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The name Void in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Void” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Void” title below...


  1. Sky / Void

  2. Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality

  3. Five Elements

  4. Godai / Five Elements

  5. Humble / Modesty / Humility

  6. Nothing / Nothingness

  7. Nothingness / Empty / Void

  8. Nothingness

  9. True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence

10. Sky / Air / Ether / Space

11. The Three Truths

12. Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth


 xū kōng
 kokū
Sky / Void Scroll

虛空 means void, hollow, empty, space, sky, atmosphere, heaven, or ether.

虛空 is the Chinese and Japanese version of the Sanskrit word ākāśa (or akasa / akash) which, beyond the sky or space meaning can be the immaterial universe behind all phenomena in the Buddhist context.

Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality

(Used in Japanese version of five elements)

 kōng
 kuu / kara / sora / ron
 
Sky / Ether / Void / Emptiness / Unreality Scroll

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.

Five Elements

 chi sui ka fuu kuu
Five Elements Scroll

地水火風空 is the specifically-Japanese version of the five elements.

This is a little different than the ancient or original Chinese version.

The elements are written in this order:
1. Earth / Terra / Ground
2. Water
3. Fire
4. Wind / Air
5. Sky / Emptiness / Void / Ether

Note: This set of Kanji can also be romanized as “ji sui ka fuu kuu,” “jisuikafuukuu,” or “jisuikafuku.”


These can also be written in the order 地火風水空 (chi ka sui fuu kuu). Let me know when you place your order if you want the Kanji to be in this character order.

Godai / Five Elements

 wǔ dà
 godai
Godai / Five Elements Scroll

五大 is the Japanese title for the five elements.

In Japan, the five elements differ slightly from the original Chinese. Therefore, in Japanese philosophy, you have earth, water, fire, wind, and void (space).

The meaning of the first character is 5, but the second character means great or large. Some translate this as the five majors. 大 is only understood as “elements” when you have 五 in front of it.

In Buddhism, this can be short for 五大明王, or the five great and wise kings.

Humble / Modesty / Humility

 qiān xū
 ken kyo
Humble / Modesty / Humility Scroll

謙虚 is the most common way to say humble or modest in Japanese without a derogatory meaning (some other words suggest weakness, but this version holds a better humble meaning).

In Japanese, the first Kanji means self-effacing, humble oneself, and modesty. The second means void or emptiness.


See Also:  Moderation

Nothing / Nothingness

 wú
 mu
 
Nothing / Nothingness Scroll

無 is the simple way to express “nothing.”

However, this single character leaves a bit of mystery as to what you might really mean if you hang it as a wall scroll. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; as you can decide what it means to you, and you won't be wrong if you stay within the general context.

More info: 無 is usually used as a suffix or prefix for Chinese and Japanese words (also old Korean). It can be compared to “un-” or “-less” in English. It can also mean “not to have,” no, none, not, “to lack,” or nothingness.

Nothingness / Empty / Void

 xū kōng
 kokuu
Nothingness / Empty / Void Scroll

虛空 means empty space, empty sky, or void.

In the Buddhist context, it can mean “emptiness of the material world.” This can also be used as an adjective to modify other words with a meaning of unreal or insubstantial.

 kōng wú
 kuu mu
Nothingness Scroll

空無 is “nothingness” in a Buddhist context.

The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).

The second character means have not, no, none, not, or to lack.

Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means “absolute nothingness.”

I know this is a term used in Buddhism, but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world is a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as “nothing” and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or, rather, “mystery.” Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever “it” is, and if “it” really exists at all).

Soothill defines this as “Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature.”

True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence

 zhēn kōng miào yǒu
 shin kuu myou u
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence Scroll

According to Soothill 眞空妙有 means:
The true void is the mysteriously existing, truly void, or immaterial, yet transcendentally existing.

眞空妙有 is the state of being nonexistent after removing all errant worldly influences. 眞空妙有 is achieved when all forms of existence are seen for their real nature.

Sky / Air / Ether / Space

 tiān kōng
 ten kuu
Sky / Air / Ether / Space Scroll

天空 means sky in most contexts but it can also refer to air, space, the heavens, or ether.

The Three Truths

 sān dì
 san dai / san tai
The Three Truths Scroll

三諦 is a Buddhist term that means “threefold truth” or “three dogmas.”

The three truths are:
1. All things are void (卽空).
2. All things are temporary (卽假).
3. All things are in the middle state between these two (卽中).

Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth

 kyo jitsu
Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth Scroll

虚実 is a Japanese word that means “falsehood [and] truth” or “fiction [and] fact.”

This concept is used in warfare, gameplay, and martial arts strategies. 虚実 can be a strategy of real and/or deceptive moves. This gets to some Sun Tzu Art of War stuff where in warfare a strategic move is either a real and serious move or it is a deceptive blow.

Let's explore each character in more depth:

was originally written (there is a very subtle difference in the strokes at the bottom of the character) and means unpreparedness, falsehood, emptiness, void, abstract theory, empty or unoccupied, diffident or timid, false, humble or modest, virtual, or in vain.
In the Buddhist context, 虛 represents the Pali/Sanskrit word “śūnya,” meaning empty, vacant, unreal, unsubstantial, untrue, space, humble, or in vain.
In ancient Eastern/Chinese astronomy, 虛 represents the “Emptiness” constellation (one of the 28 mansions in the sky).

was originally in Chinese (they currently write it as in Simplified Chinese) with the meaning, truth, reality, sincerity, honesty, fidelity, and substance.
The Buddhist context is similar, adding real, true, honest, really, solid, definitely, sincere, solid, fixed, full, to fill, fruit, kernel, verily, in fact, the supreme fact, or ultimate reality to the definition.


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Sky
Void
虛空
虚空
kokūxū kōng / xu1 kong1 / xu kong / xukonghsü k`ung / hsükung / hsü kung
Sky
Ether
Void
Emptiness
Unreality
kuu / kara / sora / ron
ku / kara / sora / ron
kōng / kong1 / kongk`ung / kung
Five Elements地水火風空
地水火风空
chi sui ka fuu kuu
chisuikafuukuu
chi sui ka fu ku
Godai
Five Elements
五大godaiwǔ dà / wu3 da4 / wu da / wudawu ta / wuta
Humble
Modesty
Humility
謙虚ken kyo / kenkyoqiān xū / qian1 xu1 / qian xu / qianxuch`ien hsü / chienhsü / chien hsü
Nothing
Nothingness

muwú / wu2 / wu
Nothingness
Empty
Void
虛空
虚空
kokuu / kokuxū kōng / xu1 kong1 / xu kong / xukonghsü k`ung / hsükung / hsü kung
Nothingness空無
空无
kuu mu / kuumu / ku mukōng wú / kong1 wu2 / kong wu / kongwuk`ung wu / kungwu / kung wu
True Emptiness Yields Transcendent Existence眞空妙有shin kuu myou u
shinkuumyouu
shin ku myo u
zhēn kōng miào yǒu
zhen1 kong1 miao4 you3
zhen kong miao you
zhenkongmiaoyou
chen k`ung miao yu
chenkungmiaoyu
chen kung miao yu
Sky
Air
Ether
Space
天空ten kuu / tenkuu / ten kutiān kōng
tian1 kong1
tian kong
tiankong
t`ien k`ung
tienkung
tien kung
The Three Truths三諦
三谛
san dai / san tai
sandai / santai
sān dì / san1 di4 / san di / sandisan ti / santi
Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth虚実kyo jitsu / kyojitsu
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.


Dictionary

Lookup Void in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.
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 Void Kanji, Void Characters, Void in Mandarin Chinese, Void Characters, Void in Chinese Writing, Void in Japanese Writing, Void in Asian Writing, Void Ideograms, Chinese Void symbols, Void Hieroglyphics, Void Glyphs, Void in Chinese Letters, Void Hanzi, Void in Japanese Kanji, Void Pictograms, Void in the Chinese Written-Language, or Void in the Japanese Written-Language.

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Void was last searched for by someone else on Jun 8th, 2024