Buddha in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Buddhism / Buddha

  2. Buddha / Buddhism

  3. Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha

  4. The Aura of Buddha

  5. Amitabha Buddha

  6. Mantra to Buddha / Nembutsu

  7. Shakyamuni / The Buddha

  8. Namo Amitabha Buddha

  9. Shakyamuni / The Buddha

10. The Eye of the Buddha

11. Happy Buddha

12. Buddha Seeking

13. Buddha Dharma Sangha

14. Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

15. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

16. True Religion / Buddha Truth

17. Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

18. Buddhism

19. Dharma / Damo / Daruma

20. Bodhisattva

21. Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

22. Walk in the Way

23. Namu Amida Butsu

24. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism


Buddhism / Buddha

hotoke
Buddhism / Buddha Scroll

佛 is the essence of the Buddha or Buddhism.

Depending on context, this word and character can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

It is interesting to note that this word is separate from all others in the Chinese language. The sound of "fo" has only this meaning. 佛 is in contrast to many sounds in the Chinese language which can have one of four tones, and more than 20 possible characters and meanings. This language anomaly shows just how significant Buddhism has affected China since the ancient times.

More about Buddhism

佛 is also used with the same meaning in Korean Hanja.

It's used in the very religious context of Buddhism in Japan. It should be noted that there are two forms of this Kanji in use in Japan - this is the more formal/ancient version but it's rarely seen outside of religious artwork, and may not be recognized by all Japanese people.

It also acts as a suffix or first syllable for many Buddhist-related words in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


See our Buddhism & Zen page


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Enlightenment

Buddha / Buddhism

Hotoke

hotoke / butsu
Buddha / Buddhism Scroll

仏 is the single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.

This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).

仏 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.

Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha

fó xīn
busshin
Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha Scroll

佛心 means the mind of Buddha or the spiritually enlightened heart.

The Buddha Heart is one that is detached from good and evil and other such constructs. The Buddha Heart has mercy, compassion, and loving-kindness for all sentient life, the good, the wicked, and all in between.

The heart and mind (心) are the same concept in the ancient Orient, so you can use heart and mind interchangeably in this context.

The Aura of Buddha

fó guāng
bukkou
The Aura of Buddha Scroll

佛光 means Buddha's teachings, or Buddha's Light.

This often refers to the aura around the head of Buddha.

Alternate meanings include: Spiritual Enlightenment (from Buddha), Buddha's Halo, or Buddha's Glory.

Amitabha Buddha

ē mí tuó fó
amida butsu
Amitabha Buddha Scroll

This title can mean the Buddha of the Western paradise.

But it's more a chant that means, "May the lord Buddha preserve us!" or "Merciful Buddha!".

阿彌陀佛 is also a translation to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for, "Amitâbha Buddha".

Asian Buddhists will often greet and say goodbye to each other with this phrase/chant/title.

Mantra to Buddha / Nembutsu

niàn fó
nenbutsu
Mantra to Buddha / Nembutsu Scroll

念佛 is used primarily in Japanese where it is romanized as nenbutsu.

The meaning is to pray to Buddha, to chant the name of Buddha, or repeat the name of Buddha. This can be an audible or inaudibe chant.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

shì jiā móu ní
sha ka mu ni
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Scroll

釋迦牟尼 is a transliteration of "Shakyamuni" or "Sakyamuni" in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

The perceived meaning of the name is roughly translated as, "Sage of the Sakyas".
This same Buddha is also known as "Siddhartha Gautama", "Gotama Buddha", "Tathagata", or simply, "The Supreme Buddha".

釋迦牟尼 is the legendary man and prince who eventually established the Buddhist religion.

Note: Occasionally Romanized as "Siddhattha Gotama".

This combination of characters is sometimes seen and used in South Korea and Japan as well (with the same meaning).


Note: 釋迦牟尼 came from the Sanskrit शाक्यमुनि and can also be romanized with diuretics as Śākyamuni.

Namo Amitabha Buddha

nā mó ē mí tuó fó
namu amida butsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha Scroll

This is how to express "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha" (especially for the Pure Land Buddhist Sect).

Some will translate as, "Homage to Amitâbha Buddha" or "I seek refuge in the Amitâbha Buddha".

This is valid in Chinese characters Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes modern Japanese use a different version of the 4th and last Kanji but the version shown here is the most universal.

This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

shì jiā
sha ka
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Scroll

釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.

It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.
This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.

This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.

The Eye of the Buddha

wǔ yǎn
butsugen
The Eye of the Buddha Scroll

The eye of Buddha, the enlightened one who sees all and is omniscient.


仏In modern Japan, they also write the first Kanji as shown to the right. Both versions are correct but if you want the modern Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.

Happy Buddha

Buddha of Joyful Light

huān xǐ guāng fó
kan gi kou butsu
Happy Buddha Scroll

This title is Buddha of Joyful Light.

歡喜光佛 is Amitābha from Sanskrit but pronounced very different in Chinese and Japanese.

Buddha Seeking

qín qiú
gongu
Buddha Seeking Scroll

勤求 is a complex word that means inquiring in the Buddha way.

To put it another way, it is seeking something in the right way, at the right time, and diligently seeking only truth or the good.

Buddha Dharma Sangha

fó fǎ sēng
buppō sō
Buddha  Dharma  Sangha Scroll

佛法僧 is the Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha.

These three characters are the "Triple Gem" of Buddhism or the Buddhist Trinity.

Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

ken shou jou butsu
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll

見性成仏 or Kenshō Jōbutsu is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

Kenshō Jōbutsu is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成仏 is probably better translated as "Seeing one’s nature and becoming a Buddha".


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
namu shakamuni butsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha Scroll

南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.

Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.

The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in", or "homage to".
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in", while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.

True Religion / Buddha Truth

The way of the truth

shí dào
jitsu dou
True Religion / Buddha Truth Scroll

This Buddhist title means, "The true way", "The true religion", "The way of the truth", or "The absolute Buddha-truth".

Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

jiàn xìng chéng fó
ken shou jou butsu
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha Scroll

見性成佛 is a universal phrase that suggests that one may see one's own nature and accomplish Buddhahood.

見性 suggests penetrating deep inside oneself to finally see one's "Original Mind".

成佛 refers to a sentient being who dispenses with illusions and delusions through ascetic practice, is enlightened to truth, and becomes a Buddha.

見性成佛 is used by Mahayana, Chan, and Zen Buddhists in China, Korea, and Japan.


You will also see this with the last character written as 仏 in Japanese. In the religious context, 佛 is commonly used to mean Buddha. If you want the other version, see Kenshō Jōbutsu 見性成仏

Buddhism

(2 Kanji)

bukkyou
Buddhism Scroll

仏教 can mean Buddha or Buddhism in Japanese.

Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.

仏 is also a rare form of Buddha Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.

Buddhism

(2 characters)

fó jiào
Buddhism Scroll

佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism.

It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings". 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.

Dharma / Damo / Daruma

dá mó
daru ma
Dharma / Damo / Daruma Scroll

達摩 is the Chinese and Japanese title for Dharma (a short name for Bodhidharma).

He's known in Chinese as Damo, and in Japanese as Daruma.


Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as 磨 versus 摩. If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.

pú sà
bosatsu
Bodhisattva Scroll

菩薩 is the title of a deity in Buddhism that exists to help you reach enlightenment.

In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is a being who is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally means enlightenment truth which is bodhi sattva in Sanskrit.

This term is sometimes used to refer to a kindhearted person, one who will sacrifice himself/herself for others, and lacks ego or desire but is instead devoted to the good and well-being of others.


See Also:  Namo Amitabha

Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

pú tí
bodai
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment Scroll

The Bodhi or 菩提 is the moment of completion in Buddhism.

It is when all things become known, and you have completed your journey to enlightenment.

The reference is to the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment" but if you want the full version with the character for tree on the end, please see our other entry.


See Also:  Buddhism | Nirvana | Enlightenment

Walk in the Way

The Way of Buddha Truth

xíng dào
yukimichi
Walk in the Way Scroll

In Taoist and Buddhist context, this means to "Walk in the Way". In Buddhism, that further means to follow the Buddha truth. In some Buddhist sects, this can mean to make a procession around a statue of the Buddha (always with the right shoulder towards the Buddha).

Outside of that context, this can mean route (when going somewhere), the way to get somewhere, etc.

In Japanese, this can be the surname or given name Yukimichi.

Namu Amida Butsu

namu amida butsu
Namu Amida Butsu Scroll

This is the modern Japanese version of "Namu Amida Butsu" or "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha".

Some will translate this as, "I sincerely believe in Amitabha; Lord have mercy on me".

This phrase especially applies to Japanese Pure Land Buddhists.

There is a more universal version using ancient characters (with more strokes) for the 4th and last characters. That version is also used in Chinese, Korean, and occasionally Vietnamese. This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Scroll

人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the Triple Truth of Buddhism in Japanese.

The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.




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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Buddhism
Buddha
hotokefó / fo2 / fo
Buddha
Buddhism
仏 / 佛
hotoke / butsu
Buddha Heart
Mind of Buddha
佛心busshin / bushinfó xīn / fo2 xin1 / fo xin / foxinfo hsin / fohsin
The Aura of Buddha佛光bukkou / bukofó guāng / fo2 guang1 / fo guang / foguangfo kuang / fokuang
Amitabha Buddha阿彌陀佛
阿弥陀佛
amida butsu
amidabutsu
ē mí tuó fó
e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
e mi tuo fo
emituofo
o mi t`o fo
omitofo
o mi to fo
Mantra to Buddha
Nembutsu
念佛nenbutsuniàn fó / nian4 fo2 / nian fo / nianfonien fo / nienfo
Shakyamuni
The Buddha
釋迦牟尼
释迦牟尼
sha ka mu ni
shakamuni
shì jiā móu ní
shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
shi jia mou ni
shijiamouni
shih chia mou ni
shihchiamouni
Namo Amitabha Buddha南無阿彌陀佛
南无阿弥陀佛
namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
nā mó ē mí tuó fó
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
namoemituofo
na mo o mi t`o fo
namoomitofo
na mo o mi to fo
Shakyamuni
The Buddha
釈迦sha ka / shakashì jiā / shi4 jia1 / shi jia / shijiashih chia / shihchia
The Eye of the Buddha佛眼
佛眼 / 仏眼
butsugen / butsugenwǔ yǎn / wu3 yan3 / wu yan / wuyanwu yen / wuyen
Happy Buddha歡喜光佛
欢喜光佛
kan gi kou butsu
kangikoubutsu
kan gi ko butsu
kangikobutsu
huān xǐ guāng fó
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
huanxiguangfo
huan hsi kuang fo
huanhsikuangfo
Buddha Seeking勤求gonguqín qiú / qin2 qiu2 / qin qiu / qinqiuch`in ch`iu / chinchiu / chin chiu
Buddha Dharma Sangha佛法僧buppō sō / buppōsō / bupō sō / bupōsōfó fǎ sēng
fo2 fa3 seng1
fo fa seng
fofaseng
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
kenshojobutsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha南無釋迦牟尼佛
南无释迦牟尼佛
namu shakamuni butsu
namushakamunibutsu
nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
nan2 wu2 shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2 fo2
nan wu shi jia mou ni fo
nanwushijiamounifo
nan wu shih chia mou ni fo
nanwushihchiamounifo
True Religion
Buddha Truth
實道
实道
jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do / jitsudoshí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidaoshih tao / shihtao
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha見性成佛
见性成佛
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
kenshojobutsu
jiàn xìng chéng fó
jian4 xing4 cheng2 fo2
jian xing cheng fo
jianxingchengfo
chien hsing ch`eng fo
chienhsingchengfo
chien hsing cheng fo
Buddhism仏教bukkyou / bukyo
Buddhism佛教fó jiào / fo2 jiao4 / fo jiao / fojiaofo chiao / fochiao
Dharma
Damo
Daruma
達摩 / 達磨
达摩 / 达磨
daru ma / darumadá mó / da2 mo2 / da mo / damota mo / tamo
Bodhisattva菩薩
菩萨
bosatsupú sà / pu2 sa4 / pu sa / pusap`u sa / pusa / pu sa
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment菩提bodaipú tí / pu2 ti2 / pu ti / putip`u t`i / puti / pu ti
Walk in the Way行道yukimichixíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdaohsing tao / hsingtao
Namu Amida Butsu南無阿弥陀仏namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyo na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba hoshi to omoi yari no seishin
ningenseiosaiseisurunowakanyonakokoroshinsetsunakotobahoshitoomoiyarinoseishin
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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Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Scroll
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Scroll
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Scroll
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Scroll


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Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Vertical Portrait
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Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Vertical Portrait
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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.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Buddha Kanji, Buddha Characters, Buddha in Mandarin Chinese, Buddha Characters, Buddha in Chinese Writing, Buddha in Japanese Writing, Buddha in Asian Writing, Buddha Ideograms, Chinese Buddha symbols, Buddha Hieroglyphics, Buddha Glyphs, Buddha in Chinese Letters, Buddha Hanzi, Buddha in Japanese Kanji, Buddha Pictograms, Buddha in the Chinese Written-Language, or Buddha in the Japanese Written-Language.

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