddhism in Japan. It should be noted that there are two forms of this Kanji in use in Japan - this is the more formal/ancient version but it's rarely seen outside of religious artwork, and may not be recognized by all Japanese people.

It also acts as a suffix or first syllable for many Buddhist-related words in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


See our Buddhism & Zen page


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Enlightenment

Buddha / Buddhism

Hotoke
Japan hotoke / butsu
Buddha / Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

This single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.

This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write Buddha in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).

仏 / 佛 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.

Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

China jìng tǔ zōng
Japan jou do shuu
Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

淨土宗 is the title of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism." This form is also romanized/known as "Jodo Shu" (jōdo shū).

Also known as Amidism for the fact that this is a branch of Mahayana (Mahāyāna) Buddhism which focuses on Amitabha (Amitābha) Buddha. This form of Buddhism, along with Chinese characters, came to Japan via China in the 5th century according to most historians.


Notes:
Pure Land Buddhism is also known as 浄土仏教 (jōdo bukkyō).
Some will just express it with just 浄土 (Pure Land).


See Also:  Shin Buddhism

Shin Buddhism

True Pure Land Buddhism
Japan jou do shin shuu
Shin Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

Known in the west as "Shin Buddhism," this is a school of Japanese "Pure Land Buddhism." This form is also known as "True Pure Land Buddhism" or "Jodoshinshu" (jōdoshinshū).

If you are looking for this title, you probably already know the rest of the story.


See Also:  Pure Land Buddhism

Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)

China sì dì
Japan shitai
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism) Vertical Wall Scroll

四諦 is the title of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).

The suggestion behind these truths is that all things in nature suffer. All things in nature have desire. The enlightened can release themselves from the bonds of desire. And finally, once they release all desire and attachment, the enlightened will find a path that leads away from suffering.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment

Reincarnation (Buddhism)

China zhuǎn shì
Japan ten sei
Reincarnation (Buddhism) Vertical Wall Scroll

轉世 is the Buddhist idea of reincarnation or transmigration.

Other definitions of this term: "Attainer of Nirvana from within the desire realm," "A practitioner who enters directly into Nirvana from the desire realm, without traversing the form and formless realms. One of the 27 kinds of Hinayana sages," or simply, "to return again to this life."

轉世 is also a Japanese title but the first Kanji was slightly simplified after WWII. Just let us know if you want the modern Japanese version when you order.


See Also:  Buddhism | Rebirth

Zen Buddhism

China chán zōng
Japan Zen shuu
Zen Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism." Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.

From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.

Three Treasures of Buddhism

China sān bǎo
Japan san bou
Three Treasures of Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

三寶 is the title for "Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism."

These three treasures are the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (teachings or the law of the Buddha), and the Sangha 僧 (the community of monks or followers).

This term is used by most (perhaps not all) Buddhists in China, Japan, and South Korea (written the same it the original form, but pronounced differently in each language). Non-Buddhists may just read this as, "Three Treasures," without the religious context. For instance, there is also a, "Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine," that is sometimes titled the same way.


In modern Japanese and Simplified Chinese, this is written 三宝 instead of 三寶.

Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

Japan ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

This is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

Japan ken shou jyo butsu
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

見性成佛 is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成佛 is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

Namo Amitabha Buddha

China nā mó ē mí tuó fó
Japan namu amida butsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

This is how to express "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha" (especially for the Pure Land Buddhist Sect).

Some will translate as, "Homage to Amitâbha Buddha" or "I seek refuge in the Amitâbha Buddha."

This is valid in Chinese characters Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes modern Japanese use a different version of the 4th and last Kanji but the version shown here is the most universal.

This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

The Aura of Buddha

China fó guāng
Japan bukkou
The Aura of Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

佛光 means Buddha's teachings, or Buddha's Light.

This often refers to the aura around the head of Buddha.

Alternate meanings include: Spiritual Enlightenment (from Buddha), Buddha's Halo, or Buddha's Glory.

Buddha Seeking

China qín qiú
Japan gongu
Buddha Seeking Vertical Wall Scroll

勤求 is a complex word. In the simplest terms, it means inquiring the Buddha way. To put it another way, it is seeking something in the right way, at the right time, and diligently seeking only truth or the good.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

China shì jiā
Japan sha ka
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.

It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.
This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.

This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.

True Religion / Buddha Truth

The way of the truth
China shí dào
Japan jitsu dou
True Religion / Buddha Truth Vertical Wall Scroll

This Buddhist title means, "The true way," "The true religion," "The way of the truth," or "The absolute Buddha-truth."

The Eye of the Buddha

China wǔ yǎn
Japan butsugen
The Eye of the Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

The eye of Buddha, the enlightened one who sees all and is omniscient.


仏In modern Japan, they also write the first Kanji as shown to the right. Both versions are correct but if you want the modern Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.

Happy Buddha

Buddha of Joyful Light
China huān xǐ guāng fó
Japan kan gi kou butsu
Happy Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

This title is Buddha of Joyful Light. 歡喜光佛 is Amitābha from Sanskrit but pronounced very different in Chinese and Japanese.

Amitabha Buddha

China ē mí tuó fó
Japan amida butsu
Amitabha Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

This title can mean the Buddha of the Western paradise. But it's more a chant that means, "May the lord Buddha preserve us!" or "Merciful Buddha!."

阿彌陀佛 is also a translation to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for, "Amitâbha Buddha."

Asian Buddhists will often greet and say goodbye to each other with this phrase/chant/title.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

China shì jiā móu ní
Japan sha ka mu ni
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

釋迦牟尼 is a transliteration of "Shakyamuni" or "Sakyamuni" in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

The perceived meaning of the name is roughly translated as, "Sage of the Sakyas."
This same Buddha is also known as "Siddhartha Gautama," "Gotama Buddha," "Tathagata," or simply, "The Supreme Buddha."

釋迦牟尼 is the legendary man and prince who eventually established the Buddhist religion.

Note: Occasionally Romanized as "Siddhattha Gotama."

This combination of characters is sometimes seen and used in South Korea and Japan as well (with the same meaning).


Note: 釋迦牟尼 came from the Sanskrit शाक्यमुनि and can also be romanized with diuretics as Śākyamuni.

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

China nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
Japan namu shakamuni butsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha Vertical Wall Scroll

南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.

Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.

The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in," or "homage to."
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in," while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.

Search for Buddhism in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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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
Buddhism佛教fó jiào / fo2 jiao4 / fo jiao / fojiaofo chiao / fochiao
Buddhism仏教bukkyou / bukyo
Buddhism
Buddha
hotokefó / fo2 / fo
Buddha
Buddhism
仏 / 佛
hotoke / butsu
Pure Land Buddhism
Jodo Buddhism
淨土宗
浄土宗
jou do shuu
joudoshuu
jo do shu
jodoshu
jìng tǔ zōng
jing4 tu3 zong1
jing tu zong
jingtuzong
ching t`u tsung
chingtutsung
ching tu tsung
Shin Buddhism浄土真宗jou do shin shuu
joudoshinshuu
jo do shin shu
jodoshinshu
Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)四諦
四谛
shitaisì dì / si4 di4 / si di / sidissu ti / ssuti
Reincarnation (Buddhism)轉世
转世
ten sei / tenseizhuǎn shì
zhuan3 shi4
zhuan shi
zhuanshi
chuan shih
chuanshih
Zen Buddhism禪宗
禅宗
Zen shuu / Zenshuu / Zen shu / Zenshuchán zōng
chan2 zong1
chan zong
chanzong
ch`an tsung
chantsung
chan tsung
Three Treasures of Buddhism三寶
三宝
san bou / sanbou / san bo / sanbosān bǎo / san1 bao3 / san bao / sanbaosan pao / sanpao
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyo na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba hoshi to omoi yari no seishin
ningenseiosaiseisurunowakanyonakokoroshinsetsunakotobahoshitoomoiyarinoseishin
Kensho Jyobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jyo butsu
kenshoujyobutsu
ken sho jyo butsu
kenshojyobutsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha南無阿彌陀佛
南无阿弥陀佛
namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
nā mó ē mí tuó fó
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
namoemituofo
na mo o mi t`o fo
namoomitofo
na mo o mi to fo
The Aura of Buddha佛光bukkou / bukofó guāng / fo2 guang1 / fo guang / foguangfo kuang / fokuang
Buddha Seeking勤求gonguqín qiú / qin2 qiu2 / qin qiu / qinqiuch`in ch`iu / chinchiu / chin chiu
Shakyamuni
The Buddha
釈迦sha ka / shakashì jiā / shi4 jia1 / shi jia / shijiashih chia / shihchia
True Religion
Buddha Truth
實道
实道
jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do / jitsudoshí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidaoshih tao / shihtao
The Eye of the Buddha佛眼
佛眼 / 仏眼
butsugen / butsugenwǔ yǎn / wu3 yan3 / wu yan / wuyanwu yen / wuyen
Happy Buddha歡喜光佛
欢喜光佛
kan gi kou butsu
kangikoubutsu
kan gi ko butsu
kangikobutsu
huān xǐ guāng fó
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
huanxiguangfo
huan hsi kuang fo
huanhsikuangfo
Amitabha Buddha阿彌陀佛
阿弥陀佛
amida butsu
amidabutsu
ē mí tuó fó
e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
e mi tuo fo
emituofo
o mi t`o fo
omitofo
o mi to fo
Shakyamuni
The Buddha
釋迦牟尼
释迦牟尼
sha ka mu ni
shakamuni
shì jiā móu ní
shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
shi jia mou ni
shijiamouni
shih chia mou ni
shihchiamouni
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha南無釋迦牟尼佛
南无释迦牟尼佛
namu shakamuni butsu
namushakamunibutsu
nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
nan2 wu2 shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2 fo2
nan wu shi jia mou ni fo
nanwushijiamounifo
nan wu shih chia mou ni fo
nanwushihchiamounifo
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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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!

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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Buddhism Kanji, Buddhism Characters, Buddhism in Mandarin Chinese, Buddhism Characters, Buddhism in Chinese Writing, Buddhism in Japanese Writing, Buddhism in Asian Writing, Buddhism Ideograms, Chinese Buddhism symbols, Buddhism Hieroglyphics, Buddhism Glyphs, Buddhism in Chinese Letters, Buddhism Hanzi, Buddhism in Japanese Kanji, Buddhism Pictograms, Buddhism in the Chinese Written-Language, or Buddhism in the Japanese Written-Language.