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Appearance in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance

  2. Character

  3. Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

  4. Kingdom of Heaven

  5. Illusion

  6. Body / Karada

  7. Phenomenon

  8. Martial Arts / Wu Shu

  9. Avatar

10. Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also

11. Banzai / Wansui

12. Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark

13. Banzai

14. Taekwondo


Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance

Japan naimen no tsuyosa ha gaiken no yosa ni masaru
Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance Vertical Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally translates as "inner/internal strength/power [versus] outward-appearance [the] merit/virtue/good quality [does] excel/surpass/exceed/outweigh."

More naturally in English, this would be "Inner Strength Outweighs Outward Appearance."


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

Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance

China biǎo zhuàng bù rú lǐ zhuàng
Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance Vertical Wall Scroll

表壯不如里壯 literally translates as: [Better to be] strong inside than [to be] strong outside.

The ancient original meaning was:
[An] able [husband] outside [working to support a family is] not as good as [an] able [wife] inside [working and saving to take care of the family].

The current meaning is:
Inner strength is more important than outward appearance.

Character

Japan hitogara
Character Vertical Wall Scroll

This Japanese word speaks of the quality of your personality, character, personal appearance, or gentility.

Enso - Japanese Zen Circle

Japan en sou
Enso - Japanese Zen Circle Vertical Wall Scroll

〇 is the famous Enso symbol, which you will see widely-used by Japanese Zen Buddhists.

In a twist, I am starting to see Enso used more and more by Chinese Buddhists.

Enso Circle


Here is the typical appearance of Enso artwork by Japanese calligrapher Kougetsu.

Enso is not a Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. There is some debate, but many consider Enso to be a religious symbol.

Some call this "The Circle of Enlightenment." Others call it the "Infinity Circle." If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji (円相) that make up the word "En-so," you could read it as "Mutual Circle" or "Circle of Togetherness." I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.

The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc.


Kingdom of Heaven

China tiān guó
Japan tengoku
Kingdom of Heaven Vertical Wall Scroll

天国 is the same meaning and pronunciation as our other entry for "Kingdom of Heaven" but the second character was simplified in Japan and mainland China to this version.

Choose the appearance that you like best (they will be somewhat universally understood - as most people are aware of this simplification in places where they still use all traditional characters - such as Taiwan and Hong Kong). You can consider the other version to be the "ancient version."

Illusion

China huàn xiàng
Japan gen zou
Illusion Vertical Wall Scroll

幻像 is a universal word for Illusion in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

The first character means phantasm, vision, dream, illusion, apparition, or fantasy.

The second character means statue, picture, image, figure, portrait, shape, form, appearance, to be like, to resemble, to take after, to seem, or in rare/ancient context: an elephant.


象Note that the first character can be written without the left-side radical in Chinese. This form is shown to the right. Both forms are acceptable in Chinese but the character shown to the right is more likely to be read as "elephant."


See Also:  Reality

Body / Karada

China
Japan karada / tai / te
Body / Karada Vertical Wall Scroll

体 is used in Japanese to mean "body."

体 can also refer to the form, style, corporeal existence, appearance, identity, or the state of something or someone. 體 is also used in Buddhism in regards to the corporeal existence of someone (their earthy vessel). It's kind of a broad term that can be used in a lot of different ways.

As a single character, it's usually pronounced "karada" but it can also be pronounced "tai" or "te" (Japanese pronunciation borrowed from the original Chinese).

體 is not a common Kanji to use for a wall scroll. Only select this if you have a personal and meaningful reason to do so. Also, consider this version to be "Japanese only" - see below...


體 In Chinese and old Korean Hanja, this character is written in the traditional form shown to the right. If you want this version, click on the character to the right instead of the button above.

Phenomenon

China xiàn xiàng
Japan genshou
Phenomenon Vertical Wall Scroll

I must first say that this word is an odd thing to put on a wall scroll in Asian cultures. It won't make a lot of sense alone, unless you have a special or personal meaning that you attach to it for yourself.

These two characters mean phenomenon in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Hanja. They can also be translated as "a happening" depending on context.

The sum of these characters is a little different than their individual meanings. But I will break it down anyway...
The first character means present, existing, actual, appear, now or current.
The second character alone means pattern after, imitate, image, shape, sign (of the times), form, appearance, to be like, to resemble, to take after, to seem or elephant.

Martial Arts / Wu Shu

China wǔ shù
Japan bujutsu
Martial Arts / Wu Shu Vertical Wall Scroll

武術 is the very Chinese way to express "Martial Arts." Some even use this word to directly describe Kung Fu. But this is a label that fits all disciplines from Karate to Kung Fu to Taekwondo.

Note: This also means Martial Arts with the same appearance in old Korean Hanja characters and is pronounced "musul" or "musur" in Korean.

While this is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean, this also means "martial arts" in Japanese.

Avatar

China huà shēn
Japan keshin
Avatar Vertical Wall Scroll

化身 is a way to say avatar in Chinese characters, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

化身 is the original Buddhist idea of avatar (not the movie). 化身 can also mean: incarnation; reincarnation; embodiment; personification; impersonation.

化身 is the Chinese word used for the original Sanskrit, nirmāṇakāya. Alternates for nirmāṇakāya include 應身, 應化身, or 變化身. In the context of Buddhism, this is a Buddha's metamorphosic body, which has the power to assume any shape to propagate the Truth. This title, 化身, is used for the appearance of a Buddha's many forms.

Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also

China shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also Vertical Wall Scroll

Many things have opposite properties. The water you drink can also drown you. Pork may nourish you and keep you alive but under-cook it and it could kill you. Potassium nitrate is often used as a fertilizer to grow the food that sustains us but it's also been used as an explosive to topple buildings and destroy us.

This concept is easily associated with "yin yang" where an element has two opposite properties that are as different as night and day.

This proverb's meaning can be summed up this way: "Anything that can lead you to success may also contain great risks."

This phrase is known in literary circles by Korean people (scholars or literature). It is therefore also a valid proverb in Korean Hanja, though most Koreans would not be able to make sense of it.

Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.

Banzai / Wansui

Old Japanese / Traditional Chinese & Korean
China wàn suì
Japan banzai / manzai
Banzai / Wansui Vertical Wall Scroll

萬歲 is the traditional Chinese, Korean Hanja, and ancient Japanese way to write banzai.

In modern times, the first character was simplified in Japan and China. So you might want to select the other entry for more universal readability.

While it has become a popular if not an odd thing to scream as you jump out of an airplane (preferably with a parachute attached), banzai is actually a very old Asian way to say "hooray." The Japanese word "banzai" comes from the Chinese word "wan sui" which means "The age of 10,000 years." It is actually a wish that the Emperor or the Empire live that long.

Imagine long ago as the Emperor made a rare public appearance. 萬歲 is what all of the people would yell to their leader in respect.

So if you like is as a hooray, or you want to wish someone that they live for 10,000 years, this is the calligraphy for you.

Other translations include: Cheers! (not the drinking kind), hurrah!, long live [name]!, congratulations!

To other things with banzai in their names; I am still waiting for the promised sequel to Buckaroo Banzai.

Notes: Sometimes people confuse banzai with bonsai. A bonsai is a miniature tree. They have nothing to do with each other.

Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark

China jiān tīng zé míng, piān tīng zé àn
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark Vertical Wall Scroll

This is an ancient Chinese proverb about getting all the information from all sides so that you truly understand a situation.

A man named Wei Zheng lived between 580-643 AD. He was a noble and wise historian and minister in the court of the early Tang Dynasty.

Wei Zheng

Wei Zheng

The emperor once asked him, "What should an emperor do to understand the real-world situation and what makes an emperor out-of-touch with reality?"

Wei Zheng replied, "Listen to both sides and you will be enlightened; listen to only one side and you will be left in the dark."

Then Wei Zheng went on to site examples of leaders in history that were victorious after heeding both sides of the story, and other leaders that met their doom because they believed one-sided stories which often came from flattering lips.

Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.

Banzai

Modern Japanese Version
China wàn suì
Japan banzai
Banzai Vertical Wall Scroll

万歲 is the modern Japanese way to write banzai.

We've made two almost identical entries for this word, with just a variation on the first character. In the last century, 萬 was simplified to 万 in Japan and China. The new generation will expect it to be written as 万 but the old generation can still read the more traditional 萬 form. You must make your own determination as to what version is best for you. If your audience is mostly Japanese, I suggest 万歲.

While it has become a popular if not an odd thing to scream as you jump out of an airplane (preferably with a parachute attached), banzai is actually a very old Asian way to say "hooray." The Japanese word "banzai" comes from the Chinese word "wan sui" which means "The age of 10,000 years." It is actually a wish that the Emperor or the Empire live that long.

Imagine long ago as the Emperor made a rare public appearance. 万歲 is what all of the people would yell to their leader in respect.

So if you like is as a hooray, or you want to wish someone that they live for 10,000 years, this is the calligraphy for you.

To other things with banzai in their names; I am still waiting for the promised sequel to Buckaroo Banzai.

Other translations: hurrah, long life, congratulations, cheers, live long.

Notes: Sometimes people confuse banzai with bonsai. A bonsai is a miniature tree. They have nothing to do with each other. Further, bonzai is not a word at all - although it would make a great name for a calcium supplement for older people.

Taekwondo

China tái quán dào
Japan te kon do
Taekwondo Vertical Wall Scroll

跆拳道 is one of the most widespread types of martial arts in the world as well as being an Olympic sport. Taekwondo was born in Korea with influences of Chinese and Japanese styles, combined with traditional Korean combat skills. Some will define it as the "Korean art of empty-handed self-defense."

In the simplest translation, the first character means "kick," the second character can mean either "fist" or "punching" the third means "way" or "method." Altogether, you could say this is "Kick Punch Method." When heard or read in various Asian languages, all will automatically think of this famous Korean martial art. It is written the same in Japanese Kanji, Chinese, and Korean Hanja characters - so the appearance of the characters are rather universal. However, you should note that there is another way to write this in modern Korean Hangul characters which looks like the image to the right. Taekwondo Hangul Characters

We suggest the original Korean Hanja (Chinese characters) for a wall scroll but if you really need the Hangul version, you must use master calligrapher Xing An-Ping: Order Taekwondo in Korean Hangul

Note: Taekwondo is sometimes Romanized as Tae-Kwondo, Tae Kwon Do, Taekwon-do, Taegwondo, Tae Gweon Do, Tai Kwon Do, Taikwondo, Taekwando, Tae Kwan Do and in Chinese Taiquandao, Tai Quan Dao, Taichuando, or Tai Chuan Tao.

Many custom options...


Taekwondo Vertical Wall Scroll
Taekwondo Vertical Wall Scroll
Taekwondo Vertical Wall Scroll
Taekwondo Vertical Wall Scroll


And formats...

Taekwondo Vertical Portrait
Taekwondo Horizontal Wall Scroll
Taekwondo Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Appearance 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
Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance内面の強さは外見の良さに勝るnaimen no tsuyosa ha gaiken no yosa ni masaru
Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance表壯不如里壯
表壮不如里壮
biǎo zhuàng bù rú lǐ zhuàng
biao3 zhuang4 bu4 ru2 li3 zhuang4
biao zhuang bu ru li zhuang
biaozhuangburulizhuang
piao chuang pu ju li chuang
piaochuangpujulichuang
Character人柄hitogara
Enso - Japanese Zen Circleen sou / ensou / en so / enso
Kingdom of Heaven天國
天国
tengokutiān guó / tian1 guo2 / tian guo / tianguot`ien kuo / tienkuo / tien kuo
Illusion幻像
幻像 / 幻象
gen zou / genzou / gen zo / genzohuàn xiàng
huan4 xiang4
huan xiang
huanxiang
huan hsiang
huanhsiang
Body
Karada

karada / tai / tetǐ / ti3 / tit`i / ti
Phenomenon現象
现象
genshou / genshoxiàn xiàng
xian4 xiang4
xian xiang
xianxiang
hsien hsiang
hsienhsiang
Martial Arts
Wu Shu
武術
武术
bujutsuwǔ shù / wu3 shu4 / wu shu / wushu
Avatar化身keshinhuà shēn / hua4 shen1 / hua shen / huashen
Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also水能載舟亦能覆舟
水能载舟亦能覆舟
shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
shui3 neng2 zai4 zhou1 yi4 neng2 fu4 zhou1
shui neng zai zhou yi neng fu zhou
shui neng tsai chou i neng fu chou
Banzai
Wansui
萬歲
万岁
banzai / manzaiwàn suì / wan4 sui4 / wan sui / wansui
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark兼聽則明偏聽則暗
兼听则明偏听则暗
jiān tīng zé míng, piān tīng zé àn
jian1 ting1 ze2 ming2, pian1 ting1 ze2 an4
jian ting ze ming, pian ting ze an
chien t`ing tse ming, p`ien t`ing tse an
chien ting tse ming, pien ting tse an
Banzai万歲 / 萬歲
万岁
banzaiwàn suì / wan4 sui4 / wan sui / wansui
Taekwondo跆拳道te kon do / tekondotái quán dào
tai2 quan2 dao4
tai quan dao
taiquandao
t`ai ch`üan tao
taichüantao
tai chüan tao
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.


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 Appearance Kanji, Appearance Characters, Appearance in Mandarin Chinese, Appearance Characters, Appearance in Chinese Writing, Appearance in Japanese Writing, Appearance in Asian Writing, Appearance Ideograms, Chinese Appearance symbols, Appearance Hieroglyphics, Appearance Glyphs, Appearance in Chinese Letters, Appearance Hanzi, Appearance in Japanese Kanji, Appearance Pictograms, Appearance in the Chinese Written-Language, or Appearance in the Japanese Written-Language.

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