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7. Blue Lotus
10. Be Like Water
11. White Lotus
Clean and Pure
淨 is the most simple way to express purity or cleanliness in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
As a single character, the concept is broad: This can be a verb (the act of cleaning, purifying, or cleansing) but it can also be the state of being clean, pure, and chaste. In some contexts, it can be a place to clean (like a bathing room for the soul in a Buddhist context). In Japanese, this can be a female given name “Jou” or “jō” (the Japanese equivalent of the English girl's name “Chastity”).
心澄淨 is the Buddhist concept of the pure and calm mind. It is believed that once you achieve a meditative state of pure focused thought, the mind becomes clear and calm. Although, others will say this means that achieving a calm mind will allow you to reach pure thought.
From Sanskrit, this is known as citta-prasāda. The concept of citta-prasāda is sometimes defined as “clear heart-mind,” or “the single and definitive aspiration.”
Also: Clean / Innocent / Pure
純潔 is associated with “chastity” but with the direct meaning of clean, innocent, and pure.
If you were expressing the idea of a “pure heart” in Chinese, while not literal, this would be the word you would use.
In Japanese, this word is sometimes used to express purity.
In Korean, it describes purity, chastity, virginity, and innocence (basically the same as the Chinese definition).
In Chinese, 貞節 would be defined as “The state of being sexually pure” or “chaste.”
Culturally, this especially applies to young women. 貞節 is not actually far off from our western view on this subject. In Japanese and Korean, this could also be used to express virtue, faithfulness, and fidelity.
See Also: Modesty
清 is a word that 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.
謙恭 means humble in Chinese.
The first character means modest.
The second means respect or respectful.
See Also: Modesty
靑蓮 is a common title for Blue Lotus.
靑蓮 is often used in a Buddhist context for blue lotus from the Sanskrit “utpala.” This often refers to the clarity and purity of the lotus blue eyes possessed by a Living Buddha. It can also represent the purity of mind (without desire, suffering, fear, etc.).
Quote from Lao Tzu
Quote from Lao Tzu
若水 is part of a very old saying from Lao Tzu.
In these two characters, there is a suggestion to be like water. The full phrase is about the goodness and purity of water. So, when this suggests being like water, it is actually a suggestion to be a good person (one who does not dishonor himself/herself, etc.).
白蓮 is the title for the white lotus (flower) or a short name for the White Lotus society.
The white lotus represents purity or a pure heart and is often associated with Buddhism.
Notes: This can be the Japanese given name Byakuren. In the Buddhist context, the white lotus represented by these characters is originally puṇḍarīka in Sanskrit.
Wa Kei Sei Jaku
和, 敬, 清, 寂 or Wa, Kei, Sei, Jaku are the principles of the way of tea or 茶道.
The meanings are:
Harmony 和 (wa).
Respect 敬 (kei).
Purity 清 (sei).
Tranquility 寂 (jaku).
These principles or tenets were created by tea master Sen Rikyu (1522-1591). More about these ideas: Chanoyu
See Also: The Way of Tea
瑞 is a Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean word that means: lucky; auspicious; propitious; freshness; purity; luster; a good omen.
In Japanese, this can be the following female given names: Yutaka; Midzuho; Mizuho; Mizuki; Mizue; Mizu; Mio; Tamami. It can also be a Japanese surname, Zui or Shirushi.
In the Buddhist context, this can represent an auspicious jade token or good omen.
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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|
|Purity||淨||jou / jo||jìng / jing4 / jing||ching|
|Purity of Mind||心澄淨||shin chou jou|
shin cho jo
|xīn chéng jìng|
xin1 cheng2 jing4
xin cheng jing
|hsin ch`eng ching
hsin cheng ching
|jun ketsu / junketsu||chún jié / chun2 jie2 / chun jie / chunjie||ch`un chieh / chunchieh / chun chieh|
|teiketsu / teketsu||zhēn jié / zhen1 jie2 / zhen jie / zhenjie||chen chieh / chenchieh|
|teisetsu||zhēn jié / zhen1 jie2 / zhen jie / zhenjie||chen chieh / chenchieh|
|Clarity||清||sei||qīng / qing1 / qing||ch`ing / ching|
|seiren||qing lián / qing lian2 / qing lian / qinglian||ch`ing lien / chinglien / ching lien|
|清廉||sei ren / seiren||qīng lián|
|Ultimate Goodness of Water||上善若水||shàng shàn ruò shuǐ|
shang4 shan4 ruo4 shui3
shang shan ruo shui
|shang shan jo shui
|Be Like Water||若水||ruò shuǐ / ruo4 shui3 / ruo shui / ruoshui||jo shui / joshui|
|byakuren||bái lián / bai2 lian2 / bai lian / bailian||pai lien / pailien|
|Elements of the Tea Ceremony||和敬清寂||wa kei sei jaku|
|瑞||zui||ruì / rui4 / rui||jui|
|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.
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