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1. Don’t Panic
10. Tiger Rumor
If you need a strange homage to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, this might be it.
This simply says "Don't Panic" in Chinese. A Chinese person who is not familiar with this masterpiece of a book, will not see the humor but that will be your chance to suggest reading some Douglas Adams (which has been translated into Chinese).
This proverb suggests that one should always be grateful to those who helped you succeed.
And remember your ancestors and those that came before you whose sacrifices made your present life better.
Some Chinese will separate the intended meaning from this proverb and translate this as "Don't forget the people who once helped you". In Modern China, this idiom is virtually never used to refer to an actual well.
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.
This is an old Chinese proverb that is sometimes compared to the English saying "Shit Happens".
It's a reflection that there are risks in life, and you should not be surprised when things don't go your way.
A secondary translation might be, "When walking by a river, often one cannot avoid wet shoes".
This literally translates as: [If one does] not do bad things in the daytime, one need not be alarmed at knocks on the door in the middle of the night.
The meaning is something like, "A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder". Basically, the message is, "don't commit crimes and you won't be jumpy every time the doorbell rings (so don't do anything wrong and your life will have fewer worries and you can sleep at night)".
菩提樹 is the full title of the Bodhi tree (a fig tree) under which Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment.
Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment". If you don't have a Bodhi tree to sit under, maybe you can achieve your enlightenment under a wall scroll with this title.
安赫爾 is another common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Angel.
This one misses the mark too - It uses a hard "H" sound to simulate the "J" sound of the "G" in this name. I don't know who transliterated these first and how it became the standard.
Again, I recommend using the meaning of Angel above.
If anything, this is the more masculine form of Angel. 安赫爾 is also the form commonly used for the masculine Latin name Ángel.
信言不美美言不信知者不博博者不知善者不多多者不善聖人無積既以為人己癒有既以予人矣已癒多故天之道利而不害聖人之道為而不爭 is the Mawangdui version of Daodejing chapter 81.
叩頭 is the term that seems to be known worldwide as kowtow.
In Japanese and Chinese, it simply means a deep bow, especially one so low that one's head touches the ground in submission. However, in western culture, it has sometimes come to mean "giving in" or "surrendering to someone else's will". Sometimes even said of a person who stoops to flattery at the expense of their own dignity.
I don't know if you would really want this on a wall scroll but enough people have searched for this term on our website, that I guess it was time to add it. It just feels strange to see such a word on a wall scroll, so please order with caution. 叩頭 is antiquated in both Japanese and Chinese. The act is seldom done anymore and seen as an ancient ritual of sorts.
學生 is how to write "student" in Chinese, pre-WWII Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you are a "student of life", this might be an interesting wall scroll to hang in your reading room.
The first character means "study" or "learning".
The second character means "life" or "birth". Don't read too much into that second character, unless you decide that this means "the birth of studies" or "the life of learning". Everyone in China, Japan, (and those who can read Hanja in Korea) will just read this word with the meaning of "student".
If you put the character for "little" in front of this word, it becomes "elementary school student". Prefixed with "middle" it becomes "middle school student". Prefixed with "big" it becomes "university student" (though when these two characters for student are seen alone, it often suggests "university student"). The term "high school student" is written differently.
There is a very common simplified version of the first character for this word. You will see this form in modern Japan and mainland China, Singapore, and other places. If you want this simplified version, please click on the character shown to the right instead of the "select and customize" button above.
These four characters together relay the meaning that can be expressed in English as, "When three people say there's a tiger running in the street, you believe it".
Of course, there is an ancient story behind this idiom...
三人成虎 is actually a proverb that resulted from a conversation that occurred around 300 B.C.
The conversation was between the king of the Wei kingdom and one of the king's ministers named Pang Cong.
It was near the end of one of many wars, this time with the Zhao kingdom. Pang Cong was to be sent by the king to the Zhao kingdom with the king's son who was to be held hostage. It was common at the time for a king to make his son a hostage to secure stable peace between warring kingdoms.
Before minister Pang Cong departed, he asked his king, "If one person told you there was a tiger running in the street, would you believe it?".
"No", the king said.
The minister continued, "What if two people told you?"
The king replied, "Well, I would have my doubts but I might believe it".
The minister continued, "So, what if three people told you that there is a tiger running in the streets?"
The king replied, "Yes, I would believe it, it must be true if three people say it".
The minister then reminded the king, "Your son and I are now traveling far away to live in the distant Zhao kingdom - much farther from your palace than the street. Rumors may fly about me in my absence, so I hope your majesty will weight such rumors appropriately".
The king replied, "I have every trust in you, do not worry"
While the minister was gone, the king's enemies gossiped about minister Pang Cong on many occasions. At first, the king thought nothing of these comments and rumors. But slowly as the rumors mounted, the king began to suspect ill of his minister.
Some time later when peace was well-established, the minister and prince were freed and returned to the kingdom of Wei. The king received his son, BUT DID NOT EVEN SUMMON MINISTER PANG CONG TO THE PALACE!
Hopefully this story will help you see how dangerous words can be when used to promote rumors, or create ill will. And perhaps will inspire you to not believe everything you hear.
There is also a secondary suggestion in this idiom that gossip is as ferocious as a tiger. Some Chinese people who don't know the ancient story above may believe that this scroll means that rumors are as vicious as three tigers.
Note: This proverb appears in my Korean dictionary but is not well-known in Korea.
Separately, the first character here does mean "danger" or "to endanger" and the second character can mean "opportunity".
However, I want to debunk a myth that was propagated by some westerners who did not have a clear understanding of Asian languages...
While often, Chinese/Japanese/Korean compound words (words of two or more characters) are the sum of their parts, this is not always the case. The compound is often understood with a completely different meaning than the two characters individually.
Many have said that the Chinese/Japanese/Korean word for Crisis is made up of the characters for "danger" and "opportunity". 危機 is true when phrased this way.
However, it's not absolutely correct to say that "danger + opportunity = crisis" in Asian cultures.
If I tell you that...
Bovine creature + Guy behind the plate in baseball = Locomotive protection
...you would think I was mad. But consider that "cow + catcher = cowcatcher", which is the device that used to be found on steam engines to protect them if they hit an animal on the tracks. When we hear the word "cowcatcher" we don't separate the words into their individual meanings (necessarily).
The same is true with the word for crisis in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. While you can separate the characters, few Asian people would automatically do so in their minds.
The final answer:
It is a half-truth to say, "danger plus opportunity equals crisis" in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. Use this statement and concept with caution.
Also, the second character can mean "secret" or "machine" depending on context so I guess you have to say "a dangerous machine = crisis" or "danger + a secret = crisis". Both of these are only slightly more ridiculous than the first premise.
PS: 危機 is probably not a great word for a scroll, unless you have a special use for it.
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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|
|Don’t Panic||不要恐慌||bú yào kǒng huāng|
bu2 yao4 kong3 huang1
bu yao kong huang
|pu yao k`ung huang
pu yao kung huang
|Drinking the water of a well: One should never forget who dug it||吃水不忘掘井人||chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén|
chi1 shui3 bu2 wang4 jue2 jing3 ren2
chi shui bu wang jue jing ren
|ch`ih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
chih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
|One who walks by the river may end up with wet feet||常在河邊走哪能不濕鞋|
|cháng zài hé biān zǒu nǎ néng bù shī xié|
chang2 zai4 he2 bian1 zou3 na3 neng2 bu4 shi1 xie2
chang zai he bian zou na neng bu shi xie
|ch`ang tsai ho pien tsou na neng pu shih hsieh
chang tsai ho pien tsou na neng pu shih hsieh
|One Who Does Not Do Bad Things, Worries Not of Knocks at His Door||白天不做虧心事夜半敲門不吃驚|
|bái tiān bú zuò kuī xīn shì yè bàn qiāo mén bù chī jīng|
bai2 tian1 bu2 zuo4 kui1 xin1 shi4 ye4 ban4 qiao1 men2 bu4 chi1 jing1
bai tian bu zuo kui xin shi ye ban qiao men bu chi jing
|pai t`ien pu tso k`uei hsin shih yeh pan ch`iao men pu ch`ih ching
pai tien pu tso kuei hsin shih yeh pan chiao men pu chih ching
|The Tree of Enlightenment|
The Bodhi Tree
|bodaiju||pú tí shù|
pu2 ti2 shu4
pu ti shu
|p`u t`i shu
pu ti shu
|ān hè ěr|
an1 he4 er3
an he er
|an ho erh
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 81
|Kowtow - The deepest bow||叩頭|
|koutou / koto||kòu tóu / kou4 tou2 / kou tou / koutou||k`ou t`ou / koutou / kou tou|
|Tiger Rumor||三人成虎||sān rén chéng hǔ|
san1 ren2 cheng2 hu3
san ren cheng hu
|san jen ch`eng hu
san jen cheng hu
|Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?||危機|
|kiki||wēi jī / wei1 ji1 / wei ji / weiji||wei chi / weichi|
|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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