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Japanese Proverb in Japanese...

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See also: Old Chinese Proverbs, Philosophies and Idioms | Selections of just Japanese Kanji Calligraphy


  1. How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the lair of the tiger?

  2. Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition

  3. The Weak are Meat, The Strong Eat.

  4. Honorable Death - No Surrender

  5. A Journey of 1000 Miles Feels Like One

  6. Strength and Love in Unity

  7. Bright and Promising Future

  8. The Brave Have No Fears

  9. Safety and Well-Being of the Family

10. Follow Your Heart

11. Unwavering

12. A Moment of Time is as Precious as Gold

13. Fortune favors the brave

14. Never Forget Your First Resolution

15. One Family Under Heaven

16. Pleasant Journey

17. Preparation Yields No Regrets

18. Indomitable Spirit

19. Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi

20. Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs

21. In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai

22. Live in Peace and Contentment

23. Live Together and Help Each Other

24. Open and Calm Mind

25. Merge / Unify

26. Far-Sighted in Deep Thought

27. Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude

28. Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself

29. Life Full of Love

30. A Life of Happiness and Prosperity

31. Presence of Mind

32. Great Aspirations / Ambition

33. There is no pleasure without pain

34. Seeing is Believing

35. Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

36. Have a Walking Stick at the Ready Before You Stumble

37. Hardships and Joys

38. Let It Be / Be Relieved

39. Time is Gold

40. Even Monkeys Fall From Trees

41. Mono no Aware

42. Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall

43. Forgive and Forget

44. Always Try to do Better

45. Failure is the Origin of Success

46. Determination to Achieve

47. Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success

48. Failure is the Mother of Success

49. Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance

50. Time and Tide Wait for No Man

51. True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

52. Nothing is Impossible with Persistence

53. Beauty of Nature

54. Bad Experience, Caution Lingers

55. Abundance and Prosperity

56. If you love your child, send them out into the world

57. Stay Strong / Iron Will

58. Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks

59. Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles

60. The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel

61. The Single Life

62. Evil Cause, Evil Result

63. A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step

64. Brave the Waves

65. Courage To Do What Is Right

66. Success

67. Five Reflections / Gosei

68. Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo

69. Keep Calm in Face of Adversity

70. Once in a Lifetime

71. A Wise Man Changes His Mind

72. Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

73. One Day Seems Like 1000 Years

74. Mutual Welfare and Benefit

75. Furinkazan

76. Learn New Ways From Old / Onkochishin

77. No man knows what he owes to his parents until he comes to have children of his own

78. Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

79. Indomitable / Unyielding

80. Body and Earth in Unity


How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the lair of the tiger?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained
koketsu ni haira zun ba tora ko o e zu
How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the lair of the tiger? Scroll

This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb. This is a reminder that you must take risks if you want reward.

This is similar to the English proverb, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition

taishi wo Idaku
Realize Your Ambitions / Embrace Your Ambition Scroll

This Japanese proverb suggests that you should embrace, pursue, and realize your ambitions.

The first part means ambitions or aspirations.

The last part means to embrace, or to hold in your arms.

Here's the character breakdown:
大志 (taishi) ambition; aspiration.
を (o) particle
抱く (idaku) to embrace; to hold in the arms (e.g. a baby); to hug; to harbor (harbour); to bear (e.g. a grudge); to entertain (e.g. suspicion); to sleep with; to sit on eggs.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

The Weak are Meat, The Strong Eat.

Meaning: Survival of the fittest
ruò ròu qiáng shí
jaku niku kyoo shoku
The Weak are Meat, The Strong Eat. Scroll

This Japanese and Chinese proverb literally means, "The weak are meat; the strong eat" or "The weak are prey to the strong".

The closest English version is, "Survival of the fittest". It also fits with the ideas of, "predatory behavior", or "The law of the jungle".

Honorable Death - No Surrender

gyokusai shugi
Honorable Death - No Surrender Scroll

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.

A Journey of 1000 Miles Feels Like One

sen ri mo ichi ri
A Journey of 1000 Miles Feels Like One Scroll

This Japanese proverb states that, "A journey of a thousand miles feels like only one mile". It is understood that in the proverb, this applies when going to see the one you love.

Note that the "mile" or 里 used in this proverb is an old Chinese "li" (pronounced "ri" in Japanese). It's not actually a mile, as the measurement is really closer to 500 meters (it would take 3 of these to get close to a western mile). Still, 1000里 (333 miles) is a long way.

Strength and Love in Unity

riki ai fu ni
Strength and Love in Unity Scroll

This proverb literally means:
"Strength [and] Love [are] Not Two [separate ideas/concepts/things]".

You'll find this proverb translated from Japanese to English as:
Love and strength are not separate.
Power and love are indivisible.
Strength and love in harmony.
Strength and love stand together.

Old Japanese grammar is quite different than English, and so this proverb says a lot within the brevity of just 4 characters. If you just read these characters directly as, "Strength Love Not Two", you'd probably miss the real meaning.


According to the Swedish Shorinji Kempo Federation, this is the second characteristic of Shorinji Kempo.

This post really explains the concept best in my opinion: Bushido by MS: Riki Ai Fu Ni, which states: "Riki Ai Funi" is the philosophy that power (Riki) and love (Ai) are indivisible. More concretely, a person, who is powerful but does not have love, cannot control and misuse his/her power; on the other hand, a person, who has loved ones but is not powerful enough, cannot protect himself/herself nor loved ones.

Bright and Promising Future

akarui mirai
Bright and Promising Future Scroll

明るい未来 is a Japanese proverb that means, "Bright Future".

It suggests a lot of possibility and potential awaits in your future. A great gift for a graduate.

The first part of this proverb literally means bright or light. The second part means the future but can also be translated as, "the world to come".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

The Brave Have No Fears

yǒng zhě bú jù
yuu sha fu ku
The Brave Have No Fears Scroll

This proverb means, "Brave people [are] without fear", or "The brave are without fear".

勇者不懼 is a proverb credited to Confucius. It's one of three phrases in a set of things he said.

This phrase is originally Chinese but has penetrated Japanese culture as well (many Confucian phrases have) back when Japan borrowed Chinese characters into their language.


This phrase has also been converted into modern Japanese grammar when written as 勇者は懼れず. If you want this version just click on those characters.


See Also:  No Fear

Safety and Well-Being of the Family

Kanai Anzen
ka nai an zen
Safety and Well-Being of the Family Scroll

家內安全 is kind of the Japanese way of saying, "Family First". It's really a Japanese proverb about the safety and well-being of your family, and/or, peace and prosperity in the household.

Some Japanese will hang an amulet in their home with these Kanji on it. The purpose being to keep your family safe from harm.

According to Shinto followers, hanging this in your home is seen as an invocation to God to always keep members of the family free from harm.

We were actually looking for a way to say "family first" in Japanese when this proverb came up in the conversation and research. While it doesn't literally say "family first", it shows that the safety and well-being of your family is your first or most important priority. So, this proverb is the most natural way to express the idea that you put your family first.


See Also:  Peace and Prosperity

Follow Your Heart

kimochi ni shitagau
Follow Your Heart Scroll

気持ちに従う is a Japanese phrase that means follow your heart.

The first part of this Japanese proverb means, feeling, sensation, or mood.

The second part suggests the following, abiding by, or listening to this inner feeling.

In this context, you could say it means your heart, as the whole proverb is suggesting that you follow the feelings that you have inside.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Unwavering

haragasuwaru
Unwavering Scroll

This Japanese proverb means to have guts, or to be unwavering in one's resolution.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

A Moment of Time is as Precious as Gold

shunshouikkoku
A Moment of Time is as Precious as Gold Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "A moment of time in a spring evening (is worth a thousand pieces of gold)".

Fortune favors the brave

yuusha ha kouun ni megumareru
Fortune favors the brave Scroll

This Japanese proverb suggests that in history, the brave or courageous tend to be the ones who win.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Never Forget Your First Resolution

Never Lose Your Beginner's Spirit
sho shin wasu ru be ka ra zu
Never Forget Your First Resolution Scroll

This is an old Japanese proverb that suggests you try to never forget the enthusiasm you had as a child when you try new things (or even face the day-to-day). Basically avoid having a mundane attitude that many people get with age.

You'll find this Japanese proverb translated a few different ways. Here are some of them:
Don't forget your first resolution.
Never forget your child-like enthusiasm.
Forget not the beginner's mind.
Try never to lose your initial enthusiasm (freshness of attitude).


Note: This is sometimes written as 初心忘る可からず. The one shown above is used about 10x more often. There’s only one character difference between the two versions.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

One Family Under Heaven

tiān xià yī jiā
tenka ikka
One Family Under Heaven Scroll

This proverb can also be translated as "The whole world is one family".

It is used to mean that all humans are related under heaven.

The first two characters can be translated as "the world", "whole country", "descended from heaven", "earth under heaven", "the public" or "the ruling power".

The second two characters can mean "one family", "a household", "one's folks", "a house" or "a home". Usually this is read as "a family".

Note: This proverb can be understood in Japanese, though not commonly used.

Pleasant Journey

yī lù shùn fēng
ichirojunpuu
Pleasant Journey Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese proverb means, "to have a pleasant journey", "sailing with the wind at your back", or as an expression to say, "everything is going well".

Preparation Yields No Regrets

sona e a re ba ure i na shi
Preparation Yields No Regrets Scroll

This proverb means, "When you are well-prepared, you have nothing regret" in Japanese.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Indomitable Spirit

ma ke ji damashii
Indomitable Spirit Scroll

This Japanese proverb means "indomitable spirit" or "unyielding spirit".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi

ichi wa zen zen wa ichi
Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi Scroll

This means, "One is all, all is one", in Japanese.

This is a somewhat well-known modern proverb in Japanese. However, many will associate it with an episode of Fullmetal Alchemist, a popular Japanese anime series.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs

Eiko-Seisui
ei ko sei sui
Rise and Fall / Ups and Downs Scroll

This Japanese proverb can be translated as, "flourish and wither, prosper and perish", "life is full of fortune and misfortune", or simply "vicissitudes of life".

This is about the rise and fall of human affairs or the ups and downs of life. Prosperity comes and goes, everything is fleeting and temporary but like waves, another swell of prosperity may come.

Here's how the Kanji break down in this proverb:

栄 = prosper; thrive; flourish; boom.
枯 = wither; die.
盛 = prosperous; flourishing; thriving; successful; energetic; vigorous; enthusiastic.
衰 = become weaker; decline; get weak; die down; subside; abate; fail.


榮 Notes: The original version of the first character looks like the image to the right. In modern Japan, they simplified that Kanji a bit into the version shown above. If you have a preference for which style is used for your calligraphy, please let me know when you place your order.

Apparently, with that original version of the first character, this is also used in Korean Hanja. However, I have not confirmed that it’s used in the same way or is widely-known in Korean.

In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai

hana wa sakuragi hito wa bushi
In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai Scroll

This Japanese proverb simply reads, "[In] Flowers it's Cherry Blossoms, [In] Men it's Warriors".

This is meant to say that of all the flowers in the world, the cherry blossom is the best. And of all men in the world, the Samurai or Warrior is the best

This proverb has been around for a long time. It's believed to have been composed sometime before the Edo Period in Japan (which started in 1603).

Some will drop one syllable and pronounce this, "hana wa sakura hito wa bushi". That's "sakura" instead of "sakuragi", which is like saying "cherry blossom" instead of "cherry tree".


The third character was traditionally written as 櫻. But in modern Japan, that became 桜. You may still see 櫻 used from time to time on older pieces of calligraphy. We can do either one, so just make a special request if you want 櫻.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Live in Peace and Contentment

ān jū lè yè
an kyo raku gyou
Live in Peace and Contentment Scroll

安居樂業 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja proverb for, "living in peace and working happily", or "to live in peace and be content with one's occupation".

Live Together and Help Each Other

kyou son kyou ei
Live Together and Help Each Other Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "live together and help each other", "existing together, thriving together", or "co-existence and co-prosperity".

Open and Calm Mind

kyoshintankai
Open and Calm Mind Scroll

虛心坦懐 is a Japanese proverb that means, "with an open and calm mind", "with no preconceived notions", or "without reservations".

In some context it can mean frank or candid.

Merge / Unify

dǎ chéng yī piàn
tajou ippen
Merge / Unify Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese proverb means, "to merge", "to integrate", "to become as one", "to unify together", "to knock all into one", or "to bring things together or into order".

Far-Sighted in Deep Thought

shēn móu yuǎn lǜ
shinbouenryo / shinboenryo
Far-Sighted in Deep Thought Scroll

This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean proverb means, "deep plans and distant thoughts", "to plan far ahead", or "far sight and deep design".

Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude

jiān rěn bù bá
kenninfubatsu
Perseverance / Indomitable / Invincible Fortitude Scroll

This means determined, steadfast, unswerving, or unshakable in Japanese.

This is the Japanese version of an old Chinese 4-character perseverance proverb.
This would be understood in Chinese but it's not commonly written this way in Chinese.


忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese calligraphers sometimes write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. Yes, it’s just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in this alternate Japanese Kanji form. If you have a preference, let us know when you order.

Due to some odd computer coding conventions, these two character forms were combined/merged into the same code point - thus, you will not see Kanji images of more Japanese form as you select options for your scroll.

Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself

do kuritsu do ppo
Standing by Oneself / Walking by Oneself Scroll

This Japanese proverb, Dokuritsu-Doppo, is an indication of your independence, self-reliance, standing on one's own two feet, or making one's own way in life.

Life Full of Love

ai ni afu re ta jin sei
Life Full of Love Scroll

This Japanese proverb means "life full of love" or "life filled with love".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

A Life of Happiness and Prosperity

kou fuku to ha nei no jin sei
A Life of Happiness and Prosperity Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "A life of happiness and prosperity" or "A life of happiness and success".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


See Also:  Prosperity

Presence of Mind

tài rán zì ruò
taizenjijaku
Presence of Mind Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese proverb/word means, "cool and collected", "showing no sign of nerves", "perfectly composed", "having presence of mind", "self-possessed", "imperturbable", and/or "calm and self-possessed".

Great Aspirations / Ambition

tai shi wo idaku
Great Aspirations / Ambition Scroll

大志を抱 is a single Japanese word that kind of reads like a short proverb.

It suggests that you should have "high aims", "ambitions", or "aspirations" in your life.

There is no pleasure without pain

No pain, no gain
ku wa raku no tane
There is no pleasure without pain Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "One cannot have pleasure without pain".

It's one of a few Japanese ways to say, "No pain, no gain".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Seeing is Believing

hyakubun wa ikken ni shikazu
Seeing is Believing Scroll

This Japanese proverb is the rough equivalent of "seeing is believing", "one eye-witness is better than many hearsays", or "a picture is worth a thousand words".

Sometimes it's simply more prudent to verify with your own eyes.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

te ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself Scroll

敵を知り己を知る is the Japanese version of "know your enemy, know yourself".

There is a longer version of this proverb which adds, "...and you can win 100 battles".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Have a Walking Stick at the Ready Before You Stumble

koro ba nu saki no tsue
Have a Walking Stick at the Ready Before You Stumble Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally translates as: Have a walking stick ready before stumbling.

This is similar to the English idiom, "A stitch in time saves nine".

In simple terms, this means: Always be prepared in advance.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


See Also:  Fix Roof Before the Rain; Dig the Well Before You Are Thirsty

Hardships and Joys

shinsankanku
Hardships and Joys Scroll

This Japanese proverb speaks of the "hardships and joys" of life.

Some other translations include:
Tasting the sweets and bitters of life.
Being well-versed in the ways of the world (having seen much of life).

辛酸甘苦 is the Japanese "for better or worse", when speaking of life.

Let It Be / Be Relieved

mayu o hira ku
Let It Be / Be Relieved Scroll

眉を開く is a Japanese proverb and expression that means, "to feel relieved", "to forget about one's troubles", or "to settle into peace of mind".

The literal words suggest relaxing your eyebrows or face. Allow worry or concern to go away, and just be content "letting it be".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Time is Gold

yī kè qiān jīn
ikko ku sen kin
Time is Gold Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese proverb can be translated as, "time is gold", "every minute counts", "every moment is precious", "time is money", or "precious time".

Even Monkeys Fall From Trees

Meaning: Anyone can make a mistake
saru mo ki kara ochiru
Even Monkeys Fall From Trees Scroll

猿も木から落ちる is the Japanese proverb, "Even monkeys fall from trees".

It suggests that even the most skilled, can make a mistake in something they should be a master of. Or, to put it simply, "Anyone can make a mistake".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Mono no Aware

mono no awa-re
Mono no Aware Scroll

This literally translates as, "the pathos of things", "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera".

物の哀れ is kind of a Japanese proverb for the awareness of impermanence, or transience of things.

Both things and the emotions about those things do not last forever.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall

hana wa sa ki hana wa chi ru
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall Scroll

This Japanese proverb is about the cycle of life, or how things come and go in life.

This can be used to suggest that youth, fortune, and life can come and go (everything is temporary).


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Forgive and Forget

Water Under the Bridge
mizu ni naga su
Forgive and Forget Scroll

水に流す is a Japanese proverb which suggests that "water continues to flow".

It's similar to our English phrase, "Water under the bridge". The perceived meaning is, "Forgive and forget".

I have also seen this translated as, "Don't cry over spilled milk".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Always Try to do Better

sara ni ue o me za su
Always Try to do Better Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally translates as: [After having achieved a fair degree of success,] one should still try to do better.

Others may translate this as, "Always try to improve", or "Always try to be better".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


See Also:  Never Give Up

Failure is the Origin of Success

shippai wa seikou no moto
Failure is the Origin of Success Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally reads, "failure/mistake/blunder/defeat is the origin of success".

Basically, it suggests that failures or defeats are a necessary part of success.

This is often translated as, "Failure is a stepping stone to success".


Note: There are a few similar variations of this idiom in Japanese.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


See Also:  Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success

Determination to Achieve

ichi nen ho kki
Determination to Achieve Scroll

This Japanese proverb, "Ichinen Hokki", suggests being resolved to do something or having a wholehearted intention to accomplish something.

Some will translate this as, "the determination to accomplish something", "turning over a new leaf and being determined to find success".

Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success

sittpai wa seikou no moto
Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally reads, "failures/mistakes/blunders are the yeast-starter/yeast-mash of success".

Basically, it suggests that failures are a necessary part of success; Just as bread or beer requires yeast to successfully rise or brew/ferment.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Failure is the Mother of Success

shippai wa seikou no haha
Failure is the Mother of Success Scroll

This Japanese proverb means exactly what you think.

Every failure that you experience is a chance to learn from it and find success.

Knowing what does not work is just as important as finding out what does work.


Note: This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


See Also:  Experience is the Mother of Wisdom

Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance

naimen no tsuyosa ha gaiken no yosa ni masaru
Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally translates as "inner/internal strength/power [versus] outward-appearance [the] merit/virtue/good quality [does] excel/surpass/exceed/outweigh".

More naturally in English, this would be "Inner Strength Outweighs Outward Appearance".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Time and Tide Wait for No Man

kouinya no goto shi
Time and Tide Wait for No Man Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "time flies like an arrow". It's very similar to the English idiom, "time and tide wait for no man", or "life is short".

The Kanji breakdown:
光陰 = Time (the cycle of light and dark).
[and an]
矢 = Arrow
の = are
如し = Alike


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

masa katsu a gatsu
True Victory is Victory Over Oneself Scroll

This proverb is often translated as, "True victory is victory over oneself".

However, literally, Kanji by Kanji, it means, "True victory [is] my/self victory".

My Japanese friends rate this very highly for a wall scroll.


See Also:  Know Thy Enemy Know Thyself

Nothing is Impossible with Persistence

yí shān
isan
Nothing is Impossible with Persistence Scroll

移山 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for, "to remove mountains", or "to move a mountain".

Figuratively, this means you can accomplish the impossible by sheer persistence.

移山 is the short form of a proverb about a man who had much persistence, and was able to move a whole mountain (a bucket of soil at a time).

Beauty of Nature

Ka-Chou-Fuu-Getsu
ka chou fuu getsu
Beauty of Nature Scroll

花鳥風月 is the Japanese Kanji proverb for "Beauties of Nature".

The dictionary definition is, "the traditional themes of natural beauty in Japanese aesthetics".

The Kanji each represents an element of nature that constitute beauty in traditional Japanese art and culture.

The Kanji breakdown:
花 = ka = flower (also pronounced "hana")
鳥 = chou = bird (also pronounced "tori").
風 = fuu = wind (also pronounced "kaze").
月 = getsu = moon (also pronounced "tsuki")

Bad Experience, Caution Lingers

A bird wounded by an arrow
shāng gōng zhī niǎo
shou kyuu no tori
Bad Experience, Caution Lingers Scroll

This literally means, "bird wounded by an arrow".

Figuratively, this refers to a wounded or damaged person. It's very similar to the western proverb, "a person once bitten is twice shy". To explain further, this is about someone who has become overly cautious due to a bad experience.

This phrase is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Abundance and Prosperity

fán róng fù yù
hanei yuuhuku
Abundance and Prosperity Scroll

繁榮富裕 is a proverb about "Prosperity and Abundance".

繁榮富裕 present and reinforce the ideas of being prosperous, a booming economy, well-to-do, well-off, wealth, riches, and opulence.

繁榮富裕 is the ancient/traditional Chinese way to write this but most Japanese can fully read and understand it. It's also the correct form of old Korean Hanja (though few Koreans of the current generation will be able to read this).


See Also:  Good Fortune

If you love your child, send them out into the world

kawaii ko ni wa tabi o sa seyo
If you love your child, send them out into the world Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "If you love your children, send them out on a journey into the world".

This is kind of similar to the western phrase, "Spare the rod and spoil the child".

More literally, this reads, "Cute child, a journey granted".
That "granted" could also be understood as "should be initiated".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Stay Strong / Iron Will

tesshin sekichou
Stay Strong / Iron Will Scroll

鉄心石腸 is a Japanese proverb which suggests you should have the inner-strength and will as hard and steadfast as iron.

It's the Japanese way to say, "stay strong". 鉄心石腸 is an especially uplifting thing to say to a person in distress or recovering from a disaster. It's kind of the survivor's creed.

If you literally translate this, it means, "iron will, stone guts" or "iron heart, rock-hard bowels".

Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks

hyakusenrenma
Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks Scroll

百戦錬磨 is a Japanese proverb or title that mean veteran, or rather, someone schooled by adversity in many battles, or someone rich in life experience.

If you are who you are because of the adversity you experienced in life, this could be the title for you.

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles

teki o shi ri o no o shi re ba hya ku sen aya u ka ra zu
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles Scroll

This is the longer/full Japanese version of this proverb. This means, "Know your enemy, know yourself, and you will not fear a hundred battles".

Others will translate this as, "Know thy enemy, know thyself, yields victory in one hundred battles".


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel

bushi no ichigon kintetsu no gotoshi
The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel Scroll

武士の一言金鉄の如し is an old Japanese proverb about the value of the word of a warrior.

Here's a couple versions of how this can be translated:

A warrior's single word is as unchanging and reliable as gold and steel.
A warrior's promise is as dependable as gold, and his [scabbard contains] untarnished steel (a sword).


Note: Sometimes this phrase is written as 男子の一言、金鉄の如し (danshi no ichigon kintetsu no gotoshi)


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

The Single Life

Dokushin-Kizoku
do kushin ki zoku
The Single Life Scroll

This Japanese proverb literally means "Single Aristocrat" or "Single Noble".

The understood meaning is that single people can live freely without a spouse or kids to support. To put it in an old cliché, they are footloose and fancy-free.

If you are a bachelor or bachelorette with few responsibilities and just a thirst for freedom and a worry-free life, this could be the title for you.

Evil Cause, Evil Result

Meaning: You reap what you sow
akuin akka
Evil Cause, Evil Result Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "Evil cause, evil effect" or "Bad causes bring bad results".

The English equivalent is probably, "Sow evil and reap evil" or more commonly, "You reap what you sow".

Note: 悪因悪果 is also considered to be a Buddhist phrase encompassing the idea of karmic retribution.

A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step

senri no michi mo ippo kara
sen ri no michi mo i-ppo ka ra
A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step Scroll

This is the Japanese version of an ancient Chinese proverb that means, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".

Some will also translate this as a 1000 mile road starts with one brick (a small amount).

In this case, the real measurement is an ancient Chinese "li" or 里, which is romanized as "ri" in Japanese. It's about half a kilometer, so three 里 would be a western mile. A journey of 333 miles begins with a single step, just doesn't sound as natural.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Brave the Waves

pò làng
ha rou
Brave the Waves Scroll

破浪 can be translated from Chinese as "braving the waves" or "bravely setting sail".

It literally means: "break/cleave/cut [the] waves".

破浪 is a great title to encourage yourself or someone else not to be afraid of problems or troubles.

Because of the context, this is especially good for sailors or yachtsmen and surfers too.

Note: While this can be understood in Japanese, it's not commonly used in Japan. Therefore, please consider this to be primarily a Chinese proverb.

Courage To Do What Is Right

giomitesezaruhayuunakinari
Courage To Do What Is Right Scroll

This is a Japanese proverb that means, "Knowing what is right and not doing is a want of courage".

I've also seen it translated as:
To see what is right, yet fail to do so, is a lack of courage.
To know righteousness, but take no action is cowardice.
You are a coward if you knew what was the right thing to do, but you did not take action.
Knowing what is right without practicing it betrays one's cowardice.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Success

chéng gōng
seikou
Success Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese word for "success" is often used to refer to "career success" but is also used for other successes in life.

It matches the western dictionary definition of "The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted". And it's also used it this old Chinese proverb: Failure is the Mother of Success which means Failure is the Mother of Success.

Sometimes this word is translated as prosperity but success, succeed, or successfully are more correct definitions.


See Also:  Prosperity

Five Reflections / Gosei

shi se i ni moto ru na ka ri shi ka? gen kou ni ha zu ru na ka ri shi ka?
ki ryo ku ni ka ku ru na ka ri shi ka? do ryo ku ni u ra mi na ka ri shi ka?
bu sho u ni wa ta ru na ka ri shi ka?
Five Reflections / Gosei Scroll

These are the "Five Reflections" of Vice Admiral Hajime Matsushita of the Japanese Imperial Navy.

These days, the Five Reflections are recited or contemplated daily by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force recruits in training. This long proverb is popularly translated into English this way:

Hast thou not gone against sincerity?
Hast thou not felt ashamed of thy words and deeds?
Hast thou not lacked vigor?
Hast thou not exerted all possible efforts?
Hast thou not become slothful?


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo

shi kin ha ra mitsu dai kou myo
Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo Scroll

These are the Japanese Kanji characters that romanize as "Shikin Haramitsu Daikōmyō".

This is a complicated proverb. I'm actually going to forgo writing any translation information here. You can figure it out via Google search and at sites like Paramita and the Perfection of Wisdom or Fecastel.Wordpress.com::Shikin Haramitsu Daikōmyō

Keep Calm in Face of Adversity

shitsuitaizen
Keep Calm in Face of Adversity Scroll

失意泰然 is a very old Japanese proverb that suggests, "keeping calm and collected at times of disappointment", or "maintaining a serene state of mind when faced with adversity".

It's hard to relate individual character meanings into the overall meaning unless you also understand Japanese grammar. The word order is very different than English. That being said, here's the character meaning breakdown:
失 To miss, lose or fail.
意 Feelings, thoughts, meaning.
泰 Safe, peaceful.
然 Like that, in that way, however, although.

Using these definitions in English, we might say, "Although you may fail or lose, have a feeling of peace and calm".

Once in a Lifetime

yī qī yī huì
ichigoichie
Once in a Lifetime Scroll

This Japanese title can be translated as "for this time only", "chance meeting", "one meeting, one opportunity", "never again", or "one chance in a lifetime".

The characters literally mean "one time one meeting" - of course, the Kanji characters have meaning far beyond a direct translation like this.

Some might use this proverb to talk of an opportunity that presents itself just once in your life. It could also be the single chance-meeting with your true soul mate. Basically an expression for any event that might happen once in a lifetime.


This is primarily a Japanese title, however, there is also a Traditional Chinese (and old Korean) version of this proverb. Just the last character is different.
會The traditional form was used in Japan before WWII and in Korea prior to 1900. This title is somewhat known in China.

If you want the older traditional form, just click on the character to the right.

A Wise Man Changes His Mind (but a fool never will)

kun shi hyou hen su
A Wise Man Changes His Mind (but a fool never will) Scroll

This Japanese proverb suggests that a wise man is willing to change his mind but a fool will stubbornly never change his.

The first word is 君子 (kunshi) man of virtue, person of high rank, wise man.

The second word is 豹変 (hyouhen) sudden change, complete change.

The last part す (su) just modifies the verb to a more humble form.

The "fool" part is merely implied or understood. So if wise and noble people are willing to change their minds, it automatically says that foolish people are the ones unwilling to change.

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
bǎi zhé bù náo
hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks Scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks".

More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching". 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose the corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and the common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career, a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks", "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable".

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks", the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times". The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up".
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance | Persistence

One Day Seems Like 1000 Years

yí rì qiān qiū
ichi jitsu sen shuu
One Day Seems Like 1000 Years Scroll

一日千秋 is a Japanese and Chinese proverb about missing someone.

一日千秋 is often used to express how hard it is to wait for someone's return, or to be away from someone.

Some will translate this as, "one day feels like a very long time", or "waiting for someone (something) is hard".

You might see this romanized as a single word, Ichijitsusenshuu, or as "Ichijitsu Senshuu" from Japanese.
If you break down the characters one-by-one, we get:
一 = one / a
日 = day / sun (can also represent time, or a date)
千 = 1000 / a thousand
秋 = autumn / fall

Together, 千秋 can mean, "autumn comes thousand times" (or 1000 years). It can also be read as 1000 periods of time.
However you literally read this, it relays the idea of heartache as you wait for someone that you miss.

Mutual Welfare and Benefit

Jita-Kyoei
ji ta kyou ei
Mutual Welfare and Benefit Scroll

自他共榮 can be translated a few different ways. Here are some possibilities:
Benefit mutually and prosper together.
Mutual welfare and benefit.
A learning concept of mutual benefit and welfare (that applies to all fields of society).
Mutual prosperity.

The first two characters are easy to explain. They are "self" and "others". Together, these two characters create a word which means "mutual" (literally "me and them").

The third character can have different meanings depending on context. Here, it means "in common" or "to share".

The fourth character suggests the idea of "prosperity", "flourishing" or becoming "glorious".

It should be noted that these Kanji are used almost exclusively in the context of Judo martial arts. 自他共榮 is not a common or recognized Japanese proverb outside of Judo.


In modern Japanese Kanji, the last character looks like 栄 instead of 榮. If you want this slightly-simplified version, please let us know when you place your order.

Furinkazan

military strategy
fēng lín huǒ shān
fuu rin ka zan
Furinkazan Scroll

風林火山 is the battle strategy and proverb of Japanese feudal lord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573 AD).

This came from the Art of War by Chinese strategist and tactician Sun Tzu (Sunzi).

You can think of this as a sort of abbreviation to remind officers and troops how to conduct battle.

風林火山 is literally a word list: Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain.

The more expanded meaning is supposed to be...

"Swift as the wind, quiet as the forest, fierce as fire, and immovable as a mountain"

"As fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain"

"Move as swift as the wind, stay as silent as a forest, attack as fierce as fire, undefeatable defense like a mountain"

"Move swiftly like the wind, stay silent like the forest, attack fiercely like fire, take tactical position on the mountain"


See Also:  Art of War

Learn New Ways From Old / Onkochishin

New ideas coming from past history
wēn gù zhī xīn
on ko chi shin
Learn New Ways From Old / Onkochishin Scroll

溫故知新 is a proverb from Confucius that is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures.

It can be translated several ways:
Coming up with new ideas based on things learned in the past.
Examine things of the past, and obtain the new knowledge.
Developing new ideas based on the study of the past.
Gain new insights through restudying old issues.
Understand the present by reviewing the past.
Learning from the past.
Review the old and know the new.
Taking a lesson from the past.
Taking a lesson from the wisdom of the ancients.
Follow the old ways.

The direct translation would be, "By asking old things know new things".
The Character meanings breakdown this way:
溫故 = ask old
知新 = know new

Explained: To learn new things that are outside of your experience, you can learn from old things of the past. You can find wisdom from history.


溫 VS. 温

Note: Japanese use a variant of the first Kanji in modern times.
Therefore if you order this from a Japanese calligrapher, expect the first Kanji to look like 温 instead of 溫.

In addition to 温故知新 as mentioned above, this is sometimes written as 温古知新 in Japan.

No man knows what he owes to his parents until he comes to have children of his own

ko wo motte shiru oya no on
No man knows what he owes to his parents until he comes to have children of his own Scroll

This literally translates as: Only after you have a baby, you would appreciate your parents (feel the way they do, etc).

This is a bit like the "walk a mile in another man's shoes" saying. Basically, it's about you cannot fully understand the plight of others until you experience it yourself. It also shows appreciation for the plight of parents.

This Japanese proverb can also be translated a few more ways:

No man knows what he owes to his parents till he comes to have children of his own.

One knows not what one owes to one's parents till one comes to have children of one's own.

Only after you have a baby, you will appreciate your parents or feel the way they do.

Only after becoming a parent yourself do you realize how much you owe [how indebted you are] to your own parents.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight

Always rising after a fall or repeated failures
shichi ten hakki / nana korobi ya oki
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight Scroll

This Japanese proverb relays the vicissitudes of life, with the meaning "seven times down eight times up".

Some would more naturally translate it into English as "Always rising after a fall or repeated failures" or compare it to the English, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again".

The first Kanji is literally "7". The second means "fall down" (sometimes this Kanji means "turn around", "revolve" or "turn over" but in this case, it holds the meaning of "fall"). The third is "8". And the last is "get up", "rouse", or "rise".

Basically, if you fail 7 times, you should recover from those events and be prepared to rise an 8th time. This also applies if it is the world or circumstances that knock you down seven times...
...just remember that you have the ability to bounce back from any kind of adversity.

Note: This can be pronounced two ways. One is "shichi ten hakki" or "shichitenhakki". The other is "nana korobi ya oki" also written, "nanakorobi-yaoki".

Special Note: The second character is a Kanji that is not used in China. Therefore, please only select our Japanese master calligrapher for this selection.

Indomitable / Unyielding

bù qū bù náo
fukutsu futou
Indomitable / Unyielding Scroll

不屈不撓 means "Indomitable" or "Unyielding".

不屈不撓 is a long word by Chinese standards. At least, it is often translated as a single word into English. It's actually a proverb in Chinese.

If you want to break it down, you can see that the first and third characters are the same. Both meaning "not" (they work as a suffix to make a negative or opposite meaning to whatever character follows).

The second character means "bendable".

The last means "scratched" or "bothered".

So this really means "Won't be bent, can't be bothered". I have also seen it written as "Will not crouch, will not submit". This comes from the fact that the second character can mean, "to crouch" and the last can mean "to submit" (as in "to give in" such as "submitting to the rule of someone else"). This may explain better why these four characters mean "indomitable".

Notes:
Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.
The first two characters can be a stand-alone word in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered to be two words (with very similar meanings).
The same characters are used in Korean, but the 2nd and 4th characters are swapped to create a word pronounced "불요불굴" in Korean.
Just let me know if you want the Korean version, which will also make sense in Japanese, and though not as natural, will also make sense in Chinese as well.


See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Body and Earth in Unity

shindofuni / shindofuji
Body and Earth in Unity Scroll

身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.

身土不二 literally reads, "Body [and] earth [are] not two".

Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).

Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is used often when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.

Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body rather a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, in can refer to the land or realm we live in.

Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is "healthy propaganda".

Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source for Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize 身土不二 as a native phrase and concept.


See Also:  Strength and Love in Unity




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
How can you catch tiger cubs without entering the lair of the tiger?虎穴に入らずんば虎子を得ずkoketsu ni haira zun ba tora ko o e zu
Realize Your Ambitions
Embrace Your Ambition
大志を抱くtaishi wo Idaku
taishiwoIdaku
The Weak are Meat, The Strong Eat.弱肉強食jaku niku kyoo shoku
jakunikukyooshoku
jaku niku kyo shoku
jakunikukyoshoku
ruò ròu qiáng shí
ruo4 rou4 qiang2 shi2
ruo rou qiang shi
ruorouqiangshi
jo jou ch`iang shih
jojouchiangshih
jo jou chiang shih
Honorable Death - No Surrender玉砕主義gyokusai shugi
gyokusaishugi
A Journey of 1000 Miles Feels Like One千里も一里sen ri mo ichi ri
senrimoichiri
Strength and Love in Unity力愛不二
力爱不二
riki ai fu ni
rikiaifuni
Bright and Promising Future明るい未来akarui mirai
akaruimirai
The Brave Have No Fears勇者不懼
勇者不惧
yuu sha fu ku
yuushafuku
yu sha fu ku
yushafuku
yǒng zhě bú jù
yong3 zhe3 bu2 ju4
yong zhe bu ju
yongzhebuju
yung che pu chü
yungchepuchü
Safety and Well-Being of the Family家內安全
家内安全
ka nai an zen
kanaianzen
Follow Your Heart気持ちに従うkimochi ni shitagau
kimochinishitagau
Unwavering腹が据わるharagasuwaru
A Moment of Time is as Precious as Gold春宵一刻shunshouikkoku
shunshoikoku
Fortune favors the brave勇者は幸運に恵まれるyuusha ha kouun ni megumareru
yusha ha koun ni megumareru
yushahakounnimegumareru
Never Forget Your First Resolution初心忘るべからず / 初心忘る可からず
初心忘るべからず
sho shin wasu ru be ka ra zu
shoshinwasurubekarazu
One Family Under Heaven天下一家tenka ikka / tenkaikka / tenka ika / tenkaikatiān xià yī jiā
tian1 xia4 yi1 jia1
tian xia yi jia
tianxiayijia
t`ien hsia i chia
tienhsiaichia
tien hsia i chia
Pleasant Journey一路順風
一路顺风
ichirojunpuu
ichirojunpu
yī lù shùn fēng
yi1 lu4 shun4 feng1
yi lu shun feng
yilushunfeng
i lu shun feng
ilushunfeng
Preparation Yields No Regrets備え有れば憂い無しsona e a re ba ure i na shi
sonaearebaureinashi
Indomitable Spirit負けじ魂ma ke ji damashii
makejidamashii
ma ke ji damashi
makejidamashi
Ichi wa Zen, Zen wa Ichi一は全、全は一ichi wa zen zen wa ichi
ichiwazenzenwaichi
Rise and Fall
Ups and Downs
栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰
荣枯盛衰
ei ko sei sui
eikoseisui
In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai花は櫻木人は武士
花は桜木人は武士
hana wa sakuragi hito wa bushi
Live in Peace and Contentment安居樂業
安居乐业
an kyo raku gyou
ankyorakugyou
an kyo raku gyo
ankyorakugyo
ān jū lè yè
an1 ju1 le4 ye4
an ju le ye
anjuleye
an chü le yeh
anchüleyeh
Live Together and Help Each Other共存共栄kyou son kyou ei
kyousonkyouei
kyo son kyo ei
kyosonkyoei
Open and Calm Mind虛心坦懐
虚心坦懐
kyoshintankai
Merge
Unify
打成一片tajou ippen
tajouippen
tajo ipen
tajoipen
dǎ chéng yī piàn
da3 cheng2 yi1 pian4
da cheng yi pian
dachengyipian
ta ch`eng i p`ien
tachengipien
ta cheng i pien
Far-Sighted in Deep Thought深謀遠慮
深谋远虑
shinbouenryo / shinboenryo
shinboenryo / shinboenryo
shinboenryo / shinboenryo
shēn móu yuǎn lǜ
shen1 mou2 yuan3 lu:4
shen mou yuan lu:
shenmouyuanlu:
shen mou yüan lü
shenmouyüanlü
Perseverance
Indomitable
Invincible Fortitude
堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔
坚忍不拔
kenninfubatsujiān rěn bù bá
jian1 ren3 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
jianrenbuba
chien jen pu pa
chienjenpupa
Standing by Oneself
Walking by Oneself
獨立獨步
独立独步
do kuritsu do ppo
dokuritsudoppo
do kuritsu do po
dokuritsudopo
Life Full of Love愛に溢れた人生ai ni afu re ta jin sei
ainiafuretajinsei
A Life of Happiness and Prosperity幸福と繁栄の人生kou fuku to ha nei no jin sei
koufukutohaneinojinsei
ko fuku to ha nei no jin sei
kofukutohaneinojinsei
Presence of Mind泰然自若taizenjijakutài rán zì ruò
tai4 ran2 zi4 ruo4
tai ran zi ruo
tairanziruo
t`ai jan tzu jo
taijantzujo
tai jan tzu jo
Great Aspirations
Ambition
大志を抱tai shi wo idaku
taishiwoidaku
There is no pleasure without pain苦は楽の種ku wa raku no tane
kuwarakunotane
Seeing is Believing百聞は一見に如かずhyakubun wa ikken ni shikazu
hyakubunwaikkennishikazu
hyakubun wa iken ni shikazu
hyakubunwaikennishikazu
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself敵を知り己を知るte ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
tekioshirionoreoshiru
Have a Walking Stick at the Ready Before You Stumble転ばぬ先の杖koro ba nu saki no tsue
korobanusakinotsue
Hardships and Joys辛酸甘苦shinsankanku
Let It Be
Be Relieved
眉を開くmayu o hira ku
mayuohiraku
Time is Gold一刻千金ikko ku sen kin
ikkokusenkin
iko ku sen kin
ikokusenkin
yī kè qiān jīn
yi1 ke4 qian1 jin1
yi ke qian jin
yikeqianjin
i k`o ch`ien chin
ikochienchin
i ko chien chin
Even Monkeys Fall From Trees猿も木から落ちるsaru mo ki kara ochiru
sarumokikaraochiru
Mono no Aware物の哀れmono no awa-re
mononoawa-re
Flowers Bloom and Flowers Fall花は咲き花は散るhana wa sa ki hana wa chi ru
hanawasakihanawachiru
Forgive and Forget水に流すmizu ni naga su
mizuninagasu
Always Try to do Better更に上を目指すsara ni ue o me za su
saraniueomezasu
Failure is the Origin of Success失敗は成功の元shippai wa seikou no moto
shippaiwaseikounomoto
shipai wa seiko no moto
shipaiwaseikonomoto
Determination to Achieve一念発起ichi nen ho kki
ichinenhokki
ichi nen ho ki
ichinenhoki
Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success失敗は成功のもとsittpai wa seikou no moto
sittpaiwaseikounomoto
sittpai wa seiko no moto
sittpaiwaseikonomoto
Failure is the Mother of Success失敗は成功の母shippai wa seikou no haha
shippaiwaseikounohaha
shipai wa seiko no haha
shipaiwaseikonohaha
Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance内面の強さは外見の良さに勝るnaimen no tsuyosa ha gaiken no yosa ni masaru
Time and Tide Wait for No Man光陰矢の如し
光阴矢の如し
kouinya no goto shi
kouinyanogotoshi
koinya no goto shi
koinyanogotoshi
True Victory is Victory Over Oneself正勝吾勝
正胜吾胜
masa katsu a gatsu
masakatsuagatsu
Nothing is Impossible with Persistence移山isanyí shān / yi2 shan1 / yi shan / yishani shan / ishan
Beauty of Nature花鳥風月ka chou fuu getsu
kachoufuugetsu
ka cho fu getsu
kachofugetsu
Bad Experience, Caution Lingers傷弓之鳥
伤弓之鸟
shou kyuu no tori
shoukyuunotori
sho kyu no tori
shokyunotori
shāng gōng zhī niǎo
shang1 gong1 zhi1 niao3
shang gong zhi niao
shanggongzhiniao
shang kung chih niao
shangkungchihniao
Abundance and Prosperity繁榮富裕
繁荣富裕
hanei yuuhuku
haneiyuuhuku
hanei yuhuku
haneiyuhuku
fán róng fù yù
fan2 rong2 fu4 yu4
fan rong fu yu
fanrongfuyu
fan jung fu yü
fanjungfuyü
If you love your child, send them out into the world可愛い子には旅をさせよkawaii ko ni wa tabi o sa seyo
kawaiikoniwatabiosaseyo
kawai ko ni wa tabi o sa seyo
kawaikoniwatabiosaseyo
Stay Strong
Iron Will
鉄心石腸tesshin sekichou
tesshinsekichou
teshin sekicho
teshinsekicho
Schooled by Experience and Hard Knocks百戦錬磨hyakusenrenma
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles敵を知り己を知れば百戦危うからずteki o shi ri o no o shi re ba hya ku sen aya u ka ra zu
The Warrior’s Word, Dependable as Gold and Steel武士の一言、金鉄の如しbushi no ichigon kintetsu no gotoshi
The Single Life独身貴族 / 獨身貴族
独身贵族
do kushin ki zoku
dokushinkizoku
Evil Cause, Evil Result悪因悪果akuin akka / akuinakka / akuin aka / akuinaka
A Journey of 1000 Miles Begins with a Single Step千里の道も一歩からsen ri no michi mo i-ppo ka ra
senrinomichimoi-ppokara
sen ri no michi mo i-po ka ra
senrinomichimoi-pokara
Brave the Waves破浪ha rou / harou / ha ro / haropò làng / po4 lang4 / po lang / polangp`o lang / polang / po lang
Courage To Do What Is Right義を見てせざるは勇なきなりgiomitesezaruhayuunakinari
giomitesezaruhayunakinari
Success成功seikou / seikochéng gōng
cheng2 gong1
cheng gong
chenggong
ch`eng kung
chengkung
cheng kung
Five Reflections
Gosei
一至誠に悖るなかりしか一言行に恥づるなかりしか一氣力に缺くるなかりしか一努力に憾みなかりしか一不精に亘るなかりしかshi se i ni moto ru na ka ri shi ka? gen kou ni ha zu ru na ka ri shi ka?
ki ryo ku ni ka ku ru na ka ri shi ka? do ryo ku ni u ra mi na ka ri shi ka?
bu sho u ni wa ta ru na ka ri shi ka?
shi se i ni moto ru na ka ri shi ka? gen ko ni ha zu ru na ka ri shi ka?
ki ryo ku ni ka ku ru na ka ri shi ka? do ryo ku ni u ra mi na ka ri shi ka?
bu sho u ni wa ta ru na ka ri shi ka?
shiseinimotorunakarishika?genkonihazurunakarishika?
kiryokunikakurunakarishika?doryokuniuraminakarishika?
bushouniwatarunakarishika?
Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo詞韻波羅蜜大光明
词韵波罗蜜大光明
shi kin ha ra mitsu dai kou myo
shikinharamitsudaikoumyo
shi kin ha ra mitsu dai ko myo
shikinharamitsudaikomyo
Keep Calm in Face of Adversity失意泰然shitsuitaizen
Once in a Lifetime一期一會
一期一会
ichigoichieyī qī yī huì
yi1 qi1 yi1 hui4
yi qi yi hui
yiqiyihui
i ch`i i hui
ichiihui
i chi i hui
A Wise Man Changes His Mind (but a fool never will)君子豹変すkun shi hyou hen su
kunshihyouhensu
kun shi hyo hen su
kunshihyohensu
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks百折不撓
百折不挠
hyaku setsu su tou
hyakusetsusutou
hyaku setsu su to
hyakusetsusuto
bǎi zhé bù náo
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
baizhebunao
pai che pu nao
paichepunao
One Day Seems Like 1000 Years一日千秋ichi jitsu sen shuu
ichijitsusenshuu
ichi jitsu sen shu
ichijitsusenshu
yí rì qiān qiū
yi2 ri4 qian1 qiu1
yi ri qian qiu
yiriqianqiu
i jih ch`ien ch`iu
ijihchienchiu
i jih chien chiu
Mutual Welfare and Benefit自他共榮
自他共荣 / 自他共栄
ji ta kyou ei
jitakyouei
ji ta kyo ei
jitakyoei
Furinkazan風林火山
风林火山
fuu rin ka zan
fuurinkazan
fu rin ka zan
furinkazan
fēng lín huǒ shān
feng1 lin2 huo3 shan1
feng lin huo shan
fenglinhuoshan
Learn New Ways From Old
Onkochishin
溫故知新
温故知新
on ko chi shin
onkochishin
wēn gù zhī xīn
wen1 gu4 zhi1 xin1
wen gu zhi xin
wenguzhixin
wen ku chih hsin
wenkuchihhsin
No man knows what he owes to his parents until he comes to have children of his own子を持って知る親の恩ko wo motte shiru oya no on
kowomotteshiruoyanoon
Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight七転八起shichi ten hakki / nana korobi ya oki
shichi ten haki / nana korobi ya oki
shichitenhaki / nanakorobiyaoki
Indomitable
Unyielding
不屈不撓
不屈不挠
fukutsu futou
fukutsufutou
fukutsu futo
fukutsufuto
bù qū bù náo
bu4 qu1 bu4 nao2
bu qu bu nao
buqubunao
pu ch`ü pu nao
puchüpunao
pu chü pu nao
Body and Earth in Unity身土不二shindofuni / shindofuji
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...


Body and Earth in Unity Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Scroll


And formats...

Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Portrait
Body and Earth in Unity Horizontal Wall Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Japanese Proverb in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

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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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Japanese Proverb Kanji, Japanese Proverb Characters, Japanese Proverb in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese Proverb Characters, Japanese Proverb in Chinese Writing, Japanese Proverb in Japanese Writing, Japanese Proverb in Asian Writing, Japanese Proverb Ideograms, Chinese Japanese Proverb symbols, Japanese Proverb Hieroglyphics, Japanese Proverb Glyphs, Japanese Proverb in Chinese Letters, Japanese Proverb Hanzi, Japanese Proverb in Japanese Kanji, Japanese Proverb Pictograms, Japanese Proverb in the Chinese Written-Language, or Japanese Proverb in the Japanese Written-Language.

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