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This Japanese proverb can be translated as, "flourish and wither, prosper and perish," "life is full of fortune and misfortune," or simply "vicissitudes of life."
This is about the rise and fall of human affairs or the ups and downs of life. Prosperity comes and goes, everything is fleeting and temporary but like waves, another swell of prosperity may come.
Here's how the Kanji break down in this proverb:
栄 = prosper; thrive; flourish; boom.
枯 = wither; die.
盛 = prosperous; flourishing; thriving; successful; energetic; vigorous; enthusiastic.
衰 = become weaker; decline; get weak; die down; subside; abate; fail.
Notes: The original version of the first character looks like the image to the right. In modern Japan, they simplified that Kanji a bit into the version shown above. If you have a preference for which style is used for your calligraphy, please let me know when you place your order.
Apparently, with that original version of the first character, this is also used in Korean Hanja. However, I have not confirmed that it's used in the same way or is widely-known in Korean.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your rise and fall ups and downs search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| chén fú / chen2 fu2
ch`en fu / chen fu
lit. sinking and floating; to bob up and down on water; ebb and flow; fig. rise and fall; ups and downs of fortune; vicissitudes
|fuchin / ふちん||
(noun/participle) floating and sinking; rise and fall; ebb and flow; ups and downs
| xiāo zhǎng / xiao1 zhang3
shouchou / shocho / しょうちょう
to ebb and rise; to decrease and then grow
(noun/participle) prosperity and decay; prosperity and decline; rise and fall; ups and downs; ebb and flow; waxing and waning
| shèng shuāi / sheng4 shuai1
seisui / sesui / せいすい
to flourish then decline; rise and fall
rise and fall; ups and downs; welfare; vicissitudes
prosperity and adversity
| xīng wáng / xing1 wang2
koubou / kobo / こうぼう
to flourish and decay; rise and fall
rise and fall; ups and downs
| qǐ luò / qi3 luo4
ch`i lo / chi lo
to rise and fall; takeoff and landing; ups and downs
|touraku / toraku / とうらく||
rise and fall; fluctuations; ups and downs
| gāo dī / gao1 di1
koutei(p);takahiku / kote(p);takahiku / こうてい(P);たかひく
height; altitude (aviation); pitch (music); ups and downs (success or failure); whether something is right or wrong; comparative strength, weight, depth, stature; (spoken interjection) anyway, whatever; eventually, in the end
(noun/participle) high and low; rise and fall
|seisuikoubou / sesuikobo / せいすいこうぼう||
(yoji) rise and fall; ups and downs; waxing and waning; prosperity and decline; vicissitudes
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Rise and Fall|
Ups and Downs
|栄枯盛衰 / 榮枯盛衰|
|ei ko sei sui
|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.
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