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Politeness in Chinese / Japanese...

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Courtesy / Politeness

lǐ mào
Courtesy / Politeness Scroll

禮貌 is a Chinese and old Korean word that means courtesy or politeness.

Courtesy is being polite and having good manners. When you speak and act courteously, you give others a feeling of being valued and respected. Greet people pleasantly. Bring courtesy home. Your family needs it most of all. Courtesy helps life to go smoothly.

If you put the words "fēi cháng bù" in front of this, it is like adding "very much not." it’s a great insult in China, as nobody wants to be called "extremely discourteous" or "very much impolite."

See Also:  Kindness | Respect

The Five Tenets of Confucius

The Five Cardinal Rules / Virtues of Confucius
rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
jin gi rei tomo nobu
The Five Tenets of Confucius Scroll

仁義禮智信 are the core of Confucius philosophy.

Simply stated:
仁 = Benevolence / Charity
義 = Justice / Rectitude
禮 = Courtesy / Politeness / Tact
智 = Wisdom / Knowledge
信 = Fidelity / Trust / Sincerity

Many of these concepts can be found in various religious teachings. Though it should be clearly understood that Confucianism is not a religion but should instead be considered a moral code for a proper and civilized society.

This title is also labeled, "5 Confucian virtues".

礼 If you order this from the Japanese calligrapher, expect the middle Kanji to be written in a more simple form (as seen to the right). This can also be romanized as "jin gi rei satoshi shin" in Japanese. Not all Japanese will recognize this as Confucian tenets but they will know all the meanings of the characters.

See Also:  Confucius Teachings | Ethics


Politeness, Gratitude and Propriety
Respect Scroll

We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school, and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

礼 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

礼, beyond respect, can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.

禮 Chinese RespectPlease note that Japanese use this simplified 礼 version of the original 禮 character for respect. 礼 also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. While 禮 is the traditional and original version, 礼 has been used as a shorthand version for many centuries. Click on the big 禮 character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese and older Japanese version.

This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

See Also:  Confucius

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
lǐ mào / li3 mao4 / li mao / limao
The Five Tenets of Confucius仁義禮智信
jin gi rei tomo nobu
rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
ren2 yi4 li3 zhi4 xin4
ren yi li zhi xin
jen i li chih hsin
reilǐ / li3 / li
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.

Not the results for politeness that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
(suffix) (1) (honorific or respectful language) (familiar language) (after a person's name (or position, etc.)) (See 様・さま・1) Mr.; Mrs.; Miss; Ms.; -san; (suffix) (2) (polite language) (usu. after a noun or sometimes na-adjective) politeness marker


see styles
(auxiliary) (1) (polite language) please; (2) used to increase the politeness of a greeting, apology, etc.


see styles
(auxiliary) (1) (polite language) please; (2) used to increase the politeness of a greeting, apology, etc.


see styles
wǔ cháng
    wu3 chang2
wu ch`ang
    wu chang
 gojou / gojo
five constant virtues of Confucianism, namely: benevolence 仁, righteousness 義|义, propriety 禮|礼, wisdom 智 and fidelity 信; five cardinal relationships of Confucianism (between ruler and subject, father and son, husband and wife, brothers, friends); five phases of Chinese philosophy: water 水, fire 火, wood 木, metal 金, earth 土
the five cardinal Confucian virtues (justice, politeness, wisdom, fidelity and benevolence); (place-name) Gojou
five constant [virtues]



see styles
yīn qín
    yin1 qin2
yin ch`in
    yin chin
(noun or adjectival noun) (1) politeness; courtesy; civility; (noun or adjectival noun) (2) friendship; (sexual) intimacy
Zealous, careful; zealous


see styles
 kontou / konto
(noun or adjectival noun) cordiality; attentiveness; politeness


see styles
 reisetsu / resetsu
decorum; propriety; politeness



see styles
huán lǐ
    huan2 li3
huan li
to return a politeness; to present a gift in return
還拜; 還香 Return of courtesy, of a salute, of incense offered, etc; return of courtesy



see styles
kè qi huà
    ke4 qi5 hua4
k`o ch`i hua
    ko chi hua
words of politeness; politesse; decorous talking; talk with propriety


see styles
(auxiliary verb) (archaism) (feminine speech) (polite language) indicates respect for the one performing an action and politeness to the listener



see styles
bié tài kè qi
    bie2 tai4 ke4 qi5
pieh t`ai k`o ch`i
    pieh tai ko chi
lit. no excessive politeness; Don't mention it!; You're welcome!; Please don't stand on ceremony.



see styles
háo bù kè qi
    hao2 bu4 ke4 qi5
hao pu k`o ch`i
    hao pu ko chi
no trace of politeness; unrestrained (criticism)


see styles
 shakoujirei / shakojire
something said for politeness' sake; diplomatic language; honeyed words; lip service; empty compliment



see styles
lǐ shàng wǎng lái
    li3 shang4 wang3 lai2
li shang wang lai
lit. proper behavior is based on reciprocity (idiom); fig. to return politeness for politeness



see styles
xián jū shí dé
    xian2 ju1 shi2 de2
hsien chü shih te
 kanko juttoku
Ten advantages of a hermitage given in verse, i.e. absence of sex and passion; of temptation to say wrong things; of enemies, and so of strife; of friends to praise or blame; of others' faults, and so of talk about them; of followers or servants, and so no longing for companions; of society, and so no burden of politeness; of guests, and so no preparations; of social intercourse, and so no trouble about garments; of hindrance from others in mystic practice; ten advantages of staying in a hermitage


see styles
(noun or adjectival noun) (yoji) overdone politeness; polite to a fault; feigned politeness


see styles
 mase; mashi
    ませ; まし
(auxiliary) (1) (polite language) (following the imperative form of an honorific verb; used to make a polite request or demand) (See ます・1) please; (auxiliary) (2) (polite language) used to increase the politeness of a greeting


see styles
(auxiliary verb) (archaism) (feminine speech) (polite language) indicates respect for the one performing an action and politeness to the listener


see styles
(auxiliary verb) (archaism) (feminine speech) (polite language) indicates respect for the one performing an action and politeness to the listener


see styles
politeness (fre:); good manners; courtesy; etiquette


see styles
 reigitadashisa / regitadashisa
(See 礼儀正しい) politeness; courtesy


see styles


see styles
 yasansu; yashansu; yashamasu
    やさんす; やしゃんす; やしゃます
(auxiliary verb) (archaism) (feminine speech) (polite language) (after a monosyllable imperfective form verb) indicates respect for the one performing an action and politeness to the listener

Many custom options...

Respect Scroll
Respect Scroll
Respect Scroll
Respect Scroll

And formats...

Respect Vertical Portrait
Respect Horizontal Wall Scroll
Respect Vertical Portrait

Lookup Politeness in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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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.

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Politeness was last searched for by someone else on Apr 19th, 2021