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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 about 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 "strong" (perhaps strong-willed).
Perseverance is being steadfast and persistent. You commit to your goals and overcome obstacles, no matter how long it takes. When you persevere, you don't give up...you keep going. Like a strong ship in a storm, you don't become battered or blown off course. You just ride the waves.
The translation of this proverb literally means, "something so persistent or steadfast, that it is not uprootable / movable / surpassable".
堅韌 is a simpler version that just holds the meaning of "fortitude", "steadfast" and "persistent".
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).
Patience is 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", "forbearance", and in some context 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).
This 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.
These two characters are 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".
This 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.
The first character means "strong", "solid", "firm", "unyielding" or "resolute".
The second character means "to beat", "to endure", or "to 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.
This Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word holds the dictionary definition of "determination" but literally means, "determined heart".
The first character means "to determine" or "determined".
The second character means "heart", "mind" or "soul", so you can imagine that this form of "determination" partially means to put your heart into something. It can also be translated as resolve, resolution, or decision (as in a decision made and followed).
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.
These two characters together mean "Tenacious", "Hard to Defeat", or "Dogged".
Alone, the first character means mischievous, obstinate or stubborn. But it loses some of the mischievous meaning when the second character is added.
The second character means strength, force, powerful or better.
This Chinese, Korean, and Japanese word means, "determination to achieve". It can also be translated as: will; willpower; determination; volition; intention; intent.
In Japanese, this can also be the given name Ishi.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Perseverance||毅||see note / seenote / se note / senote||yì / yi4 / yi||i|
|jiān rèn bù bá|
jian1 ren4 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
|chien jen pu pa
|jiān rèn / jian1 ren4 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|忍||nin||rěn / ren3 / ren||jen|
|忍耐||nin tai / nintai||rěn nài / ren3 nai4 / ren nai / rennai||jen nai / jennai|
|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
|毅力||yì lì / yi4 li4 / yi li / yili||i li / ili|
|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
|ken nin / kennin||jiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|Determination to Achieve||一念発起||ichi nen ho kki|
ichi nen ho ki
Strength of Character
|gouki / goki||gāng yì / gang1 yi4 / gang yi / gangyi||kang i / kangi|
|kesshin / keshin||jué xīn / jue2 xin1 / jue xin / juexin||chüeh hsin / chüehhsin|
|Esprit de Corps|
|志気||shi ki / shi ge|
shiki / shige
Firm and Persistent
|jiān yì / jian1 yi4 / jian yi / jianyi||chien i / chieni|
|不屈||fukutsu||bù qū / bu4 qu1 / bu qu / buqu||pu ch`ü / puchü / pu chü|
|gan kyou / gankyou / gan kyo / gankyo||wán qiáng|
|Determination to Achieve|
|意志||ishi||yì zhì / yi4 zhi4 / yi zhi / yizhi||i chih / ichih|
|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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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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