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Way of the Sword in Chinese / Japanese...

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Kendo / The Way of the Sword

jiàn dào
kendou
Kendo / The Way of the Sword Vertical Wall Scroll

Often associated with Kenjutsu, this word means "The way of the sword" in Japanese (and Korean with alternate form of the first character).
剱道 / 劍道 is also the term used for swordsmanship and even fencing in Japanese and Korean, depending on context.

Note: These same characters are also used separately in Chinese but this exact combination yields a common title in Japanese only (perhaps someone who is really into swords would use this in China).

Note: There is more than one way to write the "sword" character (shown above is the Japanese version - if you want the Korean version, please let me know when you place your order).


See Also:  Sword | Katana

jiàn
ken
Sword Vertical Wall Scroll

剱 is the modern Japanese way to write sword.

This Kanji character comes from original Chinese. This form would also be understood in Chinese (there are often several ways to write the same character) but I suggest this one only if your audience is Japanese (because they've settled on a slightly different form as the standard in China).

In Japanese, this character also means saber/sabre, blade, bayonet, stinger and clock hand (clock hands are the "swords" of the clock).


See Also:  Katana

Mark the boat to find the lost sword / Ignoring the changing circumstances of the world

kè zhōu qiú jiàn
kokushuukyuuken
Mark the boat to find the lost sword / Ignoring the changing circumstances of the world Vertical Wall Scroll

刻舟求劍 is an originally-Chinese proverb which serves as a warning to people that things are always in a state of change.

Thus, you must take that into account, and not depend on the old ways, or a way that may have worked in the past but is no longer valid.

This idiom/proverb comes from the following story:
A man was traveling in a ferry boat across a river. With him, he carried a valuable and treasured sword. Along the way, the man became overwhelmed and intoxicated by the beautiful view, and accidentally dropped his prized sword into the river. Thinking quickly, he pulled out a knife and marked on the rail of the boat where exactly he has lost his sword.

When the boat arrived on the other side of the river, the man jumped out of the boat and searched for his sword right under where he'd made the mark. Of course, the boat had moved a great distance since he made the mark, and thus, he could not find the sword.

While this man may seem foolhardy, we have to take a great lesson from this parable: Circumstances change, so one should use methods that can handle the change. In modern China, this is used in business to mean that one should not depend on old business models for a changing market.


This proverb dates back to the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC) of the territory now known as China. It has spread and is somewhat known in Japan and Korea.

Daodejing / Tao Te Ching - Chapter 9

chí ér yíng zhī bù rú qí yǐ chuǎi ér zhī bù kě cháng bǎo jīn yù mǎn táng mò zhī néng shǒu fù guì ér jiāo zì yí qí jiù gōng suì shēn tuì tiān zhī dào
Daodejing / Tao Te Ching  - Chapter 9 Vertical Wall Scroll

This text is the ninth chapter of the Daodejing / Tao Te Ching.

The text reads:
持而盈之、不如其已。揣而梲之、不可長保。 金玉滿堂、莫之能守。 富貴而驕、自遺其咎。 功遂身退、天之道。

This classical Chinese passage comes from the Mawangdui (馬王堆帛書) text.

Dr. Charle Muller translates it this way:

To hold until full is not as good as stopping.
An oversharpened sword cannot last long.
A room filled with gold and jewels cannot be protected.
Boasting of wealth and virtue brings your demise.
After finishing the work, withdraw.
This is the Way of Heaven.


Dr. Muller's translation of all 81 Daodejing chapters

Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu

jiàn shù
kenjutsu
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll

In Japanese, the modern definition, using simple terms is "A martial art involving swords" or "The art of the sword."

However, in Chinese, this is the word for fencing (as in the Olympic sport).

I will suppose that you want this for the Japanese definition which comes from skills and techniques developed in the 15th century. At that time, Kenjutsu (or swordsmanship) was a strictly military art taught to Samurai and Bushi (soldiers). The fact that swords are rarely used in military battles anymore, and with the pacification of Japan after WWII, Kenjutsu is strictly a ceremonial practice often studied as a form of martial art (more for the discipline aspect rather than practical purpose).

Language note: The Korean definition is close the Japanese version described above. However, it should be noted that this can mean "fencing" depending on context in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

術 術Character variation notes: There are slight variations possible with second character. Either way is correct and understood by both Japanese and Chinese folks.

Since there are about 5 common ways to write the sword character, if you are particular about which version you want, please note that in the "special instructions" when you place your order.

Romanization note: This term is often Romanized as Kenjitsu, however, following the rules of Japanese Romaji, it should be Kenjutsu.




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Kendo
The Way of the Sword
剱道 / 劍道
剣道
kendou / kendojiàn dào / jian4 dao4 / jian dao / jiandaochien tao / chientao
Sword
kenjiàn / jian4 / jianchien
Mark the boat to find the lost sword
Ignoring the changing circumstances of the world
刻舟求劍
刻舟求剑
kokushuukyuuken
kokushukyuken
kè zhōu qiú jiàn
ke4 zhou1 qiu2 jian4
ke zhou qiu jian
kezhouqiujian
k`o chou ch`iu chien
kochouchiuchien
ko chou chiu chien
Daodejing
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 9
持而盈之不如其已揣而梲之不可長保金玉滿堂莫之能守富貴而驕自遺其咎功遂身退天之道
持而盈之不如其已揣而梲之不可长保金玉满堂莫之能守富贵而骄自遗其咎功遂身退天之道
chí ér yíng zhī bù rú qí yǐ chuǎi ér zhī bù kě cháng bǎo jīn yù mǎn táng mò zhī néng shǒu fù guì ér jiāo zì yí qí jiù gōng suì shēn tuì tiān zhī dào
chi2 er2 ying2 zhi1 bu4 ru2 qi2 yi3 chuai3 er2 棁 zhi1 bu4 ke3 chang2 bao3 jin1 yu4 man3 tang2 mo4 zhi1 neng2 shou3 fu4 gui4 er2 jiao1 zi4 yi2 qi2 jiu4 gong1 sui4 shen1 tui4 tian1 zhi1 dao4
chi er ying zhi bu ru qi yi chuai er 棁 zhi bu ke chang bao jin yu man tang mo zhi neng shou fu gui er jiao zi yi qi jiu gong sui shen tui tian zhi dao
ch`ih erh ying chih pu ju ch`i i ch`uai erh chih pu k`o ch`ang pao chin yü man t`ang mo chih neng shou fu kuei erh chiao tzu i ch`i chiu kung sui shen t`ui t`ien chih tao
chih erh ying chih pu ju chi i chuai erh chih pu ko chang pao chin yü man tang mo chih neng shou fu kuei erh chiao tzu i chi chiu kung sui shen tui tien chih tao
Kenjutsu
Kenjitsu
剣術
剑术
kenjutsujiàn shù / jian4 shu4 / jian shu / jianshuchien shu / chienshu
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 way of the sword that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your way of the sword search...

Characters

If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Pronunciation
Romanization
Simple Dictionary Definition

剣道

see styles
 kendou / kendo / けんどう
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll
kendo; swordmanship; fencing; way of the sword; (surname) Kendou

殺法

see styles
 sappou / sappo / さっぽう way of murdering; killing method; way of using a sword

打把勢


打把势

see styles
dǎ bǎ shi / da3 ba3 shi5
ta pa shih
drill (in sword play); to thrash around; to demonstrate gymnastic skills; to solicit financial help (in an indirect way); to show off

巴陵三轉語


巴陵三转语

see styles
bā líng sān zhuǎn yǔ / ba1 ling2 san1 zhuan3 yu3
pa ling san chuan yü
 Haryō san tengo
The three cryptic sayings of Hàojiàn 顥鑑 styled Baling, name of his place in Yuèzhōu 嶽州. He was the successor of Yunmen 雲門. 'What is the way ? The seeing fall into wells. What is the feather-cutting sword (of Truth)? Coral branches (i. e. moonbeams) prop up the moon. What is the divine (or deva) throng ? A silver bowl full of snow. '; three cryptic sayings of Haojian

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Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Wall Scroll


And formats...

Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Portrait
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Horizontal Wall Scroll
Kenjutsu / Kenjitsu Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Way of the Sword in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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

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