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The first character means "for a particular person, occasion, or purpose", "focused on one single thing", "concentrated" and sometimes, "special".
The second character means "heart" or "mind" by itself.
Together, these two characters make a word that means, "paying attention with your heart". It's often translated as, "dedication", as in "be absorbed in" or "concentrate one's efforts". It's also used to mean, "with single mind", "whole-heartedly", "paying attention", "undivided attention", "concentration (-ed)", "engrossed", "devotionally (listening/watching)", and/or "attentive".
My favorite translation, which comes from the Oxford Advanced Chinese/English Dictionary is, "wholehearted devotion".
If it seems like the meaning of this word is quite open, you are correct. The context in which the word is used matters a lot. It can mean different things depending on how you use it. This makes it kind of nice as you can decide what this means to you (within some limits). This word is always positive in meaning, so even if a Chinese person reads it differently than you, it will still have a good meaning.
In Japanese, they tend to use a variation of the second character which has one less stroke. If you want your calligraphy written this Japanese form, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above. Note: Japanese and Chinese people will recognize either form.
See Also: Faith
忠義 is another form of loyalty or devotion.
In Chinese, this is more specifically about being loyal and devoted to your friends.
In Japanese, this is more often used to mean loyalty to your country or nation.
Except for the slight difference noted above between Japanese and Chinese, this word is understood universally in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. It can also be used to describe devotion or fidelity.
It should be noted that this Kanji combination is being used less and less in modern Japan (this is a better choice if your audience is Chinese, though any Japanese person will clearly understand it).
熱誠 is universal in Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.
It can mean earnestness, enthusiasm, ardor, zeal, devotion, spirit, or fervor.
至誠 is the idea that you enter into something with the utmost sincerity and fidelity. Ideas such as devotion, honesty, and "one's true heart" are also contained in this word.
至誠 is a universal word as the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja are all identical.
This title refers to the kind of love and devotion you might have to your children, or any loved one. This especially applied to your children but could also be any member of your family - spouse, etc.
This can also be translated as affection, kindness, love, to love affectionately.
慈愛 is also used in a Buddhist context with the same meaning.
In Japanese, this can also be a female given name romanized as Yasue.
獻身 is used to describe being so devoted to something that you will make sacrifices for that goal/thing/person.
You can also translate this word as any of the following:
This can be a dedication to or for someone but more often is used in reference to a dedication or making sacrifices for your country, public service, or a cause. For instance, an Olympic athlete makes great sacrifices to train in his/her sport for their country and compatriots.
While the form shown to the upper-left is considered an ancient Japanese version, in modern Japan, they use the simplified version of the first Kanji (shown to the right). Click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version.
If you are looking for a more religious meaning of devotion, see Faith.
精進 is a wide-ranging word that is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
It can mean devotion, diligence, concentration, aggressive, enterprising, vigorous, energetic, purification, pushing, asceticism, assiduity, or virility. 精進 is deep, and these two characters can express ideas that take a full English phrase to describe such as, "concentration of mind", "to forge ahead vigorously", or "to dedicate oneself to progress".
Used in the context of Buddhism, it means, "making earnest efforts to cultivate virtue and get rid of evil", or "zeal in one's quest for enlightenment".
從事 / 従事 is often used to describe the devotion someone has to their profession - However, it can just mean career, depending on context.
We don't highly-recommend this selection for a wall scroll.
In more simple terms, this word also means undertake / to deal with / to handle / to do. It does not have to refer to a career issue, as it could be used to encourage someone that is beginning their university studies etc.
This kind of makes sense in Japanese, however, there is a slight deviation in the way they write the first Kanji in Japanese.
Please note that Japanese use an alternate version of the first character. Click on the character to the right if you want the Japanese version of this two-character Devotion-to-your-Profession calligraphy.
熱愛 means love passionately, ardent love, devotion, adoration.
The literal meaning is "hot love", as the first character means heat, fervent, hot and warm. Sometimes it can mean fever, restless, or zeal. The second character is, of course, love. If you adore and are devoted to someone with all your love, this is the title for you.
信仰 means firm belief, faith, persuasion, conviction, and sometimes religion or creed in Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.
信仰 clearly fits religious connotation of the English word "devotion".
信仰 is often used to refer to a person of faith or a religious person.
This can be directly translated as "firm belief", "creed", "conviction" or simply as "religious" depending on context.
Some will also use this to mean "trust in God" in Japanese (though the term for God is not actually in this title).
It should be noted that this word is a little strange alone on a wall scroll.
While this can be pronounced in Japanese, it’s not a great selection for a wall scroll if your audience is Japanese.
忠実 is a Japanese way to write "Loyalty" - it also contains the ideas of being faithful, devoted, true, and obedient.
The second character is a modified form only used in the Japanese lexicon, however, Chinese speakers can easily guess the meaning.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|專心 / 専心 / 耑心|
|sen shin / senshin||zhuān xīn|
|chuu gi / chuugi / chu gi / chugi||zhōng yì / zhong1 yi4 / zhong yi / zhongyi||chung i / chungi|
|nessei / nesei||rè chéng / re4 cheng2 / re cheng / recheng||je ch`eng / jecheng / je cheng|
|Sincerity and Devotion||至誠|
|Love and Devotion||慈愛|
|jiai||cí ài / ci2 ai4 / ci ai / ciai||tz`u ai / tzuai / tzu ai|
|ken shin / kenshin||xiàn shēn|
|shoujin / shojin||jīng jìn / jing1 jin4 / jing jin / jingjin||ching chin / chingchin|
|Devotion to your Profession|
|從事 / 従事|
|jyuu ji / jyuuji / jyu ji / jyuji||cóng shì / cong2 shi4 / cong shi / congshi||ts`ung shih / tsungshih / tsung shih|
Ardent Love and Devotion
|netsu ai / netsuai||rè ài / re4 ai4 / re ai / reai||je ai / jeai|
Faith in God
|信仰||shin kou / shinkou / shin ko / shinko||xìn yǎng / xin4 yang3 / xin yang / xinyang||hsin yang / hsinyang|
|chuujitsu / chujitsu|
|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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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.
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The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
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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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