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靈感 is the Chinese word that is the closest to hitting the mark for the English word inspiration.
In a more extended context, I have even seen this translated as "brain wave."
The first character means alert, departed soul, efficacious, quick, effective or intelligence.
The second character means to feel, to move, to touch or to affect.
The combined meaning of these two characters changes a bit but I think it's nice to know the individual meanings to give you a better understanding of where a word comes from.
You could describe this word as, "the thought that pops into your head just before you patent the greatest widget ever invented, that everyone in the world will want."
At least, that's the idea.
This term can also mean "intelligent thought" if you were to translate it directly from each of these characters. If you are looking for inspiration or otherwise need to be inspired, this is the word for you.
When the first character was absorbed into Japanese from Chinese, an alternate form became the standard in Japan. The Kanji shown to the right is the form currently used in Japan. This is still considered an alternate form in China to this day. It's readable by both Chinese and Japanese people but if your audience is Japanese, I recommend the Kanji shown to the right - just click on that Kanji to order that version.
直覺 is the Chinese and Japanese word for intuition.
This can also mean insight or instinct.
In modern Japan, they tend to use a simplified version of the second Kanji, as seen to the right. If you want this modern Japanese version of intuition, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.
While this means mirror in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja, it's commonly used as a metaphor for something beautiful and bright or something that provides clarity and insight.
眼 is the simplest way to write eyes or eyeballs in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
This can also mean eyesight, sight, vision, look, stare, glance, viewpoint, insight, perceptivity, the power of observation, or simply the eye.
This title speaks of reaching an understanding (of Zen or the world). It also means "to practice meditation." The two concepts lead you to the idea that meditation leads to understanding. 參禪 is pretty deep, so you can do your own research, or decide what this means for you.
This can also be defined in a more complex way as "thoroughly penetrating with meditative insight."
悟性 means the power of understanding and insight in Chinese.
It is often associated with Neo-Confucianism. In that regard, it means to realize, perceive, or have the perception of man's true nature. It can also mean to find your soul, the soul of others, or the soul of the world. Some will translate this simply as the state of being "savvy."
In Japanese, this is often translated as wisdom and understanding.
This literally means, "when three people meet, wisdom is exchanged."
Some will suggest this means when three people come together, their wisdom is multiplied.
That wisdom part can also be translated as wit, sagacity, intelligence, or Buddhist Prajna (insight leading to enlightenment).
In the middle of this proverb is "monju," suggesting "transcendent wisdom." This is where the multiplication of wisdom idea comes from.
Note: This is very similar to the Chinese proverb, "When 3 people meet, one becomes a teacher."
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|reikan||líng gǎn / ling2 gan3 / ling gan / linggan||ling kan / lingkan|
直觉 / 直覚
|chokkaku / chokkaku / chokaku / chokaku||zhí jué / zhi2 jue2 / zhi jue / zhijue||chih chüeh / chihchüeh|
|Mirror: Beautiful Clarity||明鏡|
|mei kyou / meikyou / mei kyo / meikyo||míng jìng|
|眼||gan||yǎn / yan3 / yan||yen|
|cān chán / can1 chan2 / can chan / canchan||ts`an ch`an / tsanchan / tsan chan|
|Power of Understanding and Wisdom||悟性||gosei||wù xìng / wu4 xing4 / wu xing / wuxing||wu hsing / wuhsing|
|When Three People Gather, Wisdom is Multiplied||三人寄れば文殊の知恵||san nin yore ba monju no chie |
|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.
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Insight Kanji, Insight Characters, Insight in Mandarin Chinese, Insight Characters, Insight in Chinese Writing, Insight in Japanese Writing, Insight in Asian Writing, Insight Ideograms, Chinese Insight symbols, Insight Hieroglyphics, Insight Glyphs, Insight in Chinese Letters, Insight Hanzi, Insight in Japanese Kanji, Insight Pictograms, Insight in the Chinese Written-Language, or Insight in the Japanese Written-Language.
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