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This energy flow is a fundamental concept of traditional Asian culture.
氣 is romanized as "Qi" or "Chi" in Chinese, "Gi" in Korean, and "Ki" in Japanese.
Chi is believed to be part of everything that exists, as in "life force" or "spiritual energy". It is most often translated as "energy flow," or literally as "air" or "breath". Some people will simply translate this as "spirit" but you have to take into consideration the kind of spirit we're talking about. I think this is weighted more toward energy than spirit.
The character itself is a representation of steam (or breath) rising from rice. To clarify, the character for rice looks like this:
Steam was apparently seen as visual evidence of the release of "life energy" when this concept was first developed. The Qi / Chi / Ki character is still used in compound words to mean steam or vapor.
The etymology of this character is a bit complicated. It's suggested that the first form of this character from bronze script (about 2500 years ago) looked like these samples:
However, it was easy to confuse this with the character for the number three. So the rice radical was added by 221 B.C. (the exact time of this change is debated). This first version with the rice radical looks like this:
The idea of Qi / Chi / Ki is really a philosophical concept. It's often used to refer to the "flow" of metaphysical energy that sustains living beings. Yet there is much debate that has continued for thousands of years as to whether Qi / Chi / Ki is pure energy, or consists partially, or fully of matter.
You can also see the character for Qi / Chi / Ki in common compound words such as Tai Chi / Tai Qi, Aikido, Reiki and Qi Gong / Chi Kung.
In the modern Japanese Kanji, the rice radical has been changed into two strokes that form an X.
The original and traditional Chinese form is still understood in Japanese but we can also offer that modern Kanji form in our custom calligraphy. If you want this Japanese Kanji, please click on the character to the right, instead of the “Select and Customize” button above.
More language notes: This is pronounced like “chee” in Mandarin Chinese, and like “key” in Japanese.
This is also the same way to write this in Korean Hanja where it is Romanized as “gi” and pronounced like “gee” but with a real G-sound, not a J-sound.
Though Vietnamese no longer use Chinese characters in their daily language, this character is still widely known in Vietnam.
寧靜致遠 is an ancient Chinese idiom which means "tranquility yields transcendence."
This suggests pursuing a quiet life of profound study.
The first two characters mean tranquility. The last two characters mean "go far" which suggests achieving much in your life or expanding beyond normal limits. The direct translation would read something like, "[With] tranquility [in your life, you'll] go far."
Compare this to the English idiom: Still waters run deep.
犧牲 / 犠牲 means sacrifice in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
There is a suggestion in this word that this regards sacrificing your life.
Note: Depending on context, this can also mean victim or scapegoat in Japanese.
In original and ancient Chinese, this word referred to sacrificial animals. It can still have this meaning in a Buddhist context.
身 is how to write "body" as in your human body, in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja.
Depending on context and certain language issues, this character can also mean: main part, hull, oneself, somebody, person, I, me, sword, lifetime, one's station in life, etc.
While this written word is universal in three languages, it still makes a rather odd selection for a wall scroll. Also, they tend to use 体 (karada) in Japanese for body (depending on context).
See Also: Karada
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.
万歲 is the modern Japanese way to write banzai.
We've made two almost identical entries for this word, with just a variation on the first character. In the last century, 萬 was simplified to 万 in Japan and China. The new generation will expect it to be written as 万 but the old generation can still read the more traditional 萬 form. You must make your own determination as to what version is best for you. If your audience is mostly Japanese, I suggest 万歲.
While it has become a popular if not an odd thing to scream as you jump out of an airplane (preferably with a parachute attached), banzai is actually a very old Asian way to say "hooray." The Japanese word "banzai" comes from the Chinese word "wan sui" which means "The age of 10,000 years." It is actually a wish that the Emperor or the Empire live that long.
Imagine long ago as the Emperor made a rare public appearance. 万歲 is what all of the people would yell to their leader in respect.
So if you like is as a hooray, or you want to wish someone that they live for 10,000 years, this is the calligraphy for you.
To other things with banzai in their names; I am still waiting for the promised sequel to Buckaroo Banzai.
Other translations: hurrah, long life, congratulations, cheers, live long.
Notes: Sometimes people confuse banzai with bonsai. A bonsai is a miniature tree. They have nothing to do with each other. Further, bonzai is not a word at all - although it would make a great name for a calcium supplement for older people.
靈氣 is the title of a healing practice that is now found throughout the world but with origins in Japan.
Special note: Outside of the context of the healing practice of Reiki, this means "aura" or "spiritual essence that surrounds all living things." A Japanese person not familiar with the practice will take the "aura" meaning.
Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also heals. It can be compared to massage but is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If your life force energy is low, you'll be more likely to get sick or feel stress. If your life force energy is abundant and flowing well, you become more capable of being happy and healthy.
There is a lot of information available if you want to Google this term - my job is to offer the calligraphy, while you can decide if it is right for you.
Note: We are showing the ancient (traditional) form of the Reiki Kanji. I have seen Reiki written with both the slightly simplified version and this more classic form. If you want the form of Reiki with the two strokes in the shape of an X on the second character and the modern first character, simply click on the Kanji characters to the right.
Note: 靈氣 is also a Chinese word but in Chinese, these characters create a word that refers to a smart person or someone with high aspirations. It is not read as a healing method in Chinese.
In Korean Hanja, this can be read as "mysterious atmosphere" by a Korean who is not familiar with the practice of Reiki (still has a cool meaning in Korean).
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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|
气 / 気
|ki||qì / qi4 / qi||ch`i / chi|
|Tranquility Yields Transcendence||寧靜致遠|
|níng jìng zhì yuǎn|
ning2 jing4 zhi4 yuan3
ning jing zhi yuan
|ning ching chih yüan
|Sacrifice||犧牲 / 犠牲|
|gi sei / gisei||xī shēng / xi1 sheng1 / xi sheng / xisheng||hsi sheng / hsisheng|
|Body||身||mi||shēn / shen1 / shen|
|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
|Banzai||万歲 / 萬歲|
|banzai||wàn suì / wan4 sui4 / wan sui / wansui|
|reiki||líng qì / ling2 qi4 / ling qi / lingqi||ling ch`i / lingchi / ling chi|
|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 Chinese Still Life Kanji, Chinese Still Life Characters, Chinese Still Life in Mandarin Chinese, Chinese Still Life Characters, Chinese Still Life in Chinese Writing, Chinese Still Life in Japanese Writing, Chinese Still Life in Asian Writing, Chinese Still Life Ideograms, Chinese Chinese Still Life symbols, Chinese Still Life Hieroglyphics, Chinese Still Life Glyphs, Chinese Still Life in Chinese Letters, Chinese Still Life Hanzi, Chinese Still Life in Japanese Kanji, Chinese Still Life Pictograms, Chinese Still Life in the Chinese Written-Language, or Chinese Still Life in the Japanese Written-Language.
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