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3. Strong Woman
11. Beautiful Girl
14. Pink Color
18. Dragon Lady
19. Hua Mulan
28. Holy Man / Saint
30. Younger Sister
31. I Love You
32. Dark Sister
35. Adoring Love
巾幗 is the very old way to say woman in Chinese.
A common title ancient China, this actually refers to the scarf or head wrapping worn by virtually all women at that time.
巾幗 is kind of a cool way to say Woman now. The actual gender character alone on a wall scroll would actually just look like a fancy sign for the woman's restroom (WC).
If you are curious, the character to the right directly means female or woman. 巾幗 is useful information if you are a woman in need of a toilet in China.
女傑 can mean brave woman, heroine, lady of character, distinguished woman, outstanding woman, and sometimes prominent woman.
Some people might use this to give a title to women like Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Queen Elizabeth the First, Joan of Arc, Mulan Fa, Yevdokiya Nikolayevna Zavaliy, Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank, Clara Barton, and Jane Eyre.
I use it for a woman like Araceli Segarra (the first woman from Spain to climb Mt. Everest) and gave one of my daughters the middle name of Araceli.
女強人 is the best way to say "strong woman" or "strong and independent woman" in Chinese.
Grammar in China is a bit different, so these three characters literally read as "female strength person" or "woman strong person". This might sound funny in English but this is a natural-sounding title in Chinese.
烈婦 is a Japanese title for a strong-minded woman, virtuous woman, or heroine.
In some context, it can refer to a pure or chaste woman.
巾幗英雄 is a cool and somewhat ancient way to say woman hero in Chinese. 巾幗英雄 is used in modern times to refer to an outstanding woman or a woman with great accomplishments.
In the old days, it was a title for a woman warrior (oh, did I mention that there were great female generals who led huge armies into battle in ancient China?)
This literally means "Mysterious Person/Woman".
In Japanese, this is associated with a "geisha", which matches this definition of "mysterious woman". However, this is the colloquial way to say "professional geisha" or "expert prostitute" in Japanese. It, therefore, might not be what you want on your wall.
Notes: This is a "Japanese only" term, though a Chinese person who sees these characters will think of a geisha or an alluring Japanese female musician.
While not often seen in Korean Hanja, this would mean a "dark woman," as in a woman that you cannot easily see through.
美麗的女人 is the best and most polite way to express "beautiful woman" in Chinese.
Note: Some people may like the simple 2-character 美女 way to express this but there are some bad connotations with that, so better to stay with this longer and more respectful title.
This can be read as "girl power", "woman power", or "female strength".
女力 is kind of a strange or unofficial title in Chinese and Japanese. At least, it's not common for a wall scroll.
This should be "onna ryoku" in Japanese but I found some who suggest it should be "me riki".
We don't really have a word like this in English but these two characters create a word that means "strong and beautiful". It could also be translated as "healthy and beautiful".
Note: 健美 is a word in Chinese and Korean but it's also the family name Takemi in Japanese. The characters hold the same meaning in Japanese but It's kind of like having the English name Stillwell, when few people would perceive the meanings of still and well.
美 is often used to describe the beauty of a woman.
However, when applied to a man, it can mean handsome. It's also the first character in the word for "beauty salon" which you will see all over China and Japan.
This can be used as the given name for a girl (spell it or say it as "Mei" or "May").
For a bit of trivia: The title for the "USA" in Chinese is "Mei Guo" which literally means "Beautiful Country". This name was bestowed at a time before Chairman Mao came to power and decided that China didn't like the USA anymore (even though we fought together against the Japanese in WWII). But these days, Chinese people love Americans (but have distaste for American politics and policy). But I digress...
美 is also how "Beautiful" is written in Japanese Kanji and Korean Hanja. 美 can also mean: very satisfactory; good; to be pleased with oneself; abbreviation for the USA; fine; handsome; admirable; madhura; sweet; pleasant.
凰 is another simple way to write "Phoenix" in Chinese. 凰 is the specifically female element of phoenix, so this is how you write "female phoenix". 凰 is sometimes used to represent the female empress (many times in history, China was ruled by a woman, in much the same way queens came to power in Europe).
Note that the emperor is always represented as a dragon (not the male version of phoenix).
If you see yourself as a strong woman, this might be scroll for you to express "woman power" or "powerful woman" in a cool way.
Any woman with affection for Asian art and you will love a gift of this Chinese proverb calligraphy on a wall scroll.
She will melt in your arms as you tell her the meaning of these characters.
Contained in this phrase is a reference to the most beautiful woman in Chinese history. Her name was Xi Shi, and she was known to have good looks that need not fine robes or makeup. Her charms were so powerful that she brought down an entire kingdom (in a successful effort to bring honor and pride back to her people).
情人眼里出西施 is a great way to express that the woman in your life is your one love.
花木蘭 is the name of the famous Chinese woman warrior Hua Mulan.
She was made famous in the west by Disney's animated movie, "Mulan".
Most of the historical information about her comes from an ancient poem. It starts with a concerned Mulan, as she is told a man from each family is to serve conscription in the army. Her father is too old, and her brother is too young. Mulan decides to take the place of her father. After twelve years of war, the army returns and the best warriors are awarded great posts in the government and riches. Mulan turns down all offers, and asks only for a good horse for the long trip home. When Mulan greets visiting comrades wearing her old clothes, they are shocked to find the warrior they rode into battle with for years was actually a woman.
媛 means, a beauty; beautiful (woman); princess; young lady of noble birth; girl; small & lovely.
媛 is used a bit more commonly in Chinese than Japanese.
Note: This can be the female given name "Hime" in Japanese.
人格者 is a Japanese and Korean title that means, "person of character".
人格者 is unisex, so it can also be used to mean, "man of character", or "woman of character".
芸者 is the real basis for the way we spell geisha.
However, there are many more ways to refer to a woman that fills the role that westerners think of when they hear the word geisha.
In Japanese, these characters literally mean "artful person". But in English, it might be better translated as "a person (woman) highly trained/accomplished in the arts".
However, my Japanese dictionary says "a singing and dancing girl".
Many will argue as to whether "geisha" = "prostitute" or not. My Japanese friends seem to have the opinion that a geisha is so highly trained in the art playing musical instruments and dancing that the fact she might also be a prostitute is secondary to her performance on stage.
芸者 is a "Japanese only" term, they use a slightly different first character to express "geisha" in Chinese. Since this is a Japanese term, I have not included the Chinese version.
女神 is "Goddess" from English or "Dea" from Latin in both Chinese and Japanese.
The literal meaning:
女 = Female or woman.
神 = Spirit, deity, soul, or saint.
愛情 is a universal word in Japanese, Korean and Chinese which means love and affection.
Some may translate this as "love between a man and a woman".
Depending on context, it can mean utter devotion or favorite.
甘味 is sweet or sweetness in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja. This refers to a sweet taste, sugary taste, or sweet flavor. It can also be a noun meaning sweets, dessert, or cake.
This can also refer to charm or appeal (of a woman or lovely thing).
妾 is the most simple way to say concubine or mistress in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Sometimes this can mean servant. Occasionally, a woman may use this title in place of "I" or "me" to say "your humble servant" in a self-deprecating way.
聖人 can mean saint, sage, or holy man.
Note: There is more than one way to express this idea. This one really matches "Holy man" because the second character means "human" or "person" (therefore, this could equally mean "Holy woman").
木蘭 is a general term for the magnolia (magnolia liliflora) or lily magnolia in Chinese and Japanese.
This can refer to any of the flowering plants or trees in the Magnolia genus.
In Chinese, this is also the name Mulan, as in Hua Mulan, the legendary woman warrior and folk hero of fifth-century China.
In Japanese, this can also be the female given name Mokuren.
妹 is the single-character for younger sister.
In colloquial Japanese speech, this can be a way to say, darling, dear, honey, or my betrothed (only used when referring to a woman).
In Japanese, this can be the female given name Mai.
In Chinese, you will generally see this used in double form, "妹妹" or "mei mei" when referring to a younger sister.
It's very uncommon (some will say taboo) to say, "I love you" in Japanese culture. It's especially awkward for a man to tell a woman this in Japanese. Everyone is more likely to say "Watashi wa anata ga suki desu" or "I like you" (literally, "I regarding you, have like".
If you have to say, "I love you" in Japanese, this selection of Kanji and Hiragana shown to the left is the way.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This Buddhist title means "dark sister", "dark one", or "dark woman".
There are two sisters:
One is the deva, 功德女 ("merit" or "achieving"), who causes people to acquire wealth.
The other is the "dark one", 黑闇女, who causes people to spend and waste.
These sisters always accompany each other.
貞烈 is the Japanese Kanji for, "Extreme Faithfulness".
The first Kanji means "firm adherence to one's principles", chastity (of a woman), chaste, etc.
The second Kanji means ardent, intense, fierce, stern, upright, to give one's life for a noble cause, exploits, achievements, virtuous, and in some contexts, heroic.
Now you get the idea why this refers to someone who is extremely faithful (to a cause, themselves, their religious beliefs, or their philosophy.
妖艶 means sexy, fascinating, voluptuous, or bewitching in Japanese Kanji. 妖艶 / 妖艷 is specifically in regards to women.
This has a dictionary meaning of flirtatious or bewitchingly pretty in Chinese. However, in practice, this would refer to a sexy but bitchy woman in modern China.
妖艶 is also a word in old Korean Hanja; however, I have not confirmed how it is perceived in Korean culture.
This may not be appropriate for a wall scroll unless your audience is Japanese only.
Note: The second character can also be written in the alternate version shown to the right.
愛慕 means "adoring love" in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
I suppose this is the best kind of love to have. 愛慕 has the well-known character for love. But the second character modifies and reinforces the meaning to become adore, adoring love, or to love and adore.
Ancient Chinese warning:
Adoring someone is fine until you are in the shoes of the Prince of the Kingdom of Wu. This Prince adored a certain beautiful woman (Xi Shi) so much that he neglected his duties, and soon let the kingdom fall into ruins.
恕 means to forgive, show mercy, absolve, or excuse in Chinese and Korean Hanja (though mostly used in compound words in Korean).
恕 incorporates the pictogram of a heart at the bottom, and a woman and a mouth at the top. The heart portion has the most significance, as it is suggested that it is the heart's nature to forgive.
In Asian culture, as with most other cultures, forgiveness is an act of benevolence and altruism. In forgiving, you put yourself in someone else's shoes and show them the kindness that you would want them to show you. Confucius referred to this quality as "human-heartedness".
Beyond benevolence, 仁 can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.
The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).
仁 is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.
I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, good will, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.
仁 is so important to me that I named my second daughter with this character. Her name is "Renni" which means "Benevolent Girl".
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor.
皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's firstborn son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.
The first character means emperor by itself.
The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.
Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.
皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).
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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|
|jīn guó / jin1 guo2 / jin guo / jinguo||chin kuo / chinkuo|
|Woman of Strong Character|
|joketsu||nǚ jié / nv3 jie2 / nv jie / nvjie||nü chieh / nüchieh|
|nǚ qiáng rén|
nv3 qiang2 ren2
nv qiang ren
|nü ch`iang jen
nü chiang jen
|Strong-Minded Woman||烈婦||reppu / repu|
|jīn guó yīng xióng|
jin1 guo2 ying1 xiong2
jin guo ying xiong
|chin kuo ying hsiung
|玄人||kurouto / kuroto||xuán rén / xuan2 ren2 / xuan ren / xuanren||hsüan jen / hsüanjen|
|měi lì de nǚ rén|
mei3 li4 de nv3 ren2
mei li de nv ren
|mei li te nü jen
|女力||onna ryoku / me riki|
onnaryoku / meriki
|nǚ lì / nv3 li4 / nv li / nvli||nü li / nüli|
|Strong and Beautiful||健美||takemi||jiàn měi / jian4 mei3 / jian mei / jianmei||chien mei / chienmei|
|měi lì de gū niang|
mei3 li4 de gu1 niang
mei li de gu niang
|mei li te ku niang
|美||bi||měi / mei3 / mei|
|Phoenix (female)||凰||ou / o||huáng / huang2 / huang|
|Pink Color||粉色||fěn sè / fen3 se4 / fen se / fense|
|Queen||女王||jo ou / joou / jo o / joo||nǚ wáng / nv3 wang2 / nv wang / nvwang||nü wang / nüwang|
|You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes||情人眼里出西施||qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī|
qing2 ren2 yan3 li3 chu1 xi1 shi1
qing ren yan li chu xi shi
|ch`ing jen yen li ch`u hsi shih
ching jen yen li chu hsi shih
|jí yǎ / ji2 ya3 / ji ya / jiya||chi ya / chiya|
|lóng nǚ / long2 nv3 / long nv / longnv||lung nü / lungnü|
|huā mù lán|
hua1 mu4 lan2
hua mu lan
|媛||hime / haru||yuàn / yuan4 / yuan||yüan|
|Daughter||愚女||gu jo / gujo|
|Person of Character||人格者||jinkakusha|
|Geisha||芸者||geisha||yún zhě / yun2 zhe3 / yun zhe / yunzhe||yün che / yünche|
|Goddess||女神||megami / joshin||nǚ shén / nv3 shen2 / nv shen / nvshen||nü shen / nüshen|
|Love and Affection||愛情|
|aijou / aijo||ài qíng / ai4 qing2 / ai qing / aiqing||ai ch`ing / aiching / ai ching|
|甘味||kanmi / amami / umami||gān wèi / gan1 wei4 / gan wei / ganwei||kan wei / kanwei|
|妾||mekake / sobame / onname||qiè / qie4 / qie||ch`ieh / chieh|
|mokuren||mù lán / mu4 lan2 / mu lan / mulan|
|Younger Sister||妹||mai / imouto|
mai / imoto
mai / imoto
|mèi / mei4 / mei|
|I Love You||愛してる||ai shi te ru|
|Dark Sister||黑闇女||koku an nyo|
|hēi àn nǚ|
hei1 an4 nv3
hei an nv
|hei an nü
|Extreme Faithfulness||貞烈||tei retsu / teiretsu|
|妖艶 / 妖艷|
|you en / youen / yo en / yoen||yāo yàn / yao1 yan4 / yao yan / yaoyan||yao yen / yaoyen|
|ai bou / aibou / ai bo / aibo||ài mù / ai4 mu4 / ai mu / aimu|
|Forgiveness||恕||shù / shu4 / shu|
|Benevolence||仁||jin||rén / ren2 / ren||jen|
|Empress||皇后||kou gou / kougou / ko go / kogo||huáng hòu|
|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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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