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猴 is the character for monkey in Chinese.
猴 means ape in Japanese due to a error made long ago as Japan absorbed Chinese characters.
If you were born in the year of the monkey, you . . .
Are smart, brave, active and competitive.
Like new things.
Have a good memory.
Are quick to respond
Have an easy time winning people's trust.
Are however, not very patient.
See also our Chinese Zodiac page.
Note: This character does have the meaning of monkey in Korean Hanja but is not used very often.
猴王 is the short title for "Monkey King." This can refer to the character made famous by the ancient novel, Journey to the West.
This literally reads "Monkey King." However, this title is open to interpretation, and could be used for someone who is the boss of the primate exhibit at the zoo, or certain characters in Chinese opera.
猿拳 is the Japanese martial arts title, "Monkey Fist," referring to Monkey-Style Kung Fu.
猿拳 is very similar to a Chinese term that uses a different first character (the characters for ape and monkey were reversed when Japan borrowed Chinese characters, so this would be "Ape Fist" if a Chinese person read it).
This literally means what you think, it's the "Monkey Fist" school of Kung Fu. A style that mimics the punches and movements of monkeys and apes.
Becoming popular during the Qing Dynasty, this style can trace its origins back to as early as the Song Dynasty. Some of the romance and popularity of this style comes from the novel "Journey to the West" which features the Monkey King and his fighting skills.
This novel and martial arts style has spawned a stream of Hong Kong movies featuring the Monkey King, and other Kung Fu style variations such as "Drunken Monkey" and "Monkey Stealing Peaches" (a technique of disabling your opponent by grabbing and yanking on his testicles).
Note: This kind of makes sense in Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji but probably unknown by all Koreans and Japanese except those who have an interest in this form of Kung Fu.
猿 is one of those cases when an error was made as Chinese characters were absorbed into the Japanese language during the 5th century.
In Japanese, this means monkey.
In Chinese, this means ape.
The Japanese word for ape, means monkey in Chinese, so you can see how they were simply reversed.
猴子偷桃 is a martial arts term that I find hilarious. I thought Stephen Chow had just made this up for his Monkey King movie. After some research, it turns out to be real.
This can be translated as "monkey stealing peaches" or "monkey steals the peach." It refers to distracting an opponent with one hand and seizing his testicles with the other.
In colloquial Chinese speech, this can refer to grabbing somebody by the balls (without any martial arts technique to the grabbing).
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.
Drunken Fist is a traditional Chinese martial art / technique of Kung Fu.
It is a northern style of martial art that imitates a drunk person in its movements. Many staggering movements serve to deceive the opponent and keep them off-balance.
Some consider Drunken Fist to be among the harder styles of martial arts due to the need for powerful joints and fingers.
悟空 is the short name or given name of, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, from the ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West.
This title is also known as the given name of the Monkey King in Japanese. This can also be Goku, short for Son Goku, a fictional character of the Dragon Ball Japanese manga series (also based loosely on the Monkey King).
孫悟空 is the name, Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King. He is a main character with supernatural powers in the ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West.
This title is also known as the real name of the Monkey King in Japanese. This can also be the Son Goku better known as simply Goku, a fictional character of the Dragon Ball Japanese manga series.
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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|
|Monkey||猴||hóu / hou2 / hou|
|Drunken Monkey||醉猴||zuì hóu / zui4 hou2 / zui hou / zuihou||tsui hou / tsuihou|
|Drunken Monkey||酔い猿||yo i saru / yoisaru|
|Drunken Monkey Kung Fu||醉猴功夫 / 醉猴功伕|
|zuì hóu gōng fu|
zui4 hou2 gong1 fu
zui hou gong fu
|tsui hou kung fu
|Monkey King||美猴王||měi hóu wáng|
mei3 hou2 wang2
mei hou wang
|Monkey King||猴王||hóu wáng / hou2 wang2 / hou wang / houwang|
|Monkey Fist||猴拳||hóu quán / hou2 quan2 / hou quan / houquan||hou ch`üan / houchüan / hou chüan|
|猿||saru||yuán / yuan2 / yuan||yüan|
|Monkey Stealing Peaches||猴子偷桃||hóu tōu táo|
hou2 zi5 tou1 tao2
hou zi tou tao
|hou tzu t`ou t`ao
hou tzu tou tao
|Even Monkeys Fall From Trees||猿も木から落ちる||saru mo ki kara ochiru|
|Drunken Fist||醉拳||suiken||zuì quán / zui4 quan2 / zui quan / zuiquan||tsui ch`üan / tsuichüan / tsui chüan|
|悟空||go kuu / gokuu / go ku / goku||wù kōng / wu4 kong1 / wu kong / wukong||wu k`ung / wukung / wu kung|
|son go kuu / songokuu / son go ku / songoku||sūn wù kōng|
sun1 wu4 kong1
sun wu kong
|sun wu k`ung
sun wu kung
|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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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.
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The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
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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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Monkey Kanji, Monkey Characters, Monkey in Mandarin Chinese, Monkey Characters, Monkey in Chinese Writing, Monkey in Japanese Writing, Monkey in Asian Writing, Monkey Ideograms, Chinese Monkey symbols, Monkey Hieroglyphics, Monkey Glyphs, Monkey in Chinese Letters, Monkey Hanzi, Monkey in Japanese Kanji, Monkey Pictograms, Monkey in the Chinese Written-Language, or Monkey in the Japanese Written-Language.
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