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メンタルタフネス is a Japanese Katakana word for mental toughness.
Katakana is a character set used in Japanese to approximate borrowed English or foreign words. So this is supposed to sound like mental toughness does in English.
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
These two characters mean intelligence or intelligent.
The first character means wisdom, intellect, or knowledge.
The second means ability, talent, skill, capacity, capable, able, and can even mean competent.
Together, 知能 can mean “capacity for wisdom,” “useful knowledge,” or even “mental power.” Obviously, this translates more clearly into English as “intelligence.”
Note: This is not the same word used to mean “military intelligence.” See our other entry for that.
In modern Japan, they tend to use a version of the first character without the bottom radical. If your audience for this artwork is Japanese, please click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.
毅 is the simplest way to express perseverance in Chinese and Korean Hanja.
This single-character version leaves a bit of mystery about what kind of perseverance you might want to convey.
In Korean, this is usually associated with “strength of character.”
In Japanese, this character can be pronounced in a dozen different ways (so we have left out the Japanese pronunciation guide that normally appears above). In Japanese, this Kanji would usually be translated as “strong” (perhaps strong-willed).
忍 contains the ideas of patience, equanimity, perseverance, forbearance, and endurance. Alone, this single character can be a bit ambiguous or flexible. It can also mean to endure, to bear, to put up with, or to conceal. If you want to simply decide what this character means to you within the general meaning but keep it a mystery to others, this is a good choice.
If you want to be more direct, you may want to choose one of our other selections that mean perseverance or patience (you will see this character within those larger words/phrases).
There is a secondary meaning in Japanese since this is the first character of the word ninja.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write it in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this Kanji form (yes, it's just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).
智 is the simplest way to write wisdom in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
Being a single character, the wisdom meaning is open to interpretation, and can also mean intellect, knowledge or reason, resourcefulness, or wit.
智 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.
智 is sometimes included in the Bushido code but is usually not considered part of the seven key concepts of the code.
See our Wisdom in Chinese, Japanese and Korean page for more wisdom-related calligraphy.
堅忍 means persistent, steadfast, fortitude, and/or perseverance.
The first character means strong, solid, firm, unyielding, or resolute.
The second character means to beat, endure, or tolerate.
Together they speak of the strength from within yourself. Some may also translate this as long-suffering in a more Biblical sense.
堅忍 is a common term in Chinese and Korean Hanja but a little less commonly used in modern Japanese Kanji. For that reason, this selection is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the second Kanji a little differently. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect the form where the little horizontal stroke crosses the vertical stroke. See differences in the images to the right. Technically, they are both the same character, and will be read the same in either language.
不屈 is the short form of a longer Chinese word and also a word used in Korean and Japanese to express the idea of being indomitable. It literally means “will not bend,” “will not crouch,” “will not yield,” “will not flinch,” or “will not submit.”
Note: Some will translate this as “indomitable spirit”; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of “spirit” in this word.
堅韌 is a short word meaning “fortitude,” “steadfast,” and “persistent.”
忍耐 is patience, the quiet hope, and trust that things will turn out right.
You wait without complaining. You are tolerant and accepting of difficulties and mistakes. You picture the end in the beginning and persevere to meet your goals.
忍耐 can also mean “to endure,” “restrain oneself,” or “forbearance,” and in some contexts, it can mean “perseverance” or “endurance.”
忍耐 is also used as a tenet of Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, and other Korean martial arts where it's titled “Endurance” and romanized as “In Neh.”
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this Kanji form (yes, it’s just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in the Japanese Kanji form).
毅力 is a way to express “perseverance” with the idea of “willpower” in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. It can also mean “strong-willed.”
The first character means “strong” and “persistent,” while the second means “strength” and “power.”
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 mean “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.”
Some will translate this as “indomitable spirit”; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of “spirit” in this word.
Other translations include indefatigability, indomitableness, or unremitting tenacity.
The first two characters can be stand-alone words in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered two words (with very similar meanings). It's more common to see the word order flipped to 不撓不屈 in Japanese.
The same characters are used in old Korean Hanja. Just like in Japanese, the words are swapped to 不撓不屈 creating a word pronounced “불요불굴” in Korean.
堅韌不拔 is about perseverance, being steadfast and persistent.
堅韌不拔 is a great phrase for you if you commit to your goals and overcome obstacles, no matter how long it takes.
The translation of this proverb literally means “something so persistent or steadfast, that it is not uprootable, movable, or surpassable.”
Other translations include being firm and indomitable or tenacious and unyielding.
精神力量 is a title that 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).
堅忍不抜 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.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese calligraphers sometimes write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. Yes,
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.
Skills cannot be perfected without perseverance in practice
不怕练不成就怕心不恒 literally translates as: Do not worry about not being able to master [a skill]; What [one should] be concerned about is lack of perseverance.
Figuratively, this means: One's skills cannot be perfected without perseverance in practice.
For me, I've learned that you can only get so much from school or studying. You've really got to do “on-the-job training” to perfect your ability and skill.
For martial arts students: You can read about a kick in a book, or someone can tell you about a certain kick but until you practice the kick, there's no way you'll master it.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|智能 / 知能|
|chinou / chino||zhì néng / zhi4 neng2 / zhi neng / zhineng||chih neng / chihneng|
|Perseverance||毅||see note / seenote / se note||yì / yi4 / yi||i|
|忍||nin||rěn / ren3 / ren||jen|
|Wisdom||智||chi / tomo||zhì / zhi4 / zhi||chih|
Strength of Character
|gouki / goki||gāng yì / gang1 yi4 / gang yi / gangyi||kang i / kangi|
|ken nin / kennin||jiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|不屈||fukutsu||bù qū / bu4 qu1 / bu qu / buqu||pu ch`ü / puchü / pu chü|
|jiān rèn / jian1 ren4 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|忍耐||nin tai / nintai||rěn nài / ren3 nai4 / ren nai / rennai||jen nai / jennai|
|毅力||yì lì / yi4 li4 / yi li / yili||i li / ili|
|fu kutsu fu tou|
fu kutsu fu to
|bù qū bù náo|
bu4 qu1 bu4 nao2
bu qu bu nao
|pu ch`ü pu nao
pu chü pu nao
|jiān rèn bù bá|
jian1 ren4 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
|chien jen pu pa
Strength of Spirit
|jīng shén lì liàng|
jing1 shen2 li4 liang4
jing shen li liang
|ching shen li liang
|堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔|
|kenninfubatsu||jiān rěn bù bá|
jian1 ren3 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
|chien jen pu pa
|Perseverance is the Key||不怕練不成就怕心不恆|
|bú pà liàn bù chéng jiù pà xīn bù héng|
bu2 pa4 lian4 bu4 cheng2 jiu4 pa4 xin1 bu4 heng2
bu pa lian bu cheng jiu pa xin bu heng
|pu p`a lien pu ch`eng chiu p`a hsin pu heng
pu pa lien pu cheng chiu pa hsin pu heng
|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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