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The Five Tenets of Confucius in Chinese / Japanese...

Buy a The Five Tenets of Confucius calligraphy wall scroll here!

Start your custom "The Five Tenets of Confucius" project by clicking the button next to your favorite "The Five Tenets of Confucius" title below...

  1. The Five Tenets of Confucius
  2. Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision
  3. Benevolence
  4. Respect
  5. Wisdom
  6. The Foundation of Good Conduct
  7. Believe / Faith / Trust
  8. Filial Piety

The Five Tenets of Confucius

The Five Cardinal Rules / Virtues of Confucius
China rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
Japan jin gi rei tomo nobu
The Five Tenets of Confucius

These are the core of Confucius philosophy. Simply stated they are:
benevolence / charity
justice / rectitude
courtesy / politeness / tact
wisdom / knowledge
fidelity / trust / sincerity

Many of these concepts can be found in various religious teachings. Though it should be clearly understood that Confucianism is not a religion but should instead be considered a moral code for a proper and civilized society.

This title is also labeled, "5 Confucian virtues."


礼 If you order this from the Japanese calligrapher, expect the middle Kanji to be written in a more simple form (as seen to the right). This can also be romanized as "jin gi rei satoshi shin" in Japanese. Not all Japanese will recognize this as Confucian tenets but they will know all the meanings of the characters.


See Also:  Confucius Teachings | Ethics

Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

Also means: honor loyalty morality righteousness
China
Japan gi
Justice / Rectitude / Right Decision

義 is about doing the right thing or making the right decision, not because it's easy but because it's ethically and morally correct.

No matter the outcome or result, one does not lose face if tempering proper justice.

義 can also be defined as righteousness, justice, morality, honor, or "right conduct." In more a more expanded definition, it can mean loyalty to friends, loyalty to the public good, or patriotism. This idea of loyalty and friendship comes from the fact that you will treat those you are loyal to with morality and justice.

義 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius doctrine.

儀 There's also an alternate version of this character sometimes seen in Bushido or Korean Taekwondo tenets. It's just the addition of a radical on the left side of the character. If you want this version, click on the image to the right instead of the button above.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Judgment | Impartial | Confucius Tenets

Benevolence

China rén
Japan jin
Benevolence

Beyond "benevolence" this character can be also be defined as "charity" or "mercy" depending on context.

The deeper meaning suggests that one should pay alms to the poor, care for those in trouble, and take care of his fellow man (or woman).

仁 is one of the five tenets of Confucius. In fact, it is a subject in which Confucius spent a great deal of time explaining to his disciples.

I have also seen this benevolent-related word translated as perfect virtue, selflessness, love for humanity, humaneness, goodness, good will, or simply "love" in the non-romantic form.

仁 is so important to me that I named my second daughter with this character. Her name is "Renni" which means "Benevolent Girl."
-Gary.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Altruism | Kindness | Charity | Confucius

Respect (Japanese / Simplified version)

Can also be a sign of gratitude
China
Japan rei
Respect (Japanese / Simplified version)

We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. We treat others with dignity and honor the rules of our family, school and nation. Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

禮 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

禮 can also be translated as propriety, good manners, politeness, rite, worship or an expression of gratitude.

Chinese RespectPlease note that Japanese use a simplified version of the character for respect - it also happens to be the same simplification used in mainland China. Click on the character to the right if you want the Traditional Chinese version.


This is also a virtue of the Samurai Warrior
See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Confucius

Wisdom

China zhì
Japan chi / tomo
Wisdom

智 is the simplest way to write wisdom in Chinese, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
Being a single character, the wisdom meaning is open to interpretation, and can also mean intellect, knowledge or reason, resourcefulness, or wit.

智 is also one of the five tenets of Confucius.

智 is sometimes included in the Bushido code but usually not considered part of the seven key concepts of the code.


See our Wisdom in Chinese, Japanese and Korean page for more wisdom-related calligraphy.


See Also:  Learn From Wisdom | Confucius

The Foundation of Good Conduct

Quote from Confucius
China zhì yú dào jù yú dé yī yú rén yóu yú yì
The Foundation of Good Conduct

This proverb from the Analects of Confucius translates as:

Resolve yourself in the Dao/Tao/Way.
Rely on Virtue.
Reside in benevolence.
Revel in the arts.

According to Confucius, these are the tenets of good and proper conduct.


This was written over 2500 years ago. The composition is in ancient Chinese grammar and phrasing. A modern Chinese person would need a background in Chinese literature to understand this without the aid of a reference.

Believe / Faith / Trust

śraddhā
China xìn
Japan shin
Believe / Faith / Trust

信 can mean to believe, truth, faith, fidelity, sincerity, trust and confidence in Chinese, old Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji.

This single character is often part of other words with similar meanings.

It is one of the five basic tenets of Confucius.

In Chinese, it sometimes has the secondary meaning of a letter (as in the mail) depending on context but it will not be read that way when seen on a wall scroll.

In Buddhist context, this is śraddhā (faith through hearing or being taught).


See Also:  Faith | Trust | Confucius

Filial Piety

China xiào
Japan kou
Filial Piety

孝 represents filial piety. Some will define this in more common English as "respect for your parents and ancestors."

孝 is a subject deeply emphasized by the ancient philosophy and teachings of Confucius.

Some have included this in the list for the Bushido, although generally not considered part of the 7 core virtues of the warrior.

Note: 孝 is not the best of meanings when seen along as a single character. Some will read the single character form to mean "missing my dead ancestors." However, when written at part of Confucian tenets, or in the two-character word that means filial piety, the meaning is better or read differently (context is important for this character).

We suggest one of our other two-character filial piety entries instead of this one.


See our page with just Code of the Samurai / Bushido here


See Also:  Filial Piety | Confucius

Search for The Five Tenets of Confucius 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
The Five Tenets of Confucius仁義禮智信
仁义礼智信
jin gi rei tomo nobu
jingireitomonobu
rén yì lǐ zhì xìn
ren2 yi4 li3 zhi4 xin4
ren yi li zhi xin
renyilizhixin
jen i li chih hsin
jenilichihhsin
Justice
Rectitude
Right Decision

giyì / yi4 / yii
Benevolencejinrén / ren2 / renjen
Respect (Japanese
Simplified version)

reilǐ / li3 / li
Wisdomchi / tomozhì / zhi4 / zhichih
The Foundation of Good Conduct誌于道據于德依于仁遊于藝
志于道据于德依于仁游于艺
zhì yú dào jù yú dé yī yú rén yóu yú yì
zhi4 yu2 dao4 ju4 yu2 de2 yi1 yu2 ren2 you2 yu2 yi4
zhi yu dao ju yu de yi yu ren you yu yi
chih yü tao chü yü te i yü jen yu yü i
Believe
Faith
Trust
shinxìn / xin4 / xinhsin
Filial Pietykou / koxiào / xiao4 / xiaohsiao
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.



Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

Aiki Jujutsu
Archangel
Aster
Believe
Berserk
Bushido
Calm
Change
Christ
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Enlightened
Faith in God
Family
Father
Follow Your Heart
Furinkazan
Gemini
Heart of a Warrior
Hello
Humble
I Love You Forever and Always
Iaido
Jesus
Kaizen
Keep Fighting
Kenshin
Kung Fu
Lion
Love
Loyalty
Mind Body Soul Spirit
Mind Body Spirit
Mother
Mushin
Music
Overcome
Pleasure
Powerful
Protector
Rain
Rebirth
Right Intention
Rooster
Strength
Strong Heart
The Red String
The Way
The Way of the Warrior
Thunder Lightning in Kanji
Trust in God
Trust No Man
Victory
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White
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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.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Confucius Tenets Kanji, Confucius Tenets Characters, Confucius Tenets in Mandarin Chinese, Confucius Tenets Characters, Confucius Tenets in Chinese Writing, Confucius Tenets in Japanese Writing, Confucius Tenets in Asian Writing, Confucius Tenets Ideograms, Chinese Confucius Tenets symbols, Confucius Tenets Hieroglyphics, Confucius Tenets Glyphs, Confucius Tenets in Chinese Letters, Confucius Tenets Hanzi, Confucius Tenets in Japanese Kanji, Confucius Tenets Pictograms, Confucius Tenets in the Chinese Written-Language, or Confucius Tenets in the Japanese Written-Language.