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10. Big Wave
12. Drunken Fist
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.
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.
気の強い means strong-willed or strong of heart in Japanese.
Here's the character breakdown of this Japanese title:
気 (ki) spirit; mind; heart; nature; motivation; intention; feelings; essence.
の (no) possessive particle.
強い (tsuyoi) strong; powerful; mighty; potent; resistant; resilient; durable.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
濤 is the Chinese character for "Big Wave".
It suggests a wave unlike most, strong and powerful.
濤 is technically also a Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja but it's not commonly used in those Asian languages. Pronunciation in Japanese and Korean provided above for reference only. Just order this if your audience is Chinese.
Drunken Fist is a traditional Chinese martial art / technique of Kung Fu.
It is a northern style of martial art that imitates a drunk person in its movements. Many staggering movements serve to deceive the opponent and keep them off-balance.
Some consider Drunken Fist to be among the harder styles of martial arts due to the need for powerful joints and fingers.
See Also: Drunken Monkey
平家星 is the old Japanese title for the Betelgeuse star in the constellation Orion.
While also known as Alpha Orionis or Betelgeuse in the West, this was the "Heike star" in Japan.
The powerful Taira clan, known colloquially as the 平家 (Heike clan), adopted this star's red color as its symbol some time in the late 800's AD. They called the star 平家星 (Heike-boshi).
凰 is another simple way to write "Phoenix" in Chinese. 凰 is the specifically female element of phoenix, so this is how you write "female phoenix". 凰 is sometimes used to represent the female empress (many times in history, China was ruled by a woman, in much the same way queens came to power in Europe).
Note that the emperor is always represented as a dragon (not the male version of phoenix).
If you see yourself as a strong woman, this might be scroll for you to express "woman power" or "powerful woman" in a cool way.
一言九鼎 is an ancient Chinese proverb used in modern times talk of profound or powerful words.
The literal meaning is, "one word [worth] nine [sacred] tripods". The tripod is a highly-prized three-legged (sometimes four-legged) metal pot or kettle of ancient China. They are often made of bronze, and the Emperor would have very large ones gilded in gold. See the image to the right for an example.
陳 is the most common character for a Chinese surname that romanizes as "Chen".
陳 is also a surname You or Yo in Japanese, though it can also be pronounced as Chin in Japanese.
In Korean, it is a surname romanized as Jin.
As a word, this character means: to lay out; to exhibit; to display; to narrate; to state; to explain; to tell.
The Chen clan or family was a small kingdom from 1046 BC to 479 BC. It was one of 12 small-but-powerful vassal states during the Spring and Autumn Period 770-475 BC. This name reappeared as the Chen Dynasty (陳朝) of the Southern dynasties from 557 AD to 589 AD.
強固 means firmness, stability, security, and strength in Japanese.
It's not used commonly in China but it means "powerful", "firm", "solid", "strong" or "better than others" in Chinese. There is a slight variation in the top of the first character between Chinese and Japanese. Because this is more a Japanese word, we are showing the Japanese form here.
強固 is also a Korean word but Korean Hanja uses the Chinese form of the first character (one tiny stroke is a little different), so just let me now if your audience is Korean when you place your order, and we'll have it written in the Chinese/Korean version.
Any woman with affection for Asian art and you will love a gift of this Chinese proverb calligraphy on a wall scroll.
She will melt in your arms as you tell her the meaning of these characters.
Contained in this phrase is a reference to the most beautiful woman in Chinese history. Her name was Xi Shi, and she was known to have good looks that need not fine robes or makeup. Her charms were so powerful that she brought down an entire kingdom (in a successful effort to bring honor and pride back to her people).
情人眼里出西施 is a great way to express that the woman in your life is your one love.
強い体強い心 is a way to write "strong mind, strong body" in Japanese.
Each of the two lines starts with 強い (tsuyoi) which means: strong; powerful; mighty; potent; resistant; resilient; durable; tough; stiff; hard; inflexible.
Body is represented with 体 (ancient version is 體, romanized as karada) which means: body; build; physique; posture; torso; trunk; health.
Mind is represented with 心 (kokoro) which can mean heart, mind, or soul depending on context.
This is not a common phrase in Japanese, so it's not the most natural title for calligraphy. In English, you might want to write it, "strong mind, strong body" but, "strong mind, strong body", is more natural in Japanese.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
清 means clarity or clear in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Looking at the parts of this character, you have three splashes of water on the left, "life" on the top right, and the moon on the lower right.
Because of something Confucius said about 2500 years ago, you can imagine that this character means "live life with clarity like bright moonlight piercing pure water". The Confucian idea is something like "Keep clear what is pure in yourself, and let your pure nature show through". Kind of like saying, "Don't pollute your mind or body, so that they remain clear".
This might be stretching the definition of this single Chinese character but the elements are there, and "clarity" is a powerful idea.
Korean note: Korean pronunciation is given above but this character is written with a slight difference in the "moon radical" in Korean. However, anyone who can read Korean Hanja, will understand this character with no problem (this is considered an alternate form in Korean). If you want the more standard Korean Hanja form (which is an alternate form in Chinese), just let me know.
Japanese note: When reading in Japanese, this Kanji has additional meanings of pure, purify, or cleanse (sometimes to remove demons or "exorcise"). Used more in compound words in Japanese than as a stand-alone Kanji.
孔子 is how to write the name of the great sage, known in the West as Confucius.
His real name is Kongzi (The name Confucius is a westernized version of his name - his family name is Kong, and "zi" was added as a title of distinction).
He lived some 2500 years ago in Qufu, a town in modern-day Shandong Province of Northern China (about 6 hours south of Beijing by bus). He was a consort to Emperors, and after his death, the impact of his philosophies still served to advise emperors, officials, and common people for generations.
Also during these thousands of years, the Kong family remained powerful in China, and the Kong estate was much like the Vatican in Rome. The Kong estate existed as if on sovereign ground with its own small garrison of guards and privileges of a kingdom within an empire.
This was true up until the time the Kong family had to flee to Taiwan in 1949 when the Red Army took victory over the Nationalists during the Revolution. The home of Confucius was later razed and all statues defaced or stolen during the Cultural Revolution. Finally, after years of smearing his name and image, it is once again okay to celebrate the teachings of Confucius in mainland China.
The most literal translation to English of this ancient Chinese proverb is:
"Past events not forgotten serve as teachers for later events".
However, it's been translated several ways:
Don't forget past events, they can guide you in future.
Benefit from past experience.
Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future.
Past calamity is my teacher.
A good memory for the past is a teacher for the future.
The remembrance of the past is the teacher of the future.
If one remembers the lessons of the past; They will serve as a guide to avoid mistakes in the future.
This proverb comes from the 5th century B.C. just before the Warring States Period in the territory now known as China.
The head of the State of Jin, Zhi Bo, seized power in a coup. He did this with help from the armies of the State of Han and Wei. Instead of being grateful for the help from Han and Wei, he treacherously took the land of Han and Wei. Never satisfied, Zhi Bo employed the armies of Han and Wei to attack and seize the State of Zhao.
The king of Zhao took advice from his minister Zhang Mengtan and secretly contacted the Han and Wei armies to reverse their plans and attack the army of Zhi Bo instead. The plan was successful, and the State of Zhao was not only saved but was set to become a powerful kingdom in the region.
Zhang Mengtan immediately submitted his resignation to a confused king of Zhao. When asked why, Zhang Mengtan said, "I've done my duty to save my kingdom but looking back at past experience, I know sovereign kings are never satisfied with the power or land at hand. They will join others and fight for more power and more land. I must learn from past experiences, as those experiences are the teachers of future events".
The king could not dispute the logic in that statement and accepted Zhang Mengtan's resignation.
For generations, the State of Zhao continued to fight for power and land until finally being defeated and decimated by the State of Qin (which lead to the birth of the Qin Dynasty in 221 B.C.).
Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.
Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King's court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.
The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.
One of the King's ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins".
This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation". The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin's words.
Seeing the King's displeasure with him and the King's fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.
Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.
The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"
Zhuang Xin told the King this story:
A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.
The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it's never too late to mend the fence".
This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.
I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.
Note: This does have Korean pronunciation but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.
This in-stock artwork might be what you are looking for, and ships right away...
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|
|kyou ryoku / kyouryoku / kyo ryoku / kyoryoku||qiáng lì / qiang2 li4 / qiang li / qiangli||ch`iang li / chiangli / chiang li|
|Courage and Strength||勇力||yuu ri / yuuri / yu ri / yuri||yǒng lì / yong3 li4 / yong li / yongli||yung li / yungli|
|gan kyou / gankyou / gan kyo / gankyo||wán qiáng|
Strong of Heart
|ki no tsuyo i|
|nami||tāo / tao1 / tao||t`ao / tao|
|Flexibility Overcomes Strength||以柔克剛|
|yǐ róu kè gāng|
yi3 rou2 ke4 gang1
yi rou ke gang
|i jou k`o kang
i jou ko kang
|Drunken Fist||醉拳||suiken||zuì quán / zui4 quan2 / zui quan / zuiquan||tsui ch`üan / tsuichüan / tsui chüan|
|平家星||hei ke boshi|
|Phoenix (female)||凰||ou / o||huáng / huang2 / huang|
|Words Have Enormous Weight: One Word Worth Nine Caldrons||一言九鼎||yī yán jiǔ dǐng|
yi1 yan2 jiu3 ding3
yi yan jiu ding
|i yen chiu ting
|chin||chén / chen2 / chen||ch`en / chen|
|Strength: Strong and Solid||強固|
|kyouko / kyoko||qiáng gù / qiang2 gu4 / qiang gu / qianggu||ch`iang ku / chiangku / chiang ku|
|You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes||情人眼里出西施||qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī|
qing2 ren2 yan3 li3 chu1 xi1 shi1
qing ren yan li chu xi shi
|ch`ing jen yen li ch`u hsi shih
ching jen yen li chu hsi shih
|Strong Body, Strong Mind||強い體強い心|
|tsuyo i karada tsuyo i kokoro|
|Clarity||清||sei||qīng / qing1 / qing||ch`ing / ching|
|Confucius||孔子||koushi / koshi||kǒng zǐ / kong3 zi3 / kong zi / kongzi||k`ung tzu / kungtzu / kung tzu|
|Past experience is the teacher for the future.||前事不忘后事之師|
|qián shì bú wàng hòu shí zhī shī|
qian2 shi4 bu2 wang4 hou4 shi2 zhi1 shi1
qian shi bu wang hou shi zhi shi
|ch`ien shih pu wang hou shih chih shih
chien shih pu wang hou shih chih shih
|Better Late Than Never||亡羊補牢猶未為晚|
|wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn|
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
|wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
|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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