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Simplicity in Chinese / Japanese...

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Start your custom "Simplicity" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "Simplicity" title below...

  1. Simplicity

  2. Tanjun / Simplicity

  3. Simplicity / Modesty

  4. Inner Peace

  5. Peace / Harmony

  6. Wabi Sabi

  7. Mysterious

  8. Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

  9. Silent / Solitary

10. Tathata / Ultimate Nature of All Things


China jiǎn
Japan kan
Simplicity Vertical Wall Scroll

簡 expresses the idea of something simple, or the essence of simplicity in life in Chinese.

This can also refer to a simple slip of bamboo for taking notes or writing a letter (especially in Korean Hanja).

Technically this is a word meaning simple and brevity in Japanese but it's rarely used in modern Japanese. Therefore, you should probably only select this character if your audience is Chinese.

See Also:  Brevity

Tanjun / Simplicity

Japan tanjun
Tanjun / Simplicity Vertical Wall Scroll

Tanjun is a Japanese word that means simplicity, simple, and/or uncomplicated.

Do you want to live the "tanjun lifestyle"? Maybe this wall scroll will remind you to uncomplicate your life.

Simplicity / Modesty

China zhì sù
Japan shisso
Simplicity / Modesty Vertical Wall Scroll

In Japanese this word means "simplicity," "modesty" and/or "frugality."

While these Japanese Kanji are also currently-used Chinese characters, they do not create single word or idea in Chinese. Therefore, only select this if your audience is Japanese.

See Also:  Modesty | Prudence

Inner Peace

China nèi xīn píng jìng
Japan naishin heizyou
Inner Peace Vertical Wall Scroll

This Chinese and Japanese phrase is a direct translation for the western idea of inner peace.

The first two characters contain the idea of "heart," "innermost being," or "deep in the/your inner mind."

The last two characters mean "tranquil" and "serene."

I have seen this phrase used as "inner peace" for art prints and even on the side of coffee cups. But I think the translation is too literal. It feels like a direct translation from English rather than a nicely composed Chinese or Japanese phrase. See my other entries for "inner peace."

See Also:  Serenity | Peace

Peace / Harmony

Japan wa
Peace / Harmony Vertical Wall Scroll

和 is the simplest form of peace and harmony.

和 can also be translated as the peaceful ideas of gentle, mild, kind, and calm. With the more harmonious context, it can be translated as union, together with, on good terms with, or on friendly terms.

Most people would just translate this character as peace and/or harmony. 和 is a very popular character in Asian cultures - you can even call it the "peace symbol" of Asia. In fact, this peace and harmony character was seen repeatedly during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (a major theme of the games).

In old Chinese poems and literature, you might see this used as a kind of "and." As in two things summed together. As much as you could say, "the sun and moon," you could say "the sun in harmony with the moon."

See Also:  Inner Peace | Patience

Wabi Sabi

Japan wabi sabi
Wabi Sabi Vertical Wall Scroll

侘寂 is Wabi-Sabi, the aesthetic sense in Japanese art emphasizing quiet simplicity and subdued refinement.

More about this subject at Wikipedia: Wabi Sabi


China yōu xuán
Japan yū gen
Mysterious Vertical Wall Scroll

幽玄 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja word meaning, dim, deep, mysterious, subtle grace, hidden beauty, mysterious profundity, elegant simplicity, or subtle and profound.

This can also be the Japanese personal name Yuugen or Yugen.

Heijoshin / Presence of Mind

China píng cháng xīn
Japan hei jou shin
Heijoshin / Presence of Mind Vertical Wall Scroll

平常心 is the title Heijoshin, as associated with Kendo and Aikido schools of Japanese martial arts.

平常心 is also a word in Japanese which can be translated as "one's self-possession" or "presence of mind."

In Chinese and Korean, this means "simplicity heart," "composure," "calmness," or a "sense of orderliness." In Chinese and Korean, this implies that you enjoy what you have, keep your heart in balance, and have no over-blown ambitions.

Silent / Solitary

Japan jaku
Silent / Solitary Vertical Wall Scroll

寂 means silent, solitary, quiet, calm, still, rest, or tranquil.

This also has a strong Buddhist association where it can mean "entering into Nirvana." In that context, this is sometimes used to refer to the passing of a Buddhist monk (he is silent, as he has entered Nirvana). For the living, this is about tranquility (especially of mind).

Some will also use this to mean "elegant simplicity."

From Sanskrit, this can represent praśama, vivikta, śānti, or nibbāna (nirvāṇa).

Tathata / Ultimate Nature of All Things

China zhēn rú
Japan shinnyo
Tathata / Ultimate Nature of All Things Vertical Wall Scroll

This comes from the Sanskrit and Pali word often romanized as "tathata" or "tathatā." Originally written, "तथता."

It's a Buddhist term that is often translated as "thusness" or "suchness" but this does not explain it.
A better explanation may be, "the ultimate nature of all things." However, this gives it too strong of a feeling. This concept is sometimes described as being in awe of the simple nature of something - like a blade of grass blowing in the wind, or ripples on water. It is what it is supposed to be, these things are following their nature. Amazing in their mundane simplicity.

Every sect of Buddhism will have a slightly different flavor, or explanation, so don't get fixated on one definition.

Notes: Sometimes Buddhists use the word dharmatā, a synonym to tathatā.

In Japan, this can also be the female given name Mayuki, or the surname Majo.

Search for Simplicity in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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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
kanjiǎn / jian3 / jianchien
shisso / shisozhì sù / zhi4 su4 / zhi su / zhisuchih su / chihsu
Inner Peace內心平靜
naishin heizyou
naishin heizyo
nèi xīn píng jìng
nei4 xin1 ping2 jing4
nei xin ping jing
nei hsin p`ing ching
nei hsin ping ching
wahé / he2 / heho
Wabi Sabi侘寂wabi sabi / wabisabi
Mysterious幽玄yū gen / yūgenyōu xuán / you1 xuan2 / you xuan / youxuanyu hsüan / yuhsüan
Presence of Mind
平常心hei jou shin
hei jo shin
píng cháng xīn
ping2 chang2 xin1
ping chang xin
p`ing ch`ang hsin
ping chang hsin
jakujì / ji4 / jichi
Ultimate Nature of All Things
真如shinnyozhēn rú / zhen1 ru2 / zhen ru / zhenruchen ju / chenju
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.
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 Simplicity Kanji, Simplicity Characters, Simplicity in Mandarin Chinese, Simplicity Characters, Simplicity in Chinese Writing, Simplicity in Japanese Writing, Simplicity in Asian Writing, Simplicity Ideograms, Chinese Simplicity symbols, Simplicity Hieroglyphics, Simplicity Glyphs, Simplicity in Chinese Letters, Simplicity Hanzi, Simplicity in Japanese Kanji, Simplicity Pictograms, Simplicity in the Chinese Written-Language, or Simplicity in the Japanese Written-Language.

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