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機会 is a common way to express “opportunity” in Japanese.
The first character means “chance,” and the second can be translated as “meeting.”
So in Japanese business, a “chance meeting” represents a real “opportunity.”
Note that this also means opportunity in Chinese, but it's more an oral or informal word in Mandarin. Also, the second Kanji is the same as the simplified version of the hui Chinese character.
時機 is a common way to express day-to-day opportunities.
It's sometimes used to express “an occasion.”
機 is an odd one - I've seen this on coffee cups and posters with the meaning of “opportunity.”
機 is a correct definition but this character also means “machine.” In fact, if you put the character for “flying” in front of this character, you have the Chinese word for “airplane” (literally: flying machine). Alone, on a wall scroll, it will be generally understood as “opportunity” but I want you to know this extra information before you make your selection. Note that in Japanese and Korean, this has a similar meaning but can also mean machine or loom.
See Also: Success
The Buddhist idea of Fate
因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.
Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.
It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.
因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a “fate/chance” meaning by a Chinese person or a Korean person who can read Hanja.
The more complex definition of this word would be, “Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things.”
This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or “hetu and prataya”), which I believe is Pali.
Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji:
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you’ll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.
See Also: Buddhism
機遇 is the kind of opportunity that comes via good luck or good fortune.
This word is sometimes translated as “stroke of good luck.”
While there are other ways to express “opportunity,” I think this version is best for a calligraphy wall scroll or portrait.
Note: In Korean Hanja, this would also mean “Meeting someone under strange circumstances.”
See Also: Good Luck
危機 means crisis in Chinese and Japanese.
Separately, the first character here does mean “danger” or “to endanger,” and the second character can mean “opportunity.”
However, I want to debunk a myth that was propagated by some westerners who did not have a clear understanding of Asian languages...
While often, Chinese/Japanese/Korean compound words (words of two or more characters) are the sum of their parts, this is not always the case. The compound is often understood with a completely different meaning than the two characters individually.
Many have said that the Chinese/Japanese/Korean word for Crisis is made up of the characters for “danger” and “opportunity.” 危機 is true when phrased this way.
However, it's not absolutely correct to say that “danger + opportunity = crisis” in Asian cultures.
If I tell you that...
Bovine creature + Guy behind the plate in baseball = Locomotive train protection
...you would think I was mad. But consider that “cow + catcher = cowcatcher,” which is the device that used to be found on steam engines to protect them if they hit an animal on the tracks. When we hear the word “cowcatcher,” we don't separate the words into their individual meanings (necessarily).
The same is true with the word for crisis in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. While you can separate the characters, few Asian people would automatically do so in their minds.
The final answer:
It is a half-truth to say, “danger plus opportunity equals crisis” in Chinese/Japanese/Korean. Use this statement and concept with caution.
Also, the second character can mean “secret” or “machine,” depending on context so I guess you have to say “a dangerous machine = crisis” or “danger + a secret = crisis.” Both of these are only slightly more ridiculous than the first premise.
PS: 危機 is probably not a great word for a scroll unless you have a special use for 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|
|kikai||jī huì / ji1 hui4 / ji hui / jihui||chi hui / chihui|
|shí jī / shi2 ji1 / shi ji / shiji||shih chi / shihchi|
|hata||jī / ji1 / ji||chi|
因缘 / 因縁
|in nen / innen||yīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuan||yin yüan / yinyüan|
|jī yù / ji1 yu4 / ji yu / jiyu||chi yü / chiyü|
|Opportunity Knocks Only Once||機不可失時不再來|
|jī bù kě shī shí bù zài lái|
ji1 bu4 ke3 shi1 shi2 bu4 zai4 lai2
ji bu ke shi shi bu zai lai
|chi pu k`o shih shih pu tsai lai
chi pu ko shih shih pu tsai lai
|Crisis equals Danger plus Opportunity?||危機|
|kiki||wēi jī / wei1 ji1 / wei ji / weiji||wei chi / weichi|
|Opportunity Knocks Only Once||機會隻敲一次門|
|jī huì zhǐ qiāo yī cì mén|
ji1 hui4 zhi3 qiao1 yi1 ci4 men2
ji hui zhi qiao yi ci men
|chi hui chih ch`iao i tz`u men
chi hui chih chiao i tzu men
|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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