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1. Buddha Way
10. The Middle Way
14. Kind Words
17. Zen Buddhism
佛道 is "The way of Buddha, leading to Buddhahood" or the way to becoming a bodhi and enlightened.
Known in Japanese as Butsudō, Mandarin Chinese as Fódào, and Korean as Buldo or 불도.
仏 is the single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.
This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).
仏 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.
The Way of Buddha Truth
In Taoist and Buddhist context, this means to "Walk in the Way". In Buddhism, that further means to follow the Buddha truth. In some Buddhist sects, this can mean to make a procession around a statue of the Buddha (always with the right shoulder towards the Buddha).
Outside of that context, this can mean route (when going somewhere), the way to get somewhere, etc.
In Japanese, this can be the surname or given name Yukimichi.
The way of the truth
仏教 can mean Buddha or Buddhism in Japanese.
Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.
Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.
仏 is also a rare form of Buddha Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.
佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism.
It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings". 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.
釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.
It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.
This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.
This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.
自性覚れば即ち是れ佛なり is a Zen quote that means, "If one realizes one's own nature, one becomes a Buddha".
The inference here is that if you understand who you really are, become truly aware of yourself and your original nature, you are well on your way to becoming a liberated person (a Buddha).
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
In the most basic translation, this means road through the middle, or middle road.
The expanded meaning can be moderation, golden mean.
But if you are looking for this title, you are probably seeking the Buddhist definition, which is more complex.
中道 is the middle way or middle path of Buddhism. 中道 has various interpretations. In general, it denotes the mean between two extremes and has special reference to the mean between realism and nihilism, or eternal substantial existence and annihilation.
The Buddha teaches that one should not take things to extremes. Don't be extremely evil, and engage in debauchery and murder. But do not spend every waking out trying to be a perfect saint. Instead, take the middle path, try to help others, show loving kindness wherever you can, try not to do harm. If you do inadvertently harm another being, make amends if you can, and move on. Realize you are not perfect, but in time, a path of moderation lead toward proper living and enlightenment.
The Triple Gem
三寶 is the title for "Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism" or "The Triple Gem".
These three treasures are the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (teachings or the law of the Buddha), and the Sangha 僧 (the community of monks or followers).
This term is used by most (perhaps not all) Buddhists in China, Japan, and South Korea (written the same it the original form, but pronounced differently in each language). Non-Buddhists may just read this as, "Three Treasures", without the religious context. For instance, there is also a, "Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine", that is sometimes titled the same way.
In modern Japanese and Simplified Chinese, this is written 三宝 instead of 三寶.
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.
In the simplest terms, this means kind words.
In the Buddhist context, this is one of the four methods of approach to people which the bodhisattvas use to guide them to the way of the Buddha.
Other translations include loving speech, or simply the words of a bodhisattva.
愛語 is also a common female name, Aigo in Japanese.
大師 is a way to title a great master, grand master, or great teacher.
This can be used in the context of martial arts or a Buddhist teacher. Thus, it can be used to title a living Buddha, Bodhisattva or high-ranking monk.
金剛 is a common way to call diamonds in Chinese and Japanese.
Traditionally, there were not that many diamonds that made their way to Asia, so this word does not have the deep cultural significance that it does in the west (thanks mostly to De Beers marketing). Therefore, this word was kind of borrowed from other uses.
This title can also refer to vajra (a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond that originally refers to an indestructible substance); hard metal; pupa of certain insects; Vajrapani, Buddha's warrior attendant; King Kong; adamantine; Buddhist symbol of the indestructible truth.
禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism". Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.
From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.
心印 is a Buddhist concept that simply stated is "appreciation of truth by meditation".
It's a deep subject, but my understanding is that you can find truth through meditation, and once you've found the truth, you can learn to appreciate it more through further meditation. This title is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist community (your Asian friends may or may not understand it). The literal translation would be something like "the mind seal", I've seen this term translated this way from Japanese Buddhist poetry. But apparently, the seal that is stamped deep in your mind is the truth. You just have to meditate to find it.
Soothill defines it this way: Mental impression, intuitive certainty; the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, which can seal or assure the truth; the term indicates the intuitive method of the Chan (Zen) school, which was independent of the spoken or written word.
See Also: Zen
光明 is a nice way to say "light" in Chinese, and old Korean Hanja. 光明 is because the word also suggests a bright future or refers so someone who is very promising (great future potential).
The first character means light or bright.
The second character means bright and clear (in this context).
光明 appears in most Japanese dictionaries but it not the most common Japanese Kanji word for light (more commonly used for the name Mitsuharu).
In old Korean Hanja, this can have a meaning of brightness or brilliancy.
In the context of Buddhism, this means, "Light emanating from a Buddha or Bodhisattva, symbolizing their wisdom and compassion"
A Japanese martial arts title/concept
The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.
The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.
洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.
This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.
洗心 does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.
There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.
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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|
|Buddha Way||佛道||butsudō||fó dào / fo2 dao4 / fo dao / fodao||fo tao / fotao|
|仏 / 佛|
|hotoke / butsu|
|Walk in the Way||行道||yukimichi||xíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdao||hsing tao / hsingtao|
|jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do||shí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidao||shih tao / shihtao|
|Buddhism||仏教||bukkyou / bukyo|
|Buddhism||佛教||fó jiào / fo2 jiao4 / fo jiao / fojiao||fo chiao / fochiao|
|Thirst for Truth||渴法||katsuhō||kě fǎ / ke3 fa3 / ke fa / kefa||k`o fa / kofa / ko fa|
|Buddha Seeking||勤求||gongu||qín qiú / qin2 qiu2 / qin qiu / qinqiu||ch`in ch`iu / chinchiu / chin chiu|
|釈迦||sha ka / shaka||shì jiā / shi4 jia1 / shi jia / shijia||shih chia / shihchia|
|Self Awareness Becomes a Buddha||自性覚れば即ち是れ佛なり||Jishou satore ba sunawachi kore butsu nari|
Jisho satore ba sunawachi kore butsu nari
|The Middle Way||中道||chuu dou / chuudou / chu do||zhōng dào|
|Three Treasures of Buddhism||三寶|
|san bou / sanbou / san bo||sān bǎo / san1 bao3 / san bao / sanbao||san pao / sanpao|
|Avatar||化身||keshin||huà shēn / hua4 shen1 / hua shen / huashen|
|nyorai||rú lái / ru2 lai2 / ru lai / rulai||ju lai / julai|
|aigo||ài yǔ / ai4 yu3 / ai yu / aiyu||ai yü / aiyü|
|daishi||dà shī / da4 shi1 / da shi / dashi||ta shih / tashih|
|kon gou / kongou / kon go||jīn gāng / jin1 gang1 / jin gang / jingang||chin kang / chinkang|
|zen shuu / zenshuu / zen shu||chán zōng|
|Appreciation of Truth by Meditation||心印||shin nin / shinnin||xīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyin||hsin yin / hsinyin|
Bright and Promising Future
|光明||kou mei / mitsu haru|
koumei / mitsuharu
ko mei / mitsu haru
|sen shin / senshin||xǐ xīn / xi3 xin1 / xi xin / xixin||hsi hsin / hsihsin|
|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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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.
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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 Buddha Way Kanji, Buddha Way Characters, Buddha Way in Mandarin Chinese, Buddha Way Characters, Buddha Way in Chinese Writing, Buddha Way in Japanese Writing, Buddha Way in Asian Writing, Buddha Way Ideograms, Chinese Buddha Way symbols, Buddha Way Hieroglyphics, Buddha Way Glyphs, Buddha Way in Chinese Letters, Buddha Way Hanzi, Buddha Way in Japanese Kanji, Buddha Way Pictograms, Buddha Way in the Chinese Written-Language, or Buddha Way in the Japanese Written-Language.