Five Pecks of Rice in Chinese / Japanese...

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The Way of Five Pecks of Rice

wǔ dǒu mǐ dào
gotobeidou
The Way of Five Pecks of Rice Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese Kanji title means, "Way of the Five Pecks of Rice".

五斗米道 is a Taoist/Daoist movement which later became known as, "The Way of the Celestial Masters".

Having High Principles

Do not bow down for the sake of five pecks of rice

bù wèi wǔ dǒu mǐ zhé yāo
Having High Principles Scroll

This Chinese idiom/proverb speaks of being above bribes, and not losing face or honor for a short-term gain.

Some may also translate the perceived meaning as, "high-hearted", or "integrity beyond reproach".

The more literal meaning is "Do not bow down for the sake of five pecks of rice".




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Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your five pecks of rice search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

五斗米道

see styles
wǔ dǒu mǐ dào
    wu3 dou3 mi3 dao4
wu tou mi tao
 gotobeidou / gotobedo
    ごとべいどう
Having High Principles Scroll
Way of the Five Pecks of Rice (Taoist movement); Way of the Celestial Master
(hist) (See 天師道) Way of the Five Pecks of Rice (ancient Chinese Daoist movement later known as The Way of the Celestial Masters)

天師道

see styles
 tenshidou / tenshido
    てんしどう
(hist) (See 五斗米道) Way of the Celestial Masters (ancient Chinese Daoist movement orig. known as The Way of the Five Pecks of Rice)

為五斗米折腰


为五斗米折腰

see styles
wèi wǔ dǒu mǐ zhé yāo
    wei4 wu3 dou3 mi3 zhe2 yao1
wei wu tou mi che yao
(allusion to Tao Qian 陶潛|陶潜[Tao2 Qian2], who used this phrase when he resigned from government service rather than show subservience to a visiting inspector) to bow and scrape for five pecks of rice (that being a part of his salary as a local magistrate); (fig.) to compromise one's principles for the sake of a salary

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
The Way of Five Pecks of Rice五斗米道gotobeidou / gotobeidowǔ dǒu mǐ dào
wu3 dou3 mi3 dao4
wu dou mi dao
wudoumidao
wu tou mi tao
wutoumitao
Having High Principles不為五斗米折腰
不为五斗米折腰
bù wèi wǔ dǒu mǐ zhé yāo
bu4 wei4 wu3 dou3 mi3 zhe2 yao1
bu wei wu dou mi zhe yao
buweiwudoumizheyao
pu wei wu tou mi che yao
puweiwutoumicheyao
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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Having High Principles Scroll
Having High Principles Scroll
Having High Principles Scroll
Having High Principles Scroll


And formats...

Having High Principles Vertical Portrait
Having High Principles Horizontal Wall Scroll
Having High Principles Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Five Pecks of Rice in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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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