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Altruism in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Charity

  2. Benevolence

  3. Kindness / Benevolence

  4. Doing good is the greatest source of happiness

  5. Learning leads to Knowledge, Study leads to Benevolence, Shame leads to Courage

  6. Kindheartedness / Benevolence / Humanity

  7. Work Unselfishly for the Common Good


Charity

cí shàn
jizen
Charity Scroll

There are a few different words used to express charity in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja but 慈善 is the most common.

Some of the other words describe acts such as "giving alms" etc.


Note: Sometimes this is translated as benevolence or benevolent.
Also, this considered to be one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

If you need a different meaning, just contact me.


See Also:  Benevolence

Benevolence

rén
jin
Benevolence Scroll

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".
-Gary.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Kindness | Charity | Confucius

Kindness / Benevolence

rén cí
jin ji
Kindness / Benevolence Scroll

仁慈 word is used in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Asian Buddhism to relay the important idea of loving kindness.

仁慈 can also be defined as: benevolent; charitable; kind; merciful; kind-hearted; benevolence; kindness; humanity; mercy.

In Japanese, this can also be the given name Hitoji. This would also be a good Mandarin Chinese given name romanized as Jentzu (in Taiwan) or Renci (really sounds like ren-tsuh).


See Also:  Love | Kindness | Charity

Doing good is the greatest source of happiness

wéi shàn zuì lè
Doing good is the greatest source of happiness Scroll

為善最樂 can be translated as, "Doing good is the greatest source of happiness", or "doing good deeds brings the greatest joy".

The origin is not known, sometimes used in the context of Buddhism. However, this Chinese proverb or philosophy is a fairly mainstream idea of benevolence.

Learning leads to Knowledge, Study leads to Benevolence, Shame leads to Courage

hào xué jìn hū zhī lì xíng jìn hū rén zhī chǐ jìn hū yǒng
Learning leads to Knowledge, Study leads to Benevolence, Shame leads to Courage Scroll

This is a Saying from Confucius which relates certain actions to virtues.

A more verbose translation:
To love learning is akin to knowledge,
to study diligently is akin to benevolence,
to know shame is akin to courage.

Kindheartedness / Benevolence / Humanity

rén dé
jintoku
Kindheartedness / Benevolence / Humanity Scroll

These two characters create a word that can be translated as love, kindheartedness, benevolence and humanity.

The first character means benevolence by itself.
The second character means virtue or morality.

Japanese note: The second Kanji of this word has been slightly simplified (one tiny horizontal stroke removed). It is still readable for Japanese but if you select our Japanese calligrapher, expect that stroke to be missing on your wall scroll.

Work Unselfishly for the Common Good

kè jǐ fèng gōng
Work Unselfishly for the Common Good Scroll

This can also mean: "Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service".
This Chinese proverb is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)

The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
A man named Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.

Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.

Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things in an honorable way. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.

Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime, long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as "ke ji feng gong".


See Also:  Unselfish | Selflessness


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Charity慈善jizencí shàn / ci2 shan4 / ci shan / cishantz`u shan / tzushan / tzu shan
Benevolencejinrén / ren2 / renjen
Kindness
Benevolence
仁慈jin ji / jinjirén cí / ren2 ci2 / ren ci / rencijen tz`u / jentzu / jen tzu
Doing good is the greatest source of happiness為善最樂
为善最乐
wéi shàn zuì lè
wei2 shan4 zui4 le4
wei shan zui le
weishanzuile
wei shan tsui le
weishantsuile
Learning leads to Knowledge, Study leads to Benevolence, Shame leads to Courage好學近乎知力行近乎仁知恥近乎勇
好学近乎知力行近乎仁知耻近乎勇
hào xué jìn hū zhī lì xíng jìn hū rén zhī chǐ jìn hū yǒng
hao4 xue2 jin4 hu1 zhi1 li4 xing2 jin4 hu1 ren2 zhi1 chi3 jin4 hu1 yong3
hao xue jin hu zhi li xing jin hu ren zhi chi jin hu yong
hao hsüeh chin hu chih li hsing chin hu jen chih ch`ih chin hu yung
hao hsüeh chin hu chih li hsing chin hu jen chih chih chin hu yung
Kindheartedness
Benevolence
Humanity
仁德jintokurén dé / ren2 de2 / ren de / rendejen te / jente
Work Unselfishly for the Common Good克己奉公kè jǐ fèng gōng
ke4 ji3 feng4 gong1
ke ji feng gong
kejifenggong
k`o chi feng kung
kochifengkung
ko chi feng kung
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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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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