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榮 relates to giving someone a tribute or praise. It's a little odd as a gift, so this may not be the best selection for a wall scroll.
I've made this entry just because this character is often misused as "honorable" or "keeping your honor". It's not quite the same meaning, as this usually refers to a tribute or giving an honor to someone.
榮 is often found in tattoo books incorrectly listed as the western idea of personal honor or being honorable. Check with us before you get a tattoo that does not match the meaning you are really looking for. As a tattoo, this suggests that you either have a lot of pride in yourself or that you have a wish for prosperity for you and/or your family.
In modern Japanese Kanji, glory and honor looks like the image to the right.
There is a lot of confusion about this character, so here are some alternate translations for this character: prosperous, flourishing, blooming (like a flower), glorious beauty, proud, praise, rich, or it can be the family name "Rong". The context in which the character is used can change the meaning between these various ideas.
In the old days, this could be an honor paid to someone by the Emperor (basically a designation by the Emperor that a person has high standing).
To sum it up: 榮 has a positive meaning, however, it's a different flavor than the idea of being honorable and having integrity.
While difficult to translate, "No guts no glory", into Mandarin Chinese, 無勇不榮 is kind of close.
The first two characters mean, "without bravery", or "without courage". In this case, bravery/courage is a stand-in for "guts".
The last two characters mean, "no glory".
The idea that guts (internal organs) is somehow equal to courage, does not crossover to Chinese. However, translating the phrase back from Chinese to English, you get, "No Courage, No Glory", which is pretty close to the intended idea.
精華 means best feature, most important part of an object, quintessence, essence, soul, glory
精華 is also a personal name (and the name of a company) in Japan, Seika.
力量與榮譽 is, "strength and honor" in Chinese.
The first two characters are usually understood as (physical) strength but can also mean power or force.
The middle character is a connecting particle like, "and".
The last two characters are a way to say, honor but can also be understood as honorable reputation, honorary, or glory.
Long ago in what is now China, there were many kingdoms throughout the land. This time period is known as "The Warring States Period" by historians because these kingdoms often did not get along with each other.
Some time around 279 B.C. the Kingdom of Chu was a large but not particularly powerful kingdom. Part of the reason it lacked power was the fact that the King was surrounded by "yes men" who told him only what he wanted to hear. Many of the King's court officials were corrupt and incompetent which did not help the situation.
The King was not blameless himself, as he started spending much of his time being entertained by his many concubines.
One of the King's ministers, Zhuang Xin, saw problems on the horizon for the Kingdom, and warned the King, "Your Majesty, you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear. They tell you things to make you happy, and cause you to ignore important state affairs. If this is allowed to continue, the Kingdom of Chu will surely perish, and fall into ruins".
This enraged the King who scolded Zhuang Xin for insulting the country and accused him of trying to create resentment among the people. Zhuang Xin explained, "I dare not curse the Kingdom of Chu but I feel that we face great danger in the future because of the current situation". The King was simply not impressed with Zhuang Xin's words.
Seeing the King's displeasure with him and the King's fondness for his court of corrupt officials, Zhuang Xin asked permission of the King that he may take leave of the Kingdom of Chu, and travel to the State of Zhao to live. The King agreed, and Zhuang Xin left the Kingdom of Chu, perhaps forever.
Five months later, troops from the neighboring Kingdom of Qin invaded Chu, taking a huge tract of land. The King of Chu went into exile, and it appeared that soon, the Kingdom of Chu would no longer exist.
The King of Chu remembered the words of Zhuang Xin, and sent some of his men to find him. Immediately, Zhuang Xin returned to meet the King. The first question asked by the King was, "What can I do now?"
Zhuang Xin told the King this story:
A shepherd woke one morning to find a sheep missing. Looking at the pen saw a hole in the fence where a wolf had come through to steal one of his sheep. His friends told him that he had best fix the hole at once. But the Shepherd thought since the sheep is already gone, there is no use fixing the hole.
The next morning, another sheep was missing. And the Shepherd realized that he must mend the fence at once. Zhuang Xin then went on to make suggestions about what could be done to reclaim the land lost to the Kingdom of Qin, and reclaim the former glory and integrity in the Kingdom of Chu.
The Chinese idiom shown above came from this reply from Zhuang Xin to the King of Chu almost 2,300 years ago.
It translates roughly into English as...
"Even if you have lost some sheep, it's never too late to mend the fence".
This proverb is often used in modern China when suggesting in a hopeful way that someone change their ways, or fix something in their life. It might be used to suggest fixing a marriage, quit smoking, or getting back on track after taking an unfortunate path in life among other things one might fix in their life.
I suppose in the same way that we might say, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" in our western cultures to suggest that you can always start anew.
Note: This does have Korean pronunciation but is not a well-known proverb in Korean (only Koreans familiar with ancient Chinese history would know it). Best if your audience is Chinese.
華 is really open to interpretation. 華 meant flowers or blooming in ancient China. It still has that meaning in Japanese, and Buddhist context.
In modern China, this means glorious, beautiful, splendid, magnificent, or the best part of something. It can also refer to the country of China or something Chinese (such as people - overseas Chinese are often called "hua ren"). 華 is also a surname in China.
In Japanese, this can be the female given name "Ririka". It's also the short name for a certain kind of playing cards in Japan.
In Korean, This can be the surname "Hwa". While it also means splendid, flowery, or the country of China in Korean.
燿 means brilliant or glorious in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
I am listing this character as it is a common Japanese given name that romanizes as Yoko or Youkou. It can also be romanizes as these names as well: Yo, Teru, Akira.
As with most Japanese names, this is not the only character or only name that romanizes as Yoko. Be sure you are getting the correct character before you order.
天之御中主神 is a phrase that was submitted by a customer.
I do not have information on the origin of this phrase.
自他共榮 can be translated a few different ways. Here are some possibilities:
Benefit mutually and prosper together.
Mutual welfare and benefit.
A learning concept of mutual benefit and welfare (that applies to all fields of society).
The first two characters are easy to explain. They are "self" and "others". Together, these two characters create a word which means "mutual" (literally "me and them").
The third character can have different meanings depending on context. Here, it means "in common" or "to share".
The fourth character suggests the idea of "prosperity", "flourishing" or becoming "glorious".
It should be noted that these Kanji are used almost exclusively in the context of Judo martial arts. 自他共榮 is not a common or recognized Japanese proverb outside of Judo.
In modern Japanese Kanji, the last character looks like instead of . If you want this slightly-simplified version, please let us know when you place your order.
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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|
|Glory and Honor||榮|
荣 / 栄
|ei||róng / rong2 / rong||jung|
|No Guts, No Glory||無勇不榮|
|wú yǒng bù róng|
wu2 yong3 bu4 rong2
wu yong bu rong
|wu yung pu jung
|sei ka / seika||jīng huá / jing1 hua2 / jing hua / jinghua||ching hua / chinghua|
|The Aura of Buddha||佛光||bukkou / buko||fó guāng / fo2 guang1 / fo guang / foguang||fo kuang / fokuang|
|Strength and Honor||力量與榮譽|
|lì liàng yǔ róng yù|
li4 liang4 yu3 rong2 yu4
li liang yu rong yu
|li liang yü jung yü
|Better Late Than Never||亡羊補牢猶未為晚|
|wáng yáng bǔ láo yóu wèi wéi wǎn|
wang2 yang2 bu3 lao2 you2 wei4 wei2 wan3
wang yang bu lao you wei wei wan
|wang yang pu lao yu wei wei wan
|ririka||huá / hua2 / hua|
|燿||you kou / youkou / yo ko / yoko||yào / yao4 / yao|
|God in the Glorious Center of Heaven||天之御中主神||tiān zhī yù zhōng zhǔ shén|
tian1 zhi1 yu4 zhong1 zhu3 shen2
tian zhi yu zhong zhu shen
|t`ien chih yü chung chu shen
tien chih yü chung chu shen
|Mutual Welfare and Benefit||自他共榮|
自他共荣 / 自他共栄
|ji ta kyou ei |
ji ta kyo ei
|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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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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Glory Kanji, Glory Characters, Glory in Mandarin Chinese, Glory Characters, Glory in Chinese Writing, Glory in Japanese Writing, Glory in Asian Writing, Glory Ideograms, Chinese Glory symbols, Glory Hieroglyphics, Glory Glyphs, Glory in Chinese Letters, Glory Hanzi, Glory in Japanese Kanji, Glory Pictograms, Glory in the Chinese Written-Language, or Glory in the Japanese Written-Language.
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