Enlightenment in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an Enlightenment calligraphy wall scroll here!

Personalize your custom “Enlightenment” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Enlightenment” title below...


  1. Enlightenment

  2. Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

  3. The Tree of Enlightenment / The Bodhi Tree

  4. Satori / Enlightenment

  5. Chop Wood, Carry Water

  6. Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment

  7. The True and Complete Enlightenment

  8. Enlightenment

  9. The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind

10. Kensho - Initial Enlightenment

11. Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha


Enlightenment

qǐ méng
keimou
Enlightenment Scroll

啟蒙 is the Chinese word for enlightenment.

The first character means to open, to start, to begin, to commence or to explain. The second character means deception or ignorance. Basically, it suggests that enlightenment is the opening or cutting through what deceives you in the world or the ignorance of the world. This title can also mean "to educate".


啓The Japanese and Korean version of the first character of this title varies slightly from the Chinese. Please click on the Kanji to the right, instead of the button above, if you want the Japanese/Korean version.

Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

pú tí
bodai
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment Scroll

The Bodhi or 菩提 is the moment of completion in Buddhism.

It is when all things become known, and you have completed your journey to enlightenment.

The reference is to the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment" but if you want the full version with the character for tree on the end, please see our other entry.


See Also:  Buddhism | Buddha | Nirvana

The Tree of Enlightenment / The Bodhi Tree

pú tí shù
bodaiju
The Tree of Enlightenment / The Bodhi Tree Scroll

菩提樹 is the full title of the Bodhi tree (a fig tree) under which Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment.

Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment". If you don't have a Bodhi tree to sit under, maybe you can achieve your enlightenment under a wall scroll with this title.

Satori / Enlightenment

sato / go
Satori / Enlightenment Scroll

悟 means enlightenment but can also mean to perceive, discern, realize, understand or comprehend.

悟 has the same meaning in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, though used most often with deep significance in Japanese culture and language. 悟 is often seen in Japan with a secondary Hiragana character. We also offer that option but this is the more universal single-character entry.

Satori / Enlightenment

satori
Satori / Enlightenment Scroll

悟り is the Japanese term for enlightenment which can also mean to perceive, discern, realize, understand or comprehend.

The first character has the same meaning in Chinese and Korean but has deeper significance in Japanese culture and language. This version of Satori incorporates the Japanese secondary character (which is Hiragana, not Kanji) that adds the "ri" to Satori. It's not totally necessary to have the second character, as it does not add to the meaning as much as clarity for the context in which you are using this term.

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Before enlightenment or after, chores remain.

dùn wù zhī qián kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ dùn wù zhī hòu kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ
Chop Wood, Carry Water Scroll

頓悟之前砍柴挑水。頓悟之後砍柴挑水。 means, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

This Chinese proverb is attributed to 吴力 (Wú Lì) who lived between 1632 and 1718 - living part of his life as a devout Buddhist, and many years as a Catholic Jesuit Priest in China - what an interesting life!

This has been explained many times in many ways. I am a Buddhist, and here is my brief take on this proverb...

Before enlightenment, one may find daily chores mundane, tedious, and boring. However, upon reaching enlightenment one is not relieved of the details of daily life. An enlightened person will, however, see such chores as a joy, and do them mindfully.


There is another version floating around, which is 在你領悟之前砍柴、運水。在你領悟之後,砍柴、運水。
If you want this other version, just contact me. The meaning is the same, just different phrasing.

Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment

bù bǐ bù zhī dào yī bǐ xià yì tiào
Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment Scroll

This Chinese proverb literally means: [If one not does] not make comparisons, [one will] not know [the truth] when [one] compares, [one will be] greatly surprised.

This goes to the idea that if you do not know bad times, you cannot know what good times are.
...And...
You can not know light without experiencing darkness.

Another way to translate this would be: If you wish to be enlightened, you need to make comparisons and analyze every aspect (of a situation, issue or problem).

The True and Complete Enlightenment

zhēn jué
shinkaku
The True and Complete Enlightenment Scroll

眞覺 means true and complete enlightenment.

This can refer to the perfect nirvana of the Buddha or the perception of ultimate truth or true awareness of all things (reality and unreality).

Enlightenment

zhì zhēn jué
shi shin kaku
Enlightenment Scroll

至眞覺 represents the enlightenment of one who has attained the ultimate truth.

This would be the state of an enlightened or liberated person in the context of Buddhism. A goal that all should want to attain and aspire for.

The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind

jué xìng
kakushou
The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind Scroll

覺性 represents "The enlightened mind free from all illusion", "The nature of enlightenment in one's mind", or "The Buddha-nature".

To reach this "enlightened nature", one must form their mind into and utilize their mind as the agent of knowledge, or enlightenment.

Kensho - Initial Enlightenment

jiàn xìng
ken shou
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment Scroll

This has the same meaning as Satori but referring to the initial state or initial experience of enlightenment.

This can also mean "self-discovery", "self-awareness" or "consciousness of one's own character".

In a very religious context, this means to behold the Buddha-nature within oneself.


This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people. Some Japanese people will dispute whether this title is valid in the Japanese language. Only order this if you are sure this title is right for you.


See Also:  Buddhism

Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

ken shou jou butsu
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll

見性成仏 or Kenshō Jōbutsu is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

Kenshō Jōbutsu is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成仏 is probably better translated as "Seeing one’s nature and becoming a Buddha".


See Also:  Buddhism


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Enlightenment啟蒙
启蒙
keimou / keimoqǐ méng / qi3 meng2 / qi meng / qimengch`i meng / chimeng / chi meng
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment菩提bodaipú tí / pu2 ti2 / pu ti / putip`u t`i / puti / pu ti
The Tree of Enlightenment
The Bodhi Tree
菩提樹
菩提树
bodaijupú tí shù
pu2 ti2 shu4
pu ti shu
putishu
p`u t`i shu
putishu
pu ti shu
Satori
Enlightenment
sato / gowù / wu4 / wu
Satori
Enlightenment
悟りsatori
Chop Wood, Carry Water頓悟之前砍柴挑水頓悟之后砍柴挑水
顿悟之前砍柴挑水顿悟之后砍柴挑水
dùn wù zhī qián kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ dùn wù zhī hòu kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ
dun4 wu4 zhi1 qian2 kan3 chai2 tiao1 shui3 dun4 wu4 zhi1 hou4 kan3 chai2 tiao1 shui3
dun wu zhi qian kan chai tiao shui dun wu zhi hou kan chai tiao shui
tun wu chih ch`ien k`an ch`ai t`iao shui tun wu chih hou k`an ch`ai t`iao shui
tun wu chih chien kan chai tiao shui tun wu chih hou kan chai tiao shui
Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment不比不知道一比嚇一跳
不比不知道一比吓一跳
bù bǐ bù zhī dào yī bǐ xià yì tiào
bu4 bi3 bu4 zhi1 dao4 yi1 bi3 xia4 yi4 tiao4
bu bi bu zhi dao yi bi xia yi tiao
pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i t`iao
pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i tiao
The True and Complete Enlightenment眞覺
眞觉
shinkakuzhēn jué / zhen1 jue2 / zhen jue / zhenjuechen chüeh / chenchüeh
Enlightenment至眞覺
至眞觉
shi shin kaku
shishinkaku
zhì zhēn jué
zhi4 zhen1 jue2
zhi zhen jue
zhizhenjue
chih chen chüeh
chihchenchüeh
The Nature of Enlightenment in One's Mind覺性
觉性
kakushou / kakushojué xìng / jue2 xing4 / jue xing / juexingchüeh hsing / chüehhsing
Kensho - Initial Enlightenment見性
见性
ken shou / kenshou / ken shojiàn xìng
jian4 xing4
jian xing
jianxing
chien hsing
chienhsing
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
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...


Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll


And formats...

Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Vertical Portrait
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Horizontal Wall Scroll
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Vertical Portrait
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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.


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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Enlightenment Kanji, Enlightenment Characters, Enlightenment in Mandarin Chinese, Enlightenment Characters, Enlightenment in Chinese Writing, Enlightenment in Japanese Writing, Enlightenment in Asian Writing, Enlightenment Ideograms, Chinese Enlightenment symbols, Enlightenment Hieroglyphics, Enlightenment Glyphs, Enlightenment in Chinese Letters, Enlightenment Hanzi, Enlightenment in Japanese Kanji, Enlightenment Pictograms, Enlightenment in the Chinese Written-Language, or Enlightenment in the Japanese Written-Language.

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