Special note: Preparations for the National Holiday of China are happening now.
Security is tight, and we are not allowed to enter the city of Beijing until Oct 6th (My staff does not have the proper papers, and the international post office is in Beijing).
This will cause a delay for custom orders placed between Sept 12 to Oct 1st.
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This Chinese proverb means, "Bore a hole on the wall to make use of the neighbor's light to study."
鑿壁偷光 is a nice gift for a very studious person.
Kuang Heng was born during the Western Han period. He was very fond of reading ever since he was young. However, he could not go to school since his family was poor, and he had to borrow books from people to learn.
In order to borrow these books he normally did chores for people who had them. When he became older, he had to work in the field from sunrise to sunset since his family's financial situation did not get any better. Thus, he tried to study at night but he had no lamp.
One day, he noticed that there was light from the neighbor's house coming through a crack in the wall. This made him very happy, so he dug a larger hole from the crack and read in the light that shone through. This diligent study eventually made him an accomplished person.
This Chinese character means, "to read out loud," or "to study books."
Very seldom used in Japanese anymore (except occasionally in Buddhism).
學 is "study" or "learn" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
學 is a very broad character that can mean a lot of things related to scholarship. It can refer to a school (in fact, if you put the character for "big" in front of this, you have "college" or "university," if you put the word for "middle," you have "middle school." This can also mean science; the process of acquiring knowledge; learning; scholarship; erudition; knowledge. It can also add the Chinese or Japanese version of "-ology" (the study of) to many words.
There is a very common simplified version of this character. You will see this form in modern Japan and mainland China, Singapore, and other places. If you want this simplified version, please click on the character shown to the right instead of the "select and customize" button above.
This Chinese proverb reads, "river of literacy, sea of learning"
This suggests that there is a lot to learn in the world, with an eternal amount of reading and things to study.
文江學海 is one way to translate the quote from Hippocrates, "ars longa, vita brevis," meaning, "it takes a long time to acquire and perfect one's expertise."
See Also: Learning is Eternal
This Chinese proverb literally means, "always with a book in hand."
It's a proverb said of a hardworking scholar or student.
This may refer to a student or scholar who is diligent and hardworking. It's a great gift for a student or scholar who loves books.
This Chinese proverb reads, "sea of learning, no horizon."
Colloquially, it means there are no limits to what one still has left to learn.
This would be the Chinese equivalent to the quote from Hippocrates, "ars longa, vita brevis," meaning, "it takes a long time to acquire and perfect one's expertise."
See Also: Learning is Eternal
This Chinese proverb reads, "There is no royal road to learning."
This suggests that the path of learning can never be smooth, there will be difficulties and troubles along the way.
See Also: Learning is Eternal
When you meet a wise person, you should learn from them and be inspired to become as wise as they are.
見賢思齊 is a pretty long proverb in English but in Chinese it's only four characters.
However, in Chinese the deeper meaning often surpass the dictionary definition of each character.
In this case, you should seek wise people to learn from throughout your life...
Always try to learn enough to become equal to them. It also suggests that the process of learning and seeking wisdom is a non-ending cycle.
See Also: Knowledge
This is a famous proverb by Chairman Mao Zedong that sounds really strange when directly translated into English. I include it in our database of phrases to illustrate how different the construction and grammar can be between Chinese and English. The direct translation is "Good Good Study, Day Day Up." In Chinese, a repeated character/word can often serve to reinforce the idea (like saying "very" or suggesting "a lot of"). So "good good" really means "a lot of good." While "day day" can be better translated as "day in day out." The idea of "up" has a meaning in China of "rising above" or "improving."
After understanding all of this, we come up with a slightly better translation of "With lot of good study, day in day out, we raise above."
The more natural translation of this proverb would be something like, "study hard, and keep improving."
念 is the simplest way to write "mindfulness" in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
念 can be defined these ways: To read; to study (a degree course); to read aloud; to miss somebody (keeping them in your mind); idea; remembrance; sense; thought; feeling; desire; concern; attention; recollection; memory; to think on/about; reflect; repeat, intone; a moment.
Obviously, the context in which the character is used determines which definition or meaning is perceived. As a single character, it's open and perhaps ambiguous. Thus, it can be read with any or all of these meanings.
念 is used in a Buddhist context (often written as 正念 or "right mindfulness") with similar meanings of thought and contemplation.
In Japanese, this character is sometimes used as a name "Nen."
This Chinese philosophy tells of how we continue to learn throughout our lives. This proverb can be translated in a few ways such as "Study has no end," "Knowledge is infinite," "No end to learning," "There's always something new to study," or "You live and learn."
The deeper meaning: Even when we finish school we are still students of the world gaining more knowledge from our surroundings with each passing day.
修行 is shugyō or shugyou in Japanese. It refers to ascetic practices, training, practice, discipline, and study.
修行 is also a word in the original Chinese, where it refers more to religious studies and practices.
In Buddhist context, this represents caryā. In Buddhism, this refers to conduct; to observe and do; to end one's ways; to cultivate oneself in right practice; to be religious; to be pious.
會計師 is the occupational or legal title of an accountant in Chinese and Korean.
In Asia, special study and certifications are needed to obtain this title. Therefore, this is the closest match to the English term of Certified Public Accountant. Such a professional might have a sign on his desk or a name badge that has his/her name on it, and this title in Chinese characters. It's not too common to see this on a wall scroll in Asia, but you are allowed to take such liberties in the west.
業 is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. 業 is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.
Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.
The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).
See Also: Buddhism
This is the full title for Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do.
The literal meaning is "one heart method empty hand way."
There are also other ways you can translate this, but if you are looking for this title, you already know that.
This would make a great wall scroll for your dojo or private studio, if you study this form of Japanese (technically from Okinawa) Karate.
Because this is a specifically-Japanese title, I strongly recommend that you select our Japanese Master Calligrapher to create this artwork for you.
上地流 or Uechi-Ryū is the short name for a traditional style of Okinawan karate.
Uechi-Ryū is named after it's creator, Kanbun Uechi. Uechi was an Okinawan man who left at the age of 19 for China to study Chinese martial arts and medicine.
The meaning of this title is "Uechi Flow," "Uechi Style" or "Uechi School." Although, the name 上地 or Uechi can mean "higher stages of practice" in the Buddhist context. Therefore, you can stretch the meaning to be "Higher-Stages-of-Practice Style."
寧靜致遠 is an ancient Chinese idiom which means "tranquility yields transcendence."
This suggests pursuing a quiet life of profound study.
The first two characters mean tranquility. The last two characters mean "go far" which suggests achieving much in your life or expanding beyond normal limits. The direct translation would read something like, "[With] tranquility [in your life, you'll] go far."
Compare this to the English idiom: Still waters run deep.
溫故知新 is a proverb from Confucius that is used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures.
It can be translated several ways:
Coming up with new ideas based on things learned in the past.
Examine things of the past, and obtain the new knowledge.
Developing new ideas based on study of the past.
Gain new insights through restudying old issues.
Understand the present by reviewing the past.
Learning from the past.
Review the old and know the new.
Taking a lesson from the past.
Taking a lesson from the wisdom of the ancients.
Follow the old ways.
The direct translation would be, "By asking old things know new things."
The Character meanings breakdown this way:
溫故 = ask old
知新 = know new
Explained: To learn new things that are outside of your experience, you can learn from old things of the past. You can find wisdom from history.
Note: Japanese use a simplified version of the first Kanji in modern times. So if you order this from our Japanese master calligrapher, expect the first Kanji to look like the one shown to the right.
學生 is how to write "student" in Chinese, pre-WWII Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you are a "student of life," this might be an interesting wall scroll to hang in your reading room.
The first character means "study" or "learning."
The second character means "life" or "birth." Don't read too much into that second character, unless you decide that this means "the birth of studies" or "the life of learning." Everyone in China, Japan, (and those who can read Hanja in Korea) will just read this word with the meaning of "student."
If you put the character for "little" in front of this word, it becomes "elementary school student." Prefixed with "middle" it becomes "middle school student." Prefixed with "big" it becomes "university student" (though when these two characters for student are seen alone, it often suggests "university student"). The term "high school student" is written differently.
There is a very common simplified version of the first character for this word. You will see this form in modern Japan and mainland China, Singapore, and other places. If you want this simplified version, please click on the character shown to the right instead of the "select and customize" button above.
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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|
|Diligent Study Proverb||鑿壁偷光|
|záo bì tōu guāng|
zao2 bi4 tou1 guang1
zao bi tou guang
|tsao pi t`ou kuang
tsao pi tou kuang
|doku||dú / du2 / du||tu|
|gaku||xué / xue2 / xue||hsüeh|
|Learning leads to Knowledge, Study leads to Benevolence, Shame leads to Courage||好學近乎知力行近乎仁知恥近乎勇|
|hào xué jìn hū zhī lì xíng jìn hū rén zhī chǐ jìn hū yǒng|
hao4 xue2 jin4 hu1 zhi1 li4 xing2 jin4 hu1 ren2 zhi1 chi3 jin4 hu1 yong3
hao xue jin hu zhi li xing jin hu ren zhi chi jin hu yong
|hao hsüeh chin hu chih li hsing chin hu jen chih ch`ih chin hu yung
hao hsüeh chin hu chih li hsing chin hu jen chih chih chin hu yung
|River of Literacy, Sea of Learning||文江學海|
|wén jiāng xué hǎi|
wen2 jiang1 xue2 hai3
wen jiang xue hai
|wen chiang hsüeh hai
|Open the Minds of the Next Generation To Stimulate Thinking||啟迪|
|qǐ dí / qi3 di2 / qi di / qidi||ch`i ti / chiti / chi ti|
|Always with a Book in Hand||手不釋卷|
|shǒu bù shì juàn|
shou3 bu4 shi4 juan4
shou bu shi juan
|shou pu shih chüan
|The Sea of Knowledge Has No Limits||學海無涯|
|xué hǎi wú yá|
xue2 hai3 wu2 ya2
xue hai wu ya
|hsüeh hai wu ya
|There is no royal road to learning||求學無坦途|
|qiú xué wú tǎn tú|
qiu2 xue2 wu2 tan3 tu2
qiu xue wu tan tu
|ch`iu hsüeh wu t`an t`u
chiu hsüeh wu tan tu
|Learn from Wisdom||見賢思齊|
|jiàn xián sī qí|
jian4 xian2 si1 qi2
jian xian si qi
|chien hsien ssu ch`i
chien hsien ssu chi
|Good Good Study, Day Day Up||好好學習天天向上|
|hǎo hǎo xué xí tiān tiān xiàng shàng|
hao3 hao3 xue2 xi2 tian1 tian1 xiang4 shang4
hao hao xue xi tian tian xiang shang
|hao hao hsüeh hsi t`ien t`ien hsiang shang
hao hao hsüeh hsi tien tien hsiang shang
|Mindfulness||念||nen||niàn / nian4 / nian||nien|
|Learning is Eternal||學無止境|
|xué wú zhǐ jìng|
xue2 wu2 zhi3 jing4
xue wu zhi jing
|hsüeh wu chih ching
|Truth Flashed Through The Mind||參悟|
|cān wù / can1 wu4 / can wu / canwu||ts`an wu / tsanwu / tsan wu|
|Even an iron bar can be ground to a needle||磨杵成針|
|mó chǔ chéng zhēn|
mo2 chu3 cheng2 zhen1
mo chu cheng zhen
|mo ch`u ch`eng chen
mo chu cheng chen
|Shugyo||修行||shu gyou / shugyou / shu gyo / shugyo||xiū xíng / xiu1 xing2 / xiu xing / xiuxing||hsiu hsing / hsiuhsing|
|kuài jì shī|
kuai4 ji4 shi1
kuai ji shi
|k`uai chi shih
kuai chi shih
|gou / go||yè / ye4 / ye||yeh|
|Isshin Ryu Karate Do||一心流空手道||i sshin ryuu kara te dou|
i shin ryu kara te do
|Uechi-Ryū||上地流||ue chi ryuu|
ue chi ryu
|Tranquility Yields Transcendence||寧靜致遠|
|níng jìng zhì yuǎn|
ning2 jing4 zhi4 yuan3
ning jing zhi yuan
|ning ching chih yüan
|Learn New Ways From Old||溫故知新|
|on ko chi shin |
|wēn gù zhī xīn|
wen1 gu4 zhi1 xin1
wen gu zhi xin
|wen ku chih hsin
|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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