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二段 is a Japanese Kanji word that literally means, "second degree".
二段 is the second black belt rank in Japanese martial arts.
The first Kanji means two or second in Japanese.
The second Kanji means step, grade, rank, or level.
二段 can also be written as 弐段. This version just uses a more complicated Kanji for the number two.
六段 is the Japanese title for the 6th Degree or 6th Level.
This applies mostly to martial arts and earning the title of a 6th-degree black belt.
The first character is simply the number 6.
The second character is "dan" which is often translated at "degree" in the context of Japanese martial arts. 六段 actually means grade, rank, level. When a number is in front like this, it refers to a senior rank in martial arts or games of strategy such as go, shogi, chess, etc.
Shihan is a Japanese term, often used in Japanese martial arts.
In typical Japanese language, it can refer to a teacher or instructor. However, in martial arts, it's often an honorific title for an expert or master instructor.
Example: In Aikido the title can refer to someone with the rank of 7th dan. But other schools us it to mean a master who has earned the right to award black belts.
This term is also used in Chinese, where it refers to teacher-training or the art of teaching by example. It's used within the proper name of certain types of universities in China.
鼈 refers to a species of turtle.
鼈 is Trionyx Sinensis.
鼈 refers to different turtles in different languages. See individual language notes below:
Japanese: 鼈 means "snapping turtle" or "mud turtle". But rarely used as a single Kanji like this in Japanese.
Chinese: 鼈 means soft-shelled turtle. A specific species, Trionyx Sinensis which is native to Asia.
In China, this species is related to the "wang ba", a soft-shelled turtle sometimes known in English as a banjo turtle (due to its long neck, and general shape). Unfortunately, there is a word, "wang ba dan" which means the egg of this species of turtle. That term has come to mean "bastard" in Chinese (a turtle hatches from an abandoned egg, and does not know who his mother or father is). 鼈 is not a good selection for a wall scroll if your audience is Chinese.
In Korean, this character can be pronounced (though most Koreans would have to look it up in a dictionary). It has not been in common use in Korea for at least a few hundred years.
General notes: You may notice that the bottom half of this character is the same as some other turtle-related titles. That bottom half is actually an ancient character that means "toad". Though not see in this way today, most turtle-related characters hold the meaning of "a toad with a shell" in their ancient origin. That toad character is rarely used alone anymore but you can see what it looks like in the image to the right.
This title is the Buddhist practice of giving known as Dāna or दान from Pali and Sanskrit.
Depending on the context, this can be alms-giving, acts of charity, offerings (usually money) to a priest for reading sutras or teachings.
Some will put Dāna in these two categories:
1. The pure, or unsullied charity, which looks for no reward here but only in the hereafter.
2. The sullied almsgiving whose object is personal benefit.
The first kind is, of course, the kind that a liberated or enlightened person will pursue.
Others will put Dāna in these categories:
1. Worldly or material gifts.
2. Unworldly or spiritual gifts.
You can also separate Dāna into these three kinds:
1. 財布施 Goods such as money, food, or material items.
2. 法布施 Dharma, as an act to teach or bestow the Buddhist doctrine onto others.
3. 無畏布施 Courage, as an act of facing fear to save someone or when standing up for someone or standing up for righteousness.
The philosophies and categorization of Dāna will vary among various monks, temples, and sects of Buddhism.
Breaking down the characters separately:
布 (sometimes written 佈) means to spread out or announce, but also means cloth. In ancient times, cloth or robs were given to the Buddhist monks annually as a gift of alms - I need to do more research, but I believe there is a relationship here.
施 means to grant, to give, to bestow, to act, to carry out, and by itself can mean Dāna as a single character.
Dāna can also be expressed as 檀那 (pronounced "tán nà" in Mandarin, and dan-na or だんな in Japanese). 檀那 is a transliteration of Dāna. However, it has colloquially come to mean some unsavory or unrelated things in Japanese. So, I think 布施 is better for calligraphy on your wall to remind you to practice Dāna daily (or whenever possible).
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Dan||丹||dān / dan1 / dan||tan|
|Ni-Dan||二段||ni dan / nidan|
|San-Dan||三段||san dan / sandan|
|Yon-Dan||四段||yon dan / yondan|
6th Degree Black Belt
|六段||roku dan / rokudan|
|shi han / shihan||shī fàn / shi1 fan4 / shi fan / shifan||shih fan / shihfan|
|Japanese Snapping Turtle|
Chinese Soft Shell Turtle
|鼈||suppon / supon||biē / bie1 / bie||pieh|
|Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity||布施||fuse||bù shī / bu4 shi1 / bu shi / bushi||pu shih / pushih|
|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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