Samurai in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Samurai” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Samurai” title below...

See also: Bushido - Code of the Samurai Warrior


  1. Samurai

  2. Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

  3. Ronin / Masterless Samurai

  4. In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai

  5. Heart of a Warrior / Samurai Heart

  6. Warrior

  7. Ninja

  8. Bushi Kai

  9. Warrior / Fighter

10. Warrior / Musha

11. Benevolence

12. Honor

13. Honesty

14. Respect

15. Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

16. Bravery / Courage

17. Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted

18. Katana

19. Musashi


shì
samurai
Samurai Scroll

In Japanese, 侍 represents the warriors that attempted to hold peace when there was no Emperor in Japan.

Be cautious though, as it is an old way to express "servant" or "waiter" in Chinese and Korean. Of course, if you are a samurai, you are a servant to your Shogun-ate, Lord, or the people (which is the root meaning).


See Also:  Warrior

Bushido / The Way of the Samurai

wǔ shì dào
bu shi do
Bushido / The Way of the Samurai Scroll

武士道 is the title for "The Code of the Samurai".

Sometimes called "The Seven Virtues of the Samurai", "The Bushido Code", or "The Samurai Code of Chivalry".

This would be read in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja as "The Way of the Warrior", "The Warrior's Way", or "The Warrior's Code".

It's a set of virtues that the Samurai of Japan and ancient warriors of China and Korea had to live and die by. However, while known throughout Asia, this title is mostly used in Japan and thought of as being of Japanese origin.

The seven commonly-accepted tenets or virtues of Bushido are: Rectitude 義, Courage 勇, Benevolence 仁, Respect 礼(禮), Honour 名誉, Honesty 誠, and Loyalty 忠実. These tenets were part of an oral history for generations, thus, you will see variations in the list Bushido tenets depending on who you talk to.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Warrior

Ronin / Masterless Samurai

làng rén
rou nin
Ronin / Masterless Samurai Scroll

The Ronin have no master - The most famous are the 47 ronin created after their Lord committed suicide. This term was not exactly a positive title for the Samurai of ancient Japan. However, in recent years, movies and video games have glorified the term Ronin.

In Chinese, this term has the original meaning of a hobo, vagabond or ruffian.
In Korean Hanja, these characters would be read as adventurer, wanderer, someone without a steady job, or someone who is wasting away time.

In modern Japan, this term is used as a nickname for a high school student who has failed a college entry exam (and is trying again).

In Chinese and Korean, the Japanese definition of "Masterless Samurai" is known because of the historical context, even in Japanese, the literal translation is closer to the Chinese and Korean definitions shown above.

This will make a fine wall scroll if you are a fan of the Ronin, or see yourself as a Ronin of sorts. However, please think twice before getting a Ronin tattoo!

In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai

hana wa sakuragi hito wa bushi
In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai Scroll

This Japanese proverb simply reads, "[In] Flowers it's Cherry Blossoms, [In] Men it's Warriors".

花は櫻木人は武士 is meant to say that of all the flowers in the world, the cherry blossom is the best. And of all men in the world, the Samurai or Warrior is the best

This proverb has been around for a long time. It's believed to have been composed sometime before the Edo Period in Japan (which started in 1603).

Some will drop one syllable and pronounce this, "hana wa sakura hito wa bushi". That's "sakura" instead of "sakuragi", which is like saying "cherry blossom" instead of "cherry tree".


The third character was traditionally written as 櫻. But in modern Japan, that became 桜. You may still see 櫻 used from time to time on older pieces of calligraphy. We can do either one, so just make a special request if you want 櫻.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Heart of a Warrior / Samurai Heart

wǔ shì xīn
bu shi kokoro
Heart of a Warrior / Samurai Heart Scroll

武士心 means "Warrior Heart".

武士心 is more a Japanese title than Chinese but it is understood in both languages.

wǔ shì
bu shi
Warrior Scroll

The first character is the spirit or essence of a warrior. The second character means soldier, officer, or official. 武士 is also used appropriately enough to describe a piece of a chess game. This can also be translated as soldier, cavalier, palace guard, or samurai and sometimes as knight. I've occasionally seen this translated as strong man or tough man (gender not necessarily implied).

By far, this is the most common way to write warrior in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Note: In Japanese, this is Bushi, as in Bushido.


See Also:  Knight | Army | Marines

rěn zhě
ninja
Ninja Scroll

In feudal Japan, ninja or shinobi (literally, "one who is concealed" or "one that endures") were sometimes assassins and agents of espionage. The ninja, like samurai, followed their own special code of conduct.

The role of the ninja has been romanticized in many American movies (and to a lesser extent in Japanese movies). Because the ninja-craze has taken off in the west, Japan has followed the trend and you'll see plenty of ninja-related imagery in Japan.

忍Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect that form. Our Chinese calligraphers can also write it in the Japanese form but only if you request it (in the special instructions about your order during checkout).


See Also:  Warrior | Ninjitsu

bu shi kai
Bushi Kai Scroll

武士會 is the Japanese martial arts title Bushi-Kai or Bushikai.


See Also:  Knight | Army | Marines

Warrior / Fighter

Senshi

sen shi
Warrior / Fighter Scroll

戦士 is an alternate title for warrior, soldier, fighter, warrior, guardian, or combatant in Japanese.

From Japanese, this is often romanized as "Senshi".


See Also:  Knight | Army | Marines

Warrior / Musha

mu sha
Warrior / Musha Scroll

武者 is an alternate title for a warrior or samurai in Japanese. It is often romanized as "Musha".

The literal meaning of these Kanji is "war person", "military person", or "martial person".

rén
jin
Benevolence Scroll

Beyond benevolence, 仁 can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.

The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).

仁 is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.

I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, goodwill, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Altruism | Kindness | Charity | Confucius

Honor

(Modern Japanese version)

míng yù
meiyo
Honor Scroll

This version of honor is about having or earning the respect of others and about your reputation.

It is the status of being worthy of honor (not to be confused with doing honorable things or specific actions - see our other "honor" listing for that).

譽 Both modern Japanese and modern mainland Chinese use the same simplified version of the second character of honor. You can make a special request for the traditional second character as shown to the right (just click on that character to the right of you want to order that version). Before WWII, both Japan and China used the traditional form but modern Japanese and Chinese use this simplified form. Koreans still use the traditional form when they are not writing in their modern Hangul glyphs.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

chéng
makoto
Honesty Scroll

誠 means truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and/or confidence.

As a single-character wall scroll, this suggests that you believe "honesty is the best policy", as your personal philosophy.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Sincerity | Sincere

Respect

Politeness, Gratitude and Propriety

rei
Respect Scroll

We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school, and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

礼 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

礼, beyond respect, can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.

禮 Chinese RespectPlease note that Japanese use this simplified 礼 version of the original 禮 character for respect. 礼 also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. While 禮 is the traditional and original version, 礼 has been used as a shorthand version for many centuries. Click on the big 禮 character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese and older Japanese version.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Confucius

Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

Also means: honor loyalty morality righteousness

gi
Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision Scroll

義 is about doing the right thing or making the right decision, not because it's easy but because it's ethically and morally correct.

No matter the outcome or result, one does not lose face if tempering proper justice.

義 can also be defined as righteousness, justice, morality, honor, or "right conduct". In more a more expanded definition, it can mean loyalty to friends, loyalty to the public good, or patriotism. This idea of loyalty and friendship comes from the fact that you will treat those you are loyal to with morality and justice.

義 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius doctrine.

儀 There's also an alternate version of this character sometimes seen in Bushido or Korean Taekwondo tenets. It's just the addition of a radical on the left side of the character. If you want this version, click on the image to the right instead of the button above.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Judgment | Impartial | Confucius Tenets

Bravery / Courage

Single Character for Courage

yǒng
isamu / yu-
Bravery / Courage Scroll

勇 can be translated as bravery, courage, valor, or fearless in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

勇 is the simplest form to express courage or bravery, as there is also a two character form which starts with this same character.

勇 can also be translated as brave, daring, fearless, plucky or heroic.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Bravery | Courage

Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted

chuujitsu / chuugi
Loyalty / Faithful / Devoted Scroll

忠実 is a Japanese way to write "Loyalty" - it also contains the ideas of being faithful, devoted, true, and obedient.

The second character is a modified form only used in the Japanese lexicon, however, Chinese speakers can easily guess the meaning.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here

Katana

Japanese Samurai Sword

dāo
katana
Katana Scroll

刀 is the Japanese Kanji for "sword". This refers to the style of sword carried by warriors, samurai, and shogun of ancient Japan.

With the pacification of Japan, such swords are now only used for ceremony and decoration. The true art of sword-smithing is all but lost in Japan with new sword production dedicated to making inexpensive replicas for the tourist and foreign market.

For those of you that want to ask whether I can get you a real antique sword. Let me tell you that most real Asian swords were melted down after WWII in Japan, and during the Great Leap Forward in China. Any remaining swords are family heirlooms that nobody will part with.

Please carefully note that the Japanese kanji character shown above is only for a Japanese audience. In China, this character means "knife". See our other entry for "sword" in Chinese.
Note: 刀 can mean knife, sword, or blade in Korean, depending on context.


See Also:  Sword

Musashi

The most famous Samurai

mu sashi
Musashi Scroll

Miyamoto Musashi is probably the most famous Samurai in all of Japanese history.

武蔵 is the short title for a man long in legend. While coming from a lower class, his new sword and fighting techniques put him on par with the best that feudal Japan had to offer. His long career started with his first duel was at age 13!

He is credited both with using two swords at once, and never losing a single battle in his career. After becoming a Buddhist, and getting older, like many old warriors, he took up a peaceful and solitary life until his death around 1645 A.D.

Note: Technically, Musashi is his given name, and Miyamoto is his surname. However, it's suggested that he assumed both of these names, and also had a few other names at childhood, as well as being given a Buddhist name. It's hard to know what to call him, as with most Kanji, there are multiple pronunciations. The characters for Musashi can also be pronounced "Takezō". But, everyone in modern times seems to know him by the name Musashi.




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Samuraisamuraishì / shi4 / shishih
Bushido
The Way of the Samurai
武士道bu shi do / bushidowǔ shì dào
wu3 shi4 dao4
wu shi dao
wushidao
wu shih tao
wushihtao
Ronin
Masterless Samurai
浪人rou nin / rounin / ro ninlàng rén / lang4 ren2 / lang ren / langrenlang jen / langjen
In Flowers the Cherry Blossom, In Men the Samurai花は櫻木人は武士
花は桜木人は武士
hana wa sakuragi hito wa bushi
Heart of a Warrior
Samurai Heart
武士心bu shi kokoro
bushikokoro
wǔ shì xīn
wu3 shi4 xin1
wu shi xin
wushixin
wu shih hsin
wushihhsin
Warrior武士bu shi / bushiwǔ shì / wu3 shi4 / wu shi / wushiwu shih / wushih
Ninja忍者ninjarěn zhě / ren3 zhe3 / ren zhe / renzhejen che / jenche
Bushi Kai武士會
武士会
bu shi kai / bushikai
Warrior
Fighter
戦士sen shi / senshi
Warrior
Musha
武者mu sha / musha
Benevolencejinrén / ren2 / renjen
Honor名譽
名誉
meiyomíng yù / ming2 yu4 / ming yu / mingyuming yü / mingyü
Honesty
makotochéng / cheng2 / chengch`eng / cheng
Respect
reilǐ / li3 / li
Justice
Rectitude
Right Decision

giyì / yi4 / yii
Bravery
Courage
isamu / yu-yǒng / yong3 / yongyung
Loyalty
Faithful
Devoted
忠實
忠実
chuujitsu / chuugi
chujitsu / chugi
Katanakatanadāo / dao1 / daotao
Musashi武蔵mu sashi / musashi
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.


Many custom options...


Musashi Scroll
Musashi Scroll
Musashi Scroll
Musashi Scroll


And formats...

Musashi Vertical Portrait
Musashi Horizontal Wall Scroll
Musashi Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Samurai in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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 Samurai Kanji, Samurai Characters, Samurai in Mandarin Chinese, Samurai Characters, Samurai in Chinese Writing, Samurai in Japanese Writing, Samurai in Asian Writing, Samurai Ideograms, Chinese Samurai symbols, Samurai Hieroglyphics, Samurai Glyphs, Samurai in Chinese Letters, Samurai Hanzi, Samurai in Japanese Kanji, Samurai Pictograms, Samurai in the Chinese Written-Language, or Samurai in the Japanese Written-Language.

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