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3. Queen Bee
4. Orchid Queen
王后 is another way to write queen in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
王后 is sometimes used for the title of empress.
The first character means "king" and the second means "wife", or a short form to say "wife of the king / emperor". So this is literally, "king's wife" or "emperor's wife". Some will translate this as "queen consort".
皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor.
皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's firstborn son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.
The first character means emperor by itself.
The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.
Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.
皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).
王 is wang which means king. It is not pronounced the way you think in Chinese. It is more like English-speakers would want to pronounce wong. It has roughly the same vowel sound as tong, song, or long in English.
Note that this means king only, not emperor. An emperor is higher than a king, and theoretically is chosen by God, according to ancient Chinese culture. However, the definition is often blurred at various points in Asian history.
王 can also be defined as ruler, sovereign, monarch or magnate. It is also can refer to a game piece in the chess-like Japanese strategic game of shoji.
Note: This can also be a family name in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese (in Vietnamese it's Vương).
皇帝 means emperor in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.
From times of old, the emperors of Asia ruled under the authority of God himself. In fact, one definition of an emperor is a ruler put in power by God. This definition separates emperors from the various kings in Chinese history (although defining who is a king versus an emperor gets vague sometimes).
Occasionally, the emperor's wife was widowed, and she took the role of an empress until her death (see our entry for empress if that is what you are looking for).
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Queen||女王||jo ou / joou / jo o / joo||nǚ wáng / nv3 wang2 / nv wang / nvwang||nü wang / nüwang|
|王后||ou kou / oukou / o ko / oko||wáng hòu / wang2 hou4 / wang hou / wanghou|
|Queen Bee||女王蜂||jooubachi / jobachi|
|Queen Bee||蜂王||fēng wáng|
|lán huā nǚ wáng|
lan2 hua1 nv3 wang2
lan hua nv wang
|lan hua nü wang
|lán hòu / lan2 hou4 / lan hou / lanhou|
|Empress||皇后||kou gou / kougou / ko go / kogo||huáng hòu|
|King||王||ou / o||wáng / wang2 / wang|
|měi lì de gōng zhǔ|
mei3 li4 de gong1 zhu3
mei li de gong zhu
|mei li te kung chu
|Emperor||皇||kou / ko||huáng / huang2 / huang|
|Emperor||皇帝||koutei / kotei||huáng dì / huang2 di4 / huang di / huangdi||huang ti / huangti|
|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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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 Queen Kanji, Queen Characters, Queen in Mandarin Chinese, Queen Characters, Queen in Chinese Writing, Queen in Japanese Writing, Queen in Asian Writing, Queen Ideograms, Chinese Queen symbols, Queen Hieroglyphics, Queen Glyphs, Queen in Chinese Letters, Queen Hanzi, Queen in Japanese Kanji, Queen Pictograms, Queen in the Chinese Written-Language, or Queen in the Japanese Written-Language.
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