Underworld in Chinese / Japanese...

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Hell / Kingdom of the Underworld

yīn cáo dì fǔ
Hell / Kingdom of the Underworld Scroll

陰曹地府 can mean Hell, Hades, Kingdom of the Underworld, or the Netherworld.

When Chinese people have a conversation about Hell, this is usually the term they use. Please note that this is a somewhat oral and informal word.

陰曹地府 is a really weird selection for a wall scroll, so consider this for educational purposes only.

dì yù
Hell Scroll

地獄 is the way that hell is written in modern Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

There's more than one way to express hell but this is the one that has stood the test of time.

The first character refers to the ground or the earth.
The second character means jail or prison.

You can also translate this word as infernal, inferno, Hades, or underworld.

It should be noted that this is a somewhat terrible selection for a wall scroll. Hanging this in your home is like telling the world that your home is hell. Oddly, a lot of people search for this on our website, so I added it for reference.

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Kingdom of the Underworld
yīn cáo dì fǔ
yin1 cao2 di4 fu3
yin cao di fu
yin ts`ao ti fu
yin tsao ti fu
jigokudì yù / di4 yu4 / di yu / diyuti yü / tiyü
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 underworld that you were looking for?

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


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition



see styles
dì yù
    di4 yu4
ti yü
Hell Scroll
hell; infernal; underworld; (Buddhism) Naraka
hell; (place-name) Jigoku
naraka, 捺落迦 (or 那落迦) ; niraya 泥犂; explained by 不樂 joyless; 可厭 disgusting, hateful; 苦具, 苦器 means of suffering; if 地獄 earth-prison; 冥府 the shades, or departments of darkness. Earth-prison is generally intp. as hell or the hells; it may also be termed purgatory; one of the six gati or ways of transmigration. The hells are divided into three classes: I. Central, or radical, 根本地獄 consisting of (1) The eight hot hells. These were the original hells of primitive Buddhism, and are supposed to be located umder the southern continent Jambudvīpa 瞻部州, 500 yojanas below the surface. (a) 等活 or 更活 Saṃjīva, rebirth, where after many kinds of suffering a cold wind blows over the soul and returns it to this life as it was before, hence the name 等活. (b) 黑繩 Kaslasūtra, where the sufferer is bound with black chains and chopped or sawn asunder. (c) 線合; 衆合; 堆壓 Saṃghāta, where are multitudes of implements of torture, or the falling of mountains upon the sufferer. (d) 號呌; 呼呼; 叫喚 Raurava, hell of wailing. (e) 大呌; 大號呌; 大呼 Mahāraurava, hell of great wailing. (f) 炎熱; 燒炙 Tapana, hell of fames and burning. (g) 大熱; 大燒炙; 大炎熱 Pratāpana, hell of molten lead. (h) 無間; 河鼻旨; 阿惟越致; 阿毗至; 阿鼻; 阿毗 Avīci, unintermitted suffering, where sinners die and are reborn to suffer without interval. (2) The eight cold hells 八寒地獄. (a) 頞浮陀地獄 Arbuda, where the cold causes blisters. (b) 尼刺部陀 Nirarbuda, colder still causing the blisters to burst. (c) 頞哳吒; 阿吒吒 Atata, where this is the only possible sound from frozen lips. (d) 臛臛婆; 阿波波 Hahava or Apapa, where it is so cold that only this sound can be uttered. (e) 虎虎婆 Hāhādhara or Huhuva, where only this sound can be uttered. (f) 嗢鉢羅; 鬱鉢羅 (or 優鉢羅) Utpala, or 尼羅鳥 (or 漚) 鉢羅 Nīlotpala, where the skin is frozen like blue lotus buds. (g) 鉢特摩 Padma, where the skin is frozen and bursts open like red lotus buds. (h) 摩訶鉢特摩 Mahāpadma, ditto like great red lotus buds. Somewhat different names are also given. Cf. 倶舍論 8; 智度論 16; 涅槃經 11. II. The secondary hells are called 近邊地獄 adjacent hells or 十六遊增 each of its four sides, opening from each such door are four adjacent hells, in all sixteen; thus with the original eight there are 136. A list of eighteen hells is given in the 十八泥梨經. III. A third class is called the 孤地獄 (獨地獄) Lokāntarika, or isolated hells in mountains, deserts, below the earth and above it. Eitel says in regard to the eight hot hells that they range 'one beneath the other in tiers which begin at a depth of 11,900 yojanas and reach to a depth of 40,000 yojanas'. The cold hells are under 'the two Tchahavālas and range shaft-like one below the other, but so that this shaft is gradually widening to the fourth hell and then narrowing itself again so that the first and last hell have the shortest, those in the centre the longest diameter'. 'Every universe has the same number of hells, ' but 'the northern continent has no hell whatever, the two continents east and west of Meru have only small Lokāntarika hells... whilst all the other hells are required for the inhabitants of the southern continent '. It may be noted that the purpose of these hells is definitely punitive, as well as purgatorial. Yama is the judge and ruler, assisted by eighteen officers and a host of demons, who order or administer the various degrees of torture. 'His sister performs the same duties with regard to female criminals, ' and it may be mentioned that the Chinese have added the 血盆池 Lake of the bloody bath, or 'placenta tank' for women who die in childbirth. Release from the hells is in the power of the monks by tantric means.



see styles
yīn cáo dì fǔ
    yin1 cao2 di4 fu3
yin ts`ao ti fu
    yin tsao ti fu
Hell Scroll
netherworld; Kingdom of the Underworld; Hades

see styles
dark; deep; stupid; the underworld
(female given name) Mei
Darkness, obscurity; deep. Hades; used chiefly in the sense of 無知 ignorance, profound, secret, invisible, e.g. as opposed to 顯 open, manifest; darkness

see styles
remote; hidden away; secluded; serene; peaceful; to imprison; in superstition indicates the underworld; ancient district spanning Liaonang and Hebei provinces


see styles
jiǔ quán
    jiu3 quan2
chiu ch`üan
    chiu chüan
 kyuusen / kyusen
the nine springs; the underworld of Chinese mythology; Hades
hades; nether regions


see styles
míng tǔ
    ming2 tu3
ming t`u
    ming tu
 mei do
(Buddhist term) Hades; the underworld; the other world; realm of the dead


see styles
míng fǔ
    ming2 fu3
ming fu
 meifu / mefu
underworld; hell
(1) (See 冥土) realm of the dead; the other world; underworld; (2) hell
The palace of darkness, Hades; office of hell


see styles
míng lù
    ming2 lu4
ming lu


see styles
míng tú
    ming2 tu2
ming t`u
    ming tu
(Buddhist term) Hades; the underworld; the other world; realm of the dead; (personal name) Meido


see styles
pàn guān
    pan4 guan1
p`an kuan
    pan kuan
 hangan; hougan; jou; zou / hangan; hogan; jo; zo
    はんがん; ほうがん; じょう; ぞう
magistrate (during Tang and Song dynasties); mythological underworld judge
(1) (はんがん only) judge; magistrate; (2) (archaism) (See 四等官,尉・じょう・1) 3rd grade official (ritsuryo system); assistant district officer; inspector; (person) Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune (nickname)


see styles
 jizou / jizo
(abbreviation) Kshitigarbha (bodhisattva who looks over children, travellers and the underworld); Ksitigarbha; Jizō; (surname) Dzizou



see styles
bāng huì
    bang1 hui4
pang hui
secret society; underworld gang



see styles
jí dào
    ji2 dao4
chi tao
 gokudou / gokudo
(adjectival noun) (1) wicked; evil; profligate; immoral; (2) wickedness; evildoing; (3) organized crime; yakuza; underworld


see styles
jiāng hú
    jiang1 hu2
chiang hu
 gouko / goko
rivers and lakes; all corners of the country; remote areas to which hermits retreat; section of society operating independently of mainstream society, out of reach of the law; the milieu in which wuxia tales play out (cf. 武俠|武侠[wu3 xia2]); (in late imperial times) world of traveling merchants, itinerant doctors, fortune tellers etc; demimonde; (in modern times) triads; secret gangster societies; underworld
Zen disciples; (surname) Kouko
Kiangsi and Hunan, where and whence the 禪 Chan (Zen) or Intuitive movement had its early spread, the title being applied to followers of this cult; Jiang and Hu


see styles
(1) soft spot (in the skull of an infant); fontanelle; fontanel; (2) (See 黄泉) gates of Hades; entrance to the underworld; (surname) Izumikado


see styles
 gokudou / gokudo
(adjectival noun) (1) wicked; evil; profligate; immoral; (2) wickedness; evildoing; (3) organized crime; yakuza; underworld


see styles
spirit world; underworld; the next world


see styles
(1) secret or hidden place; (2) (euph.) female genitalia; (3) the underworld; the other world


see styles
 inpu; yomi(gikun)
    いんぷ; よみ(gikun)
(See 黄泉) path to the netherworld (underworld); Hades; Hell



see styles
mǎ miàn
    ma3 mian4
ma mien
 umazura; bamen; umagao
    うまづら; ばめん; うまがお
Horse-Face, one of the two guardians of the underworld in Chinese mythology
(1) long thin face; (2) (うまづら only) (See 馬面剥) Black Scraper (fish); (surname) Bamen



see styles
huáng quán
    huang2 quan2
huang ch`üan
    huang chüan
the Yellow Springs; the underworld of Chinese mythology; the equivalent of Hades or Hell
The yellow springs, the shades.


see styles
 oudo; koudo / odo; kodo
    おうど; こうど
(1) loess; (2) yellow ochre; yellow ocher; (3) (こうど only) (archaism) Hades; hell; underworld; world of the dead; (surname) Oudo


see styles
 koujou / kojo
(1) (See 黄土・おうど・1) yellow soil; loess; (2) (archaism) (See 黄泉・こうせん・2) Hades; hell; underworld; world of the dead


see styles
 kousen; yomi / kosen; yomi
    こうせん; よみ
(1) (こうせん only) underground spring; (2) (See 地獄) Hades; hell; underworld; (female given name) Yomi


see styles
hēi dào
    hei1 dao4
hei tao
dark road; criminal ways; the underworld; see also 白道[bai2 dao4]


see styles
Hades; underworld; realm of the dead; other world


see styles
píng děng wáng
    ping2 deng3 wang2
p`ing teng wang
    ping teng wang
 byōdō ō
Yama, the impartial or just judge and awarder. But the name is also applied to one of the Ten Rulers of the Underworld, distinct from Yama. Also, name of the founder of the kṣatriya caste, to which the Śākyas belonged.


see styles
(archaism) (See 根の国) underworld


see styles
skid row; underworld


see styles
the underworld

Many custom options...

Hell Scroll
Hell Scroll
Hell Scroll
Hell Scroll

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Hell Vertical Portrait
Hell Horizontal Wall Scroll
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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!

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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.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Underworld Kanji, Underworld Characters, Underworld in Mandarin Chinese, Underworld Characters, Underworld in Chinese Writing, Underworld in Japanese Writing, Underworld in Asian Writing, Underworld Ideograms, Chinese Underworld symbols, Underworld Hieroglyphics, Underworld Glyphs, Underworld in Chinese Letters, Underworld Hanzi, Underworld in Japanese Kanji, Underworld Pictograms, Underworld in the Chinese Written-Language, or Underworld in the Japanese Written-Language.

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