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Three Treasures in Chinese / Japanese...

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Three Treasures of Buddhism

sān bǎo
san bou
Three Treasures of Buddhism Vertical Wall Scroll

三寶 is the title for "Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism".

These three treasures are the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (teachings or the law of the Buddha), and the Sangha 僧 (the community of monks or followers).

This term is used by most (perhaps not all) Buddhists in China, Japan, and South Korea (written the same it the original form, but pronounced differently in each language). Non-Buddhists may just read this as, "Three Treasures", without the religious context. For instance, there is also a, "Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine", that is sometimes titled the same way.


In modern Japanese and Simplified Chinese, this is written 三宝 instead of 三寶.

Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine

jīng qì shén
Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine Vertical Wall Scroll

These are the characters jing, qi, and shen.

As a set, these three characters are known in English as the treasures of traditional Chinese medicine, the treasures of Qi Gong, or the three treasures of Taoism / Daoism.

Sometimes this set is titled as 三寶 (sānbǎo) or "three treasures" but here, we're writing each treasure out.

Here's how these characters are perceived in this context...
Jing: nutritive essence; refined; perfected; pure
Qi: vitality; energy; force; breath; vigor
Shen: spirit; soul; mind; being

To keep it simple, you can use, "essence, vitality and spirit", to define these.

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 67
yī yuē cí èr yuē jiǎn sān yuē bù gǎn wéi tiān xià xiān
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll

一曰慈二曰儉三曰不敢為天下先 is an except from the 67th Chapter of Lao Tzu's (Lao Zi's) Te-Tao Ching (Dao De Jing).

This is the part where the three treasures are discussed. In English, we'd say these three treasures are compassion, frugality, and humility. Some may translate these as love, moderation, and lack of arrogance. I have also seen them translated as benevolence, modesty, and "Not presuming to be at the forefront in the world". You can mix them up the way you want, as translation is not really a science but rather an art.

I should also explain that the first two treasures are single-character ideas, yet the third treasure was written out in six characters (there are also some auxiliary characters to number the treasures).

If Lao Tzu's words are important to you, then a wall scroll with this passage might make a great addition to your home.




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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
Three Treasures of Buddhism三寶
三宝
san bou / sanbou / san bo / sanbosān bǎo / san1 bao3 / san bao / sanbaosan pao / sanpao
Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine精氣神
精气神
jīng qì shén
jing1 qi4 shen2
jing qi shen
jingqishen
ching ch`i shen
chingchishen
ching chi shen
Daodejing
Tao Te Ching - Excerpt
一曰慈二曰儉三曰不敢為天下先
一曰慈二曰俭三曰不敢为天下先
yī yuē cí èr yuē jiǎn sān yuē bù gǎn wéi tiān xià xiān
yi1 yue1 ci2 er4 yue1 jian3 san1 yue1 bu4 gan3 wei2 tian1 xia4 xian1
yi yue ci er yue jian san yue bu gan wei tian xia xian
i yüeh tz`u erh yüeh chien san yüeh pu kan wei t`ien hsia hsien
i yüeh tzu erh yüeh chien san yüeh pu kan wei tien hsia 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.


Not the results for three treasures that you were looking for?

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

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

三宝

see styles
 sanbou;sanpou / sanbo;sanpo / さんぼう;さんぽう
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll
{Buddh} the Three Jewels; the Triple Gem; Triratna; the Three Treasures; Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; Buddha, the teachings of Buddha, and the community of monks and nuns; (surname) Sanpou

三寶


三宝

see styles
sān bǎo / san1 bao3
san pao
 sanbō / さんぼう
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll
the Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism, namely: the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (his teaching), and the Sangha 僧 (his monastic order)
(surname) Sanbou
three treasures

神剣

see styles
 shinken / しんけん divine sword (one of the three sacred treasures)

神器

see styles
shén qì / shen2 qi4
shen ch`i / shen chi
 jingi;shinki;shingi(ok) / じんぎ;しんき;しんぎ(ok)
magical object; object symbolic of imperial power; fine weapon
(1) (See 三種の神器・1) sacred treasure; the three sacred treasures (sword, jewel, mirror); (2) implement used in religious ceremonies

神鏡

see styles
 shinkyou / shinkyo / しんきょう divine mirror; sacred mirror (one of the three sacred treasures)

三種の神器

see styles
 sanshunojingi / さんしゅのじんぎ (exp,n) (1) the Three Sacred Treasures (Mirror, Sword and Jewels); (2) (colloquialism) (set of) three status symbols; three necessities

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Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Wall Scroll


And formats...

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Portrait
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Horizontal Wall Scroll
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Excerpt Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Three Treasures in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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

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