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Everything is Temporary in Chinese / Japanese...

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Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall

huā kāi huā luò
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall Scroll

花開花落 is a complete proverb that lightly speaks of the cycle of life, or how things come and go in life.

花開花落 is used as a metaphor to suggest that youth is a temporary state, which in time will pass.

This can also be used to suggest that fortunes can come and go (everything is temporary).

Note: There are two versions of this proverb which are very similar. The other uses a word that means wither instead of fall.

Flowers Bloom and Flowers Wither

huā kāi huā xiè
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Wither Scroll

花開花謝 is a complete proverb that lightly speaks of the cycle of life, or how things come and go in life.

花開花謝 is used as a metaphor to suggest that youth is a temporary state, which in time will pass.

This can also be used to suggest that fortunes can come and go (everything is temporary).

Note: There are two versions of this proverb which are very similar. The other uses a word that means fall instead of wither.

Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall

hana wa sa ki hana wa chi ru
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall Scroll

This Japanese proverb is about the cycle of life, or how things come and go in life.

This can be used to suggest that youth, fortune, and life can come and go (everything is temporary).


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs

Eiko-Seisui
ei ko sei sui
Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs Scroll

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.


榮 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.

wú cháng
mujou
Impermanence Scroll

無常 is the state of being "not permanent", "not enduring", transitory, or evolving.

It can also mean variable or changeable. In some context, it can refer to a ghost that is supposed to take a soul upon death. Following that, this term can also mean to pass away or die.

In the Buddhist context, this is a reminder that everything in this world is ever-changing, and all circumstances of your life are temporary.
If you take the Buddhist philosophy further, none of these circumstances are real, and your existence is an illusion anyway. Thus, the idea of the eternal soul is perhaps just the attachment you have to your ego. Once you release your attachment to all impermanent things, you will be on your way to enlightenment and Buddhahood.

Language notes for this word when used outside the context of Buddhism:
In Korean Hanja, this means uncertainty, transiency, mutability, or evanescent.
In Japanese, the definition orbits closer to the state of being uncertain.




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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
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall花開花落
花开花落
huā kāi huā luò
hua1 kai1 hua1 luo4
hua kai hua luo
huakaihualuo
hua k`ai hua lo
huakaihualo
hua kai hua lo
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Wither花開花謝
花开花谢
huā kāi huā xiè
hua1 kai1 hua1 xie4
hua kai hua xie
huakaihuaxie
hua k`ai hua hsieh
huakaihuahsieh
hua kai hua hsieh
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall花は咲き花は散るhana wa sa ki hana wa chi ru
hanawasakihanawachiru
Rise and Fall
Ups and Downs
栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰
荣枯盛衰
ei ko sei sui
eikoseisui
Impermanence無常
无常
mujou / mujowú cháng / wu2 chang2 / wu chang / wuchangwu ch`ang / wuchang / wu chang
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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Impermanence Scroll
Impermanence Scroll
Impermanence Scroll
Impermanence Scroll


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Impermanence Vertical Portrait
Impermanence Horizontal Wall Scroll
Impermanence Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

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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.

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