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The dictionary definition is:
relations / relationship / to concern / to affect / to have to do with / connection.
But there's more to it...
In China, your relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having guanxi with someone also means they would never defraud you but instead are honor-bound to treat you fairly (of course, this goes both ways). Sometimes it is suggested that guanxi is the exchange of favors. I would say this is more having a relationship that allows you to ask for, and expect favors without shame.
There is no concept in western culture that exactly matches guanxi but perhaps having a social or professional network is similar.
Note that there are some variations common within Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja for this word...
Japanese tend to use a Chinese alternate form as shown to the right for
the first character.
There's also another alternate form of that first character (currently used as the official Simplified form in mainland China) which looks like the character shown to the right. It's basically the central radical of the alternate version shown above but without the "door radical" around it. In more free-flowing calligraphy styles, this version would be the likely choice for a calligrapher.
In Modern Japanese, they use the character shown to the right.
They also tend to use this same form in Korean Hanja (I've only checked this word in my Korean dictionary but it has not been confirmed by a translator's review).
If that was not confusing enough, there is another alternate form of that second character. See right.
An Asian calligrapher of any nationality may use any of these forms at their discretion. However, They would tend to stick to the most common form used in their respective languages.
If you have any preference on any of these issues, please give us a special note with your order, and we'll make sure it's done the way you want.
The dictionary definition is:
relation, relationship, connection, participation, involvement, concern, influence, effect, related to, connected to, or as a suffix to sexual it can mean sexual relations or relationship.
But there's more to it...
In Japan, your relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having this relationship with someone also means they would never rip you off but instead are honor-bound to treat you fairly.
See our Chinese Guanxi entry for more information. This term is used in very similar ways in China, Japan, and Korea.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Guanxi||關繫 / 関繫 / 關係|
关系 / 関係
|kankei||guān xì / guan1 xi4 / guan xi / guanxi||kuan hsi / kuanhsi|
|Relationship||關繫 / 関繫 / 關係|
|kan kei / kankei||guān xì / guan1 xi4 / guan xi / guanxi||kuan hsi / kuanhsi|
|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.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your guanxi search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| guān xi / guan1 xi5
relation; relationship; to concern; to affect; to have to do with; guanxi; CL:個|个[ge4]
| guān xī / guan1 xi1
Kansai region, Japan; Guanxi or Kuanhsi town in Hsinchu County 新竹縣|新竹县[Xin1 zhu2 Xian4], northwest Taiwan
| líng qú / ling2 qu2
ling ch`ü / ling chü
|Lingqu canal in Xing'an county 興安|兴安, Guanxi, build in 214 BC to join Changjiang 長江|长江 with Pearl River 珠江|
| qián guī zé / qian2 gui1 ze2
ch`ien kuei tse / chien kuei tse
unspoken rules (usually ones that codify improper behaviors such as leveraging guanxi to get favorable treatment, or coercing employees for sexual favors)
| guān xī zhèn / guan1 xi1 zhen4
kuan hsi chen
Guanxi or Kuanhsi town in Hsinchu County 新竹縣|新竹县[Xin1 zhu2 Xian4], northwest Taiwan
| xiāng guì yùn hé / xiang1 gui4 yun4 he2
hsiang kuei yün ho
|Hunan-Guanxi canal, another name for Lingqu 靈渠|灵渠[Ling2 qu2] canal in Xing'an county 興安|兴安[Xing1 an1], Guanxi|
| xīng ān yùn hé / xing1 an1 yun4 he2
hsing an yün ho
|another name for Lingqu 靈渠|灵渠[Ling2 qu2] canal in Xing'an county 興安|兴安[Xing1 an1], Guanxi|
| guì běi yuè chéng lǐng / gui4 bei3 yue4 cheng2 ling3
kuei pei yüeh ch`eng ling / kuei pei yüeh cheng ling
Mt Yuexiu, Guanxi
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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.
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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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Guanxi Kanji, Guanxi Characters, Guanxi in Mandarin Chinese, Guanxi Characters, Guanxi in Chinese Writing, Guanxi in Japanese Writing, Guanxi in Asian Writing, Guanxi Ideograms, Chinese Guanxi symbols, Guanxi Hieroglyphics, Guanxi Glyphs, Guanxi in Chinese Letters, Guanxi Hanzi, Guanxi in Japanese Kanji, Guanxi Pictograms, Guanxi in the Chinese Written-Language, or Guanxi in the Japanese Written-Language.
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