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Great Virtue in Chinese / Japanese...

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Hou De Zai Wu

hòu dé zài wù
Hou De Zai Wu Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "With great virtue, one can take charge of the world."

Known sometimes by the romanization Hou De Zai Wu, this famous phrase suggests that being ethical is the bridge to leadership. I wish our world leaders followed this.

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching

The Great Book of Lao Tzu
dào dé jīng
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching Scroll

道德經 are the Chinese characters for the writings of Laozi/Lao Tzu known as the Dàodéjīng or Tao Tê Ching.

To breakdown the meaning of the characters:

道 means "way", though many refer to it as "the Way". It has been romanized as Tao or Dao. The Dao has been referred to by Confucius, Mencius, and other ancient Chinese philosophers.

德 means virtue, integrity, or morality.

經 in this context means canon, great book, sacred book, scripture or classic.

Benevolence Scroll

Beyond benevolence, 仁 can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.

The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).

仁 is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.

I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, good will, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.

仁 is so important to me that I named my second daughter with this character. Her name is "Renni" which means "Benevolent Girl".

This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also:  Altruism | Kindness | Charity | Confucius

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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
Hou De Zai Wu厚德載物
hòu dé zài wù
hou4 de2 zai4 wu4
hou de zai wu
hou te tsai wu
Tao Te Ching
dào dé jīng
dao4 de2 jing1
dao de jing
tao te ching
Benevolencejinrén / ren2 / renjen
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.

Not the results for great virtue that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your great virtue search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition



see styles
hòu dé zài wù
    hou4 de2 zai4 wu4
hou te tsai wu
Benevolence Scroll
with great virtue one can take charge of the world (idiom)


see styles
sān dé
    san1 de2
san te
The three virtues or powers, of which three groups are given below. (1) (a) 法身德 The virtue or potency of the Buddha's eternal, spiritual body, the dharmakāya; (b) 般若德 of his prājñā, or wisdom, knowing all things in their reality; (c) 解脫德 of his freedom from all bonds and his sovereign Iiberty. Each of these has the four qualities of 常, 樂我, 淨eternity, joy, personality, and purity; v. 漫涅槃經 (2) (a) 智德 The potency of his perfect knowledge; (b) 斷德 of his cutting off all illusion and perfecting of supreme nirvāṇa; the above two are 自利 for his own advantage; (c) 恩德 of his universal grace and salvation, which 利他 bestows the benefits he has acquired on others. (3) (a) 因圓德 The perfection of his causative or karmic works during his three great kalpas of preparation; (b) 果圓德 the perfection of the fruit, or results in his own character and wisdom; (c) 恩圓德 the perfection of his grace in the salvation of others.


see styles
influence of great virtue; influence of ancestors


see styles
great virtue; (given name) Toshinori


see styles
dà ren
    da4 ren5
ta jen
adult; grownup; title of respect toward superiors
(1) person of virtue; great person; magnanimous person; (2) giant; (3) (See 大人・おとな) adult; (4) exalted person; (given name) Yamato
a great man; a great man


see styles
dà dé
    da4 de2
ta te
bhadanta. 婆檀陀 Most virtuous, a title of honor of a Buddha; in the Vinaya applied to monks; great virtue


see styles
shèng dé
    sheng4 de2
sheng te
splendid virtue; majestic moral character; great kindness


see styles
zhì dé
    zhi4 de2
chih te
splendid virtue; majestic moral character; great kindness


see styles
dà hé shàng
    da4 he2 shang4
ta ho shang
 dai oshō
Great monk, senior monk, abbot ; a monk of great virtue and old age. Buddhoṣingha, (Fotu cheng 佛圖澄), who came to China A.D. 310, was so styled by his Chinese disciple 石子龍 Shizi long; great venerable


see styles
dà wēi dé
    da4 wei1 de2
ta wei te
 dai itoku
Mahātejas. Of awe-inspiring power, or virtue, able to suppress evildoers and protect the good. A king of garuḍas, v. 迦. Title of a 明王 protector of Buddhism styled 大威德者; 大威德尊; 大威德明王; 百光扁照王; there are symbols, spells, esoteric words, sutras, etc., connected with this title; great authority


see styles
dà zhì dé
    da4 zhi4 de2
ta chih te
 dai chitoku
one who possesses great wisdom and virtue; one who possesses great wisdom and virtue


see styles
dà bǐ qiū
    da4 bi3 qiu1
ta pi ch`iu
    ta pi chiu
Great bhikṣu, i.e. one of virtue and old age; similar to 大和尚; great bhikṣu


see styles
pó tán tuó
    po2 tan2 tuo2
p`o t`an t`o
    po tan to
bhadanta, 大德, laudable, praiseworthy, blessed, of great virtue-a term of respect for a buddha, or for monks, especially of the Hīnayāna school; (Skt. *bhadanta)


see styles
shí liù dà lì
    shi2 liu4 da4 li4
shih liu ta li
 jūroku dairiki
The sixteen great powers obtainable by a bodhisattva, i.e. of will, mind, action, shame (to do evil), energy, firmness, wisdom, virtue, reasoning, personal appearance, physical powers, wealth, spirit, magic, spreading the truth, subduing demons; sixteen great powers



see styles
yǐ guō dà dé
    yi3 guo1 da4 de2
i kuo ta te
 ika daitoku
A monk far advanced in religion; an arhat; already gone on to great virtue



see styles
wú dāo dà zéi
    wu2 dao1 da4 zei2
wu tao ta tsei
 mutō no daizoku
A bandit without a sword, e.g. a virtueless monk robbing others of their virtue; great thief without a sword


see styles
 seijinkenja / sejinkenja
(yoji) person of lofty virtue and great wisdom


see styles
(obscure) great virtue; outstanding virtue

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Benevolence Scroll
Benevolence Scroll
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Benevolence Vertical Portrait

Lookup Great Virtue in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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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