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1. Be Yourself
10. Forgive Yourself
13. Be Myself
19. God Bless You
20. Fair / Impartial
35. Black Belt
45. Brave the Waves
55. Great Ambitions
61. Kai Zen / Kaizen
65. Choose Life
67. Glory and Honor
This means, "believe in yourself", "have faith in yourself", or "believe in myself" (can be myself or yourself depending in if you're saying it to yourself or someone else).
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
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 is the longer/full Japanese version of this proverb. This means, "Know your enemy, know yourself, and you will not fear a hundred battles".
Others will translate this as, "Know thy enemy, know thyself, yields victory in one hundred battles".
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This title means: self-love; self-regard; regard for oneself; to cherish one's good name; taking care of oneself.
In Buddhist context, this is the cause of all pursuit or seeking, which in turn causes all suffering. All Buddhas discharge themselves from self-love and all pursuits of personal gratification. Such elimination of self-love is a step towards nirvāṇa.
This title can be taken as positive or negative, depending on how you read it. Some will see it as arrogant, others will read it as a token of self-respect. Because of this ambiguity, I do not recommend this title for a wall scroll.
我を許す is how to write "forgive yourself" in Japanese.
The first two characters mean, "regarding myself".
The last two characters mean, "to forgive", "to excuse (from)", "to pardon", "to release", "to let off", "to permit", "to allow", and/or "to approve".
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [One who is] close to gold [is] like gold [and one who is] close to jade [is] like jade.
Figuratively, this means:
A good environment produces good people.
People are in influenced by the company they keep.
Basically, if you hang out with good people, you are likely to become or stay good yourself. The opposite also being true. 挨金似金挨玉似玉 is like the moral version of "You are what you eat".
Note: In Japanese, they have a similar phrase, 類は友を呼ぶ (rui wa tomo o yobu) Birds of a feather flock together. However, this is not a good meaning, so we’re not offering it for wall scrolls.
Honesty is being truthful and sincere. It is important because it builds trust. When people are honest, they can be relied on not to lie, cheat or steal. Being honest means that you accept yourself as you are. When you are open and trustworthy, others can believe in you.
正直 is one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do.
Note: This entry is cross-listed as "integrity" because it also fits that definition.
Please note that the second Kanji sometimes has an alternate form in Japanese. Let us know if you want the alternate form shown to the right.
This form of honor is showing great respect for yourself, other people, and the rules you live by.
When you are honorable, you keep your word. You do the right thing regardless of what others are doing.
尊嚴 is the kind of personal honor or dignity that is of great value. If you lose this, you have lost yourself and perhaps the reputation of your family as well.
While this is not directly the same thing as "face" or "saving face" in Asian culture, it is associated with the same concept in China.
In Japan, they currently use a more simplified second character for this word. The ancient Japanese form is the same as China but after WWII some Kanji were changed. If you want the modern Japanese version, just click on the Kanji image shown to the right, instead of the button above.
謙遜 can also be translated as being modest, humble, or unpretentious.
Being humble is considering others to be as important as yourself. You are thoughtful of their needs and willing to be of service. You don't expect others or yourself to be perfect. You learn from your mistakes. When you do great things, humility reminds you to be thankful instead of boastful.
This Humility title is also used as one of the 8 key concepts of Tang Soo Do. Often romanized as "Kyum Son".
Also sometimes used in Japanese to express humility with an essence of modesty.
志操 / 誌操 is personal integrity - basically, holding yourself to a higher standard of honesty and reliability. These two characters also contain the ideas of constancy, principles, and faithfulness.
Note: In Japanese, this just means "principle".
This is a form of discipline which suggests training of the mind and character, aimed at producing self-control, obedience, etc.
One of my Chinese-English dictionaries even translates this as "tempering oneself" or turning yourself into hardened steel.
In old Korean Hanja, they use these characters in reverse order but with the same meaning. If you want the Korean version, please click this link instead of the button above: Korean version.
安貧樂道 means "It's better to be happy than rich" in Chinese.
Even if you are poor, you should still feel satisfied in your life...
...Satisfaction, happiness, and the meaning of your life come from within yourself and not from money or riches of the world.
In Chinese, there are a lot of four-character proverbs which express some very old philosophies.
Though there are only four characters on this scroll, in Chinese the meanings often surpass the dictionary definition of each character.
In this case, you should not set your expectations too high for the amount to money or riches you wish to have. One who sets their expectations too high is almost always disappointed. Instead, you should cherish what you have, and seek to improve yourself from within, and not measure your personal worth by the size of your bank account.
敵を知り己を知る is the Japanese version of "know your enemy, know yourself".
There is a longer version of this proverb which adds, "...and you can win 100 battles".
This literally translates as: Only after you have a baby, you would appreciate your parents (feel the way they do, etc).
This is a bit like the "walk a mile in another man's shoes" saying. Basically, it's about you cannot fully understand the plight of others until you experience it yourself. It also shows appreciation for the plight of parents.
This Japanese proverb can also be translated a few more ways:
No man knows what he owes to his parents till he comes to have children of his own.
One knows not what one owes to one's parents till one comes to have children of one's own.
Only after you have a baby, you will appreciate your parents or feel the way they do.
Only after becoming a parent yourself do you realize how much you owe [how indebted you are] to your own parents.
This proverb from the Analects of Confucius translates as:
Resolve yourself in the Dao/Tao/Way.
Rely on Virtue.
Reside in benevolence.
Revel in the arts.
According to Confucius, these are the tenets of good and proper conduct.
This was written over 2500 years ago. The composition is in ancient Chinese grammar and phrasing. A modern Chinese person would need a background in Chinese literature to understand this without the aid of a reference.
This literally translates as:
[One who has] not been a monk [does not] know the suffering of [being on a] vegetarian diet.
不當和尚不知齋戒苦 is a bit like the "walk a mile in another man's shoes" saying. Basically it's about you cannot fully understand the plight of others until you experience it yourself.
自律 means self-discipline and self-control.
It is doing what you really want to do, rather than being tossed around by your feelings like a leaf in the wind. You act instead of react. You get things done in an orderly and efficient way. With self-discipline, you take charge of yourself.
Not sure if this one works for a Japanese audience.
These are the Kanji for "Black Belt" in Japanese.
This would be the gift to buy someone who is about to achieve the rank of black belt, or perhaps for yourself, like a certificate on the wall to subtly show your accomplishment.
It should be mentioned that the title, "black belt" is not a common selection for a calligraphy wall scroll.
Note: with a tiny stroke difference on the second character, this also means black belt in Korean Hanja. Let me know if you need the exact Korean version (though any Korean who can read Hanja will know this is black belt).
苦海無邊, 回頭是岸 can be translated almost directly as, "The sea of bitterness has no bounds, turn your head to see the shore".
Often this proverb refers to how Buddhist enlightenment can allow one to shed off the abyss of worldly suffering. But it can apply to other religions. If you find yourself trapped in the hardship of this worldly life, take a new turn, and seek a path to salvation.
自恃 means self-reliance but is often used to mean self-confidence or the state of being self-assured.
Basically this means you can rely on yourself (with a slight suggestion that others can rely on you as well).
The first character means "oneself" while the second means "to rely upon".
正思唯 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Thought, along with Right View constitute the path to Wisdom.
In Buddhism, Right Thought in simple terms means to free yourself from having ill-will towards anyone or anything. It also suggests that you remain harmless to other living creatures.
This can also be defined as, "Resolve in favor of renunciation, good will, and non-harming of sentient beings".
There is an ancient/alternate version of the third character for this selection. You can see that alternation third character to the right. If you want your selection to use that older character, just click on the character to the right, instead of the button above.
Note: This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.
職責 is a Chinese and Korean word that means duty or responsibility.
If you have a sense of duty or sense of responsibility, this might be the wall scroll that you want to hang above your desk. It is a great way to quietly remind yourself to take pride in your duties at all times.
In a different context, this can mean "official duties" or "position".
The first character means "strong", "solid", "firm", "unyielding" or "resolute".
The second character means "to beat", "to endure", or "to tolerate".
Together they speak of the strength from within yourself. Some may also translate this as "long-suffering" in a more Biblical sense.
堅忍 is a common term in Chinese and Korean Hanja but a little less commonly used in modern Japanese Kanji. For that reason, this selection is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the second Kanji a little differently. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect the form where the little horizontal stroke crosses the vertical stroke. See differences in the images to the right. Technically, they are both the same character, and will be read the same in either language.
Literally this says: [Just as] white liquor makes people's faces turn red, [So] yellow gold makes people's hearts turn black.
This is a warning about the nature of greed. The suggestion is that one who lusts for gold and riches, will eventually have a black heart (or become a heartless greedy bastard). As a wall scroll, this is a reminder and warning to keep yourself from following the greedy path.
This is referred to as passage or chapter 33 of the Dao De Jing (often Romanized as "Tao Te Ching").
These are the words of the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).
During our research, the Chinese characters shown here are probably the most accurate to the original text of Laozi. These were taken for the most part from the Mawangdui 1973 and Guodan 1993 manuscripts which pre-date other Daodejing texts by about 1000 years.
Grammar was a little different in Laozi’s time. So you should consider this to be the ancient Chinese version. Some have modernized this passage by adding, removing, or swapping articles and changing the grammar (we felt the oldest and most original version would be more desirable). You may find other versions printed in books or online - sometimes these modern texts are simply used to explain to Chinese people what the original text really means.
This language issue can be compared in English by thinking how the King James (known as the Authorized version in Great Britain) Bible from 1611 was written, and comparing it to modern English. Now imagine that the Daodejing was probably written around 403 BCE (2000 years before the King James Version of the Bible). To a Chinese person, the original Daodejing reads like text that is 3 times more detached compared to Shakespeare’s English is to our modern-day speech.
While on this Biblical text comparison, it should be noted, that just like the Bible, all the original texts of the Daodejing were lost or destroyed long ago. Just as with the scripture used to create the Bible, various manuscripts exist, many with variations or copyist errors. Just as the earliest New Testament scripture (incomplete) is from 170 years after Christ, the earliest Daodejing manuscript (incomplete) is from 100-200 years after the death of Laozi.
The reason that the originals were lost probably has a lot to do with the first Qin Emperor. Upon taking power and unifying China, he ordered the burning and destruction of all books (scrolls/rolls) except those pertaining to Chinese medicine and a few other subjects. The surviving Daodejing manuscripts were either hidden on purpose or simply forgotten about. Some were not unearthed until as late as 1993.
We compared a lot of research by various archeologists and historians before deciding on this as the most accurate and correct version. But one must allow that it may not be perfect, or the actual and original as from the hand of Laozi himself.
This Chinese word is the form of intense that describes a person who is deep, serious, and a true thinker.
If you find yourself contemplating the world and coming up with profound ideas, this might we the word for you. In some context (especially Korean), it can mean seriousness, gravity, or acuteness.
In Japanese, this can mean "serious problem", or can be a rare given name, Misa. You should not use this if your audience is Japanese.
破浪 can be translated from Chinese as "braving the waves" or "bravely setting sail".
It literally means: "break/cleave/cut [the] waves".
破浪 is a great title to encourage yourself or someone else not to be afraid of problems or troubles.
Because of the context, this is especially good for sailors or yachtsmen and surfers too.
Note: While this can be understood in Japanese, it's not commonly used in Japan. Therefore, please consider this to be primarily a Chinese proverb.
This title suggests having the power to recover, restore, rehabilitate. This can refer to yourself, someone else, or even to something, like rehabilitating a burned forest. 恢復力 is the essence of resilience in life.
The first two characters are a word that means to reinstate, to resume, to restore, to recover, to regain, to rehabilitate, restoration, rehabilitation, recovery, return, improvement, recovery (from an illness), recuperation, or convalescence.
The last character means strength or power.
This proverb is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself. There is a secondary four characters that come after this in the Art of War (not included here) which suggest you cannot lose a battle when you follow this philosophy.
In a very literal and somewhat-boring way, this can also be translated as, "Estimate correctly one's strength as well as that of one's opponent".
想開 is a Chinese title that can be translated as "move on".
It can mean to get over a shock or bereavement. More often, it means to avoid dwelling on unpleasant things, or to accept the situation and move on. Basically, it's a suggestion to get over it and get on with life.
The literal meaning of the characters is something like "thoughts opening". But it's understood more as getting over the same old thoughts, and opening yourself up to new thoughts or ways of thinking.
恩 is often translated as "kind act from above", as in "The Grace of God".
This doesn't necessarily have to come from God. It could be a favor paid to you, or help that you received (or gave). Of course, you can decide for yourself whether the grace or favor given to you by a friend is actually a gift from God.
Other possible translations of this character:
Favor / favour, acts of kindness, merits, beneficial Influence, kindness, indebtedness, obligation, and benevolent influence.
This almost directly matches the idea of "Death Before Dishonor", while also being an ancient Chinese proverb.
The direct meaning is, "[you] can die/kill [but you] cannot [allow] dishonor/disgrace [upon yourself]". Chinese grammar, and especially ancient grammar, is a little different than English. Not nearly as many articles are needed, and a lot is implied.
There are a lot of ways to express ideas similar to "Death Before Dishonor" in Chinese, and I would rate this one in the top two.
善意 is a word that means good intentions, good will, or to things done in good faith in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean Hanja.
It's sort of the reason you do good deeds, or the desire you have inside yourself to do the right thing.
This can also be translated as benevolence, kindness, virtuous mind, positive mindset, or favorable sense.
善意 is also used in legal context for things that are done in good faith (regardless of outcome).
In Japanese, this can be the personal name Yoshi or Yoshii.
凰 is another simple way to write "Phoenix" in Chinese. 凰 is the specifically female element of phoenix, so this is how you write "female phoenix". 凰 is sometimes used to represent the female empress (many times in history, China was ruled by a woman, in much the same way queens came to power in Europe).
Note that the emperor is always represented as a dragon (not the male version of phoenix).
If you see yourself as a strong woman, this might be scroll for you to express "woman power" or "powerful woman" in a cool way.
提防律師 is kind of Chinese a joke about lawyers.
The first two characters mean "guard yourself against (an attack)" or simply "beware".
The last two characters can be translated as lawyer, attorney, or solicitor.
Separately, those characters mean law/regulation/control and master/expert/teacher. Here, you can see the attorney meaning is pretty clear in the individual characters.
Please note, this is Chinese only (it won't make sense in Japanese, and the last two characters are sometimes translated together as "Buddhist Priest" in Japanese).
恕 means to forgive, show mercy, absolve, or excuse in Chinese and Korean Hanja (though mostly used in compound words in Korean).
恕 incorporates the pictogram of a heart at the bottom, and a woman and a mouth at the top. The heart portion has the most significance, as it is suggested that it is the heart's nature to forgive.
In Asian culture, as with most other cultures, forgiveness is an act of benevolence and altruism. In forgiving, you put yourself in someone else's shoes and show them the kindness that you would want them to show you. Confucius referred to this quality as "human-heartedness".
乘風破浪 is a Chinese proverb that represents having great ambitions.
The British might say "to plough through". Another way to understand it is, "surmount all difficulties and forge ahead courageously".
This can also be translated as, "braving the wind and waves", "to brave the wind and the billows", "to ride the wind and crest the waves", or "to be ambitious and unafraid".
Literally it reads: "ride (like a chariot) [the] wind [and] break/cleave/cut [the] waves", or "ride [the] wind [and] slash [through the] waves".
乘風破浪 is a great proverb to encourage yourself or someone else not to be afraid of problems or troubles, and when you have a dream just go for it.
There is an alternate version, 長風破浪, but 乘風破浪 is far more common.
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.
清 means clarity or clear in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Looking at the parts of this character, you have three splashes of water on the left, "life" on the top right, and the moon on the lower right.
Because of something Confucius said about 2500 years ago, you can imagine that this character means "live life with clarity like bright moonlight piercing pure water". The Confucian idea is something like "Keep clear what is pure in yourself, and let your pure nature show through". Kind of like saying, "Don't pollute your mind or body, so that they remain clear".
This might be stretching the definition of this single Chinese character but the elements are there, and "clarity" is a powerful idea.
Korean note: Korean pronunciation is given above but this character is written with a slight difference in the "moon radical" in Korean. However, anyone who can read Korean Hanja, will understand this character with no problem (this is considered an alternate form in Korean). If you want the more standard Korean Hanja form (which is an alternate form in Chinese), just let me know.
Japanese note: When reading in Japanese, this Kanji has additional meanings of pure, purify, or cleanse (sometimes to remove demons or "exorcise"). Used more in compound words in Japanese than as a stand-alone Kanji.
We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school, and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.
礼 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.
礼, beyond respect, can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.
Please note that Japanese use this simplified 礼 version of the original 禮 character for respect. 礼 also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. While 禮 is the traditional and original version, 礼 has been used as a shorthand version for many centuries. Click on the big 禮 character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese and older Japanese version.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
See Also: Confucius
Perhaps a pacifist view or perhaps the best kind of victory; these characters reflect this idea:
The edges of the swords not being stained with blood.
You could also translate it as: Win victory without firing a shot.
The first character means army or force. The second character means without or none. The last two characters mean bloodstained knives. So it represents a returning victorious army without bloodstained knives. 兵不血刃 is the very literal sense of this Chinese proverb. The title definition is more accurate to the way this proverb is understood.
Asking yourself why the direct or literal translation is different?
...Think of compound words in English such as "nevertheless" if we break it apart to "never the less" we will have trouble getting the real definition of "in spite of that". Similar things happen when multiple-characters are used to create a compounded word in 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!
改善 means betterment, improvement, to make better, or to improve - specifically incremental and continuous improvement.
改善 became very important in post-war Japan when Edwards Deming came to Japan to teach concepts of incremental and continuous improvement (for which the big 3 auto-makers did not want to hear about at the time - even kicking Deming out of their offices). The Japanese workforce absorbed this concept at a time with their culture was in flux and primed for change.
This kaizen term is closely associated with the western title "Total Quality Management". Perhaps dear to my heart since I spent years studying this at university before I moved to China where TQM did not seem to exist. Slowly, this concept has entered China as well (I've actually given lectures on the subject in Beijing).
If you are trying to improve processes at your business or need to remind yourself of your continuous TQM goals, this would be a great wall scroll to hang behind your desk, or in your workplace.
See Also: Kansei
空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.
The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).
The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.
Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness".
I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery". Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).
Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature".
This proverb is the tattoo worn on the back of Yue Fei, a famous Chinese warrior who lived until 1142 A.D.
The tattoo can be translated as "Serve the country with the utmost loyalty". More literally, it means, "[The] Ultimate Loyalty [is too] Duty [of] Country".
Legend has it that this tattoo once saved his life when he was accused of treason.
The first two characters have come to create a word that means "serve the country faithfully" or "die for the country". Note: It's more a willingness to die for one's country than the actual act of dying.
The last two characters have come to mean, "Dedicate oneself to the service of one's country".
Both of these words are probably only in the Chinese lexicon because of this famous tattoo.
If you break it down, character-by-character, here is what you get:
1. To the utmost, to the limit of something, the ultimate.
2. Loyalty or duty (a sense of duty to one's master, lord, country, job).
3. Report, recompense, give back to (in this case, you are giving yourself to your country as payback).
4. Country, state, nation, kingdom.
Some may think of this as a "Christian trait" but actually it transcends many religions.
This Chinese teaching dates back to about 2,500 years ago in China. Confucius had always taught the belief in being benevolent (ren) but this idea was hard to grasp for some of his students, as benevolence could be kind-heartedness, or an essence of humanity itself.
When answering Zhong Gong's question as to what "ren" actually meant, Confucius said:
"When you go out, you should behave as if you were in the presence of a distinguished guest, when people do favors for you, act as if a great sacrifice was made for you. Whatever you wouldn't like done to you, do not do that thing to others. Don't complain at work or at home".
Hearing this, Zhong Gong said humbly, "Although I am not clever, I will do what you say".
From this encounter, the Chinese version of the "Golden Rule" or "Ethic of Reciprocity" came to be.
The characters you see above express, "Do not do to others whatever you do not want done to yourself".
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.
This Chinese proverb comes from an old story from some time before 476 BC. About a man named Qi Huangyang, who was commissioned by the king to select the best person for a certain job in the Imperial Court.
Qi Huangyang selected his enemy for the job. The king was very confused by the selection but Qi Huangyang explained that he was asked to find the best person for the job, not necessarily someone that he personally liked or had a friendship with.
Later, Confucius commented on how unselfish and impartial Qi Huangyang was by saying "Da Gong Wu Si" which if you look it up in a Chinese dictionary, is generally translated as "Unselfish" or "Just and Fair".
If you translate each character, you'd have something like,
"Big/Deep Justice Without Self".
Direct translations like this leave out a lot of what the Chinese characters really say. Use your imagination, and suddenly you realize that "without self" means "without thinking about yourself in the decision" - together, these two words mean "unselfish". The first two characters serve to really drive the point home that we are talking about a concept that is similar to "blind justice".
One of my Chinese-English dictionaries translates this simply as "just and fair". So that is the short and simple version.
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used term.
榮 relates to giving someone a tribute or praise.
It's a little odd as a gift, so this may not be the best selection for a wall scroll.
I've made this entry just because this character is often misused as "honorable" or "keeping your honor". It's not quite the same meaning, as this usually refers to a tribute or giving an honor to someone.
榮 is often found in tattoo books incorrectly listed as the western idea of personal honor or being honorable. Check with us before you get a tattoo that does not match the meaning you are really looking for. As a tattoo, this suggests that you either have a lot of pride in yourself or that you have a wish for prosperity for you and/or your family.
In modern Japanese Kanji, glory and honor looks like the image to the right.
There is a lot of confusion about this character, so here are some alternate translations for this character: prosperous, flourishing, blooming (like a flower), glorious beauty, proud, praise, rich, or it can be the family name "Rong". The context in which the character is used can change the meaning between these various ideas.
In the old days, this could be an honor paid to someone by the Emperor (basically a designation by the Emperor that a person has high standing).
To sum it up: 榮 has a positive meaning, however, it's a different flavor than the idea of being honorable and having integrity.
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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|
|Be Yourself||做自己||zuò zì jǐ|
zuo4 zi4 ji3
zuo zi ji
|tso tzu chi
|Be Yourself||自分だけになる||ji bun da ke ni na ru |
|Believe in Yourself||自分を信じる||jibun o shinjiru |
|True to Yourself||真實的自己|
|zuò zhēn shí de zì jǐ|
zhen1 shi2 de zi4 ji3
zhen shi de zi ji
|chen shih te tzu chi
|Believe in Yourself||相信自己||xiāng xìn zì jǐ|
xiang1 xin4 zi4 ji3
xiang xin zi ji
|hsiang hsin tzu chi
|Be True to Yourself||做真實的自己|
|zuò zhēn shí de zì jǐ|
zuo4 zhen1 shi2 de zi4 ji3
zuo zhen shi de zi ji
|tso chen shih te tzu chi
|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|
|Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles||敵を知り己を知れば百戦危うからず||teki o shi ri o no o shi re ba hya ku sen aya u ka ra zu|
|ji ai / jiai||zì ài / zi4 ai4 / zi ai / ziai||tzu ai / tzuai|
|我を許す||ware o yuru su|
|yuán liàng zì jǐ|
yuan2 liang4 zi4 ji3
yuan liang zi ji
|yüan liang tzu chi
|Be True to Yourself||自分自身に忠実である||jibun jishin ni chuujitsu de aru |
jibun jishin ni chujitsu de aru
|You are who you hang out with.||挨金似金挨玉似玉||āi jīn sì jīn āi yù sì yù|
ai1 jin1 si4 jin1 ai1 yu4 si4 yu4
ai jin si jin ai yu si yu
|ai chin ssu chin ai yü ssu yü
|Be Myself||做我自己||zuò wǒ zì jǐ|
zuo4 wo3 zi4 ji3
zuo wo zi ji
|tso wo tzu chi
|To thine own self be true||己に忠実なれ||onore ni chuujitsu nare|
onore ni chujitsu nare
|...And this above all to thine own self be true.||尤其要緊的你必須對你自己忠實|
|yóu qí yào jǐn de nǐ bì xū duì nǐ zì jǐ zhōng shí|
you2 qi2 yao4 jin3 de ni3 bi4 xu1 dui4 ni3 zi4 ji3 zhong1 shi2
you qi yao jin de ni bi xu dui ni zi ji zhong shi
|yu ch`i yao chin te ni pi hsü tui ni tzu chi chung shih
yu chi yao chin te ni pi hsü tui ni tzu chi chung shih
|Honesty||正直||shoujiki / shojiki||zhèng zhí|
尊严 / 尊厳
|son gen / songen||zūn yán / zun1 yan2 / zun yan / zunyan||tsun yen / tsunyen|
|ken son / kenson||qiān xùn / qian1 xun4 / qian xun / qianxun||ch`ien hsün / chienhsün / chien hsün|
|God Bless You||お大事に||odaijini|
|公平||kouhei / kohei||gōng píng|
|Personal Integrity||志操 / 誌操|
|shi sou / shisou / shi so / shiso||zhì cāo / zhi4 cao1 / zhi cao / zhicao||chih ts`ao / chihtsao / chih tsao|
|磨練 / 磨鍊 / 磨鍊|
|mó liàn / mo2 lian4 / mo lian / molian||mo lien / molien|
|Better to be Happy than Rich||安貧樂道|
|ān pín lè dào|
an1 pin2 le4 dao4
an pin le dao
|an p`in le tao
an pin le tao
|Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself||敵を知り己を知る||te ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru|
|Sherry||雪利||xuě lì / xue3 li4 / xue li / xueli||hsüeh li / hsüehli|
|Open and Calm Mind||虚心坦懐||kyo shin tan kai|
|Pride||自豪||zì háo / zi4 hao2 / zi hao / zihao||tzu hao / tzuhao|
|藩士||sou hei / souhei / so hei / sohei||sēng bīng|
Inner Well-Being and Health
|內健||nèi jiàn / nei4 jian4 / nei jian / neijian||nei chien / neichien|
|No man knows what he owes to his parents until he comes to have children of his own||子を持って知る親の恩||ko wo motte shiru oya no on|
|The Foundation of Good Conduct||誌于道據于德依于仁遊于藝|
|zhì yú dào jù yú dé yī yú rén yóu yú yì|
zhi4 yu2 dao4 ju4 yu2 de2 yi1 yu2 ren2 you2 yu2 yi4
zhi yu dao ju yu de yi yu ren you yu yi
|chih yü tao chü yü te i yü jen yu yü i|
Soul of a Wolf
|狼魂||routama / ookami tamashii |
routama / ookamitamashii
rotama / okami tamashi
rotama / okamitamashi
|láng hún / lang2 hun2 / lang hun / langhun|
|If you have not been a monk, how can you know what it is like to be a vegetarian?||不當和尚不知齋戒苦|
|bù dāng hé shang bù zhī zhāi jiè kǔ|
bu4 dang1 he2 shang bu4 zhi1 zhai1 jie4 ku3
bu dang he shang bu zhi zhai jie ku
|pu tang ho shang pu chih chai chieh k`u
pu tang ho shang pu chih chai chieh ku
|自律||jiritsu||zì lǜ / zi4 lv4 / zi lv / zilv||tzu lü / tzulü|
|kuroobi / kurobi|
|In the Abyss of Infinite Bitterness - Turn to the Shore||苦海無邊回頭是岸|
|kǔ hǎi wú biān huí tóu shì àn|
ku3 hai3 wu2 bian1 hui2 tou2 shi4 an4
ku hai wu bian hui tou shi an
|k`u hai wu pien hui t`ou shih an
ku hai wu pien hui tou shih an
|chū lèi bá cuì|
chu1 lei4 ba2 cui4
chu lei ba cui
|ch`u lei pa ts`ui
chu lei pa tsui
|Self-Reliance||自恃||zì shì / zi4 shi4 / zi shi / zishi||tzu shih / tzushih|
|2. Right Resolve|
|正思唯||sei shi yui|
|zhèng sī wéi|
zheng4 si1 wei2
zheng si wei
|cheng ssu wei
|zhí zé / zhi2 ze2 / zhi ze / zhize||chih tse / chihtse|
|ken nin / kennin||jiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|Just as Liquor Turns a Face Red, Gold Turns a Heart Black||白酒紅人面黃金黑世心|
|bái jiǔ hóng rén miàn huáng jīn hēi shì xīn|
bai2 jiu3 hong2 ren2 mian4 huang2 jin1 hei1 shi4 xin1
bai jiu hong ren mian huang jin hei shi xin
|pai chiu hung jen mien huang chin hei shih hsin|
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33
|zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě|
zhi1 ren2 zhe3 zhi1 ye3 zi4 zhi1 zhe3 ming2 ye3 sheng4 ren2 zhe3 you3 li4 ye3 zi4 sheng4 zhe3 qiang2 ye3 zhi1 zu2 zhe3 fu4 ye3 qiang2 xing2 zhe3 you3 zhi4 ye3 bu4 zhi1 qi2 suo3 zhe3 jiu3 ye3 si3 er2 bu4 wang2 zhe3 shou4 ye3
zhi ren zhe zhi ye zi zhi zhe ming ye sheng ren zhe you li ye zi sheng zhe qiang ye zhi zu zhe fu ye qiang xing zhe you zhi ye bu zhi qi suo zhe jiu ye si er bu wang zhe shou ye
|chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che ch`iang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh ch`iang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih ch`i so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che chiang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh chiang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih chi so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
|深刻||shinkoku / misa||shēn kè / shen1 ke4 / shen ke / shenke||shen k`o / shenko / shen ko|
|Brave the Waves||破浪||ha rou / harou / ha ro / haro||pò làng / po4 lang4 / po lang / polang||p`o lang / polang / po lang|
|huī fù lì|
hui1 fu4 li4
hui fu li
|Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself||知彼知己||zhí bǐ zhí jī|
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1
zhi bi zhi ji
|chih pi chih chi
|Accept the Situation and Move On||想開|
|Grace||恩||on||ēn / en1 / en|
|Death Before Dishonor||可殺不可辱|
|kě shā bù kě rǔ|
ke3 sha1 bu4 ke3 ru3
ke sha bu ke ru
|k`o sha pu k`o ju
ko sha pu ko ju
|善意||zen i / zeni||shàn yì / shan4 yi4 / shan yi / shanyi||shan i / shani|
|Phoenix (female)||凰||ou / o||huáng / huang2 / huang|
|Beware of the Lawyers||提防律師|
|xiǎo xīn lǜ shī|
xiao3 xin1 lv4 shi1
xiao xin lv shi
|hsiao hsin lü shih
|Forgiveness||恕||shù / shu4 / shu|
|chéng fēng pò làng|
cheng2 feng1 po4 lang4
cheng feng po lang
|ch`eng feng p`o lang
cheng feng po lang
|genshou / gensho||xiàn xiàng|
|Clarity||清||sei||qīng / qing1 / qing||ch`ing / ching|
|rei||lǐ / li3 / li|
|Bloodless Victory||兵不血刃||bīng bù xuè rèn|
bing1 bu4 xue4 ren4
bing bu xue ren
|ping pu hsüeh jen
|浪人||rou nin / rounin / ro nin / ronin||làng rén / lang4 ren2 / lang ren / langren||lang jen / langjen|
|改善||kai zen / kaizen||gǎi shàn / gai3 shan4 / gai shan / gaishan||kai shan / kaishan|
|kuu mu / kuumu / ku mu / kumu||kōng wú / kong1 wu2 / kong wu / kongwu||k`ung wu / kungwu / kung wu|
|Ultimate Loyalty to Your Country||盡忠報國|
|jìn zhōng bào guó|
jin4 zhong1 bao4 guo2
jin zhong bao guo
|chin chung pao kuo
|Confucius: Golden Rule|
Ethic of Reciprocity
|jǐ suǒ bú yù wù shī yú rén|
ji3 suo3 bu2 yu4, wu4 shi1 yu2 ren2
ji suo bu yu, wu shi yu ren
|chi so pu yü, wu shih yü jen
|xuǎn zé shēng huó|
xuan3 ze2 sheng1 huo2
xuan ze sheng huo
|hsüan tse sheng huo
|Unselfish: Perfectly Impartial||大公無私|
|dà gōng wú sī|
da4 gong1 wu2 si1
da gong wu si
|ta kung wu ssu
|Glory and Honor||榮|
荣 / 栄
|ei||róng / rong2 / rong||jung|
|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.
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
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 Be Yourself Kanji, Be Yourself Characters, Be Yourself in Mandarin Chinese, Be Yourself Characters, Be Yourself in Chinese Writing, Be Yourself in Japanese Writing, Be Yourself in Asian Writing, Be Yourself Ideograms, Chinese Be Yourself symbols, Be Yourself Hieroglyphics, Be Yourself Glyphs, Be Yourself in Chinese Letters, Be Yourself Hanzi, Be Yourself in Japanese Kanji, Be Yourself Pictograms, Be Yourself in the Chinese Written-Language, or Be Yourself in the Japanese Written-Language.
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