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Strength and Love in Unity in Chinese / Japanese...

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Strength and Love in Unity

Japan riki ai fu ni
Strength and Love in Unity Vertical Wall Scroll

This proverb literally means:
"Strength [and] Love [are] Not Two [separate ideas/concepts/things]."

You'll find this proverb translated from Japanese to English as:
Love and strength are not separate.
Power and love are indivisible.
Strength and love in harmony.
Strength and love stand together.

Old Japanese grammar is quite different than English, and so this proverb says a lot within the brevity of just 4 characters. If you just read these characters directly as, "Strength Love Not Two," you'd probably miss the real meaning.


According to the Swedish Shorinji Kempo Federation, this is the second characteristic of Shorinji Kempo.

This post really explains the concept best in my opinion: Bushido by MS: Riki Ai Fu Ni, which states: "Riki Ai Funi" is the philosophy that power (Riki) and love (Ai) are indivisible. More concretely, a person, who is powerful but does not have love, cannot control and misuse his/her power; on the other hand, a person, who has loved ones but is not powerful enough, cannot protect himself/herself nor loved ones.

Body and Earth in Unity

Japan shindofuni / shindofuji
Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Wall Scroll

身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.

身土不二 literally reads, "Body [and] earth [are] not two".

Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).

Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is used often when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.

Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body rather a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, in can refer to the land or realm we live in.

Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is "healthy propaganda."

Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source for Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize 身土不二 as a native phrase and concept.

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Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Wall Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Wall Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Wall Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Wall Scroll


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Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Portrait
Body and Earth in Unity Horizontal Wall Scroll
Body and Earth in Unity Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

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

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)
Strength and Love in Unity力愛不二
力爱不二
riki ai fu ni
rikiaifuni
Body and Earth in Unity身土不二shindofuni / shindofuji
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.
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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
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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.

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