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5. Yuan Fen
10. Mother and Son
12. Love and Respect
17. Broken Hearted
18. Love and Honor
21. Soul Mates
Most common Japanese version
The dictionary definition is:
relation, relationship, connection, participation, involvement, concern, influence, effect, related to, connected to, or as a suffix to sexual it can mean sexual relations or relationship.
But there's more to it...
In Japan, the relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having this relationship with someone also means they would never rip you off but instead are honor-bound to treat you fairly.
See our Chinese Guanxi entry for more information. This term is used in very similar ways in China, Japan, and Korea.
See Also: Guanxi
The Buddhist idea of Fate
因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.
Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.
It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.
因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a “fate/chance” meaning by a Chinese person or a Korean person who can read Hanja.
The more complex definition of this word would be, “Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things.”
This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or “hetu and prataya”), which I believe is Pali.
Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji:
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you’ll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.
緣分 or Yuan Fen is the fate or chance that brings people together.
This can also mean a predestined affinity or relationship. Basically this is about destiny.
The invisible force that brings people together forever
緣 represents the fate that brings and bonds people together.
緣 is a complicated single character. It can mean a lot of different things depending on how you read it.
In Japanese, it can mean fate, destiny, a mysterious force that binds two people together, a relationship between two people, bond, link, connection, family ties, affinity, opportunity, or chance (to meet someone and start a relationship). It can also mean “someone to rely on,” relative, reminder, memento, or the female given name, Yori.
It's the same in Chinese, where it's defined as cause, reason, karma, fate, or predestined affinity.
In the Buddhist context, it's Pratyaya. This is the concept of indirect conditions, as opposed to direct causes. It's when something happens (meeting someone) by circumstance or a contributing environment. Instead of a direct cause or act, it is a conditioning cause without direct input or action by the involved people.
Occasionally, this character is used in a facetious way to say hem, seam, or edge of clothing. In this case, it's the seam that brings or holds the clothing together.
Note: Japanese will tend to use the variant of this Kanji shown to the right. If you want this version (and are ordering this from the Japanese master calligrapher), click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above.
伴侶 is a Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean word that expresses the kind of partnership in which a good marriage is founded.
伴侶 could also be translated as mates or companionship or as a noun to refer to a partner or companion.
This does not have to include marriage but at least refers to a partnership with a deep relationship or bond.
Note that this is not the same as a business partner. Different words are used for various types business partnerships.
See Also: Friendship
母子 simply means “mother and son,” or the essence of the relationship and bond between mother and son.
母子 is really a single word that expresses this idea (showing how important or significant this bond is).
This is not the most common choice for a wall scroll, it is acceptable if you feel this term is important to you.
See Also: Mother and Daughter
This Kanji represents a bond, as in the bond between mother and daughter, father and son, family ties, or a family bond.
絆 is the kind of character that says, no matter what happens (difficult times), we have this bond that cannot be broken.
If you go to the Japanese dictionary, the definition is the bonds (between people), (emotional) ties, relationship, connection, link, tether, or fetters.
Read this before ordering...
This Kanji is best if your audience is Japanese. While this is also a Chinese character, it has a completely different meaning in Chinese (it means to hinder or stumble in Chinese). it’s a very rare character in Korean Hanja but does mean bond in Korean (used in Korean words for certain kinds of glue and sticking plaster).
Love each other and show mutual respect
相愛互敬 is a nice way to say “Love and Respect” in Chinese.
This proverb is about the mutual exchange of love and respect within a good relationship.
The first two characters create a word that means “to love each other” or “mutual love.”
The third character means mutual, interlocking, or in some contexts, “to dovetail” (as in how joints are made in fine furniture).
The last character means “to respect,” “to venerate,” “to salute,” “reverence,” or simply “respect.”
The Chinese Concept of Relationship and Exchange of Favors
The dictionary definition is:
Relations/relationship, to concern, to affect, to have to do with, or connection.
But there's more to it...
In China, the relationship that you have with certain people can open doors for you. Having guanxi with someone also means they would never defraud you but are honor-bound to treat you fairly (of course, this goes both ways). Sometimes it is suggested that guanxi is the exchange of favors. 關繫 / 関繫 / 關係 is more about having a relationship that allows you to ask for and expect favors without shame.
There is no concept in western culture that exactly matches guanxi, but perhaps having a social or professional network is similar.
Note that there are some variations common within Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja for this word...
Japanese tend to use a Chinese alternate form as shown to the right for
the first character.
There's also another alternate form of that first character (currently used as the official Simplified form in mainland China) which looks like the character shown to the right. It's basically the central radical of the alternate version shown above but without the “door radical” around it. In more free-flowing calligraphy styles, this version would be the likely choice for a calligrapher.
In Modern Japanese, they use the character shown to the right.
They also tend to use this same form in Korean Hanja (I've only checked this word in my Korean dictionary, but it has not been confirmed by a translator's review).
If that was not confusing enough, there is another alternate form of that second character. See right.
An Asian calligrapher of any nationality may use these forms at their discretion. However, They would tend to stick to the most common form used in their respective languages.
If you have any preference on any of these issues, please give us a special note with your order, and we'll make sure it's done the way you want.
手足情 is the love between siblings.
When you love, protect, care for, and have a deep bond that only brothers or sisters can.
The actual translation is “Hand and Foot,” but the relationship between brothers or sisters is like that of hands and feet. They belong together and complete the body. Even though this says “hand and foot,” it will always be read with the brotherly and sisterly love meaning in Chinese.
Note: During the past 20 years, the “One child policy” in China is slowly making this term obsolete.
盟友 means a sworn friend or ally. If you stand on the same side of an issue with someone and perhaps fight for the same cause together, this is the term you would use to describe such a partner.
There may not be a personal relationship, as this term is also used to describe whole countries that make a coalition or fight against a common enemy.
This would be most appropriate if you are a high-level military officer, giving this wall scroll to an officer of another country as you join forces together and go to war.
親友 is the Japanese way to say “best friend.”
The first character can mean “relative” or sometimes “parents.” The second character means “friend.” Think about the close relationship that Japanese people have with their parents and relatives, and this starts to mean “close friends.”
Some Japanese-English dictionaries also translate this as “bosom friend,” “old friend,” “intimate friend,” “buddy,” “crony” or “chum.”
Note that in Chinese, this means “relatives and friends.” It's a good meaning in Chinese, but it's not quite the same as “best friends.”
In Chinese, this can mean losing one's love; to breaking up (in a romantic relationship); to feel jilted.
In Japanese Kanji, this means disappointing love, broken heart, unrequited love, or being lovelorn.
失戀 is also valid in old Korean Hanja, which means unrequited love, unreturned love, a disappointment in love, or a broken heart.
Note: In modern Japan, they will tend to write the more simple 失恋 form instead of 失戀. If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect the more simple modern version to be written (unless you give us instructions to use the older or more traditional version).
情義 means to love and honor in Chinese. 情義 is more or less the kind of thing you'd find in marriage vows.
The first character suggests emotions, passion, heart, humanity, sympathy, and feelings.
In this context, the second character means to honor your lover's wishes and treat them justly and righteously (fairly). That second character can also be translated as “obligation,” as in the obligation a husband and wife have to love each other even through difficult times.
In the context outside of a couple's relationship, this word can mean “comradeship.”
Japanese may see this more as “humanity and justice” than “love and honor.” It's probably best if your target is Chinese.
This is the short and sweet form, there is also a longer poetic form (you can find it here: Love and Honor if it’s not on the page you are currently viewing).
See Also: Love and Honor
家庭/傢庭 is a common way to express family, household, or home in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
However, for a wall scroll, we recommend the single-character form (which is just the first character of this two-character word). If you want that, just click here: Family Single-Character
The first character means “family” or “home.” The second means “courtyard” or “garden.” When combined, the meaning is a bit different, as it becomes “household” or “family.” The home and/or property traditionally has a strong relationship with family in Asia. Some Chinese, Korean, and Japanese families have lived in the same house for 7 or more generations!
Korean Martial Art of re-directing force
Hapkido or 合氣道 is a mostly-defensive martial art in Korea.
Hapkido has some connection to the Aikido of Japan. They are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.
The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is muddled in history. The issue is probably due to the difficult relationship between the two countries around WWII. Many Koreans became virtual slaves to the Japanese during that period. After WWII, many things in Korea were disassociated from having any Japanese origin. The relationship has greatly mellowed out now.
Looking at the characters, the first means “union” or “harmony.”
The second character means “universal energy” or “spirit.”
The third means “way” or “method.”
One way to translate this into English is the “Harmonizing Energy Method.” This makes sense, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy than fighting strength against strength.
More Hapkido info
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as “hap ki do,” “hapki-do” “hab gi do” or “hapgido.”
2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than English.
3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
It was tough to find the best way to say “soul mates” in Chinese. We settled on 天生一對 as an old way to say, “A couple selected by heaven.”
The first two characters together mean “natural” or “innate.” Separated, they mean “heaven” and “born.” The last two characters mean “couple.” So this can be translated as “A couple that is together by nature,” or “A couple brought together by heaven's decree.” With a slight stretch, you could say, “A couple born together from heaven.”
It's a struggle to find the best way to describe this idea in English but trust me, it is pretty cool, and it is a great way to say “soulmates.”
If you're in a happy relationship or marriage and think you have found your soul mate, this would be a wonderful wall scroll to hang in your home.
布施 is the Buddhist practice of giving known as Dāna or दान from Pali and Sanskrit.
Depending on the context, this can be alms-giving, acts of charity, or offerings (usually money) to a priest for reading sutras or teachings.
Some will put Dāna in these two categories:
1. The pure or unsullied charity, which looks for no reward here but only in the hereafter.
2. The sullied almsgiving whose object is personal benefit.
The first kind is, of course, the kind that a liberated or enlightened person will pursue.
Others will put Dāna in these categories:
1. Worldly or material gifts.
2. Unworldly or spiritual gifts.
You can also separate Dāna into these three kinds:
1. 財布施 Goods such as money, food, or material items.
2. 法布施 Dharma, as an act to teach or bestow the Buddhist doctrine onto others.
3. 無畏布施 Courage, as an act of facing fear to save someone or when standing up for someone or standing up for righteousness.
The philosophies and categorization of Dāna will vary among various monks, temples, and sects of Buddhism.
Breaking down the characters separately:
布 (sometimes written 佈) means to spread out or announce, but also means cloth. In ancient times, cloth or robs were given to the Buddhist monks annually as a gift of alms - I need to do more research, but I believe there is a relationship here.
施 means to grant, to give, to bestow, to act, to carry out, and by itself can mean Dāna as a single character.
Dāna can also be expressed as 檀那 (pronounced “tán nà” in Mandarin and dan-na or だんな in Japanese). 檀那 is a transliteration of Dāna. However, it has colloquially come to mean some unsavory or unrelated things in Japanese. So, I think 布施 is better for calligraphy on your wall to remind you to practice Dāna daily (or whenever possible).
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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|
|Relationship||關繫 / 関繫 / 關係|
|kan kei / kankei||guān xì / guan1 xi4 / guan xi / guanxi||kuan hsi / kuanhsi|
|jiě mèi guān xì|
jie3 mei4 guan1 xi4
jie mei guan xi
|chieh mei kuan hsi
因缘 / 因縁
|in nen / innen||yīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuan||yin yüan / yinyüan|
|Love the House and Its Crow||愛屋及烏|
|ài wū jí wū|
ai4 wu1 ji2 wu1
ai wu ji wu
|ai wu chi wu
|yuán fèn / yuan2 fen4 / yuan fen / yuanfen||yüan fen / yüanfen|
|qīn yuán / qin1 yuan2 / qin yuan / qinyuan||ch`in yüan / chinyüan / chin yüan|
|Excellence||卓越||taku etsu / takuetsu||zhuó yuè / zhuo2 yue4 / zhuo yue / zhuoyue||cho yüeh / choyüeh|
|The Mysterious Bond Between People||緣 / 縁|
|en||yuán / yuan2 / yuan||yüan|
|hanryo||bàn lǚ / ban4 lv3 / ban lv / banlv||pan lü / panlü|
|Mother and Son||母子||bo shi / boshi||mǔ zǐ / mu3 zi3 / mu zi / muzi||mu tzu / mutzu|
|kizuna||bàn / ban4 / ban||pan|
|Love and Respect||相愛互敬|
|xiāng ài hù jìng|
xiang1 ai4 hu4 jing4
xiang ai hu jing
|hsiang ai hu ching
|Guanxi||關繫 / 関繫 / 關係|
关系 / 関係
|kankei||guān xì / guan1 xi4 / guan xi / guanxi||kuan hsi / kuanhsi|
|Brotherly and Sisterly Love||手足情||shǒu zú qíng|
shou3 zu2 qing2
shou zu qing
|shou tsu ch`ing
shou tsu ching
|盟友||meiyuu / meiyu||méng yǒu / meng2 you3 / meng you / mengyou||meng yu / mengyu|
|shin yuu / shinyuu / shin yu||qīn yǒu / qin1 you3 / qin you / qinyou||ch`in yu / chinyu / chin yu|
|shitsuren||shī liàn / shi1 lian4 / shi lian / shilian||shih lien / shihlien|
|Love and Honor||情義|
|qíng yì / qing2 yi4 / qing yi / qingyi||ch`ing i / chingi / ching i|
|家庭 / 傢庭|
|ka tei / katei||jiā tíng / jia1 ting2 / jia ting / jiating||chia t`ing / chiating / chia ting|
|ai ki do / aikido||hé qì dào|
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
|ho ch`i tao
ho chi tao
|tiān shēng yí duì|
tian1 sheng1 yi2 dui4
tian sheng yi dui
|t`ien sheng i tui
tien sheng i tui
|Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity||布施||fuse||bù shī / bu4 shi1 / bu shi / bushi||pu shih / pushih|
|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 Relationship Kanji, Relationship Characters, Relationship in Mandarin Chinese, Relationship Characters, Relationship in Chinese Writing, Relationship in Japanese Writing, Relationship in Asian Writing, Relationship Ideograms, Chinese Relationship symbols, Relationship Hieroglyphics, Relationship Glyphs, Relationship in Chinese Letters, Relationship Hanzi, Relationship in Japanese Kanji, Relationship Pictograms, Relationship in the Chinese Written-Language, or Relationship in the Japanese Written-Language.
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