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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."
積極 closely matches the way initiative is often used in English. 積極 can also mean active, energetic, vigorous, positive (outlook), or proactive in Chinese.
The meaning also includes positive and progressive in Japanese and Korean.
This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word can be defined as energy, vitality, vigor, vital force, enthusiasm, energetic, or dynamism.
This Japanese proverb can be translated as, "flourish and wither, prosper and perish," "life is full of fortune and misfortune," or simply "vicissitudes of life."
This is about the rise and fall of human affairs or the ups and downs of life. Prosperity comes and goes, everything is fleeting and temporary but like waves, another swell of prosperity may come.
Here's how the Kanji break down in this proverb:
栄 = prosper; thrive; flourish; boom.
枯 = wither; die.
盛 = prosperous; flourishing; thriving; successful; energetic; vigorous; enthusiastic.
衰 = become weaker; decline; get weak; die down; subside; abate; fail.
Notes: The original version of the first character looks like the image to the right. In modern Japan, they simplified that Kanji a bit into the version shown above. If you have a preference for which style is used for your calligraphy, please let me know when you place your order.
Apparently, with that original version of the first character, this is also used in Korean Hanja. However, I have not confirmed that it's used in the same way or is widely-known in Korean.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shoujin / shojin||jīng jìn / jing1 jin4 / jing jin / jingjin||ching chin / chingchin|
|sekkyoku / sekyoku||jī jí / ji1 ji2 / ji ji / jiji||chi chi / chichi|
|能量||nou ryou / nouryou / no ryo / noryo||néng liáng|
|活力||katsuryoku||huó lì / huo2 li4 / huo li / huoli|
|活力四射||huó lì sì shè|
huo2 li4 si4 she4
huo li si she
|huo li ssu she
|Rise and Fall|
Ups and Downs
|栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰|
|ei ko sei sui|
|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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