Serpent in Chinese / Japanese...

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Snake / Serpent

Year of the Snake / Zodiac Sign

Snake  /  Serpent Scroll

蛇 is the character for snake or serpent in Chinese, old Korean, and Japanese.

If you were born in the year of the snake, you . . .

Are calm.
Are an inspiration to others.
Have a stubborn nature like a mule (you do not like to concede).

See also our Chinese Zodiac page.

 huǒ shé
 hi hebi
Fire Snake Scroll

火蛇 is the Chinese and Japanese title for “fire snake” or “blazing serpent.”

Ophiuchus Zodiac Symbol / Sign

 shé fū zuò
Ophiuchus Zodiac Symbol / Sign Scroll

蛇夫座 is the Chinese way to write Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer) of western astrology.

Please note this version is only used in Chinese (not Japanese).

See Also:  Chinese Zodiac


Poisonous Snake

 dú shé
 doku hebi
Viper Scroll

毒蛇 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for viper.

While 毒蛇 usually means viper, it may be used by some to refer to any poisonous snake or poisonous serpent.

The Five Animals

Dragon Snake Tiger Leopard Crane

 lóng shé hǔ bào hè
 ryuu hebi tora hyou tsuru
The Five Animals Scroll

龍蛇虎豹鶴 is a list of the Chinese characters for the five animals of Shaolin Kung Fu in a comfortable order (meaning that they are in the proper order and will “feel right” to a Chinese person who views this arrangement).

Not the results for serpent that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your serpent search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition

see styles

More info & calligraphy:

Snake / Serpent
snake; serpent; CL:條|条[tiao2]
(1) (じゃ is more associated with serpent and large snakes) snake; (2) serpent; large snake; (surname) Hebi
sarpa, a serpent, snake.

see styles
 riyou / riyo

More info & calligraphy:

dragon; CL:條|条[tiao2]; imperial
(out-dated kanji) (1) dragon (esp. a Chinese dragon); (2) naga; semi-divine human-cobra chimera in Hindu and Buddhist mythology; (personal name) Riyou
A dragon, dragon-like, imperial; tr. for nāga, which means snake, serpent; also elephant, elephantine, serpent-like, etc., cf. 那.


see styles
fó kǒu shé xīn
    fo2 kou3 she2 xin1
fo k`ou she hsin
    fo kou she hsin
 bukku nishitenjashin
words of a Buddha, heart of a snake (idiom); two-faced; malicious and duplicitous
A Buddha's mouth but a serpent's heart; buddha's mouth and a serpent's heart


see styles
bā qí dà shé
    ba1 qi2 da4 she2
pa ch`i ta she
    pa chi ta she
Yamata no Orochi, serpent with eight heads and eight tails from mythological section of Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan)
eight-headed, eight-tailed serpent (in Japanese mythology)



see styles
wū luò jiā zhān tán
    wu1 luo4 jia1 zhan1 tan2
wu lo chia chan t`an
    wu lo chia chan tan
 uraka sendan
uraga(sāra)-candana, serpent-sandal, a kind of sandal wood, used as a febrifuge; serpent-sandal


see styles

More info & calligraphy:

(1) snake; (2) serpent; large snake


see styles
dú shé
    du2 she2
tu she
 dokuja; dokuhebi
    どくじゃ; どくへび

More info & calligraphy:

poisonous snake; poisonous serpent
A poisonous snake.; Poisonous snakes, the four elements of the body— earth, water, fire, wind (or air)— which harm a man by their variation, i. e. increase and decrease. Also, gold.

see styles

6th earthly branch: 9-11 a.m., 4th solar month (5th May-5th June), year of the Snake; ancient Chinese compass point: 150°
(1) the Snake (sixth sign of the Chinese zodiac); the Serpent; (2) (obsolete) (See 巳の刻) hour of the Snake (around 10am, 9-11am, or 10am-12 noon); (3) (obsolete) south-southeast; (4) (obsolete) fourth month of the lunar calendar; (female given name) Mi

see styles
giant clam; (mythology) clam-monster said to breathe out a vapor that forms a mirage of buildings
Mirage; sea-serpent; frog; shellfish


see styles
 kanmuriwashi; kanmuriwashi
    かんむりわし; カンムリワシ
(kana only) crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)


see styles
first Serpent day of the year; (given name) Hatsumi


see styles
big snake; serpent; (personal name) Daija



see styles
lì lóng
    li4 long2
li lung
mythical evil serpent; evil dragon in Western mythology, cf Revelations 14:12


see styles
(1) serpent (snake) and scorpion; (2) detestation


see styles
(1) serpent (snake) and scorpion; (2) detestation



see styles
shé diāo
    she2 diao1
she tiao
(bird species of China) crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela)


see styles
nà qié
    na4 qie2
na ch`ieh
    na chieh
(female given name) Naka
nāga. Snake, dragon, elephant. It is tr. by 龍 dragon and by 象 elephant. (1) As dragon it represents the chief of the scaly reptiles; it can disappear or be manifest, increase or decrease, lengthen or shrink; in spring it mounts in the sky and in winter enters the earth. The dragon is of many kinds. Dragons are regarded as beneficent, bringing the rains and guarding the heavens (again Draco); they control rivers and lakes, and hibernate in the deep. nāga and mahānāga are titles of a Buddha, (also of those freed from reincarnation) because of his powers, or because like the dragon he soars above earthly desires and ties. One of his former reincarnations was a powerful poisonous dragon which, out of pity, permitted itself to be skinned alive and its flesh eaten by worms. (2) A race of serpent-worshippers; (Skt. nāga)



see styles
shí èr shòu
    shi2 er4 shou4
shih erh shou
The twelve animals for the "twelve horary branches" with their names, hours, and the Chinese transliterations of their Sanskrit equivalents; v. 大集經 23 and 56. There are also the thirty-six animals, three for each hour. The twelve are: Serpent 蛇 巳, 9-11 a.m. 迦若; Horse 馬午, 11-1 noon 兜羅; Sheep 羊未, 1―3 p.m. 毘梨支迦; Monkey 猴申, 3-5 p.m. 檀尼毘; Cock 鶏酉, 5-7 p.m. 摩迦羅; Dog 大戌, 7-9 p.m. 鳩槃; Boar 豕亥, 9-11 p.m.彌那; Rat 鼠子, 11-1 midnight 彌沙; Ox 牛丑 1-3 a.m. 毘利沙; Tiger (or Lion) 虎寅, 3―5 a.m. 彌倫那; Hare 兎卯, 5-7 a.m. 羯迦吒迦; Dragon 龍辰, 7-9 a.m 絲阿.


see styles
miào yīn tiān
    miao4 yin1 tian1
miao yin t`ien
    miao yin tien
 Myōon Ten
(妙音樂天) Sarasvatī, the wife or female energy of Brahmā. Also called 辨才天 (辨才天女) Jap. Benzaiten, or Benten; goddess of eloquence, learning, and music, bestower of the Sanskrit language and letters, and the bestower of 財 riches; also the river goddess. Sometimes considered as masculine. Honoured among the seven gods of luck, and often represented as mounted on a dragon or a serpent.


see styles
(exp,n) (archaism) hour of the Snake (around 10am, 9-11am, or 10am-12 noon); hour of the Serpent


see styles
(astron) Hydra (constellation); the Sea Serpent



see styles
wū luò jiā
    wu1 luo4 jia1
wu lo chia
烏羅伽 uraga, going on the belly, a serpent.


see styles
shé xīn tán
    she2 xin1 tan2
she hsin t`an
    she hsin tan
serpent-sandal; serpent-sandal


see styles
(astron) Ophiuchus (constellation); the Serpent Bearer



see styles
jiā lóu luó
    jia1 lou2 luo2
chia lou lo
garuḍa; 'a mythical bird, the chief of the feathered race, the enemy of the serpent race, the vehicle of Vishṇu.' M. W. Tr. as golden-winged, with an expanse of 3,360,000 li, carrying the ruyi pearl or talisman on its neck; among other accounts one says it dwells in great trees and feeds on snakes or dragons. Also 迦婁羅; 迦留羅; 迦嘍荼; 伽樓羅; 揭路荼; 誐嚕拏 (or 蘗嚕拏). The association of the garuḍa, like the phoenix, with fire makes it also a symbol of flame 迦樓羅炎; (Skt. garuḍa)



see styles
shí èr yīn yuán
    shi2 er4 yin1 yuan2
shih erh yin yüan
 jūni innen
Dvādaśaṅga pratītyasamutpāda; the twelve nidānas; v. 尼 and 因; also 十二緣起; 因緣有支; 因緣率連; 因緣棘園; 因緣輪; 因緣重城; 因緣觀; 支佛觀. They are the twelve links in the chain of existence: (1) 無明avidyā, ignorance, or unenlightenment; (2) 行 saṃskāra, action, activity, conception, "dispositions," Keith; (3) 識 vijñāna, consciousness; (4) 名色 nāmarūpa, name and form; (5) 六入 ṣaḍāyatana, the six sense organs, i.e. eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind; (6) 觸 sparśa, contact, touch; (7) 受 vedanā, sensation, feeling; (8) 愛 tṛṣṇā, thirst, desire, craving; (9) 取 upādāna, laying hold of, grasping; (10) 有 bhava, being, existing; (11) 生 jāti, birth; (12) 老死 jarāmaraṇa, old age, death. The "classical formula" reads "By reason of ignorance dispositions; by reason of dispositions consciousness", etc. A further application of the twelve nidānas is made in regard to their causaton of rebirth: (1) ignorance, as inherited passion from the beginningless past ; (2) karma, good and evil, of past lives; (3) conception as a form of perception; (4) nāmarūpa, or body and mind evolving (in the womb); (5) the six organs on the verge of birth; (6) childhood whose intelligence is limited to sparśa, contact or touch; (7) receptivity or budding intelligence and discrimination from 6 or 7 years; (8) thirst, desire, or love, age of puberty; (9) the urge of sensuous existence; (10) forming the substance, bhava, of future karma; (11) the completed karma ready for rebirth; (12) old age and death. The two first are associated with the previous life, the other ten with the present. The theory is equally applicable to all realms of reincarnation. The twelve links are also represented in a chart, at the centre of which are the serpent (anger), boar (ignorance, or stupidity), and dove (lust) representing the fundamental sins. Each catches the other by the tail, typifying the train of sins producing the wheel of life. In another circle the twelve links are represented as follows: (1) ignorance, a blind woman; (2) action, a potter at work, or man gathering fruit; (3) consciousness, a restless monkey; (4) name and form, a boat; (5) sense organs, a house; (6) contact, a man and woman sitting together; (7) sensation, a man pierced by an arrow; (8) desire, a man drinking wine; (9) craving, a couple in union; (10) existence through childbirth; (11) birth, a man carrying a corpse; (12) disease, old age, death, an old woman leaning on a stick. v. 十二因緣論 Pratītya-samutpāda śāstra; twelve limbs of dependent origination



see styles
sà póu shà dì
    sa4 pou2 sha4 di4
sa p`ou sha ti
    sa pou sha ti
sarpauṣadhi, serpent-medicine, said to have been provided by (the Buddha when he was) Indra, as a python, in giving his flesh to feed the starving. A monastery in Udyāna built on the reputed spot. Also 薩裒施殺.


see styles
(astron) Ophiuchus (constellation); the Serpent Bearer


see styles
(astron) Hydra (constellation); the Sea Serpent


see styles
uroboros; ouroboros (image of a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail)

Click here for more serpent results from our dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
hebishé / she2 / she
Fire Snake火蛇hi hebi / hihebihuǒ shé / huo3 she2 / huo she / huoshe
Ophiuchus Zodiac Symbol
蛇夫座shé fū zuò
she2 fu1 zuo4
she fu zuo
she fu tso
Viper毒蛇doku hebi / dokuhebidú shé / du2 she2 / du she / dushetu she / tushe
The Five Animals龍蛇虎豹鶴
ryuu hebi tora hyou tsuru
ryu hebi tora hyo tsuru
lóng shé hǔ bào hè
long2 she2 hu3 bao4 he4
long she hu bao he
lung she hu pao ho
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...

The Five Animals Scroll
The Five Animals Scroll
The Five Animals Scroll
The Five Animals Scroll

And formats...

The Five Animals Vertical Portrait
The Five Animals Horizontal Wall Scroll
The Five Animals Vertical Portrait

Lookup Serpent in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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single-character wall scroll.
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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 Serpent Kanji, Serpent Characters, Serpent in Mandarin Chinese, Serpent Characters, Serpent in Chinese Writing, Serpent in Japanese Writing, Serpent in Asian Writing, Serpent Ideograms, Chinese Serpent symbols, Serpent Hieroglyphics, Serpent Glyphs, Serpent in Chinese Letters, Serpent Hanzi, Serpent in Japanese Kanji, Serpent Pictograms, Serpent in the Chinese Written-Language, or Serpent in the Japanese Written-Language.

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