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2. Water Polo
5. Large River
水 is the symbol for water in in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Water is one of the five elements that ancient Chinese believed all things were composed of. These elements are also part of the cycle of Chinese astrology. Every person has both an animal sign, and one of the five elements according to the date of their birth. See also Five Elements and Chinese 12 Animals / Zodiac.
水球 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title for water polo.
The literal meaning of the characters is "water ball".
Many things have opposite properties. The water you drink can also drown you. Pork may nourish you and keep you alive but under-cook it and it could kill you. Potassium nitrate is often used as a fertilizer to grow the food that sustains us but it's also been used as an explosive to topple buildings and destroy us.
This concept is easily associated with "yin yang" where an element has two opposite properties that are as different as night and day.
This proverb's meaning can be summed up this way: "Anything that can lead you to success may also contain great risks".
This phrase is known in literary circles by Korean people (scholars or literature). It is therefore also a valid proverb in Korean Hanja, though most Koreans would not be able to make sense of it.
Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.
川 means river or stream in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
In Japanese, this can be a surname when pronounced as Sakigawa.
江 means large river in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. This generally refers to a river big enough that it's navigable by cargo boats, passenger boats, or small ships.
In Japanese, this can be a surname when pronounced as Minkou or just Kou.
水星 is title for the planet Mercury in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
The literal meaning is "water star". This title has been used to refer to Mercury in much of Asia for the past 2200 years or longer.
漫瀾 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for, "Having no boundaries or limitations".
This literally talks of the vastness of an ocean or river.
漫 = free; unrestrained; to inundate; overflowing; boundless.
澜 = swelling water; large wave.
清 means clarity or clear in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Looking at the parts of this character, you have three splashes of water on the left, "life" on the top right, and the moon on the lower right.
Because of something Confucius said about 2500 years ago, you can imagine that this character means "live life with clarity like bright moonlight piercing pure water". The Confucian idea is something like "Keep clear what is pure in yourself, and let your pure nature show through". Kind of like saying, "Don't pollute your mind or body, so that they remain clear".
This might be stretching the definition of this single Chinese character but the elements are there, and "clarity" is a powerful idea.
Korean note: Korean pronunciation is given above but this character is written with a slight difference in the "moon radical" in Korean. However, anyone who can read Korean Hanja, will understand this character with no problem (this is considered an alternate form in Korean). If you want the more standard Korean Hanja form (which is an alternate form in Chinese), just let me know.
Japanese note: When reading in Japanese, this Kanji has additional meanings of pure, purify, or cleanse (sometimes to remove demons or "exorcise"). Used more in compound words in Japanese than as a stand-alone Kanji.
湖 is lake in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
湖 is used in place names (like Lake Huron) and as a descriptive term for any large body of fresh water.
In Japanese, this can also be the female given name Reiku.
If your surname is Lake, this could be a good character for you.
龍 is the character for dragon in Chinese, old Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
The dragon is the creature of myth and legend that dominates Chinese, Japanese, and even European folklore. In China, the dragon is the symbol of the Emperor, strength and power, and the Chinese dragon is known as the god of water.
From the Chinese Zodiac, if you were born in the year of the Dragon, you . . .
Have a strong body and spirit.
Are full of energy.
Have vast goals.
Have a deep level of self-awareness.
Will do whatever you can to "save face".
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Water||水||mizu / sui||shuǐ / shui3 / shui|
|Water Polo||水球||sui kyuu / suikyuu / sui kyu / suikyu||shuǐ qiú / shui3 qiu2 / shui qiu / shuiqiu||shui ch`iu / shuichiu / shui chiu|
|Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also||水能載舟亦能覆舟|
|shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu|
shui3 neng2 zai4 zhou1 yi4 neng2 fu4 zhou1
shui neng zai zhou yi neng fu zhou
|shui neng tsai chou i neng fu chou|
|River||川||kawa||chuān / chuan1 / chuan||ch`uan / chuan|
|Large River||江||kou / ko||jiāng / jiang1 / jiang||chiang|
|Mercury||水星||sui shou / suishou / sui sho / suisho||shuǐ xīng|
|man ran / manran||màn lán / man4 lan2 / man lan / manlan|
|Clarity||清||sei||qīng / qing1 / qing||ch`ing / ching|
|Lake||湖||mizumi||hú / hu2 / hu|
|ryuu / tatsu|
ryu / tatsu
ryu / tatsu
|lóng / long2 / long||lung|
|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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