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This literally translates as, "the red string" or "the red thread" in Japanese but the real meaning is much deeper...
In Japanese culture, it's believed that fate, destiny, or karma joins lovers by an unseen string, tied around one little finger of each. 赤い糸 is how soul mates fine and are drawn to each other.
The Japanese concept of the red thread of fate, by most estimations, comes from Chinese folklore, where it's known as 姻緣紅線. The only difference being that in China, the celestial red thread is tied around the ankles of the lovers (versus what is usually represented to be the pinky finger in Japan).
姻緣紅線 is the legendary red string of destiny that binds all soul mates or lovers together.
In ancient Chinese culture, a mythological matchmaker named 月老 (Yuè Lǎo) was the controller of the fate that led lovers to meet. He did this by tying a celestial red string to the ankle of each person. Sometime during their life, they will meet and marry as fate dictates.
While the origin of the red string comes from China, it has spread to other parts of Asia (such as Japan where it's known as 赤い糸).
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your the red string search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
|akaiito / akaito / あかいいと||
(exp,n) red string of fate; in Chinese-Japanese folklore, fated lovers were said to be joined by an unseen red string, tied around one little finger of each
|akaiitodemusubareru / akaitodemusubareru / あかいいとでむすばれる||
(exp,v1) (idiom) (See 赤い糸) to be meant for each other (of a man and woman); to be connected through fate; to be destined to marry (each other); to be tied by the red string (of fate)
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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|
|The Red String||赤い糸||akai ito / akaiito|
|The Red Thread of Fate||姻緣紅線|
|yīn yuán hóng xiàn|
yin1 yuan2 hong2 xian4
yin yuan hong xian
|yin yüan hung hsien
|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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