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20. Life is Short
百慕大 is the Chinese name for Bermuda (overseas territory of the United Kingdom).
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This Korean proverb means "indomitable spirit," at least, that is the way it is commonly translated in martial arts circles (Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc.).
The literal translation is "[one] hundred [times] broken [still] don't succumb."
Or more naturally translated, "Even if attacked/beaten one hundred times, still be undaunted/indomitable."
Some will say this is one long word rather than a proverb.
百折不屈 is also a proverb/word in Chinese though rarely used in modern times.
This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).
This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.
Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.
Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.
His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.
My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."
Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.
Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.
This ancient "One Justice Can Overpower a Hundred Evils" idiom and proverb is famous in China. But it has been around so long that its origins have long been forgotten.
It could be something that Confucius or one of his disciples said but no one can say for sure.
During the Warring States Period of what is now China (475 - 221 B.C.), the King of Wei was in love with war. He often fought with other kingdoms just for spite or fun.
One day, the King of Wei asked the philosopher Mencius, "I love my people, and all say I do the best for them. I move the people from famine-stricken areas to places of plenty, and transport grains from rich areas to the poor. Nobody goes hungry in my kingdom, and I treat my people far better than other kings. But why does the population of my kingdom not increase, and why does the population of other kingdoms not decrease?"
Mencius answered, "Since you love war, I will make this example: When going to war, and the drums beat to start the attack, some soldiers flee for their lives in fear. Some run 100 paces in retreat, and others run 50 steps. Then the ones who retreated 50 paces laugh and taunt those who retreated 100 paces, calling them cowards mortally afraid of death. Do you think this is reasonable?
The King of Wei answered, "Of course not! Those who run 50 paces are just as timid as those who run 100 paces."
Mencius then said, "You are a king who treats his subjects better than other kings treat their people but you are so fond of war, that your people suffer from great losses in battle. Therefore, your population does not grow. While other kings allow their people to starve to death, you send your people to die in war. Is there really any difference?"
This famous conversation led to the six-character proverb shown here. It serves as a warning to avoid hypocrisy. It goes hand-in-hand with the western phrase, "The pot calls the kettle black," or the Biblical phrase, "Before trying to remove a splinter from your neighbor's eye, first remove the plank from your own eye."
This proverb literally 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.
This old Chinese proverb speaks to the act of giving up. This phrase suggests that no matter how close you are to finishing your task or journey, giving up just before you finish, is just as bad as giving up halfway.
50% finished or 90% finished, the result is the same: "You are not finished."
You can take what you want from this proverb but I think it suggests that you should finish what you start, and especially finish that last 10% of your journey or project so that you can honestly say "it's finished."
Some notes: The character, 里, that I am translating as "mile" is really an ancient "Chinese mile" which is actually about half a kilometer - it just doesn't sound right to say "When walking 100 half-kilometers..."
This is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself, and thus with this complete understanding, you cannot lose.
This proverb is often somewhat-directly translated as, "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without defeat."
It can also be translated as, "If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can come out of hundreds of battles without danger," or "Know your enemy, know yourself, and your victory will not be threatened."
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [Even a general who has won a] hundred victories [may be] hard put to see through the enemy's [strategy], [but one who has] broken [his] arm three [times] [will] be a good doctor.
Figuratively, this means: One cannot always depend on past successes to guarantee future success but one can always learn from lessons drawn from failure.
This is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do." The actual title would be translated as, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo." It was originally written in Korean Hanja (Chinese characters used in Korea for about 1600 years).
General Choi's original calligraphy is shown to the right. Your custom calligraphy will be unique, and not an exact match, as each calligrapher has their own style.
In modern times, the common form of written Korean is Hangul (a phonetic character set). The table below shows the text in Hangul and Hanja along with a pronunciation guide and a brief English translation:
|Traditional Korean Hanja||Modern Korean Hangul||Pronunciation||English|
|跆拳道精神||태권도정신||tae gweon do jeong sin||Taekwondo Spirit|
|禮儀||예의||ye yi||Courtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality|
|廉耻||염치||yeom ci||Integrity / Sense of Honor|
|忍耐||인내||in nae||Patience / Perseverance / Endurance|
|克己||극기||geug gi||Self-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation|
|百折不屈||백절불굴||baeg jeor bur gur||Indomitable Spirit (Undaunted even after repeated attacks from the opponent)|
|Note that the pronunciation is the official version now used in South Korea. However, it is different than what you may be used to. For instance, "Taekwon-do" is "tae gweon do." This new romanization is supposed to be closer to actual Korean pronunciation.|
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your bai3 search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| bǎi mù dà / bai3 mu4 da4
pai mu ta
| bǎi // bà / bai3 // ba4
pai // pa
haku / はく
one hundred (old); variant of 霸[ba4]
(1) count; earl; (2) (See 神祇官・2) chief official of the Department of Worship; (3) (archaism) eldest brother; (n,n-pref,n-suf) (4) (abbreviation) (See 伯剌西爾・ブラジル) Brazil; Brazilian; (surname, given name) Haku; (female given name) Tsukasa
eldest brother (?)
| bǎi / bai3
tsukasa / つかさ
hundred (banker's anti-fraud numeral)
(numeric) 100; hundred; (surname, given name) Tsukasa
| bǎi kè / bai3 ke4
pai k`o / pai ko
hectogram (old); single-character equivalent of 百克[bai3 ke4]
| bò // bǎi / bo4 // bai3
po // pai
variant of 擘[bo4]; to separate; to split; to spread out; to open
| bǎi / bai3
to arrange; to exhibit; to move to and fro; a pendulum
| bò // bó // bǎi / bo4 // bo2 // bai3
po // pai
haku / はく kase / かせ kashiwayanagi / かしわやなぎ kashiwazaki / かしわざき kashiwasaki / かしわさき kashiwagi / かしわぎ kashiwa / かしわ kashiyanagi / かしやなぎ kashizaki / かしざき
variant of 檗[bo4]; (used for transcribing names); cedar; cypress; Taiwan pr. [bo2]; surname Bai; Taiwan pr. [Bo2]
oak; daimyo oak; Japanese emperor oak; Quercus dentata; (surname, given name) Haku; (place-name) Kase; (surname) Kashiwayanagi; (surname) Kashiwazaki; (surname) Kashiwasaki; (surname) Kashiwagi; (place-name, surname) Kashiwa; (surname) Kashiyanagi; (surname) Kashizaki
Cypress, cedar, Arbor vitae.
| bǎi / bai3
kaya / かや
variant of 柏[bai3]
(surname, female given name) Kaya
| bǎi wǎ / bai3 wa3
hectowatt (old); single-character equivalent of 百瓦
| bǎi / bai3
momo / もも hiyaku / ひやく hyaku / ひゃく haku / はく dodo / どど todo / とど
hundred; numerous; all kinds of; surname Bai
(numeric) 100; hundred; (surname, female given name) Momo; (female given name) Hiyaku; (place-name) Hyaku; (female given name) Haku; (personal name) Dodo; (personal name) Todo
sata; a hundred, all.
| bǎi / bai3
| bǎi mǐ / bai3 mi3
hectometer (old); single-character equivalent of 百米
| bǎi / bai3
hem at the bottom of garment
| yī bǎi / yi1 bai3
śata. A hundred.
| sān bǎi / san1 bai3
sanbyaku / さんびゃく
(1) 300; three hundred; (2) (See 文・もん・1) 300 mon; trifling amount; two-bit item; (3) (abbreviation) (See 三百代言) shyster; (surname) Mitsuhyaku; (given name) Mitsuo
| xià bǎi / xia4 bai3
hem of a skirt; shirt tail
| wǔ bǎi / wu3 bai3
gohyaku;io / ごひゃく;いお
(1) 500; (2) many; (female given name) Komomo; (surname) Iyosaki; (surname) Iho; (female given name) Io
pañcaśata. Five hundred, of which there are numerous instances, e. g. 500 former existences; the 500 disciples, etc.
| tíng bǎi / ting2 bai3
t`ing pai / ting pai
(of a pendulum) to stop swinging; (of work, production, activities etc) to come to a halt; to be suspended; to be canceled; shutdown; (sports) lockout
| fán bǎi / fan2 bai3
bonhyaku;bonpyaku / ぼんひゃく;ぼんぴゃく
all; everything; the whole
many; many kinds
| cì bǎi / ci4 bai3
tz`u pai / tzu pai
| qián bǎi / qian2 bai3
ch`ien pai / chien pai
| bàn bǎi / ban4 bai3
fifty (usually referring to sb's age)
| dān bǎi / dan1 bai3
simple pendulum (physics)
| sì bǎi / si4 bai3
yonhyaku / よんひゃく
| píng bǎi / ping2 bai3
p`ing pai / ping pai
yawing (of a boat)
| jǐ bǎi / ji3 bai3
| guǎng bǎi / guang3 bai3
| niǔ bǎi / niu3 bai3
to twist and sway (one's body)
| yáo bǎi / yao2 bai3
to sway; to wobble; to waver
| bǎi chū / bai3 chu1
pai ch`u / pai chu
to assume; to adopt (a look, pose, manner etc); to bring out for display
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Amber||安伯||ān bǎi / an1 bai3 / an bai / anbai||an pai / anpai|
|Bonnie||伯尼||bǎi ní / bai3 ni2 / bai ni / baini||pai ni / paini|
|Bermuda||百慕大||bǎi mù dà|
bai3 mu4 da4
bai mu da
|pai mu ta
|bǎi nà dé|
bai3 na4 de2
bai na de
|pai na te
|bǎi nī sī|
bai3 ni1 si1
bai ni si
|pai ni ssu
|Herbert||赫伯特||hè bǎi tè|
he4 bai3 te4
he bai te
|ho pai t`e
ho pai te
|Hubert||休伯特||xiū bǎi tè|
xiu1 bai3 te4
xiu bai te
|hsiu pai t`e
hsiu pai te
|Kimberley||金伯利||jīn bǎi lì|
jin1 bai3 li4
jin bai li
|chin pai li
|nuò bǎi tè|
nuo4 bai3 te4
nuo bai te
|no pai t`e
no pai te
|luō bǎi tè|
luo1 bai3 te4
luo bai te
|lo pai t`e
lo pai te
|100 Years of Happy Marriage||百年好合||bǎi nián hǎo hé|
bai3 nian2 hao3 he2
bai nian hao he
|pai nien hao ho
|yà bǎi lā hǎn|
ya4 bai3 la1 han3
ya bai la han
|ya pai la han
|ā ěr bǎi tè|
a1 er3 bai3 te4
a er bai te
|a erh pai t`e
a erh pai te
|jí ěr bǎi tè|
ji2 er3 bai3 te4
ji er bai te
|chi erh pai t`e
chi erh pai te
|Indomitable Spirit||百折不屈||bǎi shé bù qū|
bai3 she2 bu4 qu1
bai she bu qu
|pai she pu ch`ü
pai she pu chü
|Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks||百折不撓|
|hyaku setsu su tou|
hyaku setsu su to
|bǎi zhé bù náo|
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
|pai che pu nao
|One Justice Can Overpower 100 Evils||一正壓百邪|
|yī zhèng yā bǎi xié|
yi1 zheng4 ya1 bai3 xie2
yi zheng ya bai xie
|i cheng ya pai hsieh
|The one who retreats 50 paces mocks the one to retreats 100||五十步笑百步||wù shí bù xiào bǎi bù|
wu4 shi2 bu4 xiao4 bai3 bu4
wu shi bu xiao bai bu
|wu shih pu hsiao pai pu
|Seeing is Believing||百聞不如一見|
|bǎi wén bù rú yí jiàn|
bai3 wen2 bu4 ru2 yi2 jian4
bai wen bu ru yi jian
|pai wen pu ju i chien
|Life is Short||百歲光陰如過客|
|bǎi suì guāng yīn rú guò kè|
bai3 sui4 guang1 yin1 ru2 guo4 ke4
bai sui guang yin ru guo ke
|pai sui kuang yin ju kuo k`o
pai sui kuang yin ju kuo ko
|Walking 100 Miles: Stopping at 90 miles, is the same as stopping half-way.||行百里者半九十||xíng bǎi lǐ zhě bàn jiǔ shí|
xing2 bai3 li3 zhe3 ban4 jiu3 shi2
xing bai li zhe ban jiu shi
|hsing pai li che pan chiu shih
|Even The 100-Foot Bamboo Can Grow One More Foot||百尺竿頭更進一步|
|bǎi chǐ gān tóu gèng jìng yī bù|
bai3 chi3 gan1 tou2 geng4 jing4 yi1 bu4
bai chi gan tou geng jing yi bu
|pai ch`ih kan t`ou keng ching i pu
pai chih kan tou keng ching i pu
|Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose||知彼知己百戰不殆|
|zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài|
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1 bai3 zhan4 bu2 dai4
zhi bi zhi ji bai zhan bu dai
|chih pi chih chi pai chan pu tai|
|A House Might be Worth 1 Million Dollars, But Good Neighbors are Worth 10 Million.||百萬買宅千萬買鄰|
|bǎi wàn mǎi zhái qiān wàn mǎi lín|
bai3 wan4 mai3 zhai2 qian1 wan4 mai3 lin2
bai wan mai zhai qian wan mai lin
|pai wan mai chai ch`ien wan mai lin
pai wan mai chai chien wan mai lin
|Tempering Makes Strong Steel||百煉才成鋼 / 百煉纔成鋼|
|bǎi liàn cái chéng gāng|
bai3 lian4 cai2 cheng2 gang1
bai lian cai cheng gang
|pai lien ts`ai ch`eng kang
pai lien tsai cheng kang
|You May Learn from Victory, You Will Learn from Failure||百勝難慮敵三折乃良醫|
|bǎi shèng nán lǜ dí sān zhé nǎi liáng yī|
bai3 sheng4 nan2 lv4 di2 san1 zhe2 nai3 liang2 yi1
bai sheng nan lv di san zhe nai liang yi
|pai sheng nan lü ti san che nai liang i|
Spirit of Taekwon-do
|tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū|
tai2 quan2 dao4 jing1 shen2 li3 yi4 lian2 chi3 ren3 nai4 ke4 ji3 bai3 zhe2 bu4 qu1
tai quan dao jing shen li yi lian chi ren nai ke ji bai zhe bu qu
|t`ai ch`üan tao ching shen li i lien ch`ih jen nai k`o chi pai che pu ch`ü
tai chüan tao ching shen li i lien chih jen nai ko chi pai che pu chü
|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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Bai3 Kanji, Bai3 Characters, Bai3 in Mandarin Chinese, Bai3 Characters, Bai3 in Chinese Writing, Bai3 in Japanese Writing, Bai3 in Asian Writing, Bai3 Ideograms, Chinese Bai3 symbols, Bai3 Hieroglyphics, Bai3 Glyphs, Bai3 in Chinese Letters, Bai3 Hanzi, Bai3 in Japanese Kanji, Bai3 Pictograms, Bai3 in the Chinese Written-Language, or Bai3 in the Japanese Written-Language.
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