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This is one way to write "enjoy life" in Japanese.
The character breakdown:
人生 (jinsei) life (i.e. conception to death) human lifetime, living.
を (o) connecting particle.
楽しみ (tanoshimi) enjoyment; pleasure; anticipation; looking forward to.
に (ni) connecting particle.
し (shi) to do; to cause; to become; to make (into).
て (te) connecting particle.
いる (iru) indicates continuing action or resulting state.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This is just about the closest proverb to match the western idea of "Eat, drink, and be merry."
This Chinese proverb more literally means, "Eat, drink, play, be merry, enjoy everything as long as you can."
It's basically a suggestion that you try to enjoy everything in life, as long as you live, or as long as you are able.
人生謳歌 means, "live for what you love" in Japanese.
The first two characters mean "human life" or simply "living." The last two characters mean, "merit," "prosperity," or "what you enjoy." This phrase can suggest working or staying busy for your own goals (in your career).
See Also: Prosperity
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.
This is referred to as passage or chapter 33 of the Dao De Jing (often Romanized as "Tao Te Ching").
These are the words of the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).
During our research, the Chinese characters shown here are probably the most accurate to the original text of Laozi. These were taken for the most part from the Mawangdui 1973 and Guodan 1993 manuscripts which pre-date other Daodejing texts by about 1000 years.
Grammar was a little different in Laozi's time. So you should consider this to be the ancient Chinese version. Some have modernized this passage by adding, removing, or swapping articles and changing the grammar (we felt the oldest and most original version would be more desirable). You may find other versions printed in books or online - sometimes these modern texts are simply used to explain to Chinese people what the original text really means.
This language issue can be compared in English by thinking how the King James (known as the Authorized version in Great Britain) Bible from 1611 was written, and comparing it to modern English. Now imagine that the Daodejing was probably written around 403 BCE (2000 years before the King James Version of the Bible). To a Chinese person, the original Daodejing reads like text that is 3 times more detached compared to Shakespeare's English is to our modern-day speech.
While on this Biblical text comparison, it should be noted, that just like the Bible, all the original texts of the Daodejing were lost or destroyed long ago. Just as with the scripture used to create the Bible, various manuscripts exist, many with variations or copyist errors. Just as the earliest New Testament scripture (incomplete) is from 170 years after Christ, the earliest Daodejing manuscript (incomplete) is from 100-200 years after the death of Laozi.
The reason that the originals were lost probably has a lot to do with the first Qin Emperor. Upon taking power and unifying China, he ordered the burning and destruction of all books (scrolls/rolls) except those pertaining to Chinese medicine and a few other subjects. The surviving Daodejing manuscripts were either hidden on purpose or simply forgotten about. Some were not unearthed until as late as 1993.
We compared a lot of research by various archeologists and historians before deciding on this as the most accurate and correct version. But one must allow that it may not be perfect, or the actual and original as from the hand of Laozi himself.
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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|
|Enjoy Life||享受生活||xiǎng shòu shēng huó|
xiang3 shou4 sheng1 huo2
xiang shou sheng huo
|hsiang shou sheng huo
|Enjoy Life||人生を楽しみにしている||jin sei o tano shi mi ni shi te i ru|
|Dream Come True|
|dé zhì / de2 zhi4 / de zhi / dezhi||te chih / techih|
|Eat Drink and Be Merry||喫喝玩樂及時行樂|
|chī hē wán lè jí shí xíng lè|
chi1 he1 wan2 le4 ji2 shi2 xing2 le4
chi he wan le ji shi xing le
|ch`ih ho wan le chi shih hsing le
chih ho wan le chi shih hsing le
|Eat Drink and Be Merry||吃喝玩樂|
|chī hē wán lè|
chi1 he1 wan2 le4
chi he wan le
|ch`ih ho wan le
chih ho wan le
|Live for What You Love||人生謳歌||jin sei ou ka|
jin sei o ka
|Embrace Life||人生を享受する||jinsei o kyouju suru|
jinsei o kyoju suru
|兔||usagi||tù / tu4 / tu||t`u / tu|
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
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33
|zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě|
zhi1 ren2 zhe3 zhi1 ye3 zi4 zhi1 zhe3 ming2 ye3 sheng4 ren2 zhe3 you3 li4 ye3 zi4 sheng4 zhe3 qiang2 ye3 zhi1 zu2 zhe3 fu4 ye3 qiang2 xing2 zhe3 you3 zhi4 ye3 bu4 zhi1 qi2 suo3 zhe3 jiu3 ye3 si3 er2 bu4 wang2 zhe3 shou4 ye3
zhi ren zhe zhi ye zi zhi zhe ming ye sheng ren zhe you li ye zi sheng zhe qiang ye zhi zu zhe fu ye qiang xing zhe you zhi ye bu zhi qi suo zhe jiu ye si er bu wang zhe shou ye
|chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che ch`iang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh ch`iang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih ch`i so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che chiang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh chiang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih chi so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
|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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The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
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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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