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This means "life is good," "life is great," or "life is beautiful" in Japanese.
The first two characters mean "life" (as in your or a human lifespan).
The third character kind of means "is."
The last five characters are a long adjective that means wonderful, splendid, and/or magnificent. In the context of life it reads more like good or beautiful.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
These two characters create a word that means, "harmonious" or, "in perfect harmony." The deeper meaning or more natural translation would be something like, "beautiful life."
The first character means peace and harmony.
The second character means beautiful. But in this case, when combined with the first character, beautiful refers to being satisfied with what you have in your life. This can be having good relations, good feelings, comfort, and having enough (with no feeling of wanting).
Note: In Japanese, this is often used as the name "Wami." This title is probably more appropriate if your audience is Chinese.
Any woman with affection for Asian art and you will love a gift of this Chinese proverb calligraphy on a wall scroll. She will melt in your arms as you tell her the meaning of these characters.
Contained in this phrase is a reference to the most beautiful woman in Chinese history. Her name was Xi Shi, and she was known to have good looks that need not fine robes or make up. Her charms were so powerful that she brought down an entire kingdom (in a successful effort to bring honor and pride back to her people).
This is a great way to express that the woman in your life is your one love.
A husband and wife separated and reunited.
About 1500 years ago in China, there lived a beautiful princess named Le Chang. She and her husband Xu De Yan loved each other very much. But when the army of the Sui Dynasty was about to attack their kingdom, disposed of all of their worldly possessions and prepared to flee into exile.
They knew that in the chaos, they might lose track of each other, so the one possession they kept was a bronze mirror which is a symbol of unity for a husband and wife. They broke the mirror into two pieces, and each of them kept half of the mirror. They decided that if separated, they would try to meet in the fair during the 15th day of the first lunar month (which is the lantern festival). Unfortunately, the occupation was brutal, and the princess was forced to become the mistress of the new commissioner of the territory, Yang Su.
At the Lantern Festival the next year, the husband came to the fair to search for his wife. He carried with him, his half of the mirror. As he walked through the fair, he saw the other half of the mirror for sale at a junk market by a servant of the commissioner. The husband recognized his wife's half of the mirror immediately, and tears rolled down his face as he was told by the servant about the bitter and loveless life that the princess had endured.
As his tears dripped onto the mirror, the husband scratched a poem into his wife's half of the mirror:
You left me with the severed mirror,
The mirror has returned but absent are you,
As I gaze in the mirror I seek your face,
I see the moon but as for you, I see not a trace.
The servant brought the inscribed half of the mirror back to the princess. For many days, the princess could not stop crying when she found that her husband was alive and still loved her.
Commissioner Yang Su, becoming aware of this saga realized that he could never obtain the love of the princess. He sent for the husband and allowed them to reunite.
This proverb in Chinese is now used to describe a couple who has been torn apart for some reason (usually divorce) but have come back together (or remarried).
It seems to be more common these days in America for divorced couples to reconcile and get married to each other again. This would be a great gift if you know someone who is about to remarry their ex.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Life is Good|
Life is Beautiful
|人生は素晴らしい||jinsei wa subarashii |
jinsei wa subarashi
|Life is Good|
Life is Beautiful
|生活美好||shēng huó měi hǎo|
sheng1 huo2 mei3 hao3
sheng huo mei hao
Life in Perfect Harmony
|和美||wa mi / wami||hé měi / he2 mei3 / he mei / hemei||ho mei / homei|
|The Good Life|
|美好的生活||měi hǎo de shēng huó|
mei3 hao3 de sheng1 huo2
mei hao de sheng huo
|mei hao te sheng huo
|You are always a beauty in your lover’s eyes||情人眼里出西施||qíng rén yǎn lǐ chū xī shī|
qing2 ren2 yan3 li3 chu1 xi1 shi1
qing ren yan li chu xi shi
|ch`ing jen yen li ch`u hsi shih
ching jen yen li chu hsi shih
|Broken Mirror Rejoined||破鏡重圓|
|pò jìng chóng yuán|
po4 jing4 chong2 yuan2
po jing chong yuan
|p`o ching ch`ung yüan
po ching chung yüan
|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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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.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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