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Chinese Warriors in Chinese...

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See also: Bushido - Code of the Samurai Warrior


  1. Warriors: Quality Over Quantity

  2. Warriors Adapt and Overcome

  3. Warrior

  4. Paladin

  5. Samurai

  6. Harmony / Balance

  7. Hua Mulan

  8. Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

  9. Katana


Warriors: Quality Over Quantity

bīng zài jīng ér bú zài duō
Warriors: Quality Over Quantity Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally means: [The value of] soldiers/warriors lies in [their] quality, not [just] in [their] quantity.

In simple terms, this says that in regard to warriors, quality is better than quantity.

Most tacticians will agree that this can aid in the factor known as "force multiplication". Having good troops, of high morale, excellent training, and good discipline is like having a force that is three times larger.


See Also:  兵在精

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Soldiers need a fluid plan
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll

This literally translates as: Troops/soldiers/warriors have no fixed [battlefield] strategy [just as] water has no constant shape [but adapts itself to whatever container it is in].

Figuratively, this means: One should seek to find whatever strategy or method is best suited to resolving each individual problem.

This proverb is about as close as you can get to the military idea of "adapt improvise overcome". This is best way to express that idea in both an ancient way, and a very natural way in Chinese.

Warrior

wǔ shì
bu shi
Warrior Scroll

The first character is the spirit or essence of a warrior. The second character means soldier, officer, or official. 武士 is also used appropriately enough to describe a piece of a chess game. This can also be translated as soldier, cavalier, palace guard, or samurai and sometimes as knight. I've occasionally seen this translated as strong man or tough man (gender not necessarily implied).

By far, this is the most common way to write warrior in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Note: In Japanese, this is Bushi, as in Bushido.


See Also:  Knight | Army | Marines | Samurai

Paladin

shèng qí shì
Paladin Scroll

聖騎士 is how Paladin is written in Chinese.

This title originates from the warriors of Charlemagne's court.
The literal translation of this Chinese title is something like, "Saintly Knight".

Samurai

shì
samurai
Samurai Scroll

In Japanese, 侍 represents the warriors that attempted to hold peace when there was no Emperor in Japan.

Be cautious though, as it is an old way to express "servant" or "waiter" in Chinese and Korean. Of course, if you are a samurai, you are a servant to your Shogun-ate, Lord, or the people (which is the root meaning).


See Also:  Warrior

Harmony / Balance

tiáo hé
chou wa
Harmony / Balance Scroll

調和 is one of the several ways to express harmony in Chinese and Japanese.

Note: The first character means harmony, but also suggests a musical meaning. It can also be used to describe warriors marching in perfect cadence (in step) or to regulate something.
The second character carries the meaning of harmony and peace by itself.

Together, these characters create a word that can be defined as harmonious; to mediate; to reconcile; to compromise; mediation; temper; to mix; to blend; blended; to season; seasoning (getting the flavors of the food in balance); to placate; be in harmonious proportion.

The meaning obviously varies depending on context. However, when hanging as a wall scroll, this will refer to the person (you) being balanced and in harmony while rational and under control at the same time.


See Also:  Musician | Dance

Hua Mulan

huā mù lán
Hua Mulan Scroll

花木蘭 is the name of the famous Chinese woman warrior Hua Mulan.

She was made famous in the west by Disney's animated movie, "Mulan".

Most of the historical information about her comes from an ancient poem. It starts with a concerned Mulan, as she is told a man from each family is to serve conscription in the army. Her father is too old, and her brother is too young. Mulan decides to take the place of her father. After twelve years of war, the army returns and the best warriors are awarded great posts in the government and riches. Mulan turns down all offers, and asks only for a good horse for the long trip home. When Mulan greets visiting comrades wearing her old clothes, they are shocked to find the warrior they rode into battle with for years was actually a woman.

Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

wǔ shì dào
bu shi do
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai Scroll

武士道 is the title for "The Code of the Samurai".

Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai", "The Bushido Code", or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry".

This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior", "The Warrior's Way", or "The Warrior's Code".

It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan and thought of as being of Japanese origin.

The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Rectitude 義, Courage 勇, Benevolence 仁, Respect 礼(禮), Honour 名誉, Honesty 誠, and Loyalty 忠実. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Samurai | Warrior

Katana

Japanese Samurai Sword
dāo
katana
Katana Scroll

刀 is the Japanese Kanji for "sword". This refers to the style of sword carried by warriors, samurai, and shogun of ancient Japan.

With the pacification of Japan, such swords are now only used for ceremony and decoration. The true art of sword-smithing is all but lost in Japan with new sword production dedicated to making inexpensive replicas for the tourist and foreign market.

For those of you that want to ask whether I can get you a real antique sword. Let me tell you that most real Asian swords were melted down after WWII in Japan, and during the Great Leap Forward in China. Any remaining swords are family heirlooms that nobody will part with.

Please carefully note that the Japanese kanji character shown above is only for a Japanese audience. In China, this character means "knife". See our other entry for "sword" in Chinese.
Note: 刀 can mean knife, sword, or blade in Korean, depending on context.


See Also:  Sword




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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
Warriors: Quality Over Quantity兵在精而不在多bīng zài jīng ér bú zài duō
bing1 zai4 jing1 er2 bu2 zai4 duo1
bing zai jing er bu zai duo
bingzaijingerbuzaiduo
ping tsai ching erh pu tsai to
pingtsaichingerhputsaito
Warriors Adapt and Overcome兵無常勢水無常形
兵无常势水无常形
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
bing1 wu2 chang2 shi4 shui3 wu2 chang2 xing2
bing wu chang shi shui wu chang xing
ping wu ch`ang shih shui wu ch`ang hsing
ping wu chang shih shui wu chang hsing
Warrior武士bu shi / bushiwǔ shì / wu3 shi4 / wu shi / wushiwu shih / wushih
Paladin聖騎士
圣骑士
shèng qí shì
sheng4 qi2 shi4
sheng qi shi
shengqishi
sheng ch`i shih
shengchishih
sheng chi shih
Samuraisamuraishì / shi4 / shishih
Harmony
Balance
調和
调和
chou wa / chouwa / cho wa / chowatiáo hé / tiao2 he2 / tiao he / tiaohet`iao ho / tiaoho / tiao ho
Hua Mulan花木蘭
花木兰
huā mù lán
hua1 mu4 lan2
hua mu lan
huamulan
Bushido
The Way of the Samurai
武士道bu shi do / bushidowǔ shì dào
wu3 shi4 dao4
wu shi dao
wushidao
wu shih tao
wushihtao
Katanakatanadāo / dao1 / daotao
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...


Katana Scroll
Katana Scroll
Katana Scroll
Katana Scroll


And formats...

Katana Vertical Portrait
Katana Horizontal Wall Scroll
Katana Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Chinese Warriors in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.
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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.

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