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Central in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Central Africa

  2. Central African Republic

  3. Temperance

  4. Wing Chun Fist Maxims

  5. Guanxi

  6. Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu


Central Africa

chuuou a fu ri ka
Central Africa Scroll

This is Central Africa written in Japanese.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Katakana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Central African Republic

zhōng fēi gòng hé guó
Central African Republic Scroll

中非共和國 is the Chinese name for the country of the Central African Republic.


See Also:  Africa

Temperance

jié zhì
sessei
Temperance Scroll

In short, temperance is knowing when to say "when".

Temperance is the practice of moderation and restraint (in fact, this Asian word is often translated as moderation or restraint).

It was one of the five tenets held to be vital to society in Hellenic culture. It is also one of the Four Cardinal Virtues considered central to Christian behavior by the Catholic Church.


Note: Also considered to be one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1)

Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1) Scroll

A customer asked me to split these Wing Chun maxims into two parts, so he could order a couplet. It thought this was a good idea, so it's been added here.

Chinese text of part 1:
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

A couplet is a set of two wall scrolls that start and finish one phrase or idea. Often, couplets are hung with the first wall scroll on the right side, and the second on the left side of a doorway or entrance. The order in Chinese is right-to-left, so that's why the first wall scroll goes on the right as you face the door.

Of course, couplets can also be hung together on a wall. Often they can be hung to flank an alter, or table with incense, or even flanking a larger central wall scroll. See an example here from the home of Confucius

Be sure to order both part 1 and 2 together. One without the other is like Eve without Adam.

Guanxi

The Chinese Concept of Relationship and Exchange of Favors
guān xì
kankei
Guanxi Scroll

The dictionary definition is:
relations / relationship / to concern / to affect / to have to do with / connection.

But there's more to it...

In China, your relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having guanxi with someone also means they would never defraud you but instead are honor-bound to treat you fairly (of course, this goes both ways). Sometimes it is suggested that guanxi is the exchange of favors. I would say this is more having a relationship that allows you to ask for, and expect favors without shame.

There is no concept in western culture that exactly matches guanxi but perhaps having a social or professional network is similar.

Note that there are some variations common within Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja for this word...

関Japanese tend to use a Chinese alternate form as shown to the right for
the first character.

關There's also another alternate form of that first character (currently used as the official Simplified form in mainland China) which looks like the character shown to the right. It's basically the central radical of the alternate version shown above but without the "door radical" around it. In more free-flowing calligraphy styles, this version would be the likely choice for a calligrapher.

係In Modern Japanese, they use the character shown to the right.
They also tend to use this same form in Korean Hanja (I've only checked this word in my Korean dictionary but it has not been confirmed by a translator's review).

系If that was not confusing enough, there is another alternate form of that second character. See right.

An Asian calligrapher of any nationality may use any of these forms at their discretion. However, They would tend to stick to the most common form used in their respective languages.

If you have any preference on any of these issues, please give us a special note with your order, and we'll make sure it's done the way you want.

Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu

yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Scroll

This poem was written almost 1200 years ago during the Tang dynasty.

It depicts traveling up a place known as Cold Mountain, where some hearty people have built their homes. The traveler is overwhelmed by the beauty of the turning leaves of the maple forest that surrounds him just as night overtakes the day, and darkness prevails. His heart implores him to stop, and take in all of the beauty around him.

First before you get to the full translation, I must tell you that Chinese poetry is a lot different than what we have in the west. Chinese words simply don't rhyme in the same way that English, or other western languages do. Chinese poetry depends on rhythm and a certain beat of repeated numbers of characters.

I have done my best to translate this poem keeping a certain feel of the original poet. But some of the original beauty of the poem in it's original Chinese will be lost in translation.


Far away on Cold Mountain, a stone path leads upwards.
Among white clouds, people's homes reside.
Stopping my carriage I must, as to admire the maple forest at nights fall.
In awe of autumn leaves showing more red than even flowers of early spring.


Hopefully, this poem will remind you to stop, and "take it all in" as you travel through life.
The poet's name is "Du Mu" in Chinese that is: 杜牧.
The title of the poem, "Mountain Travels" is: 山行
You can have the title, poet's name, and even Tang Dynasty written as an inscription on your custom wall scroll if you like.

More about the poet:

Dumu lived from 803-852 AD and was a leading Chinese poet during the later part of the Tang dynasty.
He was born in Chang'an, a city of central China and former capital of the ancient Chinese empire in 221-206 BC. In present-day China, his birthplace is currently known as Xi'an, the home of the Terracotta Soldiers.

He was awarded his Jinshi degree (an exam administered by the emperor's court which leads to becoming an official of the court) at the age of 25, and went on to hold many official positions over the years. However, he never achieved a high rank, apparently because of some disputes between various factions, and his family's criticism of the government. His last post in the court was his appointment to the office of Secretariat Drafter.

During his life, he wrote scores of narrative poems, as well as a commentary on the Art of War and many letters of advice to high officials.

His poems were often very realistic, and often depicted every day life. He wrote poems about everything, from drinking beer in a tavern to weepy poems about lost love.

The thing that strikes you most is the fact even after 1200 years, not much has changed about the beauty of nature, toils and troubles of love and beer drinking.


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Central Africa中央アフリカchuuou a fu ri ka
chuuouafurika
chuo a fu ri ka
chuoafurika
Central African Republic中非共和國
中非共和国
zhōng fēi gòng hé guó
zhong1 fei1 gong4 he2 guo2
zhong fei gong he guo
zhongfeigongheguo
chung fei kung ho kuo
chungfeikunghokuo
Temperance節制
节制
sessei / seseijié zhì / jie2 zhi4 / jie zhi / jiezhichieh chih / chiehchih
Wing Chun Fist Maxims (Part 1)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
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
Guanxi關繫 / 関繫 / 關係
关系 / 関係
kankeiguān xì / guan1 xi4 / guan xi / guanxikuan hsi / kuanhsi
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu遠上寒山石徑斜白雲生處有人家停車坐愛楓林晚霜葉紅於二月花
远上寒山石径斜白云生处有人家停车坐爱枫林晚霜叶红于二月花
yuǎn shàng hán shān shí jìng xiá bái yún shēng chù yǒu rén jiā tíng chē zuò ài fēng lín wǎn shuàng yè hóng yú èr yuè huā
yuan3 shang4 han2 shan1 shi2 jing4 xia2 bai2 yun2 sheng1 chu4 you3 ren2 jia1 ting2 che1 zuo4 ai4 feng1 lin2 wan3 shuang4 ye4 hong2 yu2 er4 yue4 hua1
yuan shang han shan shi jing xia bai yun sheng chu you ren jia ting che zuo ai feng lin wan shuang ye hong yu er yue hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng ch`u yu jen chia t`ing ch`e tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
yüan shang han shan shih ching hsia pai yün sheng chu yu jen chia ting che tso ai feng lin wan shuang yeh hung yü erh yüeh hua
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.


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Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Scroll
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Scroll
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Scroll
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Scroll


And formats...

Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Vertical Portrait
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Horizontal Wall Scroll
Mountain Travels Poem by Dumu Vertical Portrait
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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 Central Kanji, Central Characters, Central in Mandarin Chinese, Central Characters, Central in Chinese Writing, Central in Japanese Writing, Central in Asian Writing, Central Ideograms, Chinese Central symbols, Central Hieroglyphics, Central Glyphs, Central in Chinese Letters, Central Hanzi, Central in Japanese Kanji, Central Pictograms, Central in the Chinese Written-Language, or Central in the Japanese Written-Language.

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