Illusion in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Illusion” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Illusion” title below...


  1. Illusion

  2. Reality and Illusion

  3. Fantasy / Illusion

  4. Life Is But A Dream

  5. Dream / Dreams

  6. Lost / Dazed and Confused

  7. Dream / Vision

  8. Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water


huàn xiàng
gen zou
Illusion Scroll

幻像 is a universal word for Illusion in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

The first character means phantasm, vision, dream, illusion, apparition, or fantasy.

The second character means statue, picture, image, figure, portrait, shape, form, appearance, to be like, to resemble, to take after, to seem, or in rare/ancient context: an elephant.


象Note that the first character can be written without the left-side radical in Chinese. This form is shown to the right. Both forms are acceptable in Chinese but the character shown to the right is more likely to be read as "elephant."


See Also:  Reality

Reality and Illusion

gen jitsu to gen sou
Reality and Illusion Scroll

現実と幻想 is the Japanese way to write, "reality and illusion".

Reality and Illusion

Buddhism Concept

zhēn wàng
Reality and Illusion Scroll

真妄 is a specifically Buddhist term that means, "reality and illusion". Out of Buddhist context, it might be read as, "The real and the absurd".

Separately, the first character means real, true, and genuine, and the second character means absurd, fantastic, or related to fantasy.

Fantasy / Illusion

huàn xiǎng
gensou
Fantasy / Illusion Scroll

幻想 is illusions or fantasy in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

This can also refer to delusion or daydreaming. It sort of means a dream or idea that cannot be true or real ( at least not in this realm).

Life Is But A Dream

rén shēng rú mèng
Life Is But A Dream Scroll

人生如夢 is an old Chinese proverb that suggests, "life is but a dream".

This kind of follows the Buddhist idea that the world is a temporal place, where reality may not be as real as you think.

Dream / Dreams

mèng
yume
Dream / Dreams Scroll

夢 is the very simple word for dreams in Chinese and Japanese.

It can also mean having a vision or simply an illusion.

Lost / Dazed and Confused

mei
Lost / Dazed and Confused Scroll

迷 is one of those characters that can mean a lot of different things depending on context. When written alone, as a single character on a wall scroll, it opens up the possibilities, and allows you to decide what it means to you.

The key definition is "to be lost". This could be physically or mentally lost. It can be someone lost in their thoughts, lost in an ocean, or just confused about where they are. The reason for the confused state may be due to internal or external reasons.

Here are some entries from various Asian dictionaries...

Chinese: lost, confused, bewilder, crazy about, fan, enthusiast, mystery.

Japanese: lost, astray, be perplexed, in doubt, err, illusion.

Korean: lost, bewildered, fascinated, deluded.

Dream / Vision

mèng xiǎng
mu sou
Dream / Vision Scroll

夢想 is the two-character version of "dream", which can mean "to dream of [something]", vision, imagine, or reverie.

Be careful, as in some context, it can mean to dream of something in vain.

Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water

jìng huā shuǐ yuè
kyou ka sui getsu
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll

This old Asian proverb means "flowers in a mirror and the moon reflected in the lake" or "flowers reflected on a mirror and the moon reflected on the water's surface".

Literally, 鏡花水月 reads "Mirror Flower, Water Moon".

Figuratively this can be used to represent a lot of different ideas. It can be used to express an unrealistic rosy view or viewing things through rose-tinted spectacles. So you can use it to relay an idea about something that is visible but has no substance, something that can be seen but not touched, or something that is beautiful but unattainable such as dreams or a mirage.

This expression is used to describe things like the subtle and profound beauty of poems that cannot be described in words.

鏡 = Mirror (or lens)
花 = Flower(s)
水 = Water
月 = Moon


Can also be written 水月鏡花 (just a slight change in word/character order).


The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Illusion幻像
幻像 / 幻象
gen zou / genzou / gen zohuàn xiàng
huan4 xiang4
huan xiang
huanxiang
huan hsiang
huanhsiang
Reality and Illusion現実と幻想gen jitsu to gen sou
genjitsutogensou
gen jitsu to gen so
Reality and Illusion真妄zhēn wàng
zhen1 wang4
zhen wang
zhenwang
chen wang
chenwang
Fantasy
Illusion
幻想gensou / gensohuàn xiǎng
huan4 xiang3
huan xiang
huanxiang
huan hsiang
huanhsiang
Life Is But A Dream人生如夢
人生如梦
rén shēng rú mèng
ren2 sheng1 ru2 meng4
ren sheng ru meng
renshengrumeng
jen sheng ju meng
jenshengjumeng
Dream
Dreams

yumemèng / meng4 / meng
Lost
Dazed and Confused
meimí / mi2 / mi
Dream
Vision
夢想
梦想
mu sou / musou / mu somèng xiǎng
meng4 xiang3
meng xiang
mengxiang
meng hsiang
menghsiang
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water鏡花水月
镜花水月
kyou ka sui getsu
kyoukasuigetsu
kyo ka sui getsu
jìng huā shuǐ yuè
jing4 hua1 shui3 yue4
jing hua shui yue
jinghuashuiyue
ching hua shui yüeh
chinghuashuiyüeh
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.


Many custom options...


Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll


And formats...

Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Vertical Portrait
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Horizontal Wall Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Illusion in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

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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