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1. Good Health
14. Choose Life
15. Gung Ho
安康 means just what it says. It's a word that expresses both the idea of being at peace and healthy at the same time.
Note: 安康 is a bona-fide word in Chinese and Korean, and the characters will at least make sense in Japanese.
康 is a single character that means good health or vigor in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
康 can also mean peaceful, at ease, or abundant in some contexts.
Please note that this is rarely seen alone in Japanese Kanji. In Japanese, it is used both for health-related compound words and to denote the kouhou through koushou eras of Japan.
In Korean, this can also be the family name "Kang" (caution: not the only family name romanized as Kang in Korean).
身體健康 is how to express "wellness" in Chinese. The meaning is not much different than the idea of "good health." In fact, the first two characters alone are often translated as "health." Some will also translate this title as "physical health."
If you want to fill your room with a feeling of wellness, this is the wall scroll for you.
身體健康 is also the ancient way to express wellness in Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja. The modern Japanese form is only different on the second Kanji but Koreans have completely changed their common writing system in the last 100 years.
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 "life strength" which is the essence of vitality.
Some will also translate this word as "good health."
強健 means robustness or sturdiness in regards to being healthy and fit.
This can also be used to say "persistently good health."
This is an old proverb that is used to wish someone great health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse, and the power and prestige of the tiger."
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have these qualities. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
龍馬精神 is an old proverb that is used to wish someone good health and success combined as a great compliment.
The meaning is "The vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse." These four characters are often accompanied by four more which mean, "...and the power and prestige of the tiger." Here we are just offering the first part which is considered the short version.
By giving a wall scroll like this to someone, you were either wishing or telling them that they have an amazing quality. There is also a suggestion of good health - at least anyone with the vigor of a dragon horse, would seem to also be in good health.
Note: In Japanese, this would be read as the spirit of 坂本龍馬 (Sakamoto_Ryōma), a beloved rebel who help abolish the old Japanese feudal system. This can be confusing, so I am declaring this proverb to be Chinese only.
安寧 is a nice word that means peaceful, tranquil, calm, composed, "free from worry," "public peace," tranquility, good health, well-being, or welfare in Chinese and Korean.
Note: The definition in Japanese is not so broad but still means peaceful or "public peace."
This literally means, "five good-fortunes arrive [at the] door." It is understood to mean, "may the five blessings descend upon this home."
These blessing are known in ancient China to be: longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and a natural death (living to old age). 五福臨門 is one of several auspicious sayings you might hear during Chinese New Years.
Taidō (The Way of the Body) is a style of Karate practiced in Japan and popular around the world.
Taidō or 躰道 traces a lineage from Genseiryū (玄制流) which came from Shuri-te (首里手), one of the original martial arts schools of ancient Okinawa.
The first character 躰 is a variant of the original Chinese character 體. In modern Japan, they tend to use 体, a more simple form of the character. 体 is also the modern Simplified Chinese form of 體.
The 躰 character is correct for this 躰道 martial arts title. But it can be confusing with so many variants out there, not to mention other homophonic Japanese words that also romanize as Taidō or Taidou.
To have a bit more fun with this 躰 character, it has a 身 radical on the left, which sets it apart. The meaning doubles up on the "body" as 身 (shin) is a character that also means body in Japanese and Chinese. On the right is 本 which often means root, stem, origin, source, or fundamental (but can also mean "book" in some contexts). This has deviated from the original 體 which was 骨 (bone) + 豊 (vessel). Hence, body was your "bone vessel" in ancient Asia.
The meaning of 躰, as well as 體 and 体, is usually translated as body. When related to the physical body, it can also refer to the torso, trunk, build, physique, or constitution of a person. As an extension of this, it can also refer to someone's health (good body = good health).
However, depending on context, it can encompass other meanings such as: form; style; system; to experience; aspect; corpus, corporeal; the substance, the essentials.
The second character, 道, is recognized and well-known as the "Way" and is the same "do" as in Karate-do or Aikido.
選擇生活 can mean to choose life instead of death (or suicide) or to choose to live life to the fullest.
I think of it as the key phrase used by Renton (Ewan McGregor) in the movie Trainspotting. While Chinese people will not think of Trainspotting when they see this phrase, for me, it will always be what comes near the end of this colorful rant:
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life.
工合 is one of those Asian words that is used more in English than it is in the original Chinese.
Gung Ho was originally used to speak of Carlson's Raiders, a group of "Gung Ho" U.S. Marines who went on an island-hopping campaign of death during WWII.
A movie called Gung Ho came out in the mid-1940s and was later re-released in the 1950s depicting the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, and brought this word to the mainstream.
It is still sometimes used today within the U.S. Marine Corps brotherhood to refer to a unit or group that works well together, or is otherwise efficient and motivated (has good moral).
In 1986, there was a movie called Gung Ho, about a Japanese company taking over an American automotive factory. They completely ignored the fact that this was a Chinese title.
It should be noted that this title actually means a condition, state, manner, or health of something in Japanese.
Language and pronunciation notes:
Like many Asian words absorbed into common use in English, this one is drastically mispronounced. The official Romanization is "gong he" but that doesn't tell you enough. The vowel sound on the first character is like the English word "own," now just add the g-sounds to the beginning and end. The second character is misleading, as you might think it is like the English word "he." In reality, the vowel sound is more like the "u" in "up."
It should also be noted, that the current generation in China no longer uses, or recognizes this as a common word or slogan.
Note: This can be pronounced and is a word in Japanese, though seldom used. Japanese will use a variation of "具合" instead. But still, not common.
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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|
|Good Health||健康||kenkou / kenko||jiàn kāng|
|Peace and Good Health||安康||ān kāng / an1 kang1 / an kang / ankang||an k`ang / ankang / an kang|
|康||kou / ko||kāng / kang1 / kang||k`ang / kang|
|Restoration to Good Health||平復|
|byou fuku / byoufuku / byo fuku / byofuku||píng fù / ping2 fu4 / ping fu / pingfu||p`ing fu / pingfu / ping fu|
|shin tai ken kou|
shin tai ken ko
|shēn tǐ jiàn kāng|
shen1 ti3 jian4 kang1
shen ti jian kang
|shen t`i chien k`ang
shen ti chien kang
|Vitality||生命力||seimeiryoku||shēng mìng lì|
sheng1 ming4 li4
sheng ming li
Inner Well-Being and Health
|內健||nèi jiàn / nei4 jian4 / nei jian / neijian||nei chien / neichien|
|kyouken / kyoken||qiáng jiàn|
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse and Power of a Tiger.||龍馬精神虎虎生威|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén hǔ hǔ shēng wēi|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2 hu3 hu3 sheng1 wei1
long ma jing shen hu hu sheng wei
|lung ma ching shen hu hu sheng wei|
|The Spirit of the Dragon Horse||龍馬精神|
|lóng mǎ jīng shén|
long2 ma3 jing1 shen2
long ma jing shen
|lung ma ching shen
Free From Worry
|an nei / annei||ān níng / an1 ning2 / an ning / anning|
|Blessings on this Home||五福臨門|
|wǔ fú lín mén|
wu3 fu2 lin2 men2
wu fu lin men
|Taidō||躰道||tai dou / taidou / tai do / taido|
|xuǎn zé shēng huó|
xuan3 ze2 sheng1 huo2
xuan ze sheng huo
|hsüan tse sheng huo
|Gung Ho||工合||guai||gōng hé / gong1 he2 / gong he / gonghe||kung ho / kungho|
|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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