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Calligraphy Art in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Dance / Dancing

  2. Kintsukuroi

  3. Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour

  4. Grandmaster

  5. You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes

  6. Balance / Peace

  7. Wing Chun Fist Maxims

  8. Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

  9. Joshua 24:15

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


Dance / Dancing

wǔ dǎo
butou
Dance / Dancing Scroll

舞蹈 is the clearest way to express the art of dancing in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

If you are a dancer or love the art of dance, this is the calligraphy selection for you.

kintsukuroi
Kintsukuroi Scroll

金繕い is kintsukuroi or kinzukuroi, the Japanese art of repairing pottery with a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, etc.

I added this because many people searched for this title. Not sure how appropriate this is for a calligraphy wall scroll.

Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour

yǎng bīng qiān rì, yàng bīng yì shí
Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour Scroll

Nothing could be more true. When I was in the Marine Corps, we trained for years for combat that often lasts only hours.

This Chinese proverb also reminds me of a common phrase used in the military to describe combat: "Weeks of total boredom, punctuated with five minutes of shear terror".

This may have some roots in Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Though I can not find this passage in his writings.

On the subject of the Art of War, if you have a favorite passage, we can create a custom calligraphy scroll with that phrase.

daishihan
Grandmaster Scroll

大師範 is a Japanese title for master, grandmaster, or senior instructor.

大師範 is a bit of an odd selection for a piece of calligraphy artwork, so proceed with caution. Better to find an appropriate phrase or title (such as the name of the martial art), and then add something like "Grandmaster Smith" as a smaller inscription down the side.

You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes

qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī
You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes Scroll

Any woman with affection for Asian art and you will love a gift of this Chinese proverb calligraphy on a wall scroll.

She will melt in your arms as you tell her the meaning of these characters.

Contained in this phrase is a reference to the most beautiful woman in Chinese history. Her name was Xi Shi, and she was known to have good looks that need not fine robes or makeup. Her charms were so powerful that she brought down an entire kingdom (in a successful effort to bring honor and pride back to her people).

情人眼里出西施 is a great way to express that the woman in your life is your one love.

Balance / Peace

píng
hira
Balance / Peace Scroll

平 is a single-character that means balance in Chinese but it's not too direct or too specific about what kind of balance.

Chinese people often like calligraphy art that is a little vague or mysterious. In this way, you can decide what it means to you, and you'll be right.

平 is also part of a word that means peace in Chinese, Japanese and old Korean.

Some alternate translations of this single character include: balanced, peaceful, calm, equal, even, level, smooth or flat.

Note that in Japanese, this just means "level" or "flat" by itself (not the best choice for balance if your audience is Japanese).

Wing Chun Fist Maxims

Wing Chun Kuen Kuit
Wing Chun Fist Maxims Scroll

This text is the chant or poem of Wing Chun.

I call it a "chant" because it was meant to be a somewhat rhythmic poem to help practitioners memorize many aspects of Wing Chun.

The Chinese text:
1 有手黐手,無手問手
2 來留區送, 甩手直沖
3 怕打終歸打, 貪打終被打
4 粘連迫攻, 絕不放鬆
5 來力瀉力, 借力出擊
6 步步追形, 點點朝午
7 以形補手, 敗形不敗馬
8 腰馬一致, 心意合一
9 拳由心發, 動法無形
10 活人練活死功夫

You will see this referred to as, "Wing Chun Kuem Kuit". This Cantonese romanization is popular in the west (and there is no official way to romanize Cantonese, so many variations exist). In Mandarin, it would be, "Yong Chun Quan Jue". The last character (kuit or kyut from Cantonese, jue or chüeh from Mandarin) kind of means "secrets of the art". It's a short way to write 口訣, meaning "mnemonic chant" or "rhyme for remembering".

In the west (especially in the military), we often use acronyms to remember things. There are no initials to make acronyms in Chinese, so in ancient times, chants like this are used to remember vast amounts of information. I will presume you already know the meaning of the 10 maxims, so I will skip that to keep this calligraphy entry from getting too large.

Some think 练拳者必记 is the title but that just says, "(When) training (the) fist, people should remember:". Therefore, I've not included that in the calligraphy. However, you can put a note in the special instructions if you want it added.

Note: On a traditional calligraphy wall scroll, the characters will be written in vertical columns, starting from the right, and proceeding left.


Note: This is an except and variation from a huge 口訣. These 10 maxims are used extensively in Wing Chun training, and you’ll find them all over the internet. Just know there is a much longer version out there, along with several variations and excepts like this one. If you know of, or want a different version, just contact me, and I will add it for you.

Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do

tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū
Taekwondo Tenets / Spirit of Taekwon-do Scroll

跆拳道精神禮義廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈 is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do".

Taekwondo Tenets

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 HanjaModern Korean HangulPronunciationEnglish
跆拳道精神태권도정신tae gweon do jeong sinTaekwondo Spirit
禮儀예의ye yiCourtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality
廉耻염치yeom ciIntegrity / Sense of Honor
忍耐인내in naePatience / Perseverance / Endurance
克己극기geug giSelf-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation
百折不屈백절불굴baeg jeor bur gurIndomitable 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.

Joshua 24:15

This House Serves the LORD
zhì yú wǒ hé wǒ jiā wǒ men bì dìng shì fèng yē hé huá
Joshua 24:15 Scroll

This the last sentence of Joshua 24:15 in Chinese.

Joshua 24:15 in Chinese

What your
calligraphy
might look like
from our
Chinese Master
Calligrapher

Joshua 24:15 (KJV) ...as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15 (NIV) ...as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

We used the only official Christian Chinese Bible that I know of so that the translation would be as accurate and standard as possible. Any Chinese Christian worth their salt will easily be able to identify this verse from the Chinese words on this scroll.

I think it is a bit like having a secret code on your wall that quietly expresses to whom you are faithful.

A great gift for your devout Christian or Jewish friend if they happen to be fond of Asian art.

Or perhaps a wonderful "conversation starter" for your own home.

Note: If you are curious, the last three characters represent they way "LORD" is used in most English Bibles. In Chinese, this is actually the phonetic name in Mandarin Chinese for "Jehovah".

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

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

兼聽則明偏聽則暗 is an ancient Chinese proverb about getting all the information from all sides so that you truly understand a situation.

Wei Zheng

Wei Zheng

A man named Wei Zheng lived between 580-643 AD. He was a noble and wise historian and minister in the court of the early Tang Dynasty.The emperor once asked him, "What should an emperor do to understand the real-world situation and what makes an emperor out-of-touch with reality?"

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

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

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




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Dance
Dancing
舞蹈butou / butowǔ dǎo / wu3 dao3 / wu dao / wudaowu tao / wutao
Kintsukuroi金繕いkintsukuroi
Maintain An Army For 1000 Days, Use It For An Hour養兵千日用兵一時
养兵千日用兵一时
yǎng bīng qiān rì, yàng bīng yì shí
yang3 bing1 qian1 ri4 yang4 bing1 yi4 shi2
yang bing qian ri yang bing yi shi
yang ping ch`ien jih yang ping i shih
yang ping chien jih yang ping i shih
Grandmaster大師範daishihan
You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes情人眼里出西施qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī
qing2 ren2 yan3 li3 chu1 xi1 shi1
qing ren yan li chu xi shi
qingrenyanlichuxishi
ch`ing jen yen li ch`u hsi shih
chingjenyenlichuhsishih
ching jen yen li chu hsi shih
Balance
Peace
hirapíng / ping2 / pingp`ing / ping
Wing Chun Fist Maxims有手黐手無手問手來留區送甩手直沖怕打終歸打貪打終被打粘連迫攻絕不放鬆來力瀉力借力出擊步步追形點點朝午以形補手敗形不敗馬腰馬一致心意合一拳由心發動法無形活人練活死功夫
有手黐手无手问手来留区送甩手直冲怕打终归打贪打终被打粘连迫攻绝不放松来力泻力借力出击步步追形点点朝午以形补手败形不败马腰马一致心意合一拳由心发动法无形活人练活死功夫
Taekwondo Tenets
Spirit of Taekwon-do
跆拳道精神禮義廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈
跆拳道精神礼义廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈
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
Joshua 24:15至於我和我家我們必定事奉耶和華
至于我和我家我们必定事奉耶和华
zhì yú wǒ hé wǒ jiā wǒ men bì dìng shì fèng yē hé huá
zhi4 yu2 wo3 he2 wo3 jia1 wo3 men bi4 ding4 shi4 feng4 ye1 he2 hua2
zhi yu wo he wo jia wo men bi ding shi feng ye he hua
chih yü wo ho wo chia wo men pi ting shih feng yeh ho hua
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark兼聽則明偏聽則暗
兼听则明偏听则暗
jiān tīng zé míng, piān tīng zé àn
jian1 ting1 ze2 ming2, pian1 ting1 ze2 an4
jian ting ze ming, pian ting ze an
chien t`ing tse ming, p`ien t`ing tse an
chien ting tse ming, pien ting tse an
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.


Many custom options...


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


And formats...

Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark Vertical Portrait
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark Horizontal Wall Scroll
Listen to Both Sides and be Enlightened, Listen to One Side and be in the Dark Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Calligraphy Art in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.

When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.

Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.

There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.


Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.

Some people may refer to this entry as Calligraphy Art Kanji, Calligraphy Art Characters, Calligraphy Art in Mandarin Chinese, Calligraphy Art Characters, Calligraphy Art in Chinese Writing, Calligraphy Art in Japanese Writing, Calligraphy Art in Asian Writing, Calligraphy Art Ideograms, Chinese Calligraphy Art symbols, Calligraphy Art Hieroglyphics, Calligraphy Art Glyphs, Calligraphy Art in Chinese Letters, Calligraphy Art Hanzi, Calligraphy Art in Japanese Kanji, Calligraphy Art Pictograms, Calligraphy Art in the Chinese Written-Language, or Calligraphy Art in the Japanese Written-Language.

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