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Intelligence Intellect in Chinese / Japanese...

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Intelligence / Intellect

China zhì néng
Japan chinou
Intelligence / Intellect Vertical Wall Scroll

These two characters mean intelligence or intelligent.

The first character means wisdom, intellect or knowledge.

The second means ability, talent, skill, capacity, capable, able, and can even mean competent.

Together, the compound word can mean "capacity for wisdom," "useful knowledge," or even "mental power." Obviously this translates more clearly into English as "intelligence."

Note: 智能 / 知能 is not the same word used to mean "military intelligence." See our other entry for that.

知In modern Japan, they tend to use a version of the first character without the bottom radical. If your audience for this artwork is Japanese, please click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.


China zhì
Japan chi / tomo
Wisdom Vertical Wall Scroll

智 is the simplest way to write wisdom in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

Being a single character, the wisdom meaning is open to interpretation, and can also mean intellect, knowledge or reason, resourcefulness, or wit.

智 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

智 is sometimes included in the Bushido code but usually not considered part of the seven key concepts of the code.

See our Wisdom in Chinese, Japanese and Korean page for more wisdom-related calligraphy.

See Also:  Learn From Wisdom | Confucius

Idea / Thought / Meaning

Japan kokoro
Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Wall Scroll

意 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for idea, intention, meaning, thought, wish, desire, intention, feelings, thoughts.

In Buddhism, this is the last of the six means of perception (the others are sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and this one represents mind). It does not literally mean "mind", but rather something more like mental powers, intellect, intelligence, faculty of thought, or understanding in the Buddhist context.

Not the results for intelligence intellect that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your intelligence intellect search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition

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Mandarin/ yi4
Taiwan i
Japanese i / い
Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese idea; meaning; thought; to think; wish; desire; intention; to expect; to anticipate; Italy; Italian; abbr. for 意大利[Yi4 da4 li4]
Japanese (1) feelings; thoughts; (2) meaning; (personal name) Kokoro
Manas, the sixth of the ṣaḍāyatanas or six means of perception, i.e. sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and mind. Manas means "mind (in its widest sense as applied to all the mental powers), intellect, intelligence, understanding, perception, sense, conscience, will". M.W. It is "the intellectual function of consciousness", Keith. In Chinese it connotes thought, idea, intention, meaning, will; but in Buddhist terminology its distinctive meaning is mind, or the faculty of thought; mentation


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Mandarin zhì néng / zhi4 neng2
Taiwan chih neng
Japanese chinou / chino / ちのう
Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese intelligent; able; smart (phone, system, bomb etc)
Japanese intelligence; intellect; brains


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Mandarin ruì zhì / rui4 zhi4
Taiwan jui chih
Japanese eichi / echi / えいち    akitomo / あきとも    akisato / あきさと
Japanese wisdom; intelligence; intellect; (female given name) Eichi; (personal name) Akitomo; (personal name) Akisato


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Japanese eichi / echi / えいち Japanese wisdom; intelligence; intellect; (personal name) Eichi


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Mandarin zhì lì / zhi4 li4
Taiwan chih li
Japanese chiriki / ちりき
Chinese intelligence; intellect
Japanese (noun - becomes adjective with の) wisdom; intellectual power; intelligence; mental capacity; brains; (given name) Chiriki
Knowledge and supernatural power; power of knowledge; the efficient use of mystic knowledge; cognitive power


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Mandarin lǐ zhì / li3 zhi4
Taiwan li chih
Japanese richi / りち    masatomo / まさとも    masatoshi / まさとし    osatoshi / おさとし
Chinese reason; intellect; rationality; rational
Japanese intellect; intelligence; (female given name) Richi; (personal name) Masatomo; (personal name) Masatoshi; (personal name) Osatoshi
Principle and gnosis (or reason); the noumenal in essence and in knowledge; the truth in itself and in knowledge; li is also the fundamental principle of the phenomenon under observation, chih the observing wisdom; one is reality, the other the knower or knowing; one is the known object, the other the knower, the knowing, or what is known; each is dependent on the other, chih depends on lili is revealed by chih. Also knowledge or enlightenment in its essence or purity, free from incarnational influences; cognition of principle


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Japanese richi / りち    michitomo / みちとも    masaharu / まさはる Japanese intellect; intelligence; (female given name) Richi; (given name) Michitomo; (given name) Masaharu


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Mandarin ruì zhì / rui4 zhi4
Taiwan jui chih
Japanese eichi / echi / えいち
Chinese wise and farsighted
Japanese wisdom; intelligence; intellect


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Japanese chino / ちの Japanese intelligence; intellect; brains; (surname) Chino


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Japanese hidenori / ひでのり    hidetomo / ひでとも    hidetoshi / ひでとし    eichi / echi / えいち Japanese wisdom; intelligence; intellect; (personal name) Hidenori; (given name) Hidetomo; (personal name) Hidetoshi; (given name) Eichi


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Japanese hidetomo / ひでとも    hidesato / ひでさと    eichi / echi / えいち    eiji / eji / えいじ    akitomo / あきとも    akikazu / あきかず Japanese wisdom; intelligence; intellect; (given name) Hidetomo; (personal name) Hidesato; (given name) Eichi; (personal name) Eiji; (personal name) Akitomo; (personal name) Akikazu


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Mandarin tāi cáng jiè / tai1 cang2 jie4
Taiwan t`ai ts`ang chieh / tai tsang chieh
Japanese taizō kai
Garbhadhātu, or Garbhakośa-(dhātu), the womb treasury, the universal source from which all things are produced; the matrix; the embryo; likened to a womb in which all of a child is conceived— its body, mind, etc. It is container and content; it covers and nourishes; and is the source of all supply. It represents the 理性 fundamental nature, both material elements and pure bodhi, or wisdom in essence or purity; 理 being the garbhadhātu as fundamental wisdom, and 智 acquired wisdom or knowledge, the vajradhātu. It also represents the human heart in its innocence or pristine purity, which is considered as the source of all Buddha-pity and moral knowledge. And it indicates that from the central being in the maṇḍala, viz. the Sun as symbol of Vairocana, there issue all the other manifestations of wisdom and power, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, demons, etc. It is 本覺 original intellect, or the static intellectuality, in contrast with 始覺 intellection, the initial or dynamic intellectuality represented in the vajradhātu; hence it is the 因 cause and vajradhātu the 果 effect; though as both are a unity, the reverse may be the rule, the effect being also the cause; it is also likened to 利他 enriching others, as vajradhātu is to 自利 enriching self. Kōbō Daishi, founder of the Yoga or Shingon 眞言 School in Japan, adopted the representation of the ideas in maṇḍalas, or diagrams, as the best way of revealing the mystic doctrine to the ignorant. The garbhadhātu is the womb or treasury of all things, the universe; the 理 fundamental principle, the source; its symbols are a triangle on its base, and an open lotus as representing the sun and Vairocana. In Japan this maṇḍala is placed on the east, typifying the rising sun as source, or 理. The vajradhātu is placed west and represents 智 wisdom or knowledge as derived from 理 the underlying principle, but the two are essential one to the other, neither existing apart. The material and spiritual; wisdom-source and intelligence; essence and substance; and similar complementary ideas are thus portrayed; the garbhadhātu may be generally considered as the static and the vajradhātu as the dynamic categories, which are nevertheless a unity. The garbhadhātu is divided into 三部 three sections representing samādhi or quiescence, wisdom-store, and pity-store, or thought, knowledge, pity; one is called the Buddha-section, the others the Vajra and Lotus sections respectively; the three also typify vimokṣa, prajñā, and dharmakāya, or freedom, understanding, and spirituality. There are three heads of these sections, i. e. Vairocana, Vajrapāṇi, and Avalokiteśvara; each has a mother or source, e. g. Vairocana from Buddha's-eye; and each has a 明王 or emanation of protection against evil; also a śakti or female energy; a germ-letter, etc. The diagram of five Buddhas contains also four bodhisattvas, making nine in all, and there are altogether thirteen 大院 or great courts of various types of ideas, of varying numbers, generally spoken of as 414. Cf. 金剛界; 大日; 兩部; womb-container world



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Mandarin ā lài yé shí / a1 lai4 ye2 shi2
Taiwan a lai yeh shih
Japanese araya shiki
ālaya-vijñāna. 'The receptacle intellect or consciousness;' 'the orginating or receptacle intelligence;' 'basic consciousness' (Keith). It is the store or totality of consciousness, both absolute and relative, impersonal in the whole, temporally personal or individual in its separated parts, always reproductive. It is described as 有情根本之心識 the fundamental mind-consciousness of conscious beings, which lays hold of all the experiences of the individual life: and which as storehouse holds the germs 種子 of all affairs; it is at the root of all experience, of the skandhas, and of all things on which sentient beings depend for existence. Mind is another term for it, as it both stores and gives rise to all seeds of phenomena and knowledge. It is called 本識 original mind, because it is the root of all things; 無沒識 inexhaustible mind, because none of its seeds (or products) is lost; 現識 manifested mind, because all things are revealed in or by it; 種子識 seeds mind, because from it spring all individualities, or particulars; 所知依識 because it is the basis of all knowledge; 異熟識 because it produces the rounds of morality, good and evil karma, etc.; 執持識 or 阿陀那 q.v., that which holds together, or is the seed of another rebirh, or phenomena, the causal nexus; 第一識 the prime or supreme mind or consciousness; 宅識 abode (of) consciousness; 無垢識 unsullied consciousness when considered in the absolute, i.e. the Tathāgata; and 第八識, as the last of the eight vijñānas. There has been much discussion as to the meaning and implications of the ālaya-vijñāna. It may also be termed the unconscious, or unconscious absolute, out of whose ignorance or unconsciousness rises all consciousness; ālayavijñāna


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Japanese richi / りち Japanese intellect; intelligence


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Japanese chinou / chino / ちのう Japanese intelligence; intellect; brains


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Japanese eichi / echi / えいち Japanese wisdom; intelligence; intellect

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Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Wall Scroll
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Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Wall Scroll
Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Wall Scroll

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Idea / Thought / Meaning Vertical Portrait
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Lookup Intelligence Intellect in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
智能 / 知能
chinou / chinozhì néng / zhi4 neng2 / zhi neng / zhinengchih neng / chihneng
Wisdomchi / tomozhì / zhi4 / zhichih
kokoroyì / yi4 / yii
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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Mizu No Kokoro
Mother and Son
Peace and Harmony
The Way of the Samurai
What Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stronger

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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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.

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