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4. Never Forget
6. Never Forget
記憶 is a Japanese Kanji, old Korean Hanja, and Chinese word that means "to remember."
This can also be translated as memory, to recall, recollection, or remembrance.
銘記 means to keep in mind, to take note of, or simply to remember, in Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji.
The first character means to engrave, to inscribe, or to carve an inscription.
The second character means to remember, to note, mark, sign, to record, history, chronicle, or annals.
When used in the context of a person, this means to engrave on the heart, or to inscribe a memory in one's mind. In short, it's the idea of deeply remembering something, some event, or someone forever.
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 proverb suggests that one should always be grateful to those who helped you succeed.
And remember your ancestors and those that came before you whose sacrifices made your present life better.
Some Chinese will separate the intended meaning from this proverb and translate this as "Don't forget the people who once helped you." In Modern China, this idiom is virtually never used to refer to an actual well.
Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.
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.).
This is an old Japanese proverb that suggests you try to never forget the enthusiasm you had as a child when you try new things (or even face the day-to-day). Basically avoid having a mundane attitude that many people get with age.
You'll find this Japanese proverb translated a few different ways. Here are some of them:
Don't forget your first resolution.
Never forget your child-like enthusiasm.
Forget not the beginner's mind.
Try never to lose your initial enthusiasm (freshness of attitude).
Note: This is sometimes written as 初心忘る可からず. The one shown above is used about 10x more often. There's only one character difference between the two versions.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
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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|
|jì zhù / ji4 zhu4 / ji zhu / jizhu||chi chu / chichu|
|Remember||記憶||kioku||jì yì / ji4 yi4 / ji yi / jiyi||chi i / chii|
|Remember||銘記||mei ki / meiki||míng jì / ming2 ji4 / ming ji / mingji||ming chi / mingchi|
|Remember What Is Important To You||貴方にとって重要な事を記憶する||anata ni totte jyuyou na koto wo kioku suru|
anata ni totte jyuyo na koto wo kioku suru
|Remember What Is Important To You||記住什么是重要的|
|jì zhù shén shì zhòng yào de|
ji4 zhu4 shen2 me shi4 zhong4 yao4 de
ji zhu shen me shi zhong yao de
|chi chu shen me shih chung yao te|
|Mindfulness||念||nen||niàn / nian4 / nian||nien|
|Never Forget||永志不忘||yǒng zhì bù wàng|
yong3 zhi4 bu4 wang4
yong zhi bu wang
|yung chih pu wang
|Drinking the water of a well: One should never forget who dug it||吃水不忘掘井人||chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén|
chi1 shui3 bu2 wang4 jue2 jing3 ren2
chi shui bu wang jue jing ren
|ch`ih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
chih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
|Never Forget||常不忘失||jou fu bou shitsu |
jo fu bo shitsu
|cháng bù wàng shī|
chang2 bu4 wang4 shi1
chang bu wang shi
|ch`ang pu wang shih
chang pu wang shih
|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
|Never Forget Your First Resolution||初心忘るべからず / 初心忘る可からず|
|sho shin wasu ru be ka ra zu|
|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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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.
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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.
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