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貞烈 is the Japanese Kanji for, "Extreme Faithfulness."
The first Kanji means "firm adherence to one's principles," chastity (of a woman), chaste, etc.
The second Kanji means ardent, intense, fierce, stern, upright, to give one's life for a noble cause, exploits, achievements, virtuous, and in some contexts, heroic.
Now you get the idea why this refers to someone who is extremely faithful (to a cause, themselves, their religious beliefs, or their philosophy.
篤實 means sincere, solid, and faithful.
忠義 is another form of loyalty or devotion.
In Chinese, this is more specifically about being loyal and devoted to your friends.
In Japanese, this is more often used to mean loyalty to your country or nation.
Except for the slight difference noted above between Japanese and Chinese, this word is understood universally in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja. It can also be used to describe devotion or fidelity.
It should be noted that this Kanji combination is being used less and less in modern Japan (this is a better choice if your audience is Chinese, though any Japanese person will clearly understand it).
信 can mean to believe, truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and confidence in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.
This single character is often part of other words with similar meanings.
It is one of the five basic tenets of Confucius.
In Chinese, it sometimes has the secondary meaning of a letter (as in the mail) depending on context but it will not be read that way when seen on a wall scroll.
In Buddhist context, this is śraddhā (faith through hearing or being taught).
忠實 is a Japanese way to write "Loyalty" - it also contains the ideas of being faithful, devoted, true, and obedient.
The second character is a modified form only used in the Japanese lexicon, however, Chinese speakers can easily guess the meaning.
This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here
信仰 means firm belief, faith, persuasion, conviction, and sometimes religion or creed in Chinese, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja.
信仰 clearly fits religious connotation of the English word "devotion."
信仰 is often used to refer to a person of faith or a religious person.
This can be directly translated as "firm belief," "creed," "conviction" or simply as "religious" depending on context.
Some will also use this to mean "trust in God" in Japanese (though the term for God is not actually in this title).
It should be noted that this word is a little strange alone on a wall scroll.
While this can be pronounced in Japanese, it's not a great selection for a wall scroll if your audience is Japanese.
This is a word list that was requested by a customer. Word lists are not that common in Chinese but we've put this one on the best order/context to make it as natural as possible.
We used the "honor" that leans toward the definition of "dignity" since that seemed like the best match for the other two words.
Please note: These are three two-character words. You should choose the single-column format when you get to the options when you order this selection. The two-column option would split one word or it would be arranged with four characters on one side and two on the other.
忠 is the simplest way to write the word loyalty in Chinese and Japanese.
A single character like this leaves the meaning open. But alone, a Chinese or Japanese person would think of loyalty to duty or loyalty to one's master (in ancient times). I suppose that it could be loyalty to your boss or company in this day in age.
忠 can also mean fidelity or faithfulness.
This can also be romanized as "chung."
信義 is a word that is often used to describe a person with an honest and loyal reputation. To put it simply, this applies to somebody you can trust (with your life).
In Chinese, this is often defined as good faith, honor, trust, and justice.
In Korean, this word means fidelity, truthfulness, or faithfulness.
In Japanese: faith, fidelity and loyalty. It's also a Japanese male given name when pronounced "Nobuyoshi."
信心 is a Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word that means confidence, faith, or belief in somebody or something.
The first character means faith, and the second can mean heart or soul. Therefore, you could say this means "faithful heart" or "faithful soul."
In Korean especially, this word has a religious connotation.
In old Japanese Buddhist context, this was a word for citta-prasāda (clear or pure heart-mind).
In modern Japan (when read by non-Buddhists), this word is usually understood as, "faith," "belief" or "devotion."
See Also: Self-Confidence
The first two characters mean resolute with firm determination.
The second two characters mean reliable.
Together, this creates a 4-character expression that clearly means dependable.
永遠忠誠 is the clearest and most natural way to translate "Semper Fidelis" or "Always Faithful" into Mandarin Chinese. 永遠忠誠 is specifically meant for U.S. Marines who often use the shortened term "Semper Fi."
The first two characters are a word that means always, forever, and/or eternally.
The last two characters are a word that means fidelity, loyal, and/or devoted.
I spent 10 years in the Marines, so it was a no-brainer to add this to our calligraphy database.
常に忠誠を is "Semper Fidelis" or "Always Faithful" in Japanese. 常に忠誠を is specifically meant for U.S. Marines who often use the shortened term "Semper Fi."
The first two Kanji mean "always" or "constantly." The last three Kanji mean "faithful," "loyal," "devoted," and/or "diligent." It's most often read as "faithful."
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Extreme Faithfulness||貞烈||tei retsu / teiretsu|
|Sincerity and Faithfulness||篤實|
|dǔ shí / du3 shi2 / du shi / dushi||tu shih / tushih|
Sincere Honest and Faithful
|sei jitsu / seijitsu|
|chuu gi / chuugi / chu gi / chugi||zhōng yì / zhong1 yi4 / zhong yi / zhongyi||chung i / chungi|
|信||shin||xìn / xin4 / xin||hsin|
Trusting in the Unseen
|信念||shinnen||xìn niàn / xin4 nian4 / xin nian / xinnian||hsin nien / hsinnien|
|chuujitsu / chujitsu|
Faith in God
|信仰||shin kou / shinkou / shin ko / shinko||xìn yǎng / xin4 yang3 / xin yang / xinyang||hsin yang / hsinyang|
|Fidelity Honor Courage||信義尊嚴勇氣|
|xìn yì zūn yán yǒng qì|
xin4 yi4 zun1 yan2 yong3 qi4
xin yi zun yan yong qi
|hsin i tsun yen yung ch`i
hsin i tsun yen yung chi
|Loyalty to Duty or Master||忠||chuu / chu||zhōng / zhong1 / zhong||chung|
|shingi||xìn yì / xin4 yi4 / xin yi / xinyi||hsin i / hsini|
|信心||shin jin / shinjin||xìn xīn / xin4 xin1 / xin xin / xinxin||hsin hsin / hsinhsin|
|jiān yì kě kào|
jian1 yi4 ke3 kao4
jian yi ke kao
|chien i k`o k`ao
chien i ko kao
|yǒng yuǎn zhōng chéng|
yong3 yuan3 zhong1 cheng2
yong yuan zhong cheng
|yung yüan chung ch`eng
yung yüan chung cheng
|常に忠誠を||tsune ni chuu sei wo|
tsune ni chu sei wo
|常に忠実な||tsune ni chuu jitsu na|
tsune ni chu jitsu na
|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.
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