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7. Free Spirit
精神 is the kind of spirit that you have if you perform well in sports or competition. It is the idea of having a good attitude, and putting your all into something - so much so that others can see or feel your spirit. It is the essence of your being that can only be subjectively described because there are no words that can fully explain what "spirit" really is.
For your information:
My Japanese dictionary further tries to explain this word by comparing it to mind, soul, heart or intention.
My Chinese dictionary compares these characters to meanings like vigor, vitality, drive and mentality.
My Korean dictionary defines this as mind, spirit and soul.
These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.
As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.
Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.
Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being
To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit", to define these.
龍馬精神 is an old proverb that is used to wish someone good health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse". These four characters are often accompanied by four more which mean, "...and the power and prestige of the tiger". Here we are just offering the first part which is considered the short version.
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have an amazing quality. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
Note: In Japanese, this would be read as the spirit of 坂本龍馬 (Sakamoto_Ryōma), a beloved rebel who help abolish the old Japanese feudal system. This can be confusing, so I am declaring this proverb to be Chinese only.
龍虎精神 means the spirit of the dragon and tiger.
It speaks to the vitality and vigor that is the nature of these two creatures.
Beyond "spirit", the second two characters can also mean mind, soul, or heart. Therefore, you can also say this means "Heart of the Dragon and Tiger", etc.
龍虎精神 is often titled as "Ryukoseishin" in many Japanese martial arts.
獨立精神 means independent spirit in Chinese.
The first two characters mean independent, independence, or to stand alone.
The last two characters can mean spirit, spiritual, vigor, vitality, drive, mind, consciousness, thought, essence, heart or soul.
With this information, you can make your own translation combination such as "independent heart", "stand alone spirit", or more creatively, "the drive to stand alone" in English. There are a lot of ways to interpret 獨立精神.
精神伴侶 is title means "Spiritual Soul Mates". The first two characters mean "spiritual" or "soul". The second two characters mean "mates", "companions" or "partners".
精神伴侶 is more about the spiritual connection between partners rather than a "fate-brought-us-together" kind of soul mates.
Both halves of this title have meaning in Japanese but I've not yet confirmed that this is a commonly used title in Japan.
This title speaks of one's soul or spirit, and the capacity or strength that soul possesses.
The first two characters mean mind, heart, spirit, and/or soul.
The last two characters mean strength, capacity, or ability.
Note: Separately, these are two words in Japanese, and can be pronounced but this does not make a natural title in Japanese (best if your audience is Chinese).
This can be translated as the warrior's spirit or warrior's soul. The first two characters can be translated as "warrior" or literally "brave soldier/man" although some will translate this word as "hero". Therefore, this is also how to say "heroic spirit".
The second two characters mean vigor, vitality, drive, spirit, mind, heart, mental essence and psychological component. Basically "your soul".
We have two versions of this phrase. The only difference is the first two and last two characters are swapped. The version here suggests that you admire or like the idea of the spirit of a warrior. The other version suggests that you are the warrior or hero.
This can be translated as the spirit or soul of a warrior. The first two characters can be translated as vigor, vitality, drive, spirit, mind, heart, mental essence and psychological component. Basically "your soul".
The second two characters mean "warrior" or literally "brave soldier/man" although some will translate this word as "hero". Therefore, this is also how to say "soul of a hero".
Note: This title is best for Chinese and old Korean. It does make sense in Japanese but is not a common or natural Kanji combination in Japanese.
We have two versions of this phrase. The only difference is the first two and last two characters are swapped. The version here suggests that you are the warrior or hero. The other version suggests that you admire or like the idea of the spirit of a warrior.
跆拳道精神 means, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo".
跆拳道精神 is the title of General Choi's calligraphy often referred to as "The Tenets of Taekwon-do".
This is an old proverb that is used to wish someone great health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse, and the power and prestige of the tiger".
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have these qualities. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
跆拳道精神禮義廉耻忍耐克己百折不屈 is General Choi's writing that is often called "The Tenets of Taekwon-do".
The actual title would be translated as, "Taekwondo Spirit" or "The Spirit of Taekwondo". It was originally written in Korean Hanja (Chinese characters used in Korea for about 1600 years).General Choi's original calligraphy is shown to the right. Your custom calligraphy will be unique, and not an exact match, as each calligrapher has their own style.
|Traditional Korean Hanja||Modern Korean Hangul||Pronunciation||English|
|跆拳道精神||태권도정신||tae gweon do jeong sin||Taekwondo Spirit|
|禮儀||예의||ye yi||Courtesy / Etiquette / Propriety / Decorum / Formality|
|廉耻||염치||yeom ci||Integrity / Sense of Honor|
|忍耐||인내||in nae||Patience / Perseverance / Endurance|
|克己||극기||geug gi||Self-Control / Self-Denial / Self-Abnegation|
|百折不屈||백절불굴||baeg jeor bur gur||Indomitable Spirit (Undaunted even after repeated attacks from the opponent)|
|Note that the pronunciation is the official version now used in South Korea. However, it is different than what you may be used to. For instance, "Taekwon-do" is "tae gweon do". This new romanization is supposed to be closer to actual Korean pronunciation.|
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Spirit||精神||sei shin / seishin||jīng shén|
|Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine||精氣神|
|jīng qì shén|
jing1 qi4 shen2
jing qi shen
|ching ch`i shen
ching chi shen
|Spirituality||精神性||seishinsei / seshinse||jīng shén xìng|
jing1 shen2 xing4
jing shen xing
|ching shen hsing
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse||龍馬精神|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2
long ma jing shen
|lung ma ching shen
|The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger||龍虎精神|
|ryu ko sei shin|
|lóng hǔ jīng shén|
long2 hu3 jing1 shen2
long hu jing shen
|lung hu ching shen
|Esprit de Corps|
|tuán duì jīng shén|
tuan2 dui4 jing1 shen2
tuan dui jing shen
|t`uan tui ching shen
tuan tui ching shen
|Free Spirit||自由精神||zì yóu jīng shén|
zi4 you2 jing1 shen2
zi you jing shen
|tzu yu ching shen
|dú lì jīng shén|
du2 li4 jing1 shen2
du li jing shen
|tu li ching shen
|Spiritual Soul Mates||精神伴侶|
|sei shin han ryo|
|jīng shén bàn lǚ|
jing1 shen2 ban4 lv3
jing shen ban lv
|ching shen pan lü
Strength of Spirit
|jīng shén lì liàng|
jing1 shen2 li4 liang4
jing shen li liang
|ching shen li liang
|勇士精神||yǒng shì jīng shén|
yong3 shi4 jing1 shen2
yong shi jing shen
|yung shih ching shen
|Soul of a Warrior||精神勇士||jīng shén yǒng shì|
jing1 shen2 yong3 shi4
jing shen yong shi
|ching shen yung shih
|Spirit of Taekwondo||跆拳道精神||te kon do sei shin|
|tái quán dào jīng shen|
tai2 quan2 dao4 jing1 shen2
tai quan dao jing shen
|t`ai ch`üan tao ching shen
tai chüan tao ching shen
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse and Power of a Tiger.||龍馬精神虎虎生威|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén hǔ hǔ shēng wēi|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2 hu3 hu3 sheng1 wei1
long ma jing shen hu hu sheng wei
|lung ma ching shen hu hu sheng wei|
Spirit of Taekwon-do
|tái quán dào jīng shén lǐ yì lián chǐ rěn nài kè jǐ bǎi zhé bù qū|
tai2 quan2 dao4 jing1 shen2 li3 yi4 lian2 chi3 ren3 nai4 ke4 ji3 bai3 zhe2 bu4 qu1
tai quan dao jing shen li yi lian chi ren nai ke ji bai zhe bu qu
|t`ai ch`üan tao ching shen li i lien ch`ih jen nai k`o chi pai che pu ch`ü
tai chüan tao ching shen li i lien chih jen nai ko chi pai che pu chü
|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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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.
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