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This single character means to win or be victorious.
This can also be translated: To overcome; success; to beat; to defeat; to surpass; superior to; to get the better of; better than; surpassing; superb.
In other context, this can mean: Beautiful (scenery); scenic spot; scenic beauty.
In Taiwanese Mandarin, this can be pronounced with the first tone (sheng1) and mean: Able to bear; equal to (a task).
In Japan, this can also be the name Masaru.
In Korea, this has the same meaning but can also be the surname Sŭng.
This is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself, and thus with this complete understanding, you cannot lose.
This proverb is often somewhat-directly translated as, "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without defeat".
It can also be translated as, "If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can come out of hundreds of battles without danger", or "Know your enemy, know yourself, and your victory will not be threatened".
In modern Japanese, this means to take something very seriously.
The literal and historic meaning is "real sword battle". In old times, a Samurai apprentice would practice with a wooden practice sword. Once they were trained and qualified, they would wield a real steal sword, made for battle and killing. They were ready for a "death match" or Shinken Shobu.
真剣 is an adjective that has come to mean serious or earnest. The literal translation being "real sword".
勝負 in the simplest terms means match, contest, game, or bout. Depending on the context, it could also mean victory or defeat, winning and losing, or the outcome of a battle.
There is a suggestion in Shinken Shobu that you train with serious and real intent, as we should train with the same fervor and dedication as if the battle was real. "Train as we fight".
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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|
|No arrogance in victory, No despair in defeat.||勝不驕敗不餒|
|shèng bù jiāo bài bù něi|
sheng4 bu4 jiao1 bai4 bu4 nei3
sheng bu jiao bai bu nei
|sheng pu chiao pai pu nei
|shou / sho||shèng / sheng4 / sheng|
|Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose||知彼知己百戰不殆|
|zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài|
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1 bai3 zhan4 bu2 dai4
zhi bi zhi ji bai zhan bu dai
|chih pi chih chi pai chan pu tai|
|Shinken Shobu||真剣勝負||shinken shoubu|
|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.
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