Koan in Chinese / Japanese...

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gōng àn
kouan
Koan Scroll

In Buddhist context, this is a Zen question for meditation.

From the Buddhist dictionary this is:
Problems set by Zen masters, upon which thought is concentrated as a means to attain inner unity and illumination.

The secular meaning of this word can mean a judge's desk, complex legal case, contentious issue, a dossier, case record, public laws, regulations, or case-law.

The Great Path has No Gate

dà dào wú mén
dai dou mu mon
The Great Path has No Gate Scroll

大道無門 is a Buddhist proverb that means "The Great Way has no entrance", "The Great Way is gateless" or "The Great Path lacks a gate".

This can be translated in many other ways.

This concept was authored within a long sacred text by 無門慧開 (known as Wúmén Huìkāi in Chinese or Mumon Ekai in Japanese). He was a Chinese Chan Master (in Japanese a Zen Master) who lived between 1183 and 1260 AD. His most famous work was a 48-koan collection titled "The Gateless Barrier" or "The Gateless Gate" (無門關 Wú Mén Guān in Chinese, or 無門関 Mu Mon Kan in Japanese). This calligraphy title is a notable line from this collection.


I like this reference to the source of this proverb: The Gateless Gate 無門關

Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha

butsu ni atte wa butsu o korosu
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Scroll

This controversial Buddhist koan means, "On encountering Buddha, you should kill him".

佛に逢っては佛を殺す is the short concise Japanese version of an original statement by ninth-century Chinese Buddhist monk Linji Yixuan, "If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him".

This takes some explaining... The concept here is that if you think you have seen, experienced, or achieved true enlightenment, the chances that you really have are so slim that you should kill or dismiss that idea.

Another suggestion is that one's path to becoming a Buddha is one's own, and one should not get caught up in religious fervor, and avoid "showing off" that they are a Buddhist.


Helpful references for this concept:
Lion's Roar addresses "If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him"
Kill the Buddha


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


Not the results for koan that you were looking for?

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

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

公安

see styles
gōng ān
    gong1 an1
kung an
 kouan / koan
    こうあん

More info & calligraphy:

Police / Public Security Bureau
(Ministry of) Public Security; public safety; public security
public safety; public welfare; (female given name) Kōan

公案

see styles
gōng àn
    gong1 an4
kung an
 kouan / koan
    こうあん

More info & calligraphy:

Koan
judge's desk; complex legal case; contentious issue; koan (Zen Buddhism)
{Buddh} koan; kōan; Zen question for meditation (e.g. the sound of one hand clapping)
J. kōan; 因緣 A dossier, or case-record; a cause; public laws, regulations; case-law. Problems set by Zen masters, upon which thought is concentrated as a means to attain inner unity and illumination; public case

光庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(personal name) Kōan

孝庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(personal name) Kouan

小杏

see styles
 koan
    こあん
(female given name) Koan

巷庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(surname) Kouan

幸庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(given name) Kouan

康安

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
Kōan era (of the Northern Court; 1361.3.29-1362.9.23); (given name) Kouan

弘安

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
Kōan era (1278.2.29-1288.4.28); (female given name) Hiroyasu

弘庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(personal name) Kouan

昴庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(given name) Kouan

洪庵

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(personal name) Kouan

畊安

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(given name) Kouan

考案

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(noun/participle) plan; device; idea; invention

苟安

see styles
gǒu ān
    gou3 an1
kou an
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
see 苟且偷安[gou3 qie3 tou1 an1]
(noun/participle) (obsolete) (See 偸安) snatching a moment of rest; seeking temporary ease

乾屎橛


干屎橛

see styles
gān shǐ jué
    gan1 shi3 jue2
kan shih chüeh
 kanshiketsu
    かんしけつ
(derogatory term) {Buddh} (ref. to the Buddha in a famous koan; trad. translated as "dried shit stick" (now considered a mistranslation of the orig. Chinese)) something worthless; something impure; something unimportant; dried excrement in the shape of a stick
A stick used in India as 'toilet paper', in China paper, straw, or bamboo; shit-stick

狗子仏性

see styles
 kushibusshou / kushibussho
    くしぶっしょう
(Buddhist term) "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" (classic Zen koan)

狗子佛性

see styles
gǒu zǐ fó xìng
    gou3 zi3 fo2 xing4
kou tzu fo hsing
 kushi busshō
    くしぶっしょう
(out-dated kanji) (Buddhist term) "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" (classic Zen koan)
dog, buddha-nature

見性公案


见性公案

see styles
jiàn xìng gon gàn
    jian4 xing4 gon1 gan4
chien hsing gon kan
 kenshō kōan
gong-an (kōan) of seeing the true nature

隻手の音声

see styles
 sekishunoonjou / sekishunoonjo
    せきしゅのおんじょう
(See 公案) the sound of one hand clapping (a classic Zen koan)

Variations:
考案(P)
考按

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(noun, transitive verb) plan; device; idea; design; contrivance; conception; invention

Variations:
考案(P)
考按(rK)

see styles
 kouan / koan
    こうあん
(noun, transitive verb) plan; device; idea; design; contrivance; conception; invention

Variations:
狗子仏性
狗子佛性(oK)

see styles
 kushibusshou / kushibussho
    くしぶっしょう
{Buddh} (See 公案) the Mu koan ("does a dog have Buddha nature?")

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Koan公案kouan / koangōng àn / gong1 an4 / gong an / gongankung an / kungan
The Great Path has No Gate大道無門
大道无门
dai dou mu mon
daidoumumon
dai do mu mon
dà dào wú mén
da4 dao4 wu2 men2
da dao wu men
dadaowumen
ta tao wu men
tataowumen
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha佛に逢っては佛を殺すbutsu ni atte wa butsu o korosu
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...


Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Scroll
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Scroll
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Scroll
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Scroll


And formats...

Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Vertical Portrait
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Horizontal Wall Scroll
Meet the Buddha, Kill the Buddha Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Koan in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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 Koan Kanji, Koan Characters, Koan in Mandarin Chinese, Koan Characters, Koan in Chinese Writing, Koan in Japanese Writing, Koan in Asian Writing, Koan Ideograms, Chinese Koan symbols, Koan Hieroglyphics, Koan Glyphs, Koan in Chinese Letters, Koan Hanzi, Koan in Japanese Kanji, Koan Pictograms, Koan in the Chinese Written-Language, or Koan in the Japanese Written-Language.

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