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All Seeing in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Seeing is Believing

  2. Hearing a Hundred Times is Not as Good as Seeing Once

  3. Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

  4. Foresight

  5. Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

  6. Therapeutic Massage

  7. Brahmavihara

  8. Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles

  9. Where There is a Will, There is a Way

10. Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

11. Better Late Than Never


Seeing is Believing

hyakubun wa ikken ni shikazu
Seeing is Believing Scroll

百聞は一見に如かず is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb that means “Seeing once is better than hearing one hundred times.”

It is the rough equivalent of “seeing is believing,” “one eye-witness is better than many hearsays,” or “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Sometimes it's simply more prudent to verify with your own eyes.


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


See Also:  Hearing a Hundred Times is Not as Good as Seeing Once

Seeing is Believing

bǎi wén bù rú yí jiàn
Seeing is Believing Scroll

百聞不如一見 is a proverb that means “Better to see something once rather than hear about it one hundred times” or “Telling me about something 100 times is not as good as seeing it once.”

In English, we have the similar proverb of “Seeing is believing” but this has a bit of the “A picture paints a thousand words” meaning too.

Sometimes it's simply more prudent to verify with your own eyes.

Hearing a Hundred Times is Not as Good as Seeing Once

bǎi wén bù rú yī jiàn
Hearing a Hundred Times is Not as Good as Seeing Once Scroll

百聞不如一見 is a Chinese proverb that means “Seeing once is better than hearing one hundred times” which is similar to the idea of “Seeing is believing.”

You can also get the idea, “Seeing for oneself is better than hearing from many others.”

If you break it down directly, you get “100 hears/listens (is) not as-good (as) one sight.”

Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

jiàn xìng chéng fó
ken shou jou butsu
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha Scroll

見性成佛 is a universal phrase that suggests that one may see one's nature and accomplish Buddhahood.

見性 suggests penetrating deep inside oneself to see one's “Original finally Mind.”

成佛 refers to a sentient being who dispenses with illusions and delusions through ascetic practice, is enlightened to the truth, and becomes a Buddha.

This is used by Mahayana, Chan, and Zen Buddhists in China, Korea, and Japan.


You will also see this with the last character written as 仏 in Japanese. In the religious context, 佛 is commonly used to mean Buddha. If you want the other version, see Kenshō Jōbutsu 見性成仏

xiān jiàn
senken
Foresight Scroll

先見 is about seeing the potential benefits or troubles that may lie ahead in the future.

先見 can also be defined as “presupposition” or “forethought.”


See Also:  Fate

Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

ken shou jou butsu
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll

見性成仏 or Kenshō Jōbutsu is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

Kenshō Jōbutsu is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成仏 is probably better translated as “Seeing one’s nature and becoming a Buddha.”


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

Therapeutic Massage

tuī ná
Therapeutic Massage Scroll

推拿 is “Tui Na,” a Chinese version of therapeutic massage.

The title suggests a pushing and pulling motion.

In reality, this is the most legitimate form of massage in China. Seeing this on a sign in front of a building tells you it's a place for health improvement via massage. No mistaking this for any illicit version of massage.

Brahmavihara

sì wú liàng xīn
shi mur you shin
Brahmavihara Scroll

四無量心 is the cattāri brahmavihārā or catvāri apramāṇāni.

The four immeasurables, or infinite Buddha-states of mind. These four dhyānas include:
1. 慈無量心 boundless kindness, maitrī, or bestowing of joy or happiness.
2. 悲無量心 boundless pity, karuṇā, to save from suffering.
3. 喜無量心 boundless joy, muditā, on seeing others rescued from suffering.
4. 捨無量心 limitless indifference, upekṣā, i.e., rising above these emotions or giving up all things.

Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles

dú wàn juǎn shū, xíng wàn lǐ lù
Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles Scroll

讀萬卷書行萬里路 is a lifelong suggestion for expanding your horizons by gaining knowledge, experience, and seeing the world.

Of course, this was written long ago when it was hard to travel 10,000 miles (at least 1000 years before the invention of the airplane).
With air travel and the business I'm in, I often achieve that lifetime goal on a monthly basis.
However, I am a little behind in the book count.

Note: An ancient Chinese mile (里 or lǐ) referred to in this proverb is about a third of a British/American mile. However, at that time, this was a great distance to travel.

Where There is a Will, There is a Way

A determined effort can move a mountain

yū gōng yí shān
Where There is a Will, There is a Way Scroll

愚公移山 is the Chinese proverb (also somewhat known in Japan and Korea) for “the silly old man moves a mountain.”

Figuratively, this means “where there's a will, there's a way.”

Based on a fable of Lord Yu (愚公). He moved the soil of the mountain in front of his house. After years of effort, he finally moved the entire mountain (some versions of the story have God seeing how determined the man was, and sending two angels to whisk the mountains away).

The moral of the story: Anything can be accomplished if one works at it ceaselessly.


The Japanese version of this is 愚公山を移す (gu kou yama wo utsu su). But better to get the Chinese version, since this is originally a Chinese proverb.


See Also:  Nothing is Impossible

Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature

qí lǐn
keilun
kirin
Kirin / Giraffe / Mythical Creature 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. This 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.” This 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,” although 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).

Better Late Than Never

It's Never Too Late Too Mend

wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
Better Late Than Never Scroll

Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as “The Warring States Period” by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.

Sometime around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by “yes men” who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King's court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.

The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.

One of the King's ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, “Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins.”

This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, “I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation.” The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin's words.
Seeing the King's displeasure with him and the King's fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission from the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.

Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.

The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was “What can I do now?”

Zhuang Xin told the King this story:

A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity of the Kingdom of Chu.

The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
“Even if you have lost some sheep, it's never too late to mend the fence.”

This proverb, 亡羊补牢犹未为晚, is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quitting smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.

I suppose in the same way that we might say, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life” in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.

Note: This does have Korean pronunciation but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Seeing is Believing百聞は一見に如かずhyakubun wa ikken ni shikazu
hyakubunwaikkennishikazu
hyakubun wa iken ni shikazu
Seeing is Believing百聞不如一見
百闻不如一见
bǎi wén bù rú yí jiàn
bai3 wen2 bu4 ru2 yi2 jian4
bai wen bu ru yi jian
baiwenburuyijian
pai wen pu ju i chien
paiwenpujuichien
Hearing a Hundred Times is Not as Good as Seeing Once百聞不如一見
百闻不如一见
bǎi wén bù rú yī jiàn
bai3 wen2 bu4 ru2 yi1 jian4
bai wen bu ru yi jian
baiwenburuyijian
pai wen pu ju i chien
paiwenpujuichien
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha見性成佛
见性成佛
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
jiàn xìng chéng fó
jian4 xing4 cheng2 fo2
jian xing cheng fo
jianxingchengfo
chien hsing ch`eng fo
chienhsingchengfo
chien hsing cheng fo
Foresight先見
先见
senkenxiān jiàn
xian1 jian4
xian jian
xianjian
hsien chien
hsienchien
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
Therapeutic Massage推拿tuī ná / tui1 na2 / tui na / tuinat`ui na / tuina / tui na
Brahmavihara四無量心
四无量心
shi mur you shin
shimuryoushin
shi mur yo shin
sì wú liàng xīn
si4 wu2 liang4 xin1
si wu liang xin
siwuliangxin
ssu wu liang hsin
ssuwulianghsin
Read 10,000 Books, Travel 10,000 Miles讀萬卷書行萬里路
读万卷书行万里路
dú wàn juǎn shū, xíng wàn lǐ lù
du2 wan4 juan3 shu1 xing2 wan4 li3 lu4
du wan juan shu xing wan li lu
duwanjuanshuxingwanlilu
tu wan chüan shu hsing wan li lu
Where There is a Will, There is a Way愚公移山yū gōng yí shān
yu1 gong1 yi2 shan1
yu gong yi shan
yugongyishan
yü kung i shan
yükungishan
Kirin
Giraffe
Mythical Creature
麒麟kirinqí lǐn / qi2 lin3 / qi lin / qilinch`i lin / chilin / chi lin
Better Late Than Never亡羊補牢猶未為晚
亡羊补牢犹未为晚
wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
wangyangpulaoyuweiweiwan
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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Better Late Than Never Scroll
Better Late Than Never Scroll
Better Late Than Never Scroll
Better Late Than Never Scroll


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Better Late Than Never Vertical Portrait
Better Late Than Never Horizontal Wall Scroll
Better Late Than Never Vertical Portrait
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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.

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

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