Essence of a Warrior in Chinese / Japanese...

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See also: Bushido - Code of the Samurai Warrior


  1. Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial

  2. Soul of a Warrior

  3. Warrior Soul / Heroic Spirit

  4. Warrior

  5. Martial Arts / Budo

  6. Mind of the Beginner

  7. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

  8. Lingering Mind

  9. Immovable Mind


Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial

 wǔ
 bu
 
Warrior Essence / Warrior Spirit / Martial Scroll

武 is the essence or spirit of a warrior. 武 is part of the word “wu shu” which is sometimes translated as “martial arts” or “kung fu.”

In more modern speech and another context, this can mean military, martial, warlike, fierce, and perhaps violent but usually as a prefix for a longer word or phrase.

Soul of a Warrior

 jīng shén yǒng shì
Soul of a Warrior Scroll

精神勇士 can be translated as the spirit or soul of a warrior. The first two characters can be translated as vigor, vitality, drive, spirit, mind, heart, mental essence, and psychological component. Basically, “your soul.”

The second two characters mean “warrior” or literally “brave soldier/man,” although some will translate this word as “hero.” Therefore, this is also how to say “soul of a hero.”

Note: This title is best for Chinese and old Korean. It does make sense in Japanese but is not a common or natural Kanji combination in Japanese.


We have two versions of this phrase. The only difference is the first two and last two characters are swapped. The version here suggests that you are the warrior or hero. The other version suggests that you admire or like the idea of the spirit of a warrior.

Warrior Soul / Heroic Spirit

 yǒng shì jīng shén
Warrior Soul / Heroic Spirit Scroll

勇士精神 can be translated as the warrior's spirit or warrior's soul. The first two characters can be translated as “warrior” or literally “brave soldier/man,” although some will translate this word as “hero.” Therefore, this is also how to say “heroic spirit.”

The second two characters mean vigor, vitality, drive, spirit, mind, heart, mental essence, and psychological component. Basically “your soul.”


We have two versions of this phrase. The only difference is the first two and last two characters are swapped. The version here suggests that you admire or like the idea of the spirit of a warrior. The other version suggests that you are the warrior or hero.

 wǔ shì
 bu shi
Warrior Scroll

The first character, 武, is the spirit or essence of a warrior. The second character, 士, means soldier, officer, or official. 武士 is also used appropriately enough to describe a piece of a chess game. 武士 can also be translated as a soldier, cavalier, palace guard, or samurai, and sometimes as a knight. I've occasionally seen this translated as strong man or tough man (gender not necessarily implied).

By far, 武士 is the most common way to write warrior in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Note: In Japanese, this is Bushi, as in Bushido.


See Also:  Knight | Army | Marines | Samurai

Martial Arts / Budo

Way of the Warrior

 wǔ dào
 bu dou
Martial Arts / Budo Scroll

武道 is the very common Japanese way to say “Martial Arts.”

武道 is used mostly in Japanese dojos but is also understood in Chinese and Korean.

Some will use this title to mean chivalry (the conduct of a knight) or military art. The way this word is understood would depend on the context in which it is used.

The first character means “force,” “warlike,” or “essence of a warrior.”

The second character means “method,” “path,” and “the way.” It is the same character used to describe/mean the philosophy of Taoism / Daoism.

Some will also translate this as “The Way of the Warrior”; especially in the context of Korean martial arts.

Mind of the Beginner

Shoshin

 chū xīn
 sho shin
Mind of the Beginner Scroll

初心 is often translated in Japanese as “beginner's mind” or “beginner's spirit.”

In Chinese, the dictionary definition is “one's original intention.”

The first character means first, initial, primary, junior, beginning, or basic.

The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

初心 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: The state of shoshin is that of a beginners mind. It is a state of awareness that always remains fully conscious, aware, and prepared to see things for the first time. The attitude of shoshin is essential to continued learning.

Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

A Japanese martial arts title/concept

 xǐ xīn
 sen shin
Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude Scroll

The first Kanji alone means to wash, bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.

The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these two Kanji create a word defined as “purified spirit” or “enlightened attitude” within Japanese martial arts.

洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo) and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context, it's often defined as a spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.

This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.

洗心 does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries, but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.


先心 There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.

Lingering Mind

Zanshin

 cán xīn
 zan shin
Lingering Mind Scroll

First off, 殘心 should only be used in the context of Japanese martial arts. In Chinese, it's a rather sad title (like a broken heart). In Chinese, the first character alone means destroyed, spoiled, ruined, injured, cruel, oppressive, savage, incomplete, or disabled. However, in Japanese, it's remainder, leftover, balance, or lingering.
The second character means heart, mind, soul, or essence in both languages.

殘心 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: The spirit of zanshin is the state of the remaining or lingering spirit. It is often described as a sustained and heightened state of awareness and mental follow-through. However, true zanshin is a state of focus or concentration before, during, and after the execution of a technique, where a link or connection between uke and nage is preserved. Zanshin is the state of mind that allows us to stay spiritually connected, not only to a single attacker but to multiple attackers and even an entire context; a space, a time, an event.


残In modern Japan (and Simplified Chinese), they use a different version of the first character, as seen to the right. Click on this character to the right instead of the button above if you want this modern Japanese version of lingering mind / zanshin.

Immovable Mind

fudoshin

 fu dou shin
Immovable Mind Scroll

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, and idle.

The last Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these three Kanji create a title 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.”




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Warrior Essence
Warrior Spirit
Martial
buwǔ / wu3 / wu
Soul of a Warrior精神勇士jīng shén yǒng shì
jing1 shen2 yong3 shi4
jing shen yong shi
jingshenyongshi
ching shen yung shih
chingshenyungshih
Warrior Soul
Heroic Spirit
勇士精神yǒng shì jīng shén
yong3 shi4 jing1 shen2
yong shi jing shen
yongshijingshen
yung shih ching shen
yungshihchingshen
Warrior武士bu shi / bushiwǔ shì / wu3 shi4 / wu shi / wushiwu shih / wushih
Martial Arts
Budo
武道bu dou / budou / bu dowǔ dào / wu3 dao4 / wu dao / wudaowu tao / wutao
Mind of the Beginner初心sho shin / shoshinchū xīn / chu1 xin1 / chu xin / chuxinch`u hsin / chuhsin / chu hsin
Purified Spirit
Enlightened Attitude
洗心
先心
sen shin / senshinxǐ xīn / xi3 xin1 / xi xin / xixinhsi hsin / hsihsin
Lingering Mind殘心
残心
zan shin / zanshincán xīn / can2 xin1 / can xin / canxints`an hsin / tsanhsin / tsan hsin
Immovable Mind不動心fu dou shin
fudoushin
fu do shin
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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Immovable Mind Scroll
Immovable Mind Scroll
Immovable Mind Scroll
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Dictionary

Lookup Essence of a Warrior in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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