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〇 is the famous Enso symbol, which you will see widely used by Japanese Zen Buddhists.
In a twist, I am starting to see Enso used more and more by Chinese Buddhists.
Here is the typical appearance of Enso artwork by Japanese calligrapher Kougetsu.
Enso is not a Japanese Kanji character. It falls more into the category of a symbol. There is some debate, but many consider Enso to be a religious symbol.
Some call this “The Circle of Enlightenment.” Others call it the “Infinity Circle.” If you actually took the meanings of the two Kanji (円相) that make up the word “En-so,” you could read it as “Mutual Circle” or “Circle of Togetherness.” I think the Enso symbol can simply mean different things to different people. Therefore, you should let it have the meaning that you perceive.
The appearance of your Enso will be determined by the artist's personal style, feeling, mood, etc.
永恆 is the Chinese word for eternity.
The first character means always, forever, and perpetual. The second character holds the meaning of permanent. Together, they create a word that means eternal, eternally, or infinite time.
See Also: Immortality
(Used in Japanese version of five elements)
空 is a single character that means empty, void, hollow, vacant, vacuum, blank, nonexistent, vacuity, voidness, emptiness, non-existence, immateriality, unreality, the false or illusory nature of all existence, and being unreal.
In the Buddhist context, this relates to the doctrine that all phenomena and the ego have no reality but are composed of a certain number of skandhas or elements, which disintegrate. The void, the sky, space. The universal, the absolute, complete abstraction without relativity. The doctrine further explains that all things are compounds, or unstable organisms, possessing no self-essence, i.e. are dependent, or caused, come into existence only to perish. The underlying reality, the principle of eternal relativity, or non-infinity, i.e. śūnya, permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution.
From Sanskrit and/or Pali, this is the translation to Chinese and Japanese of the title śūnya or śūnyatā.
In Japanese, when pronounced as “ron” (sounds like “roan”) this can be a given name. It should be noted that this Kanji has about 5 different possible pronunciations in Japanese: kuu, kara, sora, ron, and uro. 空 is also an element in the Japanese version of the five elements.
(Chinese / Korean)
無窮 is the Chinese and Korean word meaning infinity, eternity, infinitude, infinite or endless.
無窮 literally translates as “without [ever becoming] exhausted/poor,” and in that context, can mean “inexhaustible” or “boundless” but this is usually read as “without end.” Some extended definitions include eternity, infinitude, or immortality.
In certain contexts, it can mean “immortality.”
The first character means “never” or “not.” The second means “exhausted,” “finished,” or “ending.”
Note: 無窮 is a Japanese word but rarely used in modern Japan.
無限の彼方へ means “to infinity and beyond,” in Japanese.
This is how the slogan/phrase from Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear was translated from the movie into Japanese.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
Japanese = Infinity / Chinese = No limits
無限 is the Chinese and Japanese word meaning infinity, unlimited or unbounded.
無限 literally translates as “without limits” or “without [being] bound.”
The first character means “never” or “not,” like the prefix “un-.”
The second means “limited,” “restricted,” or “bound.”
Please note that the Japanese definition leans more toward “infinity” and the Chinese is more about being “boundless” or “without limits.”
In Korean, this means infinity, infinitude, or boundlessness. But in Korean, this term has many interpretations or contexts, so your intended meaning might be vague or ambiguous.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Romaji (Romanized Japanese)
|Various forms of Romanized Chinese
|Enso - Japanese Zen Circle
|en sou / ensou / en so
|yǒng / yong3 / yong
Always and Forever
|kuu / kara / sora / ron
ku / kara / sora / ron
|kōng / kong1 / kong
|k`ung / kung
|mu kyuu / mukyuu / mu kyu
|wú qióng / wu2 qiong2 / wu qiong / wuqiong
|wu ch`iung / wuchiung / wu chiung
|To Infinity and Beyond
|chāo yuè wú xiàn
chao1 yue4 wu2 xian4
chao yue wu xian
|ch`ao yüeh wu hsien
chao yüeh wu hsien
|To Infinity and Beyond
|mugen no kanata e
|mu gen / mugen
|wú xiàn / wu2 xian4 / wu xian / wuxian
|wu hsien / wuhsien
|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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