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This ancient Japanese proverb can be translated as "The principle of honorable death and no surrender", or simply "No surrender".
If you directly translate this, you get something that means "Doctrine of suicide", or "Ideology of honorable death".
玉砕主義 is a specifically-Japanese proverb that embraces the long history of honorable suicide or self-sacrifice for honor in Japanese culture.
信義 is a word that is often used to describe a person with an honest and loyal reputation.
To put it simply, this applies to somebody you can trust (with your life).
In Chinese, this is often defined as good faith, honor, trust, and justice.
In Korean, this word means fidelity, truthfulness, or faithfulness.
In Japanese: faith, fidelity and loyalty. It's also a Japanese male given name when pronounced "Nobuyoshi".
操守 is the Chinese and Japanese Kanji for personal integrity, constancy, fidelity, and honor/honour.
The original meaning of the first character is chastity, fidelity, honor/honour, and/or faith.
The second character means to defend, guard, keep watch, be observant.
So, this is about being observant of, and guarding your integrity and honor.
This version of honor is about having or earning the respect of others and about your reputation.
It is the status of being worthy of honor (not to be confused with doing honorable things or specific actions - see our other "honor" listing for that).
Both modern Japanese and modern mainland Chinese use the same simplified version of the second character of honor. You can make a special request for the traditional second character as shown to the right (just click on that character to the right of you want to order that version). Before WWII, both Japan and China used the traditional form but modern Japanese and Chinese use this simplified form. Koreans still use the traditional form when they are not writing in their modern Hangul glyphs.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
This can also mean: "Place Strict Standards on Oneself in Public Service".
This Chinese proverb is often used to express how one should act as a government official. Most of us wish our public officials would hold themselves to higher standards. I wish I could send this scroll, along with the meaning to every member of Congress, and the President (or if I was from the UK, all the members of Parliament, and the PM)
The story behind this ancient Chinese idiom:
A man named Cai Zun was born in China a little over 2000 years ago. In 24 AD, he joined an uprising led by Liu Xiu who later became the emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
Later, the new emperor put Cai Zun in charge of the military court. Cai Zun exercised his power in strict accordance with military law, regardless of the offender's rank or background. He even ordered the execution of one of the emperor's close servants after the servant committed a serious crime.
Cai Zun led a simple life but put great demands on himself to do all things in an honorable way. The emperor rewarded him for his honest character and honorable nature by promoting him to the rank of General and granting him the title of Marquis.
Whenever Cai Zun would receive an award, he would give credit to his men and share the reward with them.
Cai Zun was always praised by historians who found many examples of his selfless acts that served the public interest.
Sometime, long ago in history, people began to refer to Cai Zun as "ke ji feng gong".
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Honorable Death - No Surrender||玉砕主義||gyokusai shugi |
|shingi||xìn yì / xin4 yi4 / xin yi / xinyi||hsin i / hsini|
|操守||soushu / soshu||cāo shǒu / cao1 shou3 / cao shou / caoshou||ts`ao shou / tsaoshou / tsao shou|
|meiyo||míng yù / ming2 yu4 / ming yu / mingyu||ming yü / mingyü|
|Work Unselfishly for the Common Good||克己奉公||kè jǐ fèng gōng|
ke4 ji3 feng4 gong1
ke ji feng gong
|k`o chi feng kung
ko chi feng kung
|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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