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Persistence in Chinese / Japanese...

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China gù zhí
Japan koshuu
Persistence Vertical Wall Scroll

Can also mean "opinionated" or "stubborn," in Chinese and Japanese but in the nicest way possible (still bad). This just means "stubborn" in Korean (not a good scroll if your audience is Korean, in fact, we don't recommend this word at all). There are better ways to express this idea, such as tenacious or perseverance... ...see links below...

See Also:  Tenacious | Fortitude | Perseverance

Nothing is Impossible with Persistence

China yí shān
Japan isan
Nothing is Impossible with Persistence Vertical Wall Scroll

移山 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for, "to remove mountains," or "to move a mountain."

Figuratively, this means you can accomplish the impossible by sheer persistence.

移山 is the short form of a proverb about a man who had much persistence, and was able to move a whole mountain (a bucket of soil at a time).

Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude

China bù qū
Japan fukutsu
Indomitable / Persistence / Fortitude Vertical Wall Scroll

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.

See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks

Persistence to overcome all challenges
China bǎi zhé bù náo
Japan hyaku setsu su tou
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks Vertical Wall Scroll

This Chinese proverb means "Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks." More directly-translated, it reads, "[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching." 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese, and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).

This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.

Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.

Near the end of his career a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest he resigned his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.

His tombstone reads "Bai Zhe Bu Nao" which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strength will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.

My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as, "keep on fighting in spite of all setbacks," "be undaunted by repeated setbacks" and "be indomitable."

Our translator says it can mean, "never give up" in modern Chinese.

Although the first two characters are translated correctly as "repeated setbacks," the literal meaning is "100 setbacks" or "a rope that breaks 100 times." The last two characters can mean "do not yield" or "do not give up."
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.

See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Perseverance

Indomitable / Unyielding

China bù qū bù náo
Japan fukutsu futou
Indomitable / Unyielding Vertical Wall Scroll

不屈不撓 means "Indomitable" or "Unyielding."

不屈不撓 is a long word by Chinese standards. At least, it is often translated as a single word into English. It's actually a proverb in Chinese.

If you want to break it down, you can see that the first and third characters are the same. Both meaning "not" (they work as a suffix to make a negative or opposite meaning to whatever character follows).

The second character means "bendable."

The last means "scratched" or "bothered."

So this really means "Won't be bent, can't be bothered." I have also seen it written as "Will not crouch, will not submit." This comes from the fact that the second character can mean, "to crouch" and the last can mean "to submit" (as in "to give in" such as "submitting to the rule of someone else"). This may explain better why these four characters mean "indomitable."

Some will translate this as "indomitable spirit"; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of "spirit" in this word.
The first two characters can be a stand-alone word in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered to be two words (with very similar meanings).
The same characters are used in Korean, but the 2nd and 4th characters are swapped to create a word pronounced "불요불굴" in Korean.
Just let me know if you want the Korean version, which will also make sense in Japanese, and though not as natural, will also make sense in Chinese as well.

See Also:  Tenacity | Fortitude | Strength | Undaunted

Not the results for persistence that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your persistence search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
Mandarin bù qū / bu4 qu1
Taiwan pu ch`ü / pu chü
Japanese fukutsu / ふくつ
Chinese unyielding; unbending
Japanese (n,adj-no,adj-na) persistence; fortitude; indomitability



see styles
Mandarin gù zhí / gu4 zhi2
Taiwan ku chih
Japanese koshitsu(p);koshuu / koshitsu(p);koshu / こしつ(P);こしゅう
Chinese obstinate; stubborn
Japanese (noun/participle) adherence (e.g. to ideas, beliefs, a pet theory) (negative nuance); persistence; insistence; stubbornness


see styles
Mandarin chí jiǔ / chi2 jiu3
Taiwan ch`ih chiu / chih chiu
Japanese jikyuu / jikyu / じきゅう
Indomitable / Unyielding Vertical Wall Scroll
Chinese lasting; enduring; persistent; permanent; protracted; endurance; persistence; to last long
Japanese (noun/participle) endurance; persistence; (place-name) Jikyuu

see styles
Mandarin zhí / zhi2
Taiwan chih
Japanese shuu / shu / しゅう
Chinese to execute (a plan); to grasp
Japanese (archaism) attachment; obsession; persistence; (given name) Shuu
grah, grabh ; graha. To seize, grasp, hold on to, maintain; obstinate; to grasp

see styles
Mandarin héng / heng2
Taiwan heng
Japanese wataru / わたる    yuzuru / ゆずる    hitoshi / ひとし    hisashi / ひさし    hisa / ひさ    hajime / はじめ    tsunetsugu / つねつぐ    tsuneji / つねじ    tsuneshi / つねし    tsunesaku / つねさく    tsunesaki / つねさき    tsune / つね    gou / go / ごう    kousou / koso / こうそう    kouji / koji / こうじ    koushou / kosho / こうしょう    kouki / koki / こうき    kou / ko / こう
Chinese variant of 恆|恒[heng2]
Japanese (given name) Wataru; (personal name) Yuzuru; (male given name) Hitoshi; (given name) Hisashi; (given name) Hisa; (given name) Hajime; (personal name) Tsunetsugu; (personal name) Tsuneji; (personal name) Tsuneshi; (personal name) Tsunesaku; (surname) Tsunesaki; (surname, female given name) Tsune; (female given name) Gou; (personal name) Kousou; (personal name) Kouji; (personal name) Koushou; (personal name) Kouki; (given name) Kou
Constant; perseverance, persistence; translit. ga, ha.

see styles
Mandarin gēn / gen1
Taiwan ken
Japanese ne / ね    kon / こん
Chinese root; basis; classifier for long slender objects, e.g. cigarettes, guitar strings; CL:條|条[tiao2]; radical (chemistry)
Japanese (1) root (of a plant); (2) root (of a tooth, hair, etc.); center (of a pimple, etc.); (3) root (of all evil, etc.); source; origin; cause; basis; (4) one's true nature; (5) (fishing) reef; (1) stick-to-itiveness; perseverance; persistence; (2) (See 基・き・1) radical (esp. one that tends to ionize easily); (3) {math} root; (4) {Buddh} indriya (faculty of the body having a specific function, i.e. the sensory organs); (personal name) Nemawari; (personal name) Nemawashi; (personal name) Nene; (surname) Nezaki; (surname) Nesaki; (place-name) Ne; (surname) Konzaki; (surname) Kon; (surname) Kotakane
mūla, a root, basis, origin; but when meaning an organ of sense, indriyam, a 'power', 'faculty of sense, sense, organ of sense'. M.W. A root, or source; that which is capable of producing or growing, as the eye is able to produce knowledge, as faith is able to bring forth good works, as human nature is able to produce good or evil karma. v. 五根 and 二十二根.


see styles
Japanese koji / こじ Japanese (noun/participle) adherence (to one's beliefs) (positive nuance); persistence; sticking to one's guns; standing one's ground


see styles
Japanese shuunen / shunen / しゅうねん Japanese tenacity; persistence; obsession; implacability


see styles
Japanese konki / こんき Japanese patience; perseverance; persistence; tenacity; energy


see styles
Japanese nebari / ねばり Japanese (1) stickiness; viscosity; (2) tenacity; persistence


see styles
Mandarin nài jiǔ / nai4 jiu3
Taiwan nai chiu
Japanese taikyuu / taikyu / たいきゅう
Chinese durable; long-lasting
Japanese endurance; persistence


see styles
Mandarin yāo gǔ / yao1 gu3
Taiwan yao ku
Japanese koshibone / こしぼね
Chinese lumbar vertebrae
Japanese (1) hipbone; innominate bone; (2) fortitude; perseverance; endurance; persistence


see styles
Japanese izan / いざん Japanese (noun - becomes adjective with の) persistence; vestigial remnant


see styles
Japanese konmake / こんまけ Japanese (noun/participle) being beaten down by one's opponent's persistence; being outlasted; running out of patience


see styles
Japanese ittenbari / いってんばり Japanese (noun - becomes adjective with の) persistence; single-mindedness


see styles
Japanese peishensu / peshensu / ペイシェンス Japanese (1) patience (game); solitaire; (2) patience; perseverance; persistence


see styles
Japanese peeshensu / ペーシェンス Japanese (1) patience (game); solitaire; (2) patience; perseverance; persistence


see styles
Japanese paashisutensu / pashisutensu / パーシステンス Japanese {comp} persistence


see styles
Japanese jizokutekinayuukousei / jizokutekinayukose / じぞくてきなゆうこうせい Japanese {comp} persistence


see styles
Japanese peeshensu;peishensu / peeshensu;peshensu / ペーシェンス;ペイシェンス Japanese (1) (See ソリティア) patience (game); solitaire; (2) (See 根気・こんき) patience; perseverance; persistence

Search for Persistence in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
koshuu / koshugù zhí / gu4 zhi2 / gu zhi / guzhiku chih / kuchih
Nothing is Impossible with Persistence移山isanyí shān / yi2 shan1 / yi shan / yishani shan / ishan
不屈fukutsubù qū / bu4 qu1 / bu qu / buqupu ch`ü / puchü / pu chü
Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks百折不撓
hyaku setsu su tou
hyaku setsu su to
bǎi zhé bù náo
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
pai che pu nao
fukutsu futou
fukutsu futo
bù qū bù náo
bu4 qu1 bu4 nao2
bu qu bu nao
pu ch`ü pu nao
pu chü pu nao
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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A nice Chinese calligraphy 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.

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