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Know Thy Enemy Know Thyself in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself
  2. Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles
  3. Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose
  4. True Victory is Victory Over Oneself
  5. Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

Japan te ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

This is the Japanese version of "know your enemy, know yourself." There is a longer version of this proverb which adds, "...and you can win 100 battles."


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

China zhí bǐ zhí jī
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself

This proverb is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself. There is a secondary four characters that come after this in the Art of War (not included here) which suggest you cannot lose a battle when you follow this philosophy.

In a very literal and somewhat-boring way, this can also be translated as, "Estimate correctly one's strength as well as that of one's opponent."

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles

Japan teki o shi ri o no o shi re ba hya ku sen aya u ka ra zu
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles

This is the longer/full Japanese version of this proverb. This means, "Know your enemy, know yourself, and you will not fear a hundred battles."

Others will translate this as, "Know thy enemy, know thyself, yields victory in one hundred battles."


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose

China zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose

This is from Sun Tzu's (Sunzi's) Art of War. It means that if you know and understand the enemy, you also know yourself, and thus with this complete understanding, you cannot lose.

This proverb is often somewhat-directly translated as, "Know the enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without defeat."

It can also be translated as, "If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can come out of hundreds of battles without danger," or "Know your enemy, know yourself, and your victory will not be threatened."

True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

Japan masa katsu a gatsu
True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

This proverb is often translated as, "True victory is victory over oneself."

However, literally, Kanji by Kanji, it means, "True victory [is] my/self victory."

My Japanese friends rate this very highly for a wall scroll.

Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open

China àn dǎ hú li míng dǎ láng
Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open

This Chinese proverb literally translates as: Hunt foxes stealthily, [and] hunt wolves openly [just as they themselves do].

Figuratively, this means:
Different opponents require different appropriate strategies.

This is a suggestion that you should know your enemy, and know that each enemy is different, that therefore requires a specialized approach (attack).


See Also:  Art of War Military

Search for Know Thy Enemy Know Thyself in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji(Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself敵を知り己を知るte ki o shi ri o no re o shi ru
tekioshirionoreoshiru
Know Thy Enemy, Know Thyself知彼知己zhí bǐ zhí jī
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1
zhi bi zhi ji
zhibizhiji
chih pi chih chi
chihpichihchi
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and Win 100 Battles敵を知り己を知れば百戦危うからずteki o shi ri o no o shi re ba hya ku sen aya u ka ra zu
Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, and You Cannot Lose知彼知己百戰不殆
知彼知己百战不殆
zhí bǐ zhí jī bǎi zhàn bú dài
zhi2 bi3 zhi2 ji1 bai3 zhan4 bu2 dai4
zhi bi zhi ji bai zhan bu dai
zhibizhijibaizhanbudai
chih pi chih chi pai chan pu tai
True Victory is Victory Over Oneself正勝吾勝
正胜吾胜
masa katsu a gatsu
masakatsuagatsu
Hunt Foxes with Stealth, Hunt Wolves in the Open闇打狐狸明打狼
暗打狐狸明打狼
àn dǎ hú li míng dǎ láng
an4 da3 hu2 li ming2 da3 lang2
an da hu li ming da lang
andahulimingdalang
an ta hu li ming ta lang
antahulimingtalang
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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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.

A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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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