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Well Disciplined in Chinese / Japanese...

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Well-Disciplined / Orderly

Special Military Term
yán zhěng
Well-Disciplined / Orderly Scroll

When reading an account of some battles in China, I came across this Chinese word. As it turns out, it's only used in military circles to describe neat, orderly, and well-disciplined troops. Perhaps this is actually closer to the meaning I was taught while in the U.S. Marines.

The first character literally means stern, serious, strict, or severe (it can also mean "air tight" or "water tight".
The second character means exact, in good order, whole, complete, and orderly.
Together, these two characters multiply each other into a word that expresses the highest military level of discipline.


See Also:  Self-Control | Will-Power

Well-Disciplined / Scrupulous Compliance

gen shu / gen syu
Well-Disciplined / Scrupulous Compliance Scroll

厳守 is a Japanese word for strict observance; adherence; scrupulous compliance; or being orderly (often in a military way).

Shaolin

Little Forest
shǎo lín
sho rin
Shaolin Scroll

The Shaolin monks of China have been practicing the art of Kung Fu for thousands of years. While there are many schools of Kung Fu in China, Shaolin are one of the more religiously devout and disciplined.

The title of Shaolin actually refers to a specific Buddhist monastery. It should be noted that the Shaolin were famous in China long before the Kung Fu TV show. Their fame in China is due to the monks' heroic and swift rescue an emperor during the Tang Dynasty. Most Chinese people are not keenly aware of the Kung Fu TV show, and have no idea who David Carradine is or anything about his character, Kwai Chang Caine.

Note: The literal meaning of these two characters is "little forest".

The fame of the Shaolin has spread all over Asia, as even though this is a Chinese title, the same characters are used in Japanese with the same meaning.


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Well-Disciplined
Orderly
嚴整
严整
yán zhěng
yan2 zheng3
yan zheng
yanzheng
yen cheng
yencheng
Well-Disciplined
Scrupulous Compliance
厳守gen shu / gen syu
genshu / gensyu
Shaolin少林sho rin / shorinshǎo lín / shao3 lin2 / shao lin / shaolin
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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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.

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