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2. Earth Dragon
13. Life is Short
14. Pure Land / Jodo
15. Four Elements
24. Immovable Mind
地球 is the name of the earth (our planet) in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.
If you love the earth, or want to be reminded of where your home is in the solar system, this is the wall scroll for you.
地 is the single-character element and title of the planet Earth in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.
Because this is a single-character, the definition is a little ambiguous, and can have many meanings depending on the context in which it is used. These meanings include: earth, ground, land, soil, dirt, place, territory, bottom (of a package, book, etc.), earth (one of the Japanese five elements), the region in question, the local area, skin, texture, fabric, material, weave, base, background, one's true nature, narrative (i.e. descriptive part of a story), real life, actuality, etc.
In Japanese, this Kanji can be pronounced several ways, including chi, ji, tsushi, or tsuchi.
地 is also an element of the Japanese version of the five elements (the original Chinese version uses a different version of earth).
土 is earth, soil, ground or Terra.
Earth is one of the five elements that ancient Chinese believed all things were composed of. These elements are also part of the cycle of Chinese astrology. Every person has both an animal sign, and one of the five elements according to the date of their birth.
天地 is "Heaven and Earth" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
This title is used in many different contexts. It can be a general term but also used by Buddhists and in other religions.
This can also be used to refer to all of nature, the universe, the top and bottom, realm of life, or sphere of existence.
身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.
身土不二 literally reads, "Body [and] earth [are] not two".
Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).
Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is used often when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.
Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body rather a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, in can refer to the land or realm we live in.
Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is "healthy propaganda".
Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source for Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize 身土不二 as a native phrase and concept.
See Also: Strength and Love in Unity
金木水火土 is a list of the Chinese characters for the five elements in a comfortable order (meaning that they simply "feel right" to a Chinese person who views this arrangement).
The order is metal, wood, water, fire, earth.
Note that sometimes the metal element is translated as gold. And earth refers to soil versus the whole planet earth.
地水火風空 is the specifically-Japanese version of the five elements.
地水火風空 is a little different than the ancient or original Chinese version.
The elements are written in this order:
1. Earth / Terra / Ground
4. Wind / Air
5. Sky / Emptiness / Void / Ether
Note: This set of Kanji can also be romanized as "ji sui ka fuu kuu", "jisuikafuukuu", or "jisuikafuku".
These can also be written in the order 地火風水空 (chi ka sui fuu kuu). Let me know when you place your order if you want the Kanji to be in this character order.
五行 is the title of the five elements which are: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal.
The first character means "5" and the second character is simply "elements".
According to ancient Chinese science, all matter in the world is made up of these elements. One idea presented with the five elements is that when energy is added, matter is believed to expand. When energy is removed, matter contracts. Oddly, this concept is not far from Einstein's theories, and modern science. Just a few thousand years before Einstein.
More info: Wikipedia - Five Elements (Wu Xing).
土星 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for the planet Saturn.
The literal meaning of these characters is "earth star". The earth character is on of the five elements of Chinese culture. This earth character regards soil or dirt, not the planet Earth.
Saturn has been titled 土星 for at least 2000 years.
In Buddhism, this is mahābhūta, the four elements of which all things are made: earth, water, fire, and wind.
This can also represent the four freedoms: speaking out freely, airing views fully, holding great debates, and writing big-character posters.
In some context, this can be a university or college offering four-year programs.
To others, this can represent the Tao, Heaven, Earth and King.
Going back to the Buddhist context, these four elements "earth, water, fire, and wind" represent 堅, 濕, 煖, 動, which is: solid, liquid, heat, and motion.
This four-character proverb suggests that you should be practical, realistic, and grounded.
Some translate this as a suggestion to be down-to-earth.
The first character means "feet".
The second means "step on" or "stand".
The third means "solid", "real", or "true".
The last character means "ground", "earth", or "terra".
Literally this means, "[keep your] Feet Standing [on] Solid Ground".
星 is how "star" is written in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.
Thousands of years ago, when this character was first developed, there was belief that you could see remnants of stars in everything. In fact, some early Chinese men of science suggested that all living things came from "stardust" or cosmic debris. This could explain why the upper portion of this character mans "sun" (a star itself) and the lower portion means "birth" or "life".
Oddly enough, modern-day scientists suggest that we are all made up of cosmic dust. Seems they were getting it right in China at a time when the western world thought the Earth was flat and the Church was claiming that the sun and all cosmic bodies revolved around the Earth.
This Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean word means shell or carapace.
This can also refer to the earth's crust or the husk of a seed or nut.
This literally means "pure land" or "clean earth".
淨土 is also the abbreviated title of a Buddhist sect which involves faith in rebirth of Buddha Amitabha (Amitābha) in the Western Heaven. Sometimes this sect is translated as "Paradise of the West". Other titles of this school of Buddhism include Amidism or Elvsium.
地水火風 is a Buddhist term that means "earth, water, fire, wind".
地水火風 is often just referred to as "the four elements". There is a more common title (the five elements) which adds wood to the mix. These four elements are used in some sects of Japanese Buddhism (not so much in Chinese).
This is an entry from the 10th section within the Earth/Terrain chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War.
This is often translated as, "Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death".
仙 means immortal (as in a being or person).
In some context, it can mean hermit, ascetic, man of the hills, or wizard. The Buddha is often put in this category.
In Chinese mythology and folklore, there is a famous group of eight immortals (八仙).
The 楞嚴經 (Śūraṅgama Sūtra) speaks of many kinds of immortals including walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will (into space or into the deva heavens), beings with the ability to transform themselves into any form, etc.
五大 is the Japanese title for the five elements.
In Japan, the five elements differ slightly from the original Chinese. Therefore, in Japanese philosophy you have: earth, water, fire, wind and void (space).
The meaning of the first character is 5, but the second character means great or large. Some translate this as the five majors. 大 is only understood to be "elements" when you have 五 in front of it.
In Buddhism, this can be short for 五大明王, or the five great and wise kings.
This Chinese military proverb means, counter soldiers with arms, and counter water with an earthen dam.
This is about how different situations call for different action. You must adopt measures appropriate to the actual situation.
To explain the actual proverb, one would not attack a flood of water with gunfire, nor would you counter-attack soldiers by building an earth weir. You must be adaptable and counter whatever threatens with relevant action.
This proverb can also be translated as "The whole world is one family".
It is used to mean that all humans are related under heaven.
The first two characters can be translated as "the world", "whole country", "descended from heaven", "earth under heaven", "the public" or "the ruling power".
The second two characters can mean "one family", "a household", "one's folks", "a house" or "a home". Usually this is read as "a family".
Note: This proverb can be understood in Japanese, though not commonly used.
地獄 is the way that hell is written in modern Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
There's more than one way to express hell but this is the one that has stood the test of time.
The first character refers to the ground or the earth.
The second character means jail or prison.
You can also translate this word as infernal, inferno, Hades, or underworld.
It should be noted that this is a somewhat terrible selection for a wall scroll. Hanging this in your home is like telling the world that your home is hell. Oddly, a lot of people search for this on our website, so I added it for reference.
This text is the first chapter of the Daodejing / Tao Te Ching.
The text reads:
道可道、非常道。名可名、非常名。 無名天地之始 有名萬物之母。故常無欲以觀其妙、常有欲以觀其徼。此兩者同出而異名。同謂之玄。玄之又玄、衆妙之門。
This classical Chinese passage comes from the Mawangdui (馬王堆帛書) text.
不動心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet.
Under that context, places such as the Budo Dojo define it this way: An unshakable mind and an immovable spirit is the state of fudoshin. It is courage and stability displayed both mentally and physically. Rather than indicating rigidity and inflexibility, fudoshin describes a condition that is not easily upset by internal thoughts or external forces. It is capable of receiving a strong attack while retaining composure and balance. It receives and yields lightly, grounds to the earth, and reflects aggression back to the source.
Other translations of this title include imperturbability, steadfastness, keeping a cool head in an emergency, or keeping one's calm (during a fight).
The first two Kanji alone mean immobility, firmness, fixed, steadfastness, motionless, idle.
The last Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
Together, these three Kanji create a title that is defined as "immovable mind" within the context of Japanese martial arts. However, in Chinese it would mean "motionless heart" and in Korean Hanja, "wafting heart" or "floating heart".
太極拳 is the famous Taoist meditation and martial art exercise. The direct translation of these characters would be something like "grand ultimate fist" but that does not quite hit the mark for what this title really means.
An early-morning walk through any city in China near a park or open area will yield a view of Chinese people practicing this ancient technique.
The typical scene is an old man of no less than 80 years on this earth, with a wispy white beard and perhaps a sword in one hand. He makes slow moves that are impossibly smooth. He is steady-footed, and always in balance. For him, time is meaningless and proper form and technique is far more important than speed.
For the younger generation, faster moves may look impressive and seem smooth to the casual observer. But far more discipline and mental strength is needed to create perfectly smooth moves in virtual slow motion.
Note: There are two ways to Romanize these Chinese characters as seen in the title above. The pronunciation and actual characters are the same in Chinese. If you really used English sounds/words to pronounce this, it would be something like "tie jee chew-on" (just make the "chew-on" as one flowing syllable).
The first chapter of Sun Tzu's Art of War lists five key points to analyzing your situation.
It reads like a 5-part military proverb. Sun Tzu says that to sharpen your skills, you must plan. To plan well, you must know your situation. Therefore, you must consider and discuss the following:
1. Philosophy and Politics: Make sure your way or your policy is agreeable among all of your troops (and the citizens of your kingdom as well). For when your soldiers believe in you and your way, they will follow you to their deaths without hesitation, and will not question your orders.
2. Heaven/Sky: Consider climate / weather. This can also mean to consider whether God is smiling on you. In the modern military, this could be waiting for clear skies so that you can have air support for an amphibious landing.
3. Ground/Earth: Consider the terrain in which the battle will take place. This includes analyzing defensible positions, exit routes, and using varying elevation to your advantage. When you plan an ambush, you must know your terrain, and the best location from which to stage that ambush. This knowledge will also help you avoid being ambushed, as you will know where the likely places in which to expect an ambush from your enemy.
4. Leadership: This applies to you as the general, and also to your lieutenants. A leader should be smart and be able to develop good strategies. Leaders should keep their word, and if they break a promise, they should punish themselves as harshly as they would punish subordinates. Leaders should be benevolent to their troops, with almost a fatherly love for them. Leaders must have the ability to make brave and fast decisions. Leaders must have steadfast principles.
5. [Military] Methods: This can also mean laws, rules, principles, model, or system. You must have an efficient organization in place to manage both your troops and supplies. In the modern military, this would be a combination of how your unit is organized, and your SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
Notes: This is a simplistic translation and explanation. Much more is suggested in the actual text of the Art of War (Bing Fa). It would take a lot of study to master all of these aspects. In fact, these five characters can be compared to the modern military acronyms such as BAMCIS or SMEAC.
CJK notes: I have included the Japanese and Korean pronunciations but in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, this does not make a typical phrase (with subject, verb, and object) it is a list that only someone familiar with Sun Tzu’s writings would understand.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Earth||地球||chi kyuu / chikyuu / chi kyu / chikyu||dì qiú / di4 qiu2 / di qiu / diqiu||ti ch`iu / tichiu / ti chiu|
|Earth||地||chi / ji / tsushi / tsuchi||dì / di4 / di||ti|
|Earth||土||tsuchi||tǔ / tu3 / tu||t`u / tu|
|dì lóng / di4 long2 / di long / dilong||ti lung / tilung|
|Heaven and Earth||天地||tenchi||tiān dì / tian1 di4 / tian di / tiandi||t`ien ti / tienti / tien ti|
|Body and Earth in Unity||身土不二||shindofuni / shindofuji|
|Five Elements||金木水火土||jīn mù shuǐ huǒ tǔ|
jin1 mu4 shui3 huo3 tu3
jin mu shui huo tu
|chin mu shui huo t`u
chin mu shui huo tu
|chi sui ka fuu kuu|
chi sui ka fu ku
|Five Elements||五行||gogyou / gogyo||wǔ xíng / wu3 xing2 / wu xing / wuxing||wu hsing / wuhsing|
|Saturn||土星||to shou / toshou / to sho / tosho||tǔ xīng / tu3 xing1 / tu xing / tuxing||t`u hsing / tuhsing / tu hsing|
|四大||shi dai / shidai||sì dà / si4 da4 / si da / sida||ssu ta / ssuta|
|Keep Your Feet on the Ground||腳踏實地|
|jiǎo tà shí dì|
jiao3 ta4 shi2 di4
jiao ta shi di
|chiao t`a shih ti
chiao ta shih ti
|zàng hóng huā|
zang4 hong2 hua1
zang hong hua
|tsang hung hua
|Star||星||hoshi||xīng / xing1 / xing||hsing|
|koku||qiào / qiao4 / qiao||ch`iao / chiao|
|tā shí / ta1 shi2 / ta shi / tashi||t`a shih / tashih / ta shih|
|Life is Short||百歲光陰如過客|
|bǎi suì guāng yīn rú guò kè|
bai3 sui4 guang1 yin1 ru2 guo4 ke4
bai sui guang yin ru guo ke
|pai sui kuang yin ju kuo k`o
pai sui kuang yin ju kuo ko
|jou do / joudo / jo do / jodo||jìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtu||ching t`u / chingtu / ching tu|
|dì shuǐ huǒ fēng|
di4 shui3 huo3 feng1
di shui huo feng
|ti shui huo feng
|Sun Tzu: Regard Your Soldiers as Children||視卒如嬰兒故可以與之赴深溪視卒如愛子故可與之俱死|
|shì cù rú yīng ér gù kě yǐ yú zhī fù shēn xī shì cù rú ài zǐ gù kě yú zhī jū sǐ|
shi4 cu4 ru2 ying1 er2 gu4 ke3 yi3 yu2 zhi1 fu4 shen1 xi1 shi4 cu4 ru2 ai4 zi3 gu4 ke3 yu2 zhi1 ju1 si3
shi cu ru ying er gu ke yi yu zhi fu shen xi shi cu ru ai zi gu ke yu zhi ju si
|shih ts`u ju ying erh ku k`o i yü chih fu shen hsi shih ts`u ju ai tzu ku k`o yü chih chü ssu
shih tsu ju ying erh ku ko i yü chih fu shen hsi shih tsu ju ai tzu ku ko yü chih chü ssu
|Immortal||仙||sento / sen||xiān / xian1 / xian||hsien|
|han ryuu / hanryuu / han ryu / hanryu||pān lóng / pan1 long2 / pan long / panlong||p`an lung / panlung / pan lung|
|五大||godai||wǔ dà / wu3 da4 / wu da / wuda||wu ta / wuta|
|Soldiers Adapt Actions to the Situation||兵來將擋水來土掩|
|bīng lái jiàng dǎng shuǐ lái tǔ yǎn|
bing1 lai2 jiang4 dang3 shui3 lai2 tu3 yan3
bing lai jiang dang shui lai tu yan
|ping lai chiang tang shui lai t`u yen
ping lai chiang tang shui lai tu yen
|One Family Under Heaven||天下一家||tenka ikka / tenkaikka / tenka ika / tenkaika||tiān xià yī jiā|
tian1 xia4 yi1 jia1
tian xia yi jia
|t`ien hsia i chia
tien hsia i chia
|jigoku||dì yù / di4 yu4 / di yu / diyu||ti yü / tiyü|
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 1
|dào kě dào fēi cháng dào míng kě míng fēi cháng míng wú míng tiān dì zhī shǐ yǒu míng wàn wù zhī mǔ gù cháng wú yù yǐ guān qí miào cháng yǒu yù yǐ guān qí zhēng cǐ liǎng zhě tóng chū ér yì míng tóng wèi zhī xuán xuán zhī yòu xuán zhòng miào zhī mén|
dao4 ke3 dao4 fei1 chang2 dao4 ming2 ke3 ming2 fei1 chang2 ming2 wu2 ming2 tian1 di4 zhi1 shi3 you3 ming2 wan4 wu4 zhi1 mu3 gu4 chang2 wu2 yu4 yi3 guan1 qi2 miao4 chang2 you3 yu4 yi3 guan1 qi2 jiao3 ci3 liang3 zhe3 tong2 chu1 er2 yi4 ming2 tong2 wei4 zhi1 xuan2 xuan2 zhi1 you4 xuan2 zhong4 miao4 zhi1 men2
dao ke dao fei chang dao ming ke ming fei chang ming wu ming tian di zhi shi you ming wan wu zhi mu gu chang wu yu yi guan qi miao chang you yu yi guan qi jiao ci liang zhe tong chu er yi ming tong wei zhi xuan xuan zhi you xuan zhong miao zhi men
|tao k`o tao fei ch`ang tao ming k`o ming fei ch`ang ming wu ming t`ien ti chih shih yu ming wan wu chih mu ku ch`ang wu yü i kuan ch`i miao ch`ang yu yü i kuan ch`i chiao tz`u liang che t`ung ch`u erh i ming t`ung wei chih hsüan hsüan chih yu hsüan chung miao chih men
tao ko tao fei chang tao ming ko ming fei chang ming wu ming tien ti chih shih yu ming wan wu chih mu ku chang wu yü i kuan chi miao chang yu yü i kuan chi chiao tzu liang che tung chu erh i ming tung wei chih hsüan hsüan chih yu hsüan chung miao chih men
|Immovable Mind||不動心||fu dou shin|
fu do shin
|Tai Chi Chuan|
Tai Ji Quan
|tai kyoku ken|
|tài jí quán|
tai4 ji2 quan2
tai ji quan
|t`ai chi ch`üan
tai chi chüan
|Art of War: 5 Points of Analysis||道天地將法|
|dou ten chi shou hou|
do ten chi sho ho
|dào tiān dì jiàng fǎ|
dao4 tian1 di4 jiang4 fa3
dao tian di jiang fa
|tao t`ien ti chiang fa
tao tien ti chiang fa
|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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