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Old School in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy an Old School calligraphy wall scroll here!

Personalize your custom “Old School” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Old School” title below...


  1. The Old Way / Old School

  2. Retro / Old School

  3. Study / Learn / School

  4. Senpai / The Elder or Master

  5. Student

  6. Chito-Ryu

  7. Enthusiasm / Passion for a Cause

  8. Gate

  9. Loyalty

10. Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa


The Old Way / Old School

kodou
The Old Way / Old School Scroll

古道 is the Japanese word meaning "The Old Way". The first character literally means old or ancient. The second character means "the way" and is the same character as used in Taoism / Daoism (Taoism literally means "the way").

This second character can also be translated as "method", as in a way of doing things.

古道 is sometimes Romanized as "kodo" though officially, the Romaji should be "Kodou".

My Japanese-English dictionary further translates this word as old road, ancient methods, ancient moral teachings, the way of learning.

Note that this would be understood differently in Chinese. Most Chinese people would just read this as, "The old road" without the other meanings derived in Japanese.

Retro / Old School

fù gǔ
fukko
Retro / Old School Scroll

The meaning of this title can vary depending on context. It used to just mean a return to the old ways.

It can also mean, "to turn back the clock", "retro" (fashion style based on nostalgia, esp. for 1960s), "revival", or "restoration".

The return to "the old ways" was also an aspiration of Confucius about 2500 years ago. This proves that "going retro" or "old school" has been cool since at least 500 B.C.

Study / Learn / School

xué
gaku
Study / Learn / School Scroll

學 is "study" or "learn" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

學 is a very broad character that can mean a lot of things related to scholarship. It can refer to a school (in fact, if you put the character for "big" in front of this, you have "college" or "university", if you put the word for "middle", you have "middle school". This can also mean science; the process of acquiring knowledge; learning; scholarship; erudition; knowledge. It can also add the Chinese or Japanese version of "-ology" (the study of) to many words.


学There is a very common simplified version of this character. You will see this form in modern Japan and mainland China, Singapore, and other places. If you want this simplified version, please click on the character shown to the right instead of the "select and customize" button above.

Senpai / The Elder or Master

xiān bèi
sen pai
Senpai / The Elder or Master Scroll

先輩 is a Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean word or title that means elders, senior (at work or school), superior, older graduate, progenitor, or old-timer.

In American dojos, this is sometimes romanized as Sempai.

Student

xué shēng
gakusei
Student Scroll

學生 is how to write "student" in Chinese, pre-WWII Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

If you are a "student of life", this might be an interesting wall scroll to hang in your reading room.

The first character means "study" or "learning".
The second character means "life" or "birth". Don't read too much into that second character, unless you decide that this means "the birth of studies" or "the life of learning". Everyone in China, Japan, (and those who can read Hanja in Korea) will just read this word with the meaning of "student".

If you put the character for "little" in front of this word, it becomes "elementary school student". Prefixed with "middle" it becomes "middle school student". Prefixed with "big" it becomes "university student" (though when these two characters for student are seen alone, it often suggests "university student"). The term "high school student" is written differently.


学There is a very common simplified version of the first character for this word. You will see this form in modern Japan and mainland China, Singapore, and other places. If you want this simplified version, please click on the character shown to the right instead of the "select and customize" button above.

Chito-Ryu

chi tou ryuu
Chito-Ryu Scroll

千唐流 (Chitō-Ryū, Chito-Ryu, or Chitoryu) is a style of karate founded by Tsuyoshi Chitose.

Here's the meaning of each character of the title:
千 = 1000
唐 = China (literally Tang, as in Tang Dynasty).
流 = Style or School.

Together, Chito-Ryu means, "1,000 [year old] Chinese style".

I will leave it up to you whether this is of Japanese or Okinawan style. The title certainly suggests roots traced back to China.


Chito-Ryu

If you are looking for the Chito-Ryu logo printed on a handmade wall scroll, please contact me.

I love to do projects like this, and my price is very reasonable.

The printing and wall scroll building can be under $60 for a medium-sized scroll.

Enthusiasm / Passion for a Cause

qíng rè
jou netsu
Enthusiasm / Passion for a Cause Scroll

情熱 is the Japanese word that means enthusiasm, or "passion for a cause".

In some context, this could have a meaning of being extremely fond of something, or having fondness for a cause or person.

Can also be translated as passion, zeal, ardour, or fervor.

Note: 情熱 order is not natural in Chinese. However, a typical Chinese person can guess that this is a Japanese or Korean word and also understand the intended the meaning. This selection is best if your audience is Japanese or old-school Korean.


See Also:  Persistence | Devotion | Tenacity | Commitment | Motivation

mén
mon
Gate Scroll

門 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for gate, door, gateway, doorway, opening, entrance, valve, or switch.

Most commonly, this is simply gate or door.

門 is also a Chinese surname that romanizes as Men.

In Japanese, this can be surnames romanizing as Yuki, Mon, To, or Kado.

In the Buddhist context, beyond door or gate, this can be a counter for a Buddhist sect, teaching, or school (we might say "slice" of bread, this would be "gate" of teaching). In this way, it kind of refers to one of several doors that lead to salvation or nirvana.

Loyalty

zhōng chéng
chuu sei
Loyalty Scroll

Loyalty is staying true to someone. It is standing up for something you believe in without wavering. It is being faithful to your family, country, school, friends or ideals, when the going gets tough as well as when things are good. With loyalty, you build relationships that last forever.

Notes:
1. This written form of loyalty is universal in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

2. There is also a Japanese version that is part of the Bushido Code which may be more desirable depending on whether your intended audience is Japanese or Chinese.

3. This version of loyalty is sometimes translated as devotion, sincerity, fidelity, or allegiance.


See Also:  Honor | Trust | Integrity | Sincerity

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

quán fǎ
kenpou
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll

This form of martial arts can be translated in several ways. Some will call it "fist principles" or "the way of the fist", or even "law of the fist". The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle or Buddhist teaching.

Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term "Kempo Karate" which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.

These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled "kenpo" or "Kempo" ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be "kenpou" if you precisely follow the rules).

The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master compared to pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).

Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:

1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that "Okinawa Kenpo" or "Ryukyu Hon Kenpo" is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. There is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.

2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced "quan fa" (sometimes Romanized as "chuan fa" because the Chinese-pinyin "q" actually sounds like an English "ch" sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as "the law of the fist".

3. In my Japanese dictionary, it oddly defines Kenpo as "Chinese art of self-defense". I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
The Old Way
Old School
古道kodou / kodo
Retro
Old School
復古
复古
fukko / fukofù gǔ / fu4 gu3 / fu gu / fugufu ku / fuku
Study
Learn
School

gakuxué / xue2 / xuehsüeh
Senpai
The Elder or Master
先輩
先辈
sen pai / senpaixiān bèi / xian1 bei4 / xian bei / xianbeihsien pei / hsienpei
Student學生
学生
gakuseixué shēng
xue2 sheng1
xue sheng
xuesheng
hsüeh sheng
hsüehsheng
Chito-Ryu千唐流chi tou ryuu
chitouryuu
chi to ryu
chitoryu
Enthusiasm
Passion for a Cause
情熱
情热
jou netsu / jounetsu / jo netsu / jonetsuqíng rè / qing2 re4 / qing re / qingrech`ing je / chingje / ching je
Gate
monmén / men2 / men
Loyalty忠誠
忠诚
chuu sei / chuusei / chu sei / chuseizhōng chéng
zhong1 cheng2
zhong cheng
zhongcheng
chung ch`eng
chungcheng
chung cheng
Kenpo
Kempo
Quan Fa
Chuan Fa
拳法kenpou / kenpoquán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfach`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa
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...


Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll


And formats...

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Vertical Portrait
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Horizontal Wall Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Old School in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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single-character wall scroll.
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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 Old School Kanji, Old School Characters, Old School in Mandarin Chinese, Old School Characters, Old School in Chinese Writing, Old School in Japanese Writing, Old School in Asian Writing, Old School Ideograms, Chinese Old School symbols, Old School Hieroglyphics, Old School Glyphs, Old School in Chinese Letters, Old School Hanzi, Old School in Japanese Kanji, Old School Pictograms, Old School in the Chinese Written-Language, or Old School in the Japanese Written-Language.

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