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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.
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.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your well disciplined search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| shì jiā móu ní / shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
shih chia mou ni
Siddhartha Gautama (563-485 BC), the historical Buddha and founder of Buddhism; Sakyamuni Buddha (Sanskrit: sage of the Sakya)
釋迦文 (釋迦文尼); 釋伽文 Śākyamuni, the saint of the Śākya tribe. muni is saint, holy man, sage, ascetic monk; it is: intp. as 仁 benevolent, charitable, kind, also as 寂默 one who dwells in seclusion. After '500 or 550' previous incarnations, Śākyamuni finally attained to the state of Bodhisattva, was born in the Tuṣita heaven, and descended as a white elephant, through her right side, into the womb of the immaculate Māyā, the purest woman on earth; this was on the 8th day of the 4th month; next year on the 8th day of the 2nd month he was born from her right side painlessly as she stood under a tree in the Lumbinī garden. For the subsequent miraculous events v. Eitel. also the 神通遊戲經 (Lalitavistara), the 釋迦如來成道記, etc. Simpler statements say that he was born the son of Śuddhodana, of the kṣatriya caste, ruler of Kapilavastu, and Māyā his wife; that Māyā died seven days later, leaving him to be brought up by her sister Prājapati; that in due course he was married to Yaśodharā who bore him a son, Rāhula; that in search of truth he left home, became an ascetic, severely disciplined himself, and finally at 35 years of age, under a tree, realized that the way of release from the chain of rebirth and death lay not in asceticism but in moral purity; this he explained first in his four dogmas, v. 四諦 and eightfold noble way 八正道, later amplified and developed in many sermons. He founded his community on the basis of poverty, chastity, and insight or meditation, ad it became known as Buddhism, as he became known as Buddha, the enlightened. His death was probably in or near 487 B.C., a few years before that of Confucius in 479. The sacerdotal name of his family is Gautama, said to be the original name of the whole clan, Śākya being that of his branch, v. 瞿, 喬.; his personal name was Siddhārtha, or Sarvārthasiddha, v. 悉.
| qìng rán / qing4 ran2
ch`ing jan / ching jan
| mù gǔ chén zhōng / mu4 gu3 chen2 zhong1
mu ku ch`en chung / mu ku chen chung
lit. evening drum, morning bell (idiom); fig. Buddhist monastic practice; the passage of time in a disciplined existence
evening drums and morning bells
| qiū háo wú fàn / qiu1 hao2 wu2 fan4
ch`iu hao wu fan / chiu hao wu fan
(idiom) (of soldiers) highly disciplined, not committing the slightest offence against civilians
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|厳守||gen shu / gen syu|
genshu / gensyu
|Shaolin||少林||sho rin / shorin||shǎo 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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The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
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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.
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