Length in Chinese / Japanese...

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Only the sleepless know the length of night

bù mián zhī yè cháng jiǔ jiāo zhī rén xīn
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll

This literally translates as: [Only one who does] not sleep, learns how long the night is; [Only by] long acquaintance [does one] learn a person ['s true] character.

Basically, this proverb suggests that we really need to experience something intimately and for a long time to really know everything about it.

This can also be translated as, "Spending years with someone is the only way to know them".

Note: Sometimes this proverb is split into just the first or second idea alone (first 5 or last 5 characters only).

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

Title CharactersVarious forms of Romanized Chinese
Only the sleepless know the length of night不眠之夜長久交知人心
bù mián zhī yè cháng jiǔ jiāo zhī rén xīn
bu4 mian2 zhi1 ye4 chang2 jiu3 jiao1 zhi1 ren2 xin1
bu mian zhi ye chang jiu jiao zhi ren xin
pu mien chih yeh ch`ang chiu chiao chih jen hsin
pu mien chih yeh chang chiu chiao chih jen hsin
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.

Not the results for length that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition

see styles
 mei / me
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll
life; fate; order or command; to assign a name, title etc
(1) (See 命令・1) order; command; decree; (2) (See 生命・1) life; (3) (See 運命) destiny; fate; (female given name) Mei
jīvita . Life, vital, length of life, fate, decree.

see styles
 hou / ho
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll
square; power or involution (math.); upright; honest; fair and square; direction; side; party (to a contract, dispute etc); place; method; prescription (medicine); just when; only or just; classifier for square things; abbr. for square or cubic meter
(1) direction; way; side; area (in a particular direction); (2) (often 私の方, あなたの方, etc.) side (of an argument, etc.); one's part; (3) type; category; (4) field (of study, etc.); (5) indicates one side of a comparison; (6) way; method; manner; means; (7) length (of each side of a square); (given name) Michi
Square; place; correct; a means, plan, prescription; then, now, just; to make even


see styles
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll
ell (unit of length, approx. 45 inches); (given name) Eru

see styles
measure of length, ten Chinese feet (3.3 m); to measure; husband; polite appellation for an older male
(particle) (1) (kana only) only; just; merely; simply; no more than; nothing but; alone; (particle) (2) (kana only) as much as; to the extent of; enough to; (given name) Masuo
Ten feet; an elder; a wife's parents; a husband; ten feet

see styles
foot (unit of length equal to 0.3048 m); old form of modern 英尺[ying1 chi3]

see styles
8 in. length unit of Zhou dynasty
(n,n-suf,ctr) (archaism) distance between outstretched thumb and middle finger (approx. 18 cm)

see styles
a unit of length; inch; thumb
(1) sun (approx. 3.03 cm); (2) length; measurement; (3) (See 寸が足りない・すんがたりない) shortness; tininess
An inch.

see styles
a Chinese foot; one-third of a meter; a ruler; a tape-measure; one of the three acupoints for measuring pulse in Chinese medicine; CL:支[zhi1],把[ba3]
(1) shaku (unit of distance approximately equal to 30.3 cm); (2) rule; measure; scale; (3) length; (surname) Seki

see styles
length of 2 outstretched arms

see styles
 yumi(p); yu; kyuu / yumi(p); yu; kyu
    ゆみ(P); ゆ; きゅう
a bow (weapon); CL:張|张[zhang1]; to bend; to arch (one's back etc)
(1) (ゆ is usu. a prefix) bow (weapon); (2) (ゆみ only) archery; (3) (ゆみ only) bow (for a violin, etc.); (surname, female given name) Yumi
Dhanus. A bow; a bow's length, i. e. the 4, 000th part of a yojana. Seven grains of wheat 麥 make 1 finger-joint 指節; 24 finger-joints make 1 elbow or cubit 肘; 4 cubits make 1 bow; or 1 foot 5 inches make 1 elbow or cubit: 4 cubits make 1 bow; 300 bows make 1 li; but the measures are variously given.

see styles
to cut off (a length); to stop; to intercept; section; chunk; length
To cut off, intercept; to cut off

see styles
span (unit of length based on the width of the expanded human hand); to span (measure with one's hand)

see styles
strip; item; article; clause (of law or treaty); classifier for long thin things (ribbon, river, road, trousers etc)
(personal name) Jouji
A length (of anything); a law, order; reason

see styles
length (of a tree or beam); long

see styles
low; short (in length)

see styles

 yaado / yado
weight; number; code; to pile; to stack; classifier for length or distance (yard), happenings etc
(kana only) yard (unit of distance)

see styles
variant of 豎|竖[shu4]
(1) the vertical; height; (2) front-to-back; length; (3) north-to-south; (noun - becomes adjective with の) (4) vertical (relationship); hierarchy; (5) (weaving) warp; (surname) Tate
To stand, erect, upright; to cause

see styles
old variant of 縱|纵[zong4]
(adverb) (kana only) even if; (adjectival noun) (kana only) selfish; self-indulgent; arbitrary; (1) the vertical; height; (2) front-to-back; length; (3) north-to-south; (noun - becomes adjective with の) (4) vertical (relationship); hierarchy; (5) (weaving) warp; (personal name) Muneo

see styles
elbow; pork shoulder
hasta, forearm, the 16,000th part of a yojana; it varies from 1ft. 4in. to 1ft. 8in. in length; (Skt. hasta)

see styles
length; distance from north to south

see styles
full length gown (old)
horizontally-wrapped fabric forming the bottom part of some traditional Japanese clothing

see styles

li, ancient measure of length, approx. 500 m; neighborhood; ancient administrative unit of 25 families; (Tw) borough, administrative unit between the township 鎮|镇[zhen4] and neighborhood 鄰|邻[lin2] levels
(1) Japanese league; ri; old Japanese unit of distance, approx. 3.927km or 2.44 miles; (2) (See 郷里制,国郡里制) neighbourhood (under the ritsuryo system; orig. of 50 homes); (3) (See 条里制) unit of area (approx. 654m by 654m); (personal name) Ria
A village, neighbourhood, third of an English mile; translit. r and ṛ; perhaps also for l and lṛ.

see styles
 ryou / ryo
capacity; quantity; amount; to estimate; abbr. for 量詞|量词[liang4 ci2], classifier (in Chinese grammar); measure word
(n,n-suf) (1) quantity; amount; volume; capacity; portion (of food); (2) (See 度量・1) generosity; magnanimity; tolerance; (3) {Buddh} pramana; (in Indian philosophy) means by which one gains accurate and valid knowledge; (surname, female given name) Ryou
pramāṇa. Measure, capacity, length, ability; to measure, deliberate; a syllogism in logic, v. 比量. A syllogism, consisting of 宗 pratijñā, proposition; 因 hetu, reason; 喩 udāharaṇa, example; but the syllogism varies in the number of its avayava, or members. There are other divisions from 2 to 6, e.g. 現量 and 比量 direct or sense inferences, and comparative or logical inferences; to these are added 聖教量 arguments based on authority; 譬喩量 analogy; 義准 postulation, or general assent; and 無體 negation, or non-existence.

see styles
chain; cable (unit of length: 100 fathoms, about 185 m); chain (unit of length: 66 feet, about 20 m); to chain; to enchain
chain; chains

see styles
 seigo; seigo / sego; sego
    せいご; セイゴ
(kana only) (See 鱸) juvenile Japanese sea perch (under two years of age and 25 cm in length)

see styles
age; length of experience, membership etc


see styles
qī fēn
    qi1 fen1
ch`i fen
    chi fen
(See 川崎七分) type of baggy tobi trousers with the baggy part taking up seven-tenths of the full length of the trouser leg; (surname) Shichibu
seven parts


see styles
shàng xià
    shang4 xia4
shang hsia
 jouge / joge
up and down; top and bottom; old and new; length; about
(1) top and bottom; high and low; above and below; upper and lower ends; up and down; (noun/participle) (2) going up and down; rising and falling; fluctuating; (noun/participle) (3) going and coming back; (4) upper and lower classes; ruler and ruled; the government and the people; (5) first and second volumes; (place-name, surname) Jouge
above and below


see styles
zhōng jié
    zhong1 jie2
chung chieh
Middling kalpa, a period of 336, 000, 000 years; medium-length eon


see styles
zhōng qiān
    zhong1 qian1
chung ch`ien
    chung chien
medium length chiliocosm; medium length chiliocosm

Many custom options...

Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll
Only the sleepless know the length of night Scroll

And formats...

Only the sleepless know the length of night Vertical Portrait
Only the sleepless know the length of night Horizontal Wall Scroll
Only the sleepless know the length of night Vertical Portrait

Lookup Length 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.

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