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黑闇 is the two-character Chinese word for darkness.
The first character alone means black or dark.
The second character has several possible meanings, depending on context; They include: to shut the door, unilluminated, dark, gloomy, hidden, secret.
Together, these two characters will, in most cases, simply be translated as "dark" or "darkness".
闇 is the shortest and universal way (in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja) to write "darkness".
In Chinese this can mean: dark, gloomy, hidden, secret, to shut the door, unilluminated.
In Japanese this can mean: darkness, the dark, black-marketeering, dark, shady, illegal.
In old Korean Hanja this can mean: dark, obscure, hidden, secret.
Note that there is an alternate form of this character. It is used as an alternate in all three languages (that rarely happens). You can see this alternate version to the right. If you want to order that version, please click on that character, instead of the button above.
This is the most natural way to write, "The night is darkest before the dawn", in Chinese.
The words break down this way by meaning this way:
1.黎明 dawn / daybreak
2.前 before / in front / ago / former / previous / earlier / front
3.的 (possessive particle) / of
4.黑暗 dark / darkly / darkness
If you try to understand the Chinese word order and grammar, it's like, "Before dawn, is the darkest [time]".
This literally translates as: Without having experienced the cold of winter, one cannot appreciate the warmth of spring.
Figuratively, this means: One cannot truly appreciate happiness without having gone through hardship.
There are many contrasts in life. One simply cannot fully know what joy is without having experienced misery, difficulty, and pain. How could you explain "light" if you did not have "darkness" to compare it to?
Embrace hardship, as it makes the good times seem even better.
This Chinese proverb literally means: [If one not does] not make comparisons, [one will] not know [the truth] when [one] compares, [one will be] greatly surprised.
This goes to the idea that if you do not know bad times, you cannot know what good times are.
You can not know light without experiencing darkness.
Another way to translate this would be: If you wish to be enlightened, you need to make comparisons and analyze every aspect (of a situation, issue or problem).
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Darkness||暗黒||an koku / ankoku|
|hēi àn / hei1 an4 / hei an / heian|
|yami||àn / an4 / an|
|The Night is Darkest Before the Dawn||黎明前的黑暗||lí míng qián de hēi àn|
li2 ming2 qian2 de hei1 an4
li ming qian de hei an
|li ming ch`ien te hei an
li ming chien te hei an
|You must endure a harsh winter to appreciate the warmth of springtime||不經冬寒不知春暖|
|bù jīng dōng hán bù zhī chūn nuǎn|
bu4 jing1 dong1 han2 bu4 zhi1 chun1 nuan3
bu jing dong han bu zhi chun nuan
|pu ching tung han pu chih ch`un nuan
pu ching tung han pu chih chun nuan
|Comparison Leads to Truth and Enlightenment||不比不知道一比嚇一跳|
|bù bǐ bù zhī dào yī bǐ xià yì tiào|
bu4 bi3 bu4 zhi1 dao4 yi1 bi3 xia4 yi4 tiao4
bu bi bu zhi dao yi bi xia yi tiao
|pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i t`iao
pu pi pu chih tao i pi hsia i tiao
|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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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.
Some people may refer to this entry as Darkness Kanji, Darkness Characters, Darkness in Mandarin Chinese, Darkness Characters, Darkness in Chinese Writing, Darkness in Japanese Writing, Darkness in Asian Writing, Darkness Ideograms, Chinese Darkness symbols, Darkness Hieroglyphics, Darkness Glyphs, Darkness in Chinese Letters, Darkness Hanzi, Darkness in Japanese Kanji, Darkness Pictograms, Darkness in the Chinese Written-Language, or Darkness in the Japanese Written-Language.
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