Old but More Vigorous in Spirit in Chinese / Japanese...

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Old, But More Vigorous in Spirit

Age is just a number

lǎo dāng yì zhuàng
Old, But More Vigorous in Spirit Scroll

老當益壯 is a Chinese proverb that means "old but vigorous" or "hale and hearty despite the years".

Said of someone who is more spirited when he/she grows older.

The story behind this Chinese proverb:

In the Eastern Han Dynasty, there was a man named Ma Yuan. He had been planning to herd animals on the frontier since he was young. When he grew up, Ma became a minor official of a county.

Once he was sending some prisoners to another location. He felt pity for them so he set them free, and then he himself fled to another county in the north. He herded animals there and thus his dream came true. He always said: "If you want to be a great man, the poorer you are, the firmer in spirit you have to be; the older you are, the more spirited you should be."

Later when he was even older, Ma Yuan became a famous general of the Eastern Han Dynasty and contributed to many battles.




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

Title CharactersVarious forms of Romanized Chinese
Old, But More Vigorous in Spirit老當益壯
老当益壮
lǎo dāng yì zhuàng
lao3 dang1 yi4 zhuang4
lao dang yi zhuang
laodangyizhuang
lao tang i chuang
laotangichuang
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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Old, But More Vigorous in Spirit Scroll
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Old, But More Vigorous in Spirit Scroll


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Dictionary

Lookup Old but More Vigorous in Spirit in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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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