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Literally: The Way or Road
道 is the character "dao" which is sometimes written as "tao" but pronounced like "dow" in Mandarin.
道 is the base of what is known as "Taoism". If you translate this literally, it can mean "the way" or "the path".
Dao is believed to be that which flows through all things, and keeps them in balance. It incorporates the ideas of yin and yang (e.g. there would be no love without hate, no light without dark, no male without female.)
The beginning of Taoism can be traced to a mystical man named
Lao Zi (604-531 BC), who followed, and added to the teachings of Confucius.
More about Taoism / Daoism here.
Note that this is pronounced "dou" and sometimes "michi" when written alone in Japanese but pronounced "do" in word compounds such as Karate-do and Bushido. It's also "do" in Korean.
Alternate translations and meanings: road, way, path; truth, principle province.
Important Japanese note: In Japanese, this will generally be read with the road, way, or path meaning. Taoism is not as popular or well-known in Japan, so that Daoist/Taoist philosophy is not the first thing a Japanese person will think of then they read this character.
See our Taoism Page
In Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja, this title refers to deities or gods (can be the singular or plural form).
Depending on the context, this could also mean "divine".
Specifically, in Japanese, this can refer to Amaterasu (as an enshrined deity).
In some Buddhist context, this also means deity but can also refer to "intelligence" (as in all-knowing).
神兵 is a Japanese, Chinese, and Korean title that means "soldier dispatched by a god", or "soldier under the protection of the gods".
神兵 is used more in Japanese (especially in animation) than the other languages.
道教 is the title often used in both Chinese and Japanese to describe the beliefs or religion of Taoism / Daoism.
The first character is simply "dao" and the second character can be translated as "teachings", "faith" or "doctrine".
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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|
|道||michi / -do||dào / dao4 / dao||tao|
|神明||jin myou / jinmyou / jin myo||shén míng|
|Soldier of the Gods||神兵||shin pei / shinpei||shén bīng|
|道教||doukyou / dokyo||dào jiào / dao4 jiao4 / dao jiao / daojiao||tao chiao / taochiao|
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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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