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知足 means content with one's situation, or to know contentment (hence happiness).
From Zen Buddhist context, Chisoku or 知足 (knowing what’s enough) means to always know and be satisfied with one’s lot.
Human pain and suffering is born of greed, and that greed arises because we do not know what’s enough.
The Chinese philosopher, Menzi (372-289 BCE) said, “to nourish the mind, there is nothing better than to make the desires few”. This relays the idea that the best method to cultivate the mind is to have little desire.
滿足 is the kind of happiness that involves being satisfied and content.
This can also suggest the actions of "to satisfy", "to meet the needs of".
Other single-word definitions include: satisfaction; contentment; sufficient; enough; adequate; full; complete.
鼓腹 means happiness and contentment in Japanese Kanji.
The first Kanji represents your internal beat or drum.
The second Kanji represents your mind and body.
Together, it suggests that your internal rhythm or beat is regular, soothing, and at proper tempo.
安居樂業 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja proverb for, "living in peace and working happily", or "to live in peace and be content with one's occupation".
喜 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and Korean Hanja for the kind of happiness known in the west as "joy".
喜 can also be translated as rejoice, enjoyment, delighted, pleased, or "take pleasure in". Sometimes it can mean, "to be fond of" (in a certain context).
If you write two of these happiness/joy characters side by side, you create another character known in English as "double happiness", which is a symbol associated with weddings and a happy marriage.
There is another version of this character that you will find on our website with an additional radical on the left side (exactly same meaning, just an alternate form). The version of happiness shown here is the commonly written form in China, Japan and South Korea (banned in North Korea).
感激 is thankfulness or being grateful for what you have.
It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving and being. Appreciate the little things that happen around you and within you every day. Think positively. Thankfulness brings contentment.
Different meaning in Japanese - more like "deep emotion," "impression," "inspiration" - not recommended for a Japanese audience.
欣 is the type of happiness that you feel on the inside. It is the feeling of being released and delighted as well as being in a state of contentment. 欣 is a more internal happiness that perhaps only shows by the smile on your face. It can also be translated as "to take pleasure in" or "to rejoice".
Note: 欣 is often used in compound words - especially in Korean Hanja.
As Japanese Kanji, this is so rare, that most Japanese people are not aware of its existence.
See Also: Happiness
This is referred to as passage or chapter 33 of the Dao De Jing (often Romanized as "Tao Te Ching").
These are the words of the philosopher Laozi (Lao Tzu).
During our research, the Chinese characters shown here are probably the most accurate to the original text of Laozi. These were taken for the most part from the Mawangdui 1973 and Guodan 1993 manuscripts which pre-date other Daodejing texts by about 1000 years.
Grammar was a little different in Laozi’s time. So you should consider this to be the ancient Chinese version. Some have modernized this passage by adding, removing, or swapping articles and changing the grammar (we felt the oldest and most original version would be more desirable). You may find other versions printed in books or online - sometimes these modern texts are simply used to explain to Chinese people what the original text really means.
This language issue can be compared in English by thinking how the King James (known as the Authorized version in Great Britain) Bible from 1611 was written, and comparing it to modern English. Now imagine that the Daodejing was probably written around 403 BCE (2000 years before the King James Version of the Bible). To a Chinese person, the original Daodejing reads like text that is 3 times more detached compared to Shakespeare’s English is to our modern-day speech.
While on this Biblical text comparison, it should be noted, that just like the Bible, all the original texts of the Daodejing were lost or destroyed long ago. Just as with the scripture used to create the Bible, various manuscripts exist, many with variations or copyist errors. Just as the earliest New Testament scripture (incomplete) is from 170 years after Christ, the earliest Daodejing manuscript (incomplete) is from 100-200 years after the death of Laozi.
The reason that the originals were lost probably has a lot to do with the first Qin Emperor. Upon taking power and unifying China, he ordered the burning and destruction of all books (scrolls/rolls) except those pertaining to Chinese medicine and a few other subjects. The surviving Daodejing manuscripts were either hidden on purpose or simply forgotten about. Some were not unearthed until as late as 1993.
We compared a lot of research by various archeologists and historians before deciding on this as the most accurate and correct version. But one must allow that it may not be perfect, or the actual and original as from the hand of Laozi himself.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Contentment||知足||chisoku||zhī zú / zhi1 zu2 / zhi zu / zhizu||chih tsu / chihtsu|
|滿足 / 満足|
|man zoku / manzoku||mǎn zú / man3 zu2 / man zu / manzu||man tsu / mantsu|
|鼓腹||ko fuku / kofuku|
|Live in Peace and Contentment||安居樂業|
|an kyo raku gyou|
an kyo raku gyo
|ān jū lè yè|
an1 ju1 le4 ye4
an ju le ye
|an chü le yeh
|喜||ki / yorokobi||xǐ / xi3 / xi||hsi|
|Thankfulness||感激||kangeki||gǎn jī / gan3 ji1 / gan ji / ganji||kan chi / kanchi|
|Happy||欣||kin||xīn / xin1 / xin||hsin|
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 33
|zhī rén zhě zhī yě zì zhī zhě míng yě shèng rén zhě yǒu lì yě zì shèng zhě qiáng yě zhī zú zhě fù yě qiáng xíng zhě yǒu zhì yě bù zhī qí suǒ zhě jiǔ yě sǐ ér bù wáng zhě shòu yě|
zhi1 ren2 zhe3 zhi1 ye3 zi4 zhi1 zhe3 ming2 ye3 sheng4 ren2 zhe3 you3 li4 ye3 zi4 sheng4 zhe3 qiang2 ye3 zhi1 zu2 zhe3 fu4 ye3 qiang2 xing2 zhe3 you3 zhi4 ye3 bu4 zhi1 qi2 suo3 zhe3 jiu3 ye3 si3 er2 bu4 wang2 zhe3 shou4 ye3
zhi ren zhe zhi ye zi zhi zhe ming ye sheng ren zhe you li ye zi sheng zhe qiang ye zhi zu zhe fu ye qiang xing zhe you zhi ye bu zhi qi suo zhe jiu ye si er bu wang zhe shou ye
|chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che ch`iang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh ch`iang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih ch`i so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
chih jen che chih yeh tzu chih che ming yeh sheng jen che yu li yeh tzu sheng che chiang yeh chih tsu che fu yeh chiang hsing che yu chih yeh pu chih chi so che chiu yeh ssu erh pu wang che shou yeh
|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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