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精神 is the kind of spirit that you have if you perform well in sports or competition. It is the idea of having a good attitude, and putting your all into something - so much so that others can see or feel your spirit. It is the essence of your being that can only be subjectively described because there are no words that can fully explain what "spirit" really is.
For your information:
My Japanese dictionary further tries to explain this word by comparing it to mind, soul, heart or intention.
My Chinese dictionary compares these characters to meanings like vigor, vitality, drive and mentality.
My Korean dictionary defines this as mind, spirit and soul.
This can be translated as the warrior's spirit or warrior's soul. The first two characters can be translated as "warrior" or literally "brave soldier/man" although some will translate this word as "hero." Therefore, this is also how to say "heroic spirit."
The second two characters mean vigor, vitality, drive, spirit, mind, heart, mental essence and psychological component. Basically "your soul."
We have two versions of this phrase. The only difference is the first two and last two characters are swapped. The version here suggests that you admire or like the idea of the spirit of a warrior. The other version suggests that you are the warrior or hero.
This is probably the best way to express the idea of "Body, Mind and Spirit" in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. We are actually using the word for "heart" here because for thousands of years, the heart was thought to be the place where your thoughts, feelings and emotions came from. We do something similar in the west when we say "warm-hearted" or "I love you with all of my heart." In this context, heart = mind in Asian language and culture.
The very literal translation of these three characters is "body, heart & spirit" which could also be interpreted as "body mind & soul."
We have arranged these characters in this order because it simply "feels" like the proper order in the Chinese language. Word lists like this are not so common for calligraphy artwork, so we have to be careful to put them in the most natural order. It should be noted that this is not a common title in Asia, nor is it considered an actual phrase (as it lacks a clear subject, verb, and object).
In Japanese Kanji, they use an alternate form of the character for soul or spirit. If you want this using the Japanese alternate, please click on the Kanji shown to the right instead of the button above.
Japanese disclaimer: This is not a natural phrase/list in Japanese. While not totally-natural in Chinese, this word list is best if your audience is Chinese.
神 is the simplest way to write spirit in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean.
This single character alone will conjure up ideas of the spiritual world. 神 can also be translated as "vital awareness" as in the fact that one must know they exist to exist (I think, therefore, I am).
Other translations include:
God, deity, mysterious, divine essence, lively, spiritual being, divinity, supernatural, soul, mind, nerves, and energy. In some extended context it can mean genius or unusual.
Japanese romanizations vary a lot when this character is combined into other words. However, shin is the original pronunciation taken from Chinese into Japanese. You'll also see it romanized as kami, gami, jin, and a few others, depending on context.
御影 is a Japanese word that means divine spirit, or honorific language for "spirit of the dead."
This can also refer to an image of a deity, buddha, royal, noble, etc.)
In Buddhist context, it can mean (wooden) images of saints or deities.
御影 is also a Japanese name, Mikage.
Note: This is also a word in Chinese but not used very often in China (except perhaps by certain Buddhists).
獨立精神 means independent spirit in Chinese.
The first two characters mean independent, independence, or to stand alone.
The last two characters can mean spirit, spiritual, vigor, vitality, drive, mind, consciousness, thought, essence, heart or soul.
With this information, you can make your own translation combination such as "independent heart," "stand alone spirit," or more creatively, "the drive to stand alone" in English. There are a lot of ways to interpret 獨立精神.
The first two characters mean freedom or liberty.
The middle character is a connecting Hiragana which is needed for Japanese grammar.
The last two characters mean spirit, heart, mind, or soul.
Together, this is a title that is very similar to the English term "free spirit."
This literally means fighting spirit. As in the spirit that a warrior, soldier, athlete or fighter must possess.
Note: There is more than one way to write the first character of this word. It is sometimes written like the version shown to the right (yes, it's completely different but has the same meaning & pronunciation). If you have a preference, please let us know in the special instructions about your order.
龍虎精神 means the spirit of the dragon and tiger. It speaks to the vitality and vigor that is the nature of these two creatures.
Beyond "spirit," the second two characters can also mean mind, soul, or heart. Therefore, you can also say this means "Heart of the Dragon and Tiger," etc.
龍虎精神 is often titled as "Ryukoseishin" in many Japanese martial arts.
This Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title can mean, "dragon god," "dragon king," or "dragon spirit."
In the context of Buddhism, this is one of eight kinds of spiritual beings found in Mahāyāna texts.
靈 is spirit or soul in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
If you look in the dictionary, you'll also find definitions for this character like:
quick; alert; efficacious; effective; departed soul; coffin; spiritual; energy; effective; clever.
心 would often be translated as "heart".
However, because it was believed in Chinese culture thousands of years that your consciousness and thoughts came from the big red organ in the middle of your chest, it also means "mind" or "spirit" and sometimes even "soul."
In Korean, beyond heart, mind, and spirit, this character can mean moral, nature, mind, affections, intentions, core, and center. In fact, it is used in Chinese to mean "center" as well but only with another character in front of it. For instance, "medical center" or even "shopping center." Separately and alone, it will not be read with that "center" meaning unless thought of as "the center of your soul."
豪氣 is heroic spirit or heroism in Chinese and old Korean Hanja.
This might come across as a bit arrogant to hang on your wall.
This Korean proverb means "indomitable spirit," at least, that is the way it is commonly translated in martial arts circles (Taekwondo, Hapkido, etc.).
The literal translation is "[one] hundred [times] broken [still] don't succumb."
Or more naturally translated, "Even if attacked/beaten one hundred times, still be undaunted/indomitable."
Some will say this is one long word rather than a proverb.
百折不屈 is also a proverb/word in Chinese though rarely used in modern times.
In Chinese, this means Goddess of Beauty.
The first character means beauty or beautiful.
The second character means spirit (can also mean god, goddess, or soul).
Some will use this as a short way to say, "Beautiful Spirit."
This has a similar meaning in Japanese but is used more often as a female given name in Japan. As a Japanese given name, it can be pronounced Mikami, Mikan, or Binasu.
The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.
The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.
Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.
洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.
This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.
洗心 does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.
There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.
魂魄 is a Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja term for ghost, soul, or spirit.
It's used in the context of Buddhism as:
Animus and anima; the spiritual nature or mind, and the animal soul; the two are defined as mind and body or mental and physical, the invisible soul inhabiting the visible body, the former being celestial, the latter terrestrial.
龍馬精神 is an old proverb that is used to wish someone good health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse." These four characters are often accompanied by four more which mean, "...and the power and prestige of the tiger." Here we are just offering the first part which is considered the short version.
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have an amazing quality. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
Note: In Japanese, this would be read as the spirit of 坂本龍馬 (Sakamoto_Ryōma), a beloved rebel who help abolish the old Japanese feudal system. This can be confusing, so I am declaring this proverb to be Chinese only.
This is an old proverb that is used to wish someone great health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse, and the power and prestige of the tiger."
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have these qualities. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
獨立心 means independent spirit or independent heart in Japanese.
The first two characters mean independent or independence. The third character means spirit, heart or mind.
獨立心 is a Japanese term, although Chinese people would be able to guess the meaning (the characters make sense individually in Chinese but are not often used this way). Also, the first character would be written 獨 in Traditional Chinese versus 独 which is the Simplified Chinese and modern Japanese version.
武 is the essence or spirit of a warrior. 武 is part of the word "wu shu" which is sometimes translated as "martial arts" or "kung fu."
In more modern speech and other context, this can mean military, martial, warlike, fierce, and perhaps violent but usually as a prefix for a longer word or phrase.
聖靈 / 聖霊 is the title for the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost as used by Jewish, Catholic and Protestant (and other Christian) Chinese people. And yes, Chinese Jews do exist, but there are not many of them.
The first character means Holy, Sacred, Saint or Sage. The second means ghost, spirit, efficacious or intelligence.
聖靈 / 聖霊 is valid in Chinese characters and old Korean Hanja. This will be recognized in Japan but see note below...
This title speaks of one's soul or spirit, and the capacity or strength that soul possesses.
The first two characters mean mind, heart, spirit, and/or soul.
The last two characters mean strength, capacity, or ability.
Note: Separately, these are two words in Japanese, and can be pronounced but this does not make a natural title in Japanese (best if your audience is Chinese).
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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|
|Spirit||精神||sei shin / seishin||jīng shén|
|勇士精神||yǒng shì jīng shén|
yong3 shi4 jing1 shen2
yong shi jing shen
|yung shih ching shen
Spirit of a Fighter
|戦士魂||senshi damashii |
|Mind, Body and Spirit||身心靈 / 身心霊|
|mi shin rei|
|shēn xīn líng|
shen1 xin1 ling2
shen xin ling
|shen hsin ling
|神||shin / kami||shén / shen2 / shen|
|Indomitable Spirit||負けじ魂||ma ke ji damashii|
ma ke ji damashi
|tou shi / toushi / to shi / toshi|
|Divine Spirit||御影||goei||yù yǐng / yu4 ying3 / yu ying / yuying||yü ying / yüying|
|dú lì jīng shén|
du2 li4 jing1 shen2
du li jing shen
|tu li ching shen
|Free Spirit||自由精神||zì yóu jīng shén|
zi4 you2 jing1 shen2
zi you jing shen
|tzu yu ching shen
|Free Spirit||自由な精神||ji yuu na sei shin|
ji yu na sei shin
|Fighting Spirit||斗志||dòu zhì / dou4 zhi4 / dou zhi / douzhi||tou chih / touchih|
|Beautiful Spirit||美しい精神||utsukushi seishin|
|Fighting Spirit||闘魂||tou kon / toukon / to kon / tokon|
|gǔ qì / gu3 qi4 / gu qi / guqi||ku ch`i / kuchi / ku chi|
|The Spirit of Dragon and Tiger||龍虎精神|
|ryu ko sei shin|
|lóng hǔ jīng shén|
long2 hu3 jing1 shen2
long hu jing shen
|lung hu ching shen
|yīng qì / ying1 qi4 / ying qi / yingqi||ying ch`i / yingchi / ying chi|
|lóng hún / long2 hun2 / long hun / longhun||lung hun / lunghun|
|ryuu jin / ryuujin / ryu jin / ryujin||lóng shén|
|tou ki / touki / to ki / toki|
|ryou / ryo||líng / ling2 / ling|
|心||kokoro||xīn / xin1 / xin||hsin|
|háo qì / hao2 qi4 / hao qi / haoqi||hao ch`i / haochi / hao chi|
|Indomitable Spirit||百折不屈||bǎi shé bù qū|
bai3 she2 bu4 qu1
bai she bu qu
|pai she pu ch`ü
pai she pu chü
|Goddess of Beauty|
|美神||mikami||měi shén / mei3 shen2 / mei shen / meishen|
|sen shin / senshin||xǐ xīn / xi3 xin1 / xi xin / xixin||hsi hsin / hsihsin|
|雄心||yuushin / yushin||xióng xīn|
|魂魄||kon paku / konpaku||hún pò / hun2 po4 / hun po / hunpo||hun p`o / hunpo / hun po|
|Esprit de Corps|
|tuán duì jīng shén|
tuan2 dui4 jing1 shen2
tuan dui jing shen
|t`uan tui ching shen
tuan tui ching shen
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse||龍馬精神|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2
long ma jing shen
|lung ma ching shen
|勇往直前||yǒng wǎng zhí qián|
yong3 wang3 zhi2 qian2
yong wang zhi qian
|yung wang chih ch`ien
yung wang chih chien
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse, the Power of a Tiger.||龍馬精神虎虎生威|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén hǔ hǔ shēng wēi|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2 hu3 hu3 sheng1 wei1
long ma jing shen hu hu sheng wei
|lung ma ching shen hu hu sheng wei|
|武||bu||wǔ / wu3 / wu|
|聖靈 / 聖霊|
|sei rei / seirei||shèng líng|
Strength of Spirit
|jīng shén lì liàng|
jing1 shen2 li4 liang4
jing shen li liang
|ching shen li liang
|měi lì de xīn líng|
mei3 li4 de xin1 ling2
mei li de xin ling
|mei li te hsin ling
|不屈の精神||fu kutsu no sei shin|
Beauty of Spirit
|nèi zài měi|
nei4 zai4 mei3
nei zai mei
|nei tsai mei
Beauty of Spirit
|内面美||nai men bi / naimenbi|
Soul of a Wolf
|狼魂||routama / ookami tamashii |
routama / ookamitamashii
rotama / okami tamashi
|láng hún / lang2 hun2 / lang hun / langhun|
|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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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.
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.
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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