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The literal meaning of these characters is "empty hand method" or "empty hand way".
Credit is given that karate started in China but migrated and became refined, and vastly popular in Japan.
Karate is a martial art that uses no blades of weapons other than the "natural weapons" that God gave to humans (fists and feet). The last character somehow became optional but the meaning of that character is "method" or "the way" as in Taoism / Daoism.
I've noticed you are searching for "in god hand". If you are interested, I can have your favorite verse from the Torah or Bible translated into Chinese and written on a wall scroll for you. Please contact me siting the verse or verses you want. Here is an example: Joshua 24:15.
If you are looking for a Jewish or Christian title, phrase, or word, I have a great selection here: Christian Words in Chinese
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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|
|Karate-Do||空手道||kara te dou|
kara te do
|kōng shǒu dào|
kong1 shou3 dao4
kong shou dao
|k`ung shou tao
kung shou tao
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your in god hand search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| yè mó / ye4 mo2
Yama, 'originally the Aryan god of the dead, living in a heaven above the world, the regent of the South; but Brahminism transferred his abode to hell. Both views have been retained by Buddhism.' Eitel. Yama in Indian mythology is ruler over the dead and judge in the hells, is 'grim in aspect, green in colour, clothed in red, riding on a buffalo, and holding a club in one hand and noose in the other': he has two four-eyed watch-dogs. M. W. The usual form is 閻摩 q. v; (Skt. yama)
| wén shū / wen2 shu1
Monju / もんじゅ
Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of keen awareness
(Buddhist term) Manjushri; Manjusri; Bodhisattva that represents transcendent wisdom; (p,s,f) Monju
(文殊師利) Mañjuśrī 滿殊尸利 -later 曼殊室利. 文殊 is also used for Mañjunātha, Mañjudeva, Mañjughoṣa, Mañjuṣvara, et al. T., hjamdpal; J., Monju. Origin unknown; presumably, like most Buddhas and bodhisattvas, an idealization of a particular quality, in his case of Wisdom. Mañju is beautiful, Śrī; good fortune, virtue, majesty, lord, an epithet of a god. Six definitions are obtained from various scriptures: 妙首 (or 頭 ) wonderful or beautiful) head; 普首 universal head; 濡首 glossy head (probably a transliteration); 敬首 revered head; 妙德 wonderful virtue (or power); 妙吉祥 wonderfully auspicious; the last is a later translation in the 西域記. As guardian of wisdom 智慧 he is often placed on Śākyamuni's left, with 普顯 on the right as guardian of law 理, the latter holding the Law, the former the wisdom or exposition of it; formerly they held the reverse positions. He is often represented with five curls or waves to his hair indicating the 五智 q. v. or the five peaks; his hand holds the sword of wisdom and he sits on a lion emblematic of its stern majesty: but he has other forms. He is represented as a youth, i. e. eternal youth. His present abode is given as east of the universe, known as 淸涼山 clear and cool mountain, or a region 寶住 precious abode, or Abode of Treasures, or 寶氏 from which he derives one of his titles, 寶相如來. One of his dhāraṇīs prophesies China as his post-nirvāṇa realm. In past incarnations he is described as being the parent of many Buddhas and as having assisted the Buddha into existence; his title was 龍種上佛 the supreme Buddha of the nāgas, also 大身佛 or 神仙佛; now his title is 歡喜藏摩尼寶精佛 The spiritual Buddha who joyfully cares for the jewel: and his future title is to be 普現佛 Buddha universally revealed. In the 序品 Introductory Chapter of the Lotus Sutra he is also described as the ninth predecessor or Buddha-ancestor of Śākyamuni. He is looked on as the chief of the Bodhisattvas and represents them, as the chief disciple of the Buddha, or as his son 法王子. Hīnayāna counts Śāriputra as the wisest of the disciples, Mahāyāna gives Mañjuśrī the chief place, hence he is also styled 覺母 mother, or begetter of understanding. He is shown riding on either a lion or a peacock, or sitting on a white lotus; often he holds a book, emblem of wisdom, or a blue lotus; in certain rooms of a monastery he is shown as a monk; and he appears in military array as defender of the faith. His signs, magic words, and so on, are found in various sutras. His most famous centre in China is Wu-tai shan in Shansi. where he is the object of pilgrimages, especially of Mongols. The legends about him are many. He takes the place in Buddhism of Viśvakarman as Vulcan, or architect, of the universe. He is one of the eight Dhyāni-bodhisattvas, and sometimes has the image of Akṣobhya in his crown. He was mentioned in China as early as the fourth century and in the Lotus Sutra he frequently appears, especially as the converter of the daughter of the Dragon-king of the Ocean. He has five messengers 五使者 and eight youths 八童子 attending on him. His hall in the Garbhadhātu maṇḍala is the seventh, in which his group numbers twenty-five. His position is northeast. There are numerous sutras and other works with his name as title, e. g. 文殊師利問菩提經 Gayaśīrṣa sūtra, tr. by Kumārajīva 384-417: and its 論 or .Tīkā of Vasubandhu, tr. by Bodhiruci 535. see list in B. N; Mañjuśrī
| dà hēi tiān / da4 hei1 tian1
ta hei t`ien / ta hei tien
Mahākāla 摩訶迦 (or 謌) 羅 the great black deva 大黑神. Two interpretations are given. The esoteric cult describes the deva as the masculine form of Kālī, i.e. Durgā, the wife of Śiva; with one face and eight arms, or three faces and six arms, a necklace of skulls, etc. He is worshipped as giving warlike power, and fierceness; said also to be an incarnation of Vairocana for the purpose of destroying the demons; and is described as 大時 the "great time" (-keeper) which seems to indicate Vairocana, the sun. The exoteric cult interprets him as a beneficent deva, a Pluto, or god of wealth. Consequently he is represented in two forms, by the one school as a fierce deva, by the other as a kindly happy deva. He is shown as one of the eight fierce guardians with trident, generally blue-black but sometimes white; he may have two elephants underfoot. Six arms and hands hold jewel, skull cup, chopper, drum, trident, elephant-goad. He is the tutelary god of Mongolian Buddhism. Six forms of Mahākāla are noted: (1) 比丘大黑 A black-faced disciple of the Buddha, said to be the Buddha as Mahādeva in a previous incarnation, now guardian of the refectory. (2) 摩訶迦羅大黑女 Kālī, the wife of Śiva. (3) 王子迦羅大黑 The son of Śiva. (4) 眞陀大黑 Cintāmaṇi, with the talismanic pearl, symbol of bestowing fortune. (5) 夜叉大黑 Subduer of demons. (6) 摩迦羅大黑 Mahākāla, who carries a bag on his back and holds a hammer in his right hand. J., Daikoku; M., Yeke-gara; T., Nag-po c'en-po.
| pí shā mén / pi2 sha1 men2
p`i sha men / pi sha men
Bishamon / びしゃもん
(毘沙門天王) Vaiśravaṇa. Cf. 財 and 倶. One of the four mahārājas, guardian of the North, king of the yakṣas. Has the title 多聞; 普聞; universal or much hearing or learning, said to be so called because he heard the Buddha's preaching; but Vaiśravaṇa was son of Viśravas, which is from viśru, to be heard of far and wide, celebrated, and should be understood in this sense. Vaiśravaṇa is Kuvera, or Kubera, the Indian Pluto; originally a chief of evil spirits, afterwards the god of riches, and ruler of the northern quarter. Xuanzong built a temple to him in A. D. 753, since which he has been the god of wealth in China, and guardian at the entrance of Buddhist temples. In his right hand he often holds a banner or a lance, in his left a pearl or shrine, or a mongoose out of whose mouth jewels are pouring; under his feet are two demons. Colour, yellow.
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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.
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