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Once you have dealt with your desires and left all desire and attachment behind, only then are on you the path away from suffering (and on your way to enlightenment).
道諦 is also called the path to liberation in some English texts on Buddhism.
This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Chinese, Japanese and Korean people.
This literally reads, "Four Seas Serve-As [my/one's] Home."
Together, 四海 which literally means "four seas" is understood to mean, "the whole world" or "the seven seas." It's presumed to be an ancient word, from back when only four seas were known - so it equates to the modern English term, "seven seas."
This can be translated or understood a few different ways:
To regard the four corners of the world all as home.
To feel at home anywhere.
To roam about unconstrained.
To consider the entire country, or the world, to be one's own.
四諦 is the title of the Four Noble Truths as taught in virtually all sects of Buddhism. They are suffering (dukkha), desire (samudaya), release from desire (nirodha), and the path leading away from suffering (magga).
The suggestion behind these truths is that all things in nature suffer. All things in nature have desire. The enlightened can release themselves from the bonds of desire. And finally, once they release all desire and attachment, the enlightened will find a path that leads away from suffering.
This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese, Chinese, and Korean people.
驅魔 is the way you would write a sign or symbol to repel the devil or drive away evil in Chinese.
眉を開く is a Japanese proverb and expression that means, "to feel relieved," "to forget about one's troubles," or "to settle into peace of mind."
The literal words suggest relaxing your eyebrows or face. Allow worry or concern to go away, and just be content "letting it be."
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This phrase means, "this too shall pass" in Chinese.
This should be a reminder on your wall that no matter how bad things get, difficulties in life are transient and will go away in time.
This is not the only way to express this idea, as there is also 这一切都会过去 and 一切都会过去.
The version we are using here is more traditional-sounding.
This literally means gold star. Most of the time, in the context of the sky, this refers to the planet Venus.
Away from the sky, this can refer to a dazzling victory (e.g. win of a rank-and-file wrestler over the grand champion), or be the Japanese surname Kinboshi.
In Buddhist context, this is Śukra, from Sanskrit for the planet Venus.
This Chinese phrase suggests that a good host will make guests feel like they are returning home or are as comfortable as they would be at their own home.
賓至如歸 is also the Chinese equivalent of, "a home away from home," and is used by Chinese hotels, guest houses, and inns to suggest the level of their hospitality will make you feel at home during your stay.
Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don't overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.
節制 can also be translated as sobriety, self-restraint, or temperance.
節制 is often used as part of the Seven Heavenly Virtues to represent sobriety and/or temperance.
福 is pronounced "fu" in Chinese.
The character "fu" is posted by virtually all Chinese people on the doors of their homes during the Spring Festival (closely associated with the Chinese New Years).
One tradition from the Zhou Dynasty (beginning in 256 B.C.) holds that putting a fu symbol on your front door will keep the goddess of poverty away.
福 literally means good fortune, prosperity, blessed, happiness, and fulfillment.
See Also: Lucky
恐れず is probably the best way to express "No Fear" in Japanese.
The first Kanji and following Hiragana character create a word that means: to fear, to be afraid of, frightened, or terrified.
The last Hiragana character serves to modify and negate the first word (put it in negative form). Basically, they carry a meaning like "without" or "keeping away." 恐れず is almost like the English modifier "-less."
Altogether, you get something like, "Without Fear" or "Fearless."
Here's an example of using this in a sentence: 彼女かのじょは思い切ったことを恐れずにやる。
Translation: She is not scared of taking big risks.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This proverb suggests "Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes." Literally, it means, "Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana."
There is a legend in China of a great bird which is reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill-will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the whole world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).
500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.
一日千秋 is a Japanese and Chinese proverb about missing someone.
一日千秋 is often used to express how hard it is to wait for someone's return, or to be away from someone.
Some will translate this as, "one day feels like a very long time," or "waiting for someone (something) is hard."
You might see this romanized as a single word, Ichijitsusenshuu, or as "Ichijitsu Senshuu" from Japanese.
If you break down the characters one-by-one, we get:
一 = one / a
日 = day / sun (can also represent time, or a date)
千 = 1000 / a thousand
秋 = autumn / fall
Together, 千秋 can mean, "autumn comes thousand times" (or 1000 years). It can also be read as 1000 periods of time.
However you literally read this, it relays the idea of heartache as you wait for someone that you miss.
無常 is the state of being "not permanent," "not enduring," transitory, or evolving.
It can also mean variable or changeable. In some context, it can refer to a ghost that is supposed to take a soul upon death. Following that, this term can also mean to pass away or die.
In the Buddhist context, this is a reminder that everything in this world is ever-changing, and all circumstances of your life are temporary.
If you take the Buddhist philosophy further, none of these circumstances are real, and your existence is an illusion anyway. Thus, the idea of the eternal soul is perhaps just the attachment you have to your ego. Once you release your attachment to all impermanent things, you will be on your way to enlightenment and Buddhahood.
Language notes for this word when used outside the context of Buddhism:
In Korean Hanja, this means uncertainty, transiency, mutability, or evanescent.
In Japanese, the definition orbits closer to the state of being uncertain.
真主 is how Chinese Muslims refer to God (it literally means "True Master").
Oddly, in China, two different names for God have emerged. Even though Muslims, Christians, and Jews all worship the same God of Abraham.
In Arabic, the word Allah is just the Arabic way to say, God. Arab Christians pray to Allah, just like Arab Muslims. Somehow in China, the title of God diverged.
If you are curious, there are millions of Muslims throughout China but especially in the northwest portion of China known as Xinjiang. Here you will find descendants of Turkmen, Persian, Arab, and other ethnicities. Some are mixed with Han-Chinese blood; others appear to be pure Turkmen. Many have fair complexions, green eyes, and light hair but all are citizens of China. A visit to Xinjiang will shift your paradigm and blow away all of your stereotypes about what it means to be Chinese.
The Ronin have no master - The most famous are the 47 ronin created after their Lord committed suicide. This term was not exactly a positive title for the Samurai of ancient Japan. However, in recent years, movies and video games have glorified the term Ronin.
In Chinese, this term has the original meaning of a hobo, vagabond or ruffian.
In Korean Hanja, these characters would be read as adventurer, wanderer, someone without a steady job, or someone who is wasting away time.
In modern Japan, this term is used as a nickname for a high school student who has failed a college entry exam (and is trying again).
In Chinese and Korean, the Japanese definition of "Masterless Samurai" is known because of the historical context, even in Japanese, the literal translation is closer to the Chinese and Korean definitions shown above.
This will make a fine wall scroll if you are a fan of the Ronin, or see yourself as a Ronin of sorts. However, please think twice before getting a Ronin tattoo!
神愛世人甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們叫一切信他的不至滅亡反得永生 is the full translation of John 3:16 into Chinese.
This is from the Chinese Union Bible which comes from a revised version of the King James. This Chinese Bible was originally translated and printed in 1919 (several revisions since then).
Because of the origin being the KJV, I'll say that in English, this would be, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
As with any translation, there are interesting cultural and linguistic issues. For instance, the word used for "world" in Chinese can also mean "common people." So you could say that it means "For God so loved the common people..."
This does not take away from the text, as it will be understood with the same meaning and connotation.
There is no direct Greek to Chinese translation in print (that I know of), so this is the best available. Of course, you can ask any Greek person of faith, and they will claim that a bit is lost from the original Greek of the New Testament to any of the English versions of the Bible in print.
選擇生活 can mean to choose life instead of death (or suicide) or to choose to live life to the fullest.
I think of it as the key phrase used by Renton (Ewan McGregor) in the movie Trainspotting. While Chinese people will not think of Trainspotting when they see this phrase, for me, it will always be what comes near the end of this colorful rant:
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.
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.
This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty.
It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.
First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.
I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.
Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds, people's homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.
Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: .
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is:
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.
More about the poet:
Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present-day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.
He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.
During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.
His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.
The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.
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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|
|Four Noble Truths: Path Leading Away From Suffering||道諦|
|doutai / dotai||dào dì / dao4 di4 / dao di / daodi||tao ti / taoti|
|Feel at Ease Anywhere|
The World is My Home
|sì hǎi wéi jiā|
si4 hai3 wei2 jia1
si hai wei jia
|ssu hai wei chia
|Four Noble Truths (Buddhism)||四諦|
|shitai||sì dì / si4 di4 / si di / sidi||ssu ti / ssuti|
Expel the Devil
|qū mó / qu1 mo2 / qu mo / qumo||ch`ü mo / chümo / chü mo|
|Let It Be|
|眉を開く||mayu o hira ku|
|Four Noble Truths (Full List)||苦諦集諦滅諦道諦|
|kutai jittai mettai doutai|
kutai jittai mettai dotai
|kǔ dì jí dì miè dì dào dì|
ku3 di4 ji2 di4 mie4 di4 dao4 di4
ku di ji di mie di dao di
|k`u ti chi ti mieh ti tao ti
ku ti chi ti mieh ti tao ti
|This Too Shall Pass||一切都將過去|
|yī qiè dōu jiāng guò qù|
yi1 qie4 dou1 jiang1 guo4 qu4
yi qie dou jiang guo qu
|i ch`ieh tou chiang kuo ch`ü
i chieh tou chiang kuo chü
|No Place Like Home||在家千日好出門一時難|
|zài jiā qiān rì hǎo chū mén yì shí nán|
zai4 jia1 qian1 ri4 hao3 chu1 men2 yi4 shi2 nan2
zai jia qian ri hao chu men yi shi nan
|tsai chia ch`ien jih hao ch`u men i shih nan
tsai chia chien jih hao chu men i shih nan
|金星||kinboshi / kinsei||jīn xīng / jin1 xing1 / jin xing / jinxing||chin hsing / chinhsing|
|Make Guests Feel at Home||賓至如歸|
|bīn zhì rú guī|
bin1 zhi4 ru2 gui1
bin zhi ru gui
|pin chih ju kuei
|sessei / sesei||jié zhì / jie2 zhi4 / jie zhi / jiezhi||chieh chih / chiehchih|
|福||fuku||fú / fu2 / fu|
|No Fear||恐れず||oso re zu / osorezu|
|Phoenix Rise from the Ashes||鳳凰涅磐|
|fèng huáng niè pán|
feng4 huang2 nie4 pan2
feng huang nie pan
|feng huang nieh p`an
feng huang nieh pan
|One Day Seems Like 1000 Years||一日千秋||ichi jitsu sen shuu |
ichi jitsu sen shu
|yí rì qiān qiū|
yi2 ri4 qian1 qiu1
yi ri qian qiu
|i jih ch`ien ch`iu
i jih chien chiu
|mujou / mujo||wú cháng / wu2 chang2 / wu chang / wuchang||wu ch`ang / wuchang / wu chang|
God of Islam
|真主||zhēn zhǔ / zhen1 zhu3 / zhen zhu / zhenzhu||chen chu / chenchu|
|浪人||rou nin / rounin / ro nin / ronin||làng rén / lang4 ren2 / lang ren / langren||lang jen / langjen|
|shén ài shì rén shèn zhì jiāng tā de dú shēng zǐ cì gè tā mén jiào yí qiè xìn tā de bú zhì miè wáng fǎn dé yǒng shēng|
shen2 ai4 shi4 ren2 shen4 zhi4 jiang1 ta1 de du2 sheng1 zi3 ci4 gei3 ta1 men2 jiao4 yi2 qie4 xin4 ta1 de bu2 zhi4 mie4 wang2 fan3 de2 yong3 sheng1
shen ai shi ren shen zhi jiang ta de du sheng zi ci gei ta men jiao yi qie xin ta de bu zhi mie wang fan de yong sheng
|shen ai shih jen shen chih chiang t`a te tu sheng tzu tz`u kei t`a men chiao i ch`ieh hsin t`a te pu chih mieh wang fan te yung sheng
shen ai shih jen shen chih chiang ta te tu sheng tzu tzu kei ta men chiao i chieh hsin ta te pu chih mieh wang fan te yung sheng
|xuǎn zé shēng huó|
xuan3 ze2 sheng1 huo2
xuan ze sheng huo
|hsüan tse sheng huo
|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
|Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu||遠上寒山石徑斜白雲生處有人家停車坐愛楓林晚霜葉紅於二月花|
|yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā|
yuan3 shang4 han2 shan1 shi2 jing4 xia2 bai2 yun2 sheng1 chu4 you3 ren2 jia1 ting2 che1 zuo4 ai4 feng1 lin2 wan3 shuang4 ye4 hong2 yu2 er4 yue4 hua1
yuan shang han shan shi jing xia bai yun sheng chu you ren jia ting che zuo ai feng lin wan shuang ye hong yu er yue hua
|yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng ch`u yu jen chia t`ing ch`e tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng chu yu jen chia ting che tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
|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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