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強壯 is an adjective that means powerful or strong.
It can also be translated as able-bodied, robust, or sturdy.
This version of strength also suggests muscularity.
Note that the second character was simplified in Japan after WWII (also simplified in mainland China but not for calligraphy). If you want the modern Japanese/simplified version, please click on the Kanji shown to the right.
強大 can mean mighty, powerful, large, formidable, or strong.
This term is often used to describe soldiers/troops/warriors, and whole armies.
These four characters together translate in English to a strong form of "profound" or "written with a forceful hand."
But there is much more to the story...
The deep meaning behind this proverb comes from a man named Wan Xizhi who lived in the third century.
He was a great writer and calligrapher whose writing style influenced generations of other writers and calligraphers.
He once wrote words on a piece of wood to be taken to an engraver.
When the engraver began to carve the characters into the wood, he found that Wang Xizhi's writing had penetrated the wood about 3/8 of an inch.
Thus people believed that his words were so powerful, and so profound this it caused the ink from his brush to penetrate the wood deeply.
The proverb literally means "penetrated wood three fen" (fen is an ancient Chinese measurement a little over to 1/8 of an inch or almost 4mm).
This "strong" character means strength, force, powerful, better, stubborn, and stiff (yes, all of this in one character). This "strong" has less to do with physical strength and more to do with having a winning attitude, or just having the ability to win at something.
Note that most of the time, this character is pronounced "qiang" but when used with the meaning of stubborn, unyielding, or stiff, it is pronounced "jiang" in Chinese.
Also, sometimes "qiang" is used in modern Chinese to describe people that do crazy things (Example: Bicycling from Beijing to Tibet alone). I sometimes can be found outside my Beijing apartment wearing nothing but shorts and a tee-shirt while eating an ice cream during a snow storm, just to hear my neighbors call me "qiang." Maybe they mean "strong" but perhaps they are using the new meaning of "crazy strong."
Also a Korean Hanja with same meaning but mostly used in compound words.
強 is used in Japanese (though normally in compound words). In Japanese, it has the same meaning but in some context can mean "a little more than..." or "a little over [some amount]." Most Japanese would read this as tough, strength, stiff, hard, inflexible, obstinate, or stubborn.
力 is the simplest form of "power" or "strength."
In Japanese it is pronounced "chikara" when used alone, and "ryoku" when used in a sentence (there are also a few other possible pronunciations of this Kanji in Japanese).
In some context, this can mean ability, force, physical strength, capability, and influence.
This can be read as "girl power," "woman power," or "female strength."
女力 is kind of a strange or unofficial title in Chinese and Japanese. At least, it's not common for a wall scroll.
This should be "onna ryoku" in Japanese but I found some who suggest it should be "me riki."
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."
悟性 means the power of understanding and insight in Chinese.
It is often associated with Neo-Confucianism. In that regard, it means to realize, perceive, or have the perception of man's true nature. It can also mean to find your soul, the soul of others, or the soul of the world. Some will translate this simply as the state of being "savvy."
In Japanese, this is often translated as wisdom and understanding.
Self-discipline means self-control. It is doing what you really want to do, rather than being tossed around by your feelings like a leaf in the wind. You act instead of react. You get things done in an orderly and efficient way. With self-discipline, you take charge of yourself.
Not sure if this one works for a Japanese audience.
自力 is a word in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, old Korean, and Buddhist term meaning: power within oneself; self-sufficient; by oneself; self-made; self-power; inner ability.
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.
力操正 is a Korean martial arts title meaning, "Power Control."
It's most often cited as one of the 8 key concepts from Tang Soo Do.
This can be pronounced in Chinese but will only be recognized by those familiar with martial arts terms.
意志力 is the form of will power or self-control is about having the determination or tenacity to keep going.
In Japanese, this is the power of will, strength of will, volition, intention, intent, or determination.
This is an old proverb that is used to wish someone great health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse, and the power and prestige of the tiger."
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have these qualities. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
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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|
|kyousou / kyoso||qiáng zhuàng|
|kyoudai / kyodai||qiáng dà / qiang2 da4 / qiang da / qiangda||ch`iang ta / chiangta / chiang ta|
|入木三分||rù mù sān fēn|
ru4 mu4 san1 fen1
ru mu san fen
|ju mu san fen
|kyou / kyo||qiáng / qiang2 / qiang||ch`iang / chiang|
|力||chikara / ryoku||lì / li4 / li|
|女力||onna ryoku / me riki|
onnaryoku / meriki
|nǚ lì / nv3 li4 / nv li / nvli||nü li / nüli|
|毅力||yì lì / yi4 li4 / yi li / yili||i li / ili|
|Power of Understanding and Wisdom||悟性||gosei||wù xìng / wu4 xing4 / wu xing / wuxing||wu hsing / wuhsing|
|自律||jiritsu||zì lǜ / zi4 lv4 / zi lv / zilv||tzu lü / tzulü|
|Power of Oneself|
|自力||jiriki||zì lì / zi4 li4 / zi li / zili||tzu li / tzuli|
|Determination to Achieve|
|意志||ishi||yì zhì / yi4 zhi4 / yi zhi / yizhi||i chih / ichih|
|Control of Power||力操正||lì cào zhèng|
li4 cao4 zheng4
li cao zheng
|li ts`ao cheng
li tsao cheng
|意志力||ishi ryoku / ishiryoku||yì zhì lì|
yi4 zhi4 li4
yi zhi li
|i chih li
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse, the Power of a Tiger.||龍馬精神虎虎生威|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén hǔ hǔ shēng wēi|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2 hu3 hu3 sheng1 wei1
long ma jing shen hu hu sheng wei
|lung ma ching shen hu hu sheng wei|
|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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Powerful Kanji, Powerful Characters, Powerful in Mandarin Chinese, Powerful Characters, Powerful in Chinese Writing, Powerful in Japanese Writing, Powerful in Asian Writing, Powerful Ideograms, Chinese Powerful symbols, Powerful Hieroglyphics, Powerful Glyphs, Powerful in Chinese Letters, Powerful Hanzi, Powerful in Japanese Kanji, Powerful Pictograms, Powerful in the Chinese Written-Language, or Powerful in the Japanese Written-Language.
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