Whether your name is Phoenix, or you just like the bird emerging from the fire idea, we've got something for you...
鳳凰 is the word that translates as "Legendary Phoenix" in Chinese. This refers to the bird that according to Chinese folklore, rose from the fiery ashes.
The phoenix and dragon are by far the most famous creatures in Chinese mythology.
鳳 is the simplest way to write "Phoenix" in Chinese. Because dragon is usually expressed as a single character, when you see "dragon and phoenix" written in Chinese, you'll often see this single-character version.
Please note, this is also the male element of phoenix, so it also means "male phoenix bird." However some Chinese people may argue that the phoenix has a female characteristic, regardless of which character you use.
凰 is another simple way to write "Phoenix" in Chinese. 凰 is the specifically female element of phoenix, so this is how you write "female phoenix." 凰 is sometimes used to represent the female empress (many times in history, China was ruled by a woman, in much the same way queens came to power in Europe).
Note that the emperor is always represented as a dragon (not the male version of phoenix).
If you see yourself as a strong woman, this might be scroll for you to express "woman power" or "powerful woman" in a cool way.
龍鳳 is the simplest way to express "Dragon and Phoenix" in Chinese and Japanese.
This title can be used to represent, "The emperor and empress," or a metaphor for an outstanding personage.
It should be noted that this is most often used as a given name "Ryuuhou" in Japanese. It may be read more as the name than by meaning in Japanese.
龍鳳呈祥 is often seen at weddings and other celebrations in China.
It suggests that the dragon and phoenix will bring you auspicious tidings.
The first character is dragon.
The second is phoenix.
The third is presents or brings.
And the last means auspicious, propitious, or luck.
Throughout China, the dragon and phoenix are symbols of good fortune. You will see these auspicious figures as decorative symbols on everything from buildings, furniture, wedding costumes, sculptures in public parks, to caskets and items used in ceremonies.
This proverb suggests "Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes." Literally, it means, "Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana."
There is a legend in China of a great bird which is reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill-will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the whole world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).
500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.
竜 is an alternate form of dragon. Still pronounced the same in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
This particular Kanji is often associated as an imperial symbol as well as representing the mythical Asian dragon. You may have seen it on the chest or flag of the emperor in old Japanese and Chinese movies.
Note: I would rate this as a non-universal alternate form. The other dragon character is by far more common, and universally understood.
皇后 is the title of empress or emperess, the female form of emperor. 皇后 is used in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
While the emperor's reign was for life, if he died, his wife would hold his power. In this case, a woman was the ultimate ruler of the greater part of East Asia (what is now China) until her death and the succession of the emperor's first born son to lead the empire. Numerous times in various Chinese dynasties, an empress took power in this way.
The first character means emperor by itself.
The second character alone can mean "wife of an emperor or king" (the first character clarifies that we are talking about an empress, and not a queen). It can also mean sovereign or last offspring, depending on context.
Note: In some books, this word is translated as queen. While only incorrect if you get technical (because an empress is theoretically a higher level than a queen), the meaning is very similar.
皇后 is sometimes used for the title of queen but more technically, this is the wife of the emperor (a higher level than a queen).
王后 is another way to write queen in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
王后 is sometimes used for the title of empress.
The first character means "king" and the second means "wife," or a short form to say "wife of the king / emperor." So this is literally, "king's wife" or "emperor's wife." Some will translate this as "queen consort."
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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|
|houou / ho||fèng huáng|
|ootori / otori||fèng / feng4 / feng|
|Phoenix (female)||凰||ou / o||huáng / huang2 / huang|
|Dragon and Phoenix||龍鳳|
|ryuu hou / ryuuhou / ryu ho / ryuho||lóng fèng|
|Dragon and Phoenix Brings Luck||龍鳳呈祥|
|lóng fèng chéng xiáng|
long2 feng4 cheng2 xiang2
long feng cheng xiang
|lung feng ch`eng hsiang
lung feng cheng hsiang
|Phoenix||菲尼克斯||fēi ní kè sī|
fei1 ni2 ke4 si1
fei ni ke si
|fei ni k`o ssu
fei ni ko ssu
|Phoenix Rise from the Ashes||鳳凰涅磐|
|fèng huáng niè pán|
feng4 huang2 nie4 pan2
feng huang nie pan
|feng huang nieh p`an
feng huang nieh pan
|竜||ryuu / tatsu|
ryu / tatsu
|lóng / long2 / long||lung|
|Empress||皇后||kou gou / kougou / ko go / kogo||huáng hòu|
|lán hòu / lan2 hou4 / lan hou / lanhou|
|王后||ou kou / oukou / o ko / oko||wáng hòu / wang2 hou4 / wang hou / wanghou|
|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.
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.