Choose the best strength-related title for you from the list below.
Click on the "Customize & Buy" button for the title that suites you best to start your project.
After that, you can customize your strength calligraphy on a special handmade wall scroll.
23. Strong / Robust
24. Strong / Healthy
26. Strong / Healthy
28. Strong Woman
32. Healthy Living
力 is the simplest form of “power” or “strength.”
In Japanese, it is pronounced “chikara” when used alone, and “ryoku” when used in a sentence (there are also a few other possible pronunciations of this Kanji in Japanese).
In some contexts, this can mean ability, force, physical strength, capability, and influence.
表壯不如里壯 literally translates as: [Better to be] strong inside than [to be] strong outside.
The ancient original meaning was:
[An] able [husband] outside [working to support a family is] not as good as [an] able [wife] inside [working and saving to take care of the family].
The current meaning is:
Inner strength is more important than outward appearance.
内面の強さは外見の良さに勝る is a Japanese proverb that literally translates as “inner/internal strength/power [versus] outward-appearance [the] merit/virtue/good quality [does] excel/surpass/exceed/outweigh.”
More naturally in English, this would be “Inner Strength Outweighs Outward Appearance.”
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
內在力量 is the slightly-verbose way to say inner strength.
The first two characters mean “intrinsic” or “inner.” The second two characters mean “power,” “force” or “strength” (especially physical strength). 內在力量 is more a short phrase rather than just a word in Chinese and Korean. This can sort of be understood in Japanese but it's not normal/proper Japanese.
內力 is the shorter version of inner strength (can also be translated as “internal force”). The first character holds the meaning of “inner” or “internal.” The second character means “power,” “force,” or “strength.”
內力 is a Kung Fu way of talking about an inner power or strength from within. This is a way to express “inner chi.” This is something that you might hear in a real Chinese Kung Fu movie.
While understood in Chinese and Japanese, this can have a secondary meaning of “inner stress” in Japanese.
自強 is the kind of inner strength that applies to a person who has will-power and can inspire themselves to do great things.
自強 can also be the creed of a person that always pursues self-improvement.
Other translations: self-strengthening, striving for improvement, self-improvement, striving to become stronger, and self-renewal.
自強不息 is a proverb or idiom that suggests that the pursuit of self-improvement is eternal. It can also be a suggestion to strive unremittingly in life.
The first two characters mean inner strength with the idea of self-improvement. The last two characters mean “never rest” or “striving without giving up.”
Some will translate these four characters as “Exert and strive hard without any let-up.”
体力 means “physical strength” or “physical power.”
The first character was first simplified in Japan. Later, that simplified version became the standard in mainland China. Just in case you want this version, it is offered here. I suggest it if your audience is Japanese. Most Chinese know the older traditional version, which looks like 體力.
体力 can also be defined: stamina; endurance; physical strength; resilience; resistance to disease; clout; stability.
力愛不二 is a proverb that literally means:
“Strength [and] Love [are] Not Two [separate ideas/concepts/things].”
You'll find this proverb translated from Japanese to English as:
Love and strength are not separate.
Power and love are indivisible.
Strength and love in harmony.
Strength and love stand together.
Old Japanese grammar is quite different than English, and so this proverb says a lot within the brevity of just 4 characters. If you just read these characters directly as “Strength Love Not Two,” you'd probably miss the real meaning.
According to the Swedish Shorinji Kempo Federation, this is the second characteristic of Shorinji Kempo.
This post really explains the concept best in my opinion: Bushido by MS: Riki Ai Fu Ni, which states: "Riki Ai Funi" is the philosophy that power (Riki) and love (Ai) are indivisible. More concretely, a person, who is powerful but does not have love, cannot control and misuse his/her power; on the other hand, a person, who has loved ones but is not powerful enough, cannot protect himself/herself nor loved ones.
精神力量 is a title that speaks of one's soul or spirit and the capacity or strength that soul possesses.
The first two characters mean mind, heart, spirit, and/or soul.
The last two characters mean strength, capacity, or ability.
Note: Separately, these are two words in Japanese and can be pronounced, but this does not make a natural title in Japanese (best if your audience is Chinese).
力量 is a general strength term.
It can refer to mental or physical strength (depending on context). 力量 can also be used to describe strength in terms of capability, capacity, ability, and even tact. Some may translate this as power or force.
氣力 can mean any of the words in the title above, and in some contexts, can also mean effort, will-power, or talent.
This refers mostly to physical strength (as opposed to mental or spiritual).
In modern Japan, they use a simplified first character for this word. If you want to order this title with that special Japanese version, click on the character to the right instead of the button above.
強固 means firmness, stability, security, and strength in Japanese.
It's not used commonly in China, but it means “powerful,” “firm,” “solid,” “strong,” or “better than others” in Chinese. There is a slight variation in the top of the first character between Chinese and Japanese. Because this is more of a Japanese word, we are showing the Japanese form here.
強固 is also a Korean word, but Korean Hanja uses the Chinese form of the first character (one tiny stroke is a little different), so just let me know if your audience is Korean when you place your order, and we'll have it written in the Chinese/Korean version.
思い切り can be translated as “with all one's strength,” “with all one's heart,” “to the limits of your heart,” or “to the end of your heart/emotions.”
The character breakdown:
思い (omoi) thought; mind; heart; feelings; emotion; sentiment; love; affection; desire; wish; hope; expectation; imagination; experience
切り (kiri) bounds; limits.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
強大 can mean mighty, powerful, large, formidable, or strong.
This term is often used to describe soldiers/troops/warriors and whole armies.
強壯 is an adjective that means powerful or strong.
It can also be translated as able-bodied, robust, or sturdy.
This version of strength also suggests muscularity.
Note that the second character was simplified in Japan after WWII (also simplified in mainland China but not for calligraphy). If you want the modern Japanese/simplified version, please click on the Kanji shown to the right.
強 is a character that means strong, strength, force, powerful, better, stubborn, and stiff (yes, all of this in one character).
This “strong” has less to do with physical strength and more to do with having a winning attitude, or just having the ability to win at something.
Note that most of the time, this character is pronounced “qiang” but when used with the meaning of stubborn, unyielding, or stiff, it is pronounced “jiang” in Chinese.
Also, sometimes “qiang” is used in modern Chinese to describe people that do crazy things (For example: Bicycling from Beijing to Tibet alone). I sometimes can be found outside my Beijing apartment wearing nothing but shorts and a tee-shirt while eating ice cream during a snow storm, just to hear my neighbors call me “qiang.” Maybe they mean “strong” but perhaps they are using the new meaning of “crazy strong.”
強 is also a Korean Hanja with the same meaning but is mostly used in compound Korean words.
強 is used in Japanese (though normally in compound words). In Japanese, it has the same meaning but in some contexts can mean “a little more than...” or “a little over [some amount].” Most Japanese would read this as tough, strength, stiff, hard, inflexible, obstinate, or stubborn.
This “strong” character means “to strengthen” or robust. This brings images of a muscle-bound hulk of a weight lifter or bodybuilder to an Asian person who sees this character.
Note that in Korean and Japanese, this character is normally part of compound words, and is not seen alone too often.
Note that the this character was simplified in Japan after WWII (also simplified in mainland China but not for calligraphy). If you want the modern Japanese/simplified version, please click on the Kanji shown to the right.
This “strong” character is the more “healthy” version of strong. 健 is the “strong” that is appropriate for an athlete.
Beyond “healthy,” it can also mean strength, persistence, vigorous, or invigorated/invigoration.
We don't really have a word like 健美 in English, but these two characters create a word that means “strong and beautiful.” It could also be translated as “healthy and beautiful.”
Note: 健美 is a word in Chinese and Korean, but it's also the family name Takemi in Japanese. The characters hold the same meaning in Japanese; however, it's like having the English name Stillwell when few people would perceive the meanings of still and well.
健やか is a verbose way to say strong and healthy in Japanese. 健やか is the “strong” that is appropriate for an athlete.
Beyond “healthy,” it can also mean strength, persistence, vigorous, or invigoration.
Japanese also use the first Kanji to mean the same thing. This version adds two hiragana which serve to emphasize or amplify the word and clarify the meaning.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
意志堅強 can mean either “strong-hearted,” “strong-willed” or “determination.”
The first two characters can be translated as “will,” “willpower,” “determination,” “volition,” “intention,” or “intent.” But, it should be noted that this first part possesses the element of “heart” in the lower portion of both characters (they also partially carry the meaning “with the whole heart”).
The last two characters mean “strong” or “staunch.”
Chinese word order and grammar are a bit different than English, so in this case, they are in reverse order of English but have the correct meaning in a natural form.
女強人 is the best way to say “strong woman” or “strong and independent woman” in Chinese.
Grammar in China is a bit different, so these three characters literally read as “female strength person” or “woman strong person.” This might sound funny in English, but this is a natural-sounding title in Chinese.
Hardship Develops Strong Character
身土不二 (Shindofuni) is originally a Buddhist concept or proverb referring to the inseparability of body-mind and geographical circumstances.
This reads, “Body [and] earth [are] not two.”
Other translations or matching ideas include:
Body and land are one.
Body and earth can not be separated.
Body earth sensory curation.
You are what you eat.
Indivisibility of the body and the land (because the body is made from food and food is made from the land).
Going further, this speaks of our human bodies and the land from which we get our food being closely connected. This phrase is often used when talking about natural and organic vegetables coming directly from the farm to provide the healthiest foods in Japan.
Character notes: 身(shin) in this context does not just mean your physical body but a concept including both body and mind.
土 (do) refers to the soil, earth, clay, land, or in some cases, locality. It's not the proper name of Earth, the planet. However, it can refer to the land or realm we live in.
Japanese note: This has been used in Japan, on and off, since 1907 as a slogan for a governmental healthy eating campaign (usually pronounced as shindofuji instead of the original shindofuni in this context). It may have been hijacked from Buddhism for this propaganda purpose, but at least this is “healthy propaganda.”
Korean note: The phrase 身土不二 was in use by 1610 A.D. in Korea, where it can be found in an early medical journal.
In modern South Korea, it's written in Hangul as 신토불이. Korea used Chinese characters (same source as Japanese Kanji) as their only written standard form of the language until about a hundred years ago. Therefore, many Koreans will recognize this as a native phrase and concept.
See Also: Strength and Love in Unity
堅忍 means persistent, steadfast, fortitude, and/or perseverance.
The first character means strong, solid, firm, unyielding, or resolute.
The second character means to beat, endure, or tolerate.
Together they speak of the strength from within yourself. Some may also translate this as long-suffering in a more Biblical sense.
堅忍 is a common term in Chinese and Korean Hanja but a little less commonly used in modern Japanese Kanji. For that reason, this selection is best if your audience is Chinese or Korean.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the second Kanji a little differently. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect the form where the little horizontal stroke crosses the vertical stroke. See differences in the images to the right. Technically, they are both the same character, and will be read the same in either language.
If you are into healthy living, 健康生活 might be an excellent selection for a wall scroll to hang in your home.
The first two characters speak of health, vitality, vigor, and being of sound body. The second two characters mean living or life (daily existence).
不屈 is the short form of a longer Chinese word and also a word used in Korean and Japanese to express the idea of being indomitable. It literally means “will not bend,” “will not crouch,” “will not yield,” “will not flinch,” or “will not submit.”
Note: Some will translate this as “indomitable spirit”; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of “spirit” in this word.
不屈不撓 means “Indomitable” or “Unyielding.”
This is a long word by Chinese standards. At least, it is often translated as a single word into English. It's actually a proverb in Chinese.
If you want to break it down, you can see that the first and third characters are the same. Both mean “not” (they work as a suffix to make a negative or opposite meaning to whatever character follows).
The second character means “bendable.”
The last means “scratched” or “bothered.”
So this really means “Won't be bent, can't be bothered.” I have also seen it written as “Will not crouch, will not submit.” This comes from the fact that the second character can mean “to crouch” and the last can mean “to submit” (as in “to give in” such as “submitting to the rule of someone else”). This may explain better why these four characters mean “indomitable.”
Some will translate this as “indomitable spirit”; however, technically, there is no character to suggest the idea of “spirit” in this word.
The first two characters can be stand-alone words in Chinese.
In Japanese, this is considered two words (with very similar meanings).
The same characters are used in Korean, but the 2nd and 4th characters are swapped to create a word pronounced “불요불굴” in Korean.
Just let me know if you want the Korean version, which will also make sense in Japanese, and though not as natural, will also make sense in Chinese as well.
毅 is the simplest way to express perseverance in Chinese and Korean Hanja.
This single-character version leaves a bit of mystery about what kind of perseverance you might want to convey.
In Korean, this is usually associated with “strength of character.”
In Japanese, this character can be pronounced in a dozen different ways (so we have left out the Japanese pronunciation guide that normally appears above). In Japanese, this Kanji would usually be translated as “strong” (perhaps strong-willed).
毅力 is a way to express “perseverance” with the idea of “willpower” in Chinese and old Korean Hanja. It can also mean “strong-willed.”
The first character means “strong” and “persistent,” while the second means “strength” and “power.”
堅忍不抜 means determined, steadfast, unswerving, or unshakable in Japanese.
This is the Japanese version of an old Chinese 4-character perseverance proverb.
This would be understood in Chinese, but it's not commonly written this way in Chinese.
Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese calligraphers sometimes write the second Kanji in the form shown to the right. Yes,
just one stroke that is slightly different in location, crossing another stroke in this alternate Japanese Kanji form. If you have a preference, let us know when you order.
Due to some odd computer coding conventions, these two character forms were combined/merged into the same code point - thus, you will not see Kanji images of more Japanese form as you select options for your scroll.
Persistence to overcome all challenges
百折不撓 is a Chinese proverb that means “Be undaunted in the face of repeated setbacks.”
More directly translated, it reads, “[Overcome] a hundred setbacks, without flinching.” 百折不撓 is of Chinese origin but is commonly used in Japanese and somewhat in Korean (same characters, different pronunciation).
This proverb comes from a long, and occasionally tragic story of a man that lived sometime around 25-220 AD. His name was Qiao Xuan, and he never stooped to flattery but remained an upright person at all times. He fought to expose the corruption of higher-level government officials at great risk to himself.
Then when he was at a higher level in the Imperial Court, bandits were regularly capturing hostages and demanding ransoms. But when his own son was captured, he was so focused on his duty to the Emperor and the common good that he sent a platoon of soldiers to raid the bandits' hideout, and stop them once and for all even at the risk of his own son's life. While all of the bandits were arrested in the raid, they killed Qiao Xuan's son at first sight of the raiding soldiers.
Near the end of his career, a new Emperor came to power, and Qiao Xuan reported to him that one of his ministers was bullying the people and extorting money from them. The new Emperor refused to listen to Qiao Xuan and even promoted the corrupt Minister. Qiao Xuan was so disgusted that in protest, he resigned from his post as minister (something almost never done) and left for his home village.
His tombstone reads “Bai Zhe Bu Nao” which is now a proverb used in Chinese culture to describe a person of strong will who puts up stubborn resistance against great odds.
My Chinese-English dictionary defines these 4 characters as “keep on fighting despite all setbacks,” “be undaunted by repeated setbacks,” and “be indomitable.”
Our translator says it can mean “never give up” in modern Chinese.
Although the first two characters are translated correctly as “repeated setbacks,” the literal meaning is “100 setbacks” or “a rope that breaks 100 times.” The last two characters can mean “do not yield” or “do not give up.”
Most Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people will not take this absolutely literal meaning but will instead understand it as the title suggests above. If you want a single big word definition, it would be indefatigability, indomitableness, persistence, or unyielding.
生命力 can mean “vitality” or “libido.”
The first two characters mean “life” or “life force.” The last character is a common word that means “strength.” So together, you get the meaning of “life strength” which is the essence of vitality.
Some will also translate this word as “good health.”
意志 is a Chinese, Korean, and Japanese word that means “determination to achieve.” It can also be translated as: will; willpower; determination; volition; intention; or intent.
In Japanese, this can also be the given name, Ishi.
意志力 is a form of willpower or self-control and is about having the determination or tenacity to keep going.
In Japanese, this is the power of will, the strength of will, volition, intention, intent, or determination.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|力||chikara / ryoku||lì / li4 / li|
Inner Well-Being and Health
|內健||nèi jiàn / nei4 jian4 / nei jian / neijian||nei chien / neichien|
|Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance||表壯不如里壯|
|biǎo zhuàng bù rú lǐ zhuàng|
biao3 zhuang4 bu4 ru2 li3 zhuang4
biao zhuang bu ru li zhuang
|piao chuang pu ju li chuang
|Inner Strength is Better than Outward Appearance||内面の強さは外見の良さに勝る||naimen no tsuyosa ha gaiken no yosa ni masaru|
|nèi zài lì liàng|
nei4 zai4 li4 liang4
nei zai li liang
|nei tsai li liang
|nai ryoku / nairyoku||nèi lì / nei4 li4 / nei li / neili|
|zì qiáng / zi4 qiang2 / zi qiang / ziqiang||tzu ch`iang / tzuchiang / tzu chiang|
|Always Striving for Inner Strength||自強不息|
|zì qiáng bú xī|
zi4 qiang2 bu2 xi1
zi qiang bu xi
|tzu ch`iang pu hsi
tzu chiang pu hsi
|tai ryoku / tairyoku||tǐ lì / ti3 li4 / ti li / tili||t`i li / tili / ti li|
|tairyoku||tǐ lì / ti3 li4 / ti li / tili||t`i li / tili / ti li|
|Courage and Strength||勇力||yuu ri / yuuri / yu ri||yǒng lì / yong3 li4 / yong li / yongli||yung li / yungli|
Strength of Character
|gouki / goki||gāng yì / gang1 yi4 / gang yi / gangyi||kang i / kangi|
|Strength and Love in Unity||力愛不二|
|riki ai fu ni |
Strength of Spirit
|jīng shén lì liàng|
jing1 shen2 li4 liang4
jing shen li liang
|ching shen li liang
|力量||riki ryou / rikiryou / riki ryo||lì liàng / li4 liang4 / li liang / liliang|
|Strength and Love||力與愛|
|lì yǔ ài|
li4 yu3 ai4
li yu ai
|li yü ai
|Strength and Courage||力量和勇氣|
|lì liàng hé yǒng qì|
li4 liang4 he2 yong3 qi4
li liang he yong qi
|li liang ho yung ch`i
li liang ho yung chi
|Strength and Courage||力と勇氣|
|riki to yu ki|
|kyou ryoku / kyouryoku / kyo ryoku||qiáng lì / qiang2 li4 / qiang li / qiangli||ch`iang li / chiangli / chiang li|
气力 / 気力
|kiryoku||qì lì / qi4 li4 / qi li / qili||ch`i li / chili / chi li|
|Strength: Strong and Solid||強固|
|kyouko / kyoko||qiáng gù / qiang2 gu4 / qiang gu / qianggu||ch`iang ku / chiangku / chiang ku|
|With all the strength of your heart||思い切り||omoi kiri / omoikiri|
|Conquering Yourself is a Sign of Strength||自勝者強也||zì shèng zhě qiáng yě|
zi4 sheng4 zhe3 qiang2 ye3
zi sheng zhe qiang ye
|tzu sheng che ch`iang yeh
tzu sheng che chiang yeh
|kyoudai / kyodai||qiáng dà / qiang2 da4 / qiang da / qiangda||ch`iang ta / chiangta / chiang ta|
|kyousou / kyoso||qiáng zhuàng|
|kyou / kyo||qiáng / qiang2 / qiang||ch`iang / chiang|
|sou / so||zhuàng / zhuang4 / zhuang||chuang|
|健||ken||jiàn / jian4 / jian||chien|
|Strong and Beautiful||健美||takemi||jiàn měi / jian4 mei3 / jian mei / jianmei||chien mei / chienmei|
|yì zhì jiān qiáng|
yi4 zhi4 jian1 qiang2
yi zhi jian qiang
|i chih chien ch`iang
i chih chien chiang
|nǚ qiáng rén|
nv3 qiang2 ren2
nv qiang ren
|nü ch`iang jen
nü chiang jen
|Tempering Makes Strong Steel||百煉才成鋼 / 百煉纔成鋼|
|bǎi liàn cái chéng gāng|
bai3 lian4 cai2 cheng2 gang1
bai lian cai cheng gang
|pai lien ts`ai ch`eng kang
pai lien tsai cheng kang
|Body and Earth in Unity||身土不二||shindofuni / shindofuji|
|ken nin / kennin||jiǎn rěn / jian3 ren3 / jian ren / jianren||chien jen / chienjen|
|Healthy Living||健康生活||kenkou seikatsu|
|jiàn kāng shēng huó|
jian4 kang1 sheng1 huo2
jian kang sheng huo
|chien k`ang sheng huo
chien kang sheng huo
|不屈||fukutsu||bù qū / bu4 qu1 / bu qu / buqu||pu ch`ü / puchü / pu chü|
|bù qū bù náo|
bu4 qu1 bu4 nao2
bu qu bu nao
|pu ch`ü pu nao
pu chü pu nao
|Perseverance||毅||see note / seenote / se note||yì / yi4 / yi||i|
|毅力||yì lì / yi4 li4 / yi li / yili||i li / ili|
|堅忍不抜 / 堅忍不拔|
|kenninfubatsu||jiān rěn bù bá|
jian1 ren3 bu4 ba2
jian ren bu ba
|chien jen pu pa
|Undaunted After Repeated Setbacks||百折不撓|
|hyaku setsu su tou|
hyaku setsu su to
|bǎi zhé bù náo|
bai3 zhe2 bu4 nao2
bai zhe bu nao
|pai che pu nao
|Vitality||生命力||seimeiryoku||shēng mìng lì|
sheng1 ming4 li4
sheng ming li
|Determination to Achieve|
|意志||ishi||yì zhì / yi4 zhi4 / yi zhi / yizhi||i chih / ichih|
|意志力||ishi ryoku / ishiryoku||yì zhì lì|
yi4 zhi4 li4
yi zhi li
|i chih li
|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.
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.
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.
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.