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This single character means to win or be victorious.
This can also be translated: To overcome; success; to beat; to defeat; to surpass; superior to; to get the better of; better than; surpassing; superb.
In other context, this can mean: Beautiful (scenery); scenic spot; scenic beauty.
In Taiwanese Mandarin, this can be pronounced with the first tone (sheng1) and mean: Able to bear; equal to (a task).
In Japan, this can also be the name Masaru.
In Korea, this has the same meaning but can also be the surname Sŭng.
This Chinese proverb literally translates as: [Even a general who has won a] hundred victories [may be] hard put to see through the enemy's [strategy], [but one who has] broken [his] arm three [times] [will] be a good doctor.
Figuratively, this means: One cannot always depend on past successes to guarantee future success but one can always learn from lessons drawn from failure.
You may learn when everything goes right but the lessons learned when everything goes wrong are more vivid and lead to long-lasting wisdom.
Another way to look at this: One cannot always depend on past successes to guarantee future success but one can always learn from lessons drawn from failure.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
Perhaps a pacifist view or perhaps the best kind of victory; these characters reflect this idea:
The edges of the swords not being stained with blood.
You could also translate it as: Win victory without firing a shot.
The first character means army or force. The second character means without or none. The last two characters mean bloodstained knives. So it represents a returning victorious army without bloodstained knives. 兵不血刃 is the very literal sense of this Chinese proverb. The title definition is more accurate to the way this proverb is understood.
Asking yourself why the direct or literal translation is different?
...Think of compound words in English such as "nevertheless" if we break it apart to "never the less" we will have trouble getting the real definition of "in spite of that." Similar things happen when multiple-characters are used to create a compounded word in Chinese.
This proverb is often translated as, "True victory is victory over oneself."
However, literally, Kanji by Kanji, it means, "True victory [is] my/self victory."
My Japanese friends rate this very highly for a wall scroll.
See Also: Know Thy Enemy Know Thyself
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shou / sho||shèng / sheng4 / sheng|
|You May Learn from Victory, You Will Learn from Failure||百勝難慮敵三折乃良醫|
|bǎi shèng nán lǜ dí sān zhé nǎi liáng yī|
bai3 sheng4 nan2 lv4 di2 san1 zhe2 nai3 liang2 yi1
bai sheng nan lv di san zhe nai liang yi
|pai sheng nan lü ti san che nai liang i|
|You May Learn from Victory, You Will Learn from Failure||勝って得るものも有れば負けて得るものも有る||katte erumono mo areba makete erumono mo aru|
|No arrogance in victory, No despair in defeat.||勝不驕敗不餒|
|shèng bù jiāo bài bù něi|
sheng4 bu4 jiao1 bai4 bu4 nei3
sheng bu jiao bai bu nei
|sheng pu chiao pai pu nei
|Bloodless Victory||兵不血刃||bīng bù xuè rèn|
bing1 bu4 xue4 ren4
bing bu xue ren
|ping pu hsüeh jen
|True Victory is Victory Over Oneself||正勝吾勝|
|masa katsu a gatsu|
|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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Victory Kanji, Victory Characters, Victory in Mandarin Chinese, Victory Characters, Victory in Chinese Writing, Victory in Japanese Writing, Victory in Asian Writing, Victory Ideograms, Chinese Victory symbols, Victory Hieroglyphics, Victory Glyphs, Victory in Chinese Letters, Victory Hanzi, Victory in Japanese Kanji, Victory Pictograms, Victory in the Chinese Written-Language, or Victory in the Japanese Written-Language.