Water in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a Water calligraphy wall scroll here!

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


  1. Water

  2. Ultimate Goodness of Water

  3. Be Like Water

  4. Water Polo

  5. Be Like Water

  6. Mind Like Water

  7. Water Tiger

  8. Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water

  9. Chop Wood, Carry Water

10. Earth Fire Water Air

11. Fire and Water Have No Mercy

12. Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water

13. Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also

14. Drinking the water of a well: One should never forget who dug it

15. Water Dragon / Rain Dragon

16. Water Dragon / Coiled Dragon

17. Warriors Adapt and Overcome


Water

(One of the five elements)

shuǐ
mizu / sui
Water Scroll

水 is the symbol for water in in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.


Water is one of the five elements that ancient Chinese believed all things were composed of. These elements are also part of the cycle of Chinese astrology. Every person has both an animal sign, and one of the five elements according to the date of their birth. See also Five Elements and Chinese 12 Animals / Zodiac.

Ultimate Goodness of Water

Quote from Lao Tzu

shàng shàn ruò shuǐ
Ultimate Goodness of Water Scroll

This quote is sometimes presented as, "Be like water".

However, this is an ancient quote from the great philosopher Lao Tzu. It basically suggests that the ultimate goodness and purity (in the world) is water. Many take this as a suggestion to be like pure/good water.

Be Like Water

Quote from Lao Tzu

ruò shuǐ
Be Like Water Scroll

若水 is part of a very old saying from Lao Tzu.

It these two characters, there is a suggestion to be like water. The full phrase is about the goodness and purity of water. So, when this suggests being like water, it is actually a suggestion to be a good person (one who does not dishonor himself/herself etc).

shuǐ qiú
sui kyuu
Water Polo Scroll

水球 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title for water polo.

The literal meaning of the characters is "water ball".

Be Like Water

xiàng shuǐ yí yàng
Be Like Water Scroll

像水一樣 is a short quote from a much longer statement by Bruce Lee.

He was summarizing how people should be flexible to all circumstances, attacks, or situations. At the end, he exclaims, "Be like water my friend". 像水一樣 is the, "Be like water" part alone, since that seems to be what most people want.

Mind Like Water

Mizu No Kokoro

mizu no kokoro
Mind Like Water Scroll

水の心 is the Japanese Buddhist and martial arts phrase, "mizu no kokoro", which means, "mind like water" or "heart of water".

The phrase is a metaphor describing the pond that clearly reflects it's surroundings when calm but whose images are obscured once a pebble is dropped into its waters.

shuǐ hǔ
sui ko
Water Tiger Scroll

水虎 means "water tiger" in Chinese and Japanese.

Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water

jìng huā shuǐ yuè
kyou ka sui getsu
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll

This old Asian proverb means "flowers in a mirror and the moon reflected in the lake" or "flowers reflected on a mirror and the moon reflected on the water's surface".

Literally, 鏡花水月 reads "Mirror Flower, Water Moon".

Figuratively this can be used to represent a lot of different ideas. It can be used to express an unrealistic rosy view or viewing things through rose-tinted spectacles. So you can use it to relay an idea about something that is visible but has no substance, something that can be seen but not touched, or something that is beautiful but unattainable such as dreams or a mirage.

This expression is used to describe things like the subtle and profound beauty of poems that cannot be described in words.

鏡 = Mirror (or lens)
花 = Flower(s)
水 = Water
月 = Moon


Can also be written 水月鏡花 (just a slight change in word/character order).

Chop Wood, Carry Water

Before enlightenment or after, chores remain.

dùn wù zhī qián kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ dùn wù zhī hòu kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ
Chop Wood, Carry Water Scroll

頓悟之前砍柴挑水。頓悟之後砍柴挑水。 means, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

This Chinese proverb is attributed to 吴力 (Wú Lì) who lived between 1632 and 1718 - living part of his life as a devout Buddhist, and many years as a Catholic Jesuit Priest in China - what an interesting life!

This has been explained many times in many ways. I am a Buddhist, and here is my brief take on this proverb...

Before enlightenment, one may find daily chores mundane, tedious, and boring. However, upon reaching enlightenment one is not relieved of the details of daily life. An enlightened person will, however, see such chores as a joy, and do them mindfully.


There is another version floating around, which is 在你領悟之前砍柴、運水。在你領悟之後,砍柴、運水。
If you want this other version, just contact me. The meaning is the same, just different phrasing.

Earth Fire Water Air

yondaigenso
Earth Fire Water Air Scroll

四大元素 is the title for the four classical chemical elements (fire, earth, air and water) in Japanese.

四大 = four great/big. 元素 = elements. So 四大元素 literally means "Four Great Elements".

Fire and Water Have No Mercy

shuǐ huǒ wú qíng
Fire and Water Have No Mercy Scroll

This Chinese proverb means, "fire [and] water have-not mercy".

This serves to remind us that the forces of nature are beyond human control.

Some may also translation this as, "implacable fate".

Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water

An utterly inadequate measure

bēi shuǐ chē xīn
Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water Scroll

杯水車薪 is a warning against a futile effort.

This proverb literally refers to one who is "trying to put out a burning cart of wood with a cup of water", or "throw a cup of water on a cartload of wood". The lesson to be learned is about using the right measure or tool for the job, and not to waste your effort if you are inadequately equipped for the task at hand - in other words the postscript should be "go get a bucket or a fire hose".

Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also

shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also Scroll

Many things have opposite properties. The water you drink can also drown you. Pork may nourish you and keep you alive but under-cook it and it could kill you. Potassium nitrate is often used as a fertilizer to grow the food that sustains us but it's also been used as an explosive to topple buildings and destroy us.

This concept is easily associated with "yin yang" where an element has two opposite properties that are as different as night and day.

This proverb's meaning can be summed up this way: "Anything that can lead you to success may also contain great risks".

This phrase is known in literary circles by Korean people (scholars or literature). It is therefore also a valid proverb in Korean Hanja, though most Koreans would not be able to make sense of it.

Please note that there is an unwritten rule when the same character appears twice in the same phrase, the calligrapher will alter the appearance so that no two characters are exactly alike in the same piece. This calligraphy has two repeating characters that will be written differently than they appear here.

Drinking the water of a well: One should never forget who dug it

chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén
Drinking the water of a well: One should never forget who dug it Scroll

This proverb suggests that one should always be grateful to those who helped you succeed.

And remember your ancestors and those that came before you whose sacrifices made your present life better.

Some Chinese will separate the intended meaning from this proverb and translate this as "Don't forget the people who once helped you". In Modern China, this idiom is virtually never used to refer to an actual well.

Note: This can be pronounced in Korean but it's not a commonly used phrase.

Water Dragon / Rain Dragon

jiāo
kou ryuu
Water Dragon / Rain Dragon Scroll

This title for water dragon is the hornless or scaled dragon. 蛟龍 is the king of all aquatic animals with the ability to control rain and floods.

In Japanese, the rain dragon can represent hidden genius. This dragon's domain is the deep murky water, thus with hidden potential. This can also be the Japanese given name Kouryuu.

Water Dragon / Coiled Dragon

pān lóng
han ryuu
Water Dragon / Coiled Dragon Scroll

蟠龍 is sometimes seen as a lower level of dragon, or a dragon that has not-yet-reached its potential.

蟠龍 is often defined as a "lake dragon" that has not ascended to heaven.
Another way to put that is a dragon coiled on the earth, which has not yet ascended to the sky.

Warriors Adapt and Overcome

Soldiers need a fluid plan

bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll

This literally translates as: Troops/soldiers/warriors have no fixed [battlefield] strategy [just as] water has no constant shape [but adapts itself to whatever container it is in].

Figuratively, this means: One should seek to find whatever strategy or method is best suited to resolving each individual problem.

This proverb is about as close as you can get to the military idea of "adapt improvise overcome". 兵無常勢水無常形 is best way to express that idea in both an ancient way, and a very natural way in Chinese.




This in-stock artwork might be what you are looking for, and ships right away...

Gallery Price: $200.00

Your Price: $79.88

Gallery Price: $240.00

Your Price: $98.88

Gallery Price: $144.00

Your Price: $79.88

Gallery Price: $400.00

Your Price: $138.88

Gallery Price: $400.00

Your Price: $138.88

Gallery Price: $72.00

Your Price: $39.88

Gallery Price: $72.00

Your Price: $39.88

Gallery Price: $108.00

Your Price: $59.88

Gallery Price: $448.00

Your Price: $248.88

Gallery Price: $144.00

Your Price: $79.88

Gallery Price: $472.20

Your Price: $298.88

Gallery Price: $472.20

Your Price: $298.88

Gallery Price: $65.00

Your Price: $28.88


These search terms might be related to Water:

One Who Walks by the River May End Up With Wet Feet

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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Watermizu / suishuǐ / shui3 / shui
Ultimate Goodness of Water上善若水shàng shàn ruò shuǐ
shang4 shan4 ruo4 shui3
shang shan ruo shui
shangshanruoshui
shang shan jo shui
shangshanjoshui
Be Like Water若水ruò shuǐ / ruo4 shui3 / ruo shui / ruoshuijo shui / joshui
Water Polo水球sui kyuu / suikyuu / sui kyushuǐ qiú / shui3 qiu2 / shui qiu / shuiqiushui ch`iu / shuichiu / shui chiu
Be Like Water像水一樣xiàng shuǐ yí yàng
xiang4 shui3 yi2 yang4
xiang shui yi yang
xiangshuiyiyang
hsiang shui i yang
hsiangshuiiyang
Mind Like Water水の心mizu no kokoro
mizunokokoro
Water Tiger水虎sui ko / suikoshuǐ hǔ / shui3 hu3 / shui hu / shuihu
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water鏡花水月
镜花水月
kyou ka sui getsu
kyoukasuigetsu
kyo ka sui getsu
jìng huā shuǐ yuè
jing4 hua1 shui3 yue4
jing hua shui yue
jinghuashuiyue
ching hua shui yüeh
chinghuashuiyüeh
Chop Wood, Carry Water頓悟之前砍柴挑水頓悟之后砍柴挑水
顿悟之前砍柴挑水顿悟之后砍柴挑水
dùn wù zhī qián kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ dùn wù zhī hòu kǎn chái tiāo shuǐ
dun4 wu4 zhi1 qian2 kan3 chai2 tiao1 shui3 dun4 wu4 zhi1 hou4 kan3 chai2 tiao1 shui3
dun wu zhi qian kan chai tiao shui dun wu zhi hou kan chai tiao shui
tun wu chih ch`ien k`an ch`ai t`iao shui tun wu chih hou k`an ch`ai t`iao shui
tun wu chih chien kan chai tiao shui tun wu chih hou kan chai tiao shui
Earth Fire Water Air四大元素yondaigenso
Fire and Water Have No Mercy水火無情
水火无情
shuǐ huǒ wú qíng
shui3 huo3 wu2 qing2
shui huo wu qing
shuihuowuqing
shui huo wu ch`ing
shuihuowuching
shui huo wu ching
Put out a burning wood cart with a cup of water杯水車薪
杯水车薪
bēi shuǐ chē xīn
bei1 shui3 che1 xin1
bei shui che xin
beishuichexin
pei shui ch`e hsin
peishuichehsin
pei shui che hsin
Not Only Can Water Float A Boat, It Can Sink It Also水能載舟亦能覆舟
水能载舟亦能覆舟
shuǐ néng zài zhōu yì néng fù zhōu
shui3 neng2 zai4 zhou1 yi4 neng2 fu4 zhou1
shui neng zai zhou yi neng fu zhou
shui neng tsai chou i neng fu chou
Drinking the water of a well: One should never forget who dug it吃水不忘掘井人chī shuǐ bú wàng jué jǐng rén
chi1 shui3 bu2 wang4 jue2 jing3 ren2
chi shui bu wang jue jing ren
chishuibuwangjuejingren
ch`ih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
chih shui pu wang chüeh ching jen
Water Dragon
Rain Dragon
蛟龍
蛟龙
kou ryuu / kouryuu / ko ryujiāo
jiao1 long2
jiao long
jiaolong
chiao lung
chiaolung
Water Dragon
Coiled Dragon
蟠龍
蟠龙
han ryuu / hanryuu / han ryupān lóng / pan1 long2 / pan long / panlongp`an lung / panlung / pan lung
Warriors Adapt and Overcome兵無常勢水無常形
兵无常势水无常形
bīng wú cháng shì shuǐ wú cháng xíng
bing1 wu2 chang2 shi4 shui3 wu2 chang2 xing2
bing wu chang shi shui wu chang xing
ping wu ch`ang shih shui wu ch`ang hsing
ping wu chang shih shui wu chang hsing
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.


Many custom options...


Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Scroll


And formats...

Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Portrait
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Horizontal Wall Scroll
Warriors Adapt and Overcome Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Water in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

1 Corinthians 13:4-87 Virtues of BushidoA Moment of Time is as Precious as GoldAbigailAchievementAcupunctureAddiAidenAikidoAilinaAishaAkashAkiraAkiyamaAkumaAlexaAlmaAlways and ForeverAmalAmandaAmeliaAmraAnalynAnnalynAnnieAnthonyAnuragAresAriaArissaArjayArmanArmandoArunAryanAuroraAuspiciousAvatarAvengerAveryAyakaBanzaiBe Like WaterBe True to YourselfBe Water My FriendBeautiful MindBeautiful SkyBellaBenedictBenevolenceBensonBerserkerBlack BeltBlacksmithBlessingBlessingsBlissBodhiBody and Earth in UnityBrandoBrandonBrave WarriorBreatheBrettBrianBrigitteBroken SoulBrotherly and Sisterly LoveBruce LeeBryceBuddha ShakyamuniBuddyBujinkanBushidoBushido CodeButchCallumCalmCaringCarpe DiemCarsonCastilloChaosCharlotteChastityChazChelseyCherishCherry BlossomChi EnergyChinaClarkCleoClothildeClydeCobraCocoColombiaConfucianCooperCorbinCourage in the Face of FearDahliaDaisyDakotaDanaDanicaDark AngelDark OneDaytonDeath Before DishonorDeborahDela-CruzDeniseDesireeDestinyDisciplineDivine GraceDivine SpiritDojoDouble HappinessDouble Happiness Guest BookDouble Happiness GuestbookDragonDragon and PhoenixDream BigDrewDwayneEishin RyuEishin-RyuElaineElenaEleonoraEllaEllieElliotElvisEmptinessEmpty FistEnduranceEnergyEnlightenmentEnzoEquilibriumErenEricErnestoErvinEshaEsmeEstoniaEternal HappinessEternal LoveEternal PeaceEvanEven Monkeys Fall from TreesEverlasting LifeEverything Happens for a ReasonFabienFabienneFailure is Not an OptionFaith in GodFaith in YourselfFall 7 Times Get Up 8Fall Seven Rise EightFallen AngelFamily Above AllFamily BondFamily FirstFamily Over EverythingFarahFathers LoveFatimaFaustineFear No EvilFernFernandezFinleyFive ElementsFive Families Tsoi Li Hoi Fut HungFlowers Bloom and Flowers FallFollow Your DreamsForbidden LoveForever FamilyForever LoveForgive and ForgetFour Noble TruthsFree SpiritFudoshinGageGeminiGenerosityGenesisGenghis KhanGeorgieGeraldGianGigiGive Me StrengthGod Bless You

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.


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

34 people have searched for Water in Chinese or Japanese in the past year.
Water was last searched for by someone else on Jul 14th, 2022