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The name Empty Hand in Chinese / Japanese...

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Personalize your custom “Empty Hand” project by clicking the button next to your favorite “Empty Hand” title below...


  1. Danketsu Karate-Do

  2. Isshin Ryu Karate Do

  3. Jujitsu / Jujutsu

  4. Tang Soo Do / Tang Hand Way

  5. Karate-Do

  6. Karateka

  7. Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand

  8. Law of the Fist Karate / Kempo Karate

  9. Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do

10. Shotokan Karate-Do


Danketsu Karate-Do

 dan ketsu kara te dou
Danketsu Karate-Do Scroll

団結空手道 is the title for Danketsu Karate-Do, a dojo located in Stroudsburg, PA.

団結 (danketsu) means union, unity, or combination.

空手道 (karate-do) means “empty hand way.”


If you need you martial arts school/dojo/academy added to my database, just give me the info (actual Chinese/Japanese text if you have it).

Isshin Ryu Karate Do

 i sshin ryuu kara te dou
Isshin Ryu Karate Do Scroll

一心流空手道 is the full title for Isshin-Ryu Karate-Do.

The literal meaning is “one heart method empty hand way.”

There are other ways to translate this, but if you are looking for this title, you already know that.

This would make a great wall scroll for your dojo or private studio if you study this form of Japanese (technically from Okinawa) Karate.

Because this is a specifically-Japanese title, I strongly recommend that you select our Japanese Master Calligrapher to create this artwork.

Jujitsu / Jujutsu

 róu shù
 juu jutsu
Jujitsu / Jujutsu Scroll

柔術 has been somewhat incorrectly spelled and pronounced “Jujitsu” for some time in the English-speaking world. The correct Japanese Romaji is Jujutsu or Juujutsu.

A little background on the word: By combining the Kanji pronounced “Ju” (which means flexible, pliable, gentle, yielding) with the Kanji pronounced “Jutsu” (which means art or technique), we get a meaning that can be translated as “flexible technique,” “gentle art” or “yielding technique.”
柔術 does make sense in Chinese as well, although pronounced “rou shu” in China.

The Jujutsu system has a history in Japan that started well before the 1600s. Some see this style as a variation of the “Empty Hand Method” (Karate-do). Even the samurai of old used some Jujutsu methods in defending themselves with their unarmed hands against weapons that could pierce their heavy armor.

There are convoluted relationships between various schools and systems of martial arts, but it's generally accepted that Jujutsu led to the development of Judo and a few other variations.

Tang Soo Do / Tang Hand Way

 táng shǒu dào
 kara te do
Tang Soo Do / Tang Hand Way Scroll

唐手道 is the alternate title for Karate-do.

This title uses a character, 唐, which represents the Tang Dynasty of China. Thus, this is often translated as the “Tang Hand Way” or incorrectly, “Tang Fist Way.”
I have also seen some call it “China Hand Way.”
Many in Korea refer to and romanize these characters as “Tang Soo Do” (당수도) where these characters refer to a kind of Korean style of Karate.

There is not a lot of information on this title but some believe that a simplified form of Kung Fu that started in China and ended up very popular in Japan used this title initially. It was later changed in Japan to a different Karate title which means “Empty Hand” (as in, without weapons).

Note: When used in Korean, this is pronounced 당수도. This title is often romanized as “Tang Soo Do,” “Tangsudo,” “Dang Su Do,” or “Dangsudo.” The last two romanizations on that list are the official Korean government romanization, though martial arts schools tend to use other non-standard versions.

 kōng shǒu dào
 kara te dou
Karate-Do Scroll

The literal meaning of 空手道 is “empty hand method” or “empty hand way.”

Credit is given that karate started in China but migrated and became refined and vastly popular in Japan.

Karate is a martial art that uses no blades or weapons other than the “natural weapons” God gave to humans (fists and feet). The last character somehow became optional, but the meaning of that character is “method” or “the way” as in Taoism / Daoism.

Karate-Do reached Korea, where it is known as 공수도 which can be romanized as “Kong Soo Do” or “Gong Su Do.”

 karateka
Karateka Scroll

空手家 is the Japanese word Karateka, which means karate practitioner.

The literal translation is “empty hand family” or “karate family,” suggesting you are a member of the karate family.

Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand

 kōng shǒu quán fǎ
 kara te ken pou
Kempo Karate / Law of the Fist Empty Hand Scroll

空手拳法 is the Kanji title for Kempo Karate.

The first two characters mean “karate” - technically they express “empty hand.”

The last two express “fist law” which is Romanized from Japanese as “Kenpo” or “Kempo.”

That “empty hand” translation can be understood better when you grasp the idea that karate is a martial art without weapons (other than the weapons organic to your body, such as your foot, hand, fist, etc). When you practice karate, you do so with empty hands (no weapons).

Note: There is also an antiquated way to write karate. It has the same pronunciation but a different first character which means “Tang” as in the Tang Dynasty. Some dojos use that form - let us know if you need that alternate form, and we'll add it.

Law of the Fist Karate / Kempo Karate

 quán fǎ táng shǒu
 ken pou kara te
Law of the Fist Karate / Kempo Karate Scroll

The first two characters mean “fist law” which is Romanized from Japanese as “Kenpo” or “Kempo.”

The last two are a secondary way to express “karate.”

Notes:
The more common way to express “karate” is literally “empty hand” (meaning “without weapons in your hand”). This version would be translated literally as “Tang hand” (as in the Tang Dynasty) or “China hand” (sometimes “Tang” means “China” in Japanese). Even though the character for “Tang” is used instead of “empty,” it's still pronounced “kara-te” in Japanese.

拳法唐手 is not commonly used in China - so please consider it to be a Japanese-only title.

Many Japanese people will say the last two Kanji are the old and antiquated way of saying Karate. This fact does not stop this title from existing, as these four characters are often seen in Kenpo / Kempo Dojos around the western world.

Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do

 matsu bayashi ryuu kara te dou
Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do Scroll

鬆林流空手道 is the Japanese title for the Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do school of martial arts.

If directly translated, it means “Pine Forest Style Empty Hand Way.”

Notes:
1. 松林流 can be pronounced Matsubayashi-Ryū or Shōrin-Ryū. This can be confusing as Shōrin can also represent 少林 which refers to the Shaolin (little forest) style.
2. 松 can also be written in the traditional form of 鬆.

Shotokan Karate-Do

 sōng tāo guǎn kōng shǒu dào
 shou tou kan kara te dou
Shotokan Karate-Do Scroll

鬆濤館空手道 art the Japanese Kanji that make up the title for Shotokan Karate.

This should be considered a Japanese-only title. It does make sense and is pronounceable in Chinese and Korean but only as a title for a building (perhaps a martial arts hall) surrounded by pine trees - followed by the characters for “The empty hand method” (kong shou dao / Karate-do). Also, the first two characters were simplified in both Japanese and Chinese. The third character was simplified in Chinese but not Japanese.

Upon request, we can offer the fully traditional Chinese version but be sure you know what you are asking for.

Note: This would be understood in Chinese and Korean Hanja by a person from those cultures familiar with martial arts and various schools of Japanese karate.




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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
Danketsu Karate-Do団結空手道dan ketsu kara te dou
danketsukaratedou
dan ketsu kara te do
Isshin Ryu Karate Do一心流空手道i sshin ryuu kara te dou
isshinryuukaratedou
i shin ryu kara te do
Jujitsu
Jujutsu
柔術
柔术
juu jutsu / juujutsu / ju jutsuróu shù / rou2 shu4 / rou shu / roushujou shu / joushu
Tang Soo Do
Tang Hand Way
唐手道kara te do / karatedotáng shǒu dào
tang2 shou3 dao4
tang shou dao
tangshoudao
t`ang shou tao
tangshoutao
tang shou tao
Karate-Do空手道kara te dou
karatedou
kara te do
kōng shǒu dào
kong1 shou3 dao4
kong shou dao
kongshoudao
k`ung shou tao
kungshoutao
kung shou tao
Karateka空手家karateka
Kempo Karate
Law of the Fist Empty Hand
空手拳法kara te ken pou
karatekenpou
kara te ken po
kōng shǒu quán fǎ
kong1 shou3 quan2 fa3
kong shou quan fa
kongshouquanfa
k`ung shou ch`üan fa
kungshouchüanfa
kung shou chüan fa
Law of the Fist Karate
Kempo Karate
拳法唐手ken pou kara te
kenpoukarate
ken po kara te
quán fǎ táng shǒu
quan2 fa3 tang2 shou3
quan fa tang shou
quanfatangshou
ch`üan fa t`ang shou
chüanfatangshou
chüan fa tang shou
Matsubayashi-Ryu Karate-Do松林流空手道matsu bayashi ryuu kara te dou
matsu bayashi ryu kara te do
Shotokan Karate-Do鬆濤館空手道
松涛館空手道
shou tou kan kara te dou
shoutoukankaratedou
sho to kan kara te do
sōng tāo guǎn kōng shǒu dào
song1 tao1 guan3 kong1 shou3 dao4
song tao guan kong shou dao
songtaoguankongshoudao
sung t`ao kuan k`ung shou tao
sungtaokuankungshoutao
sung tao kuan kung shou tao
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.


Dictionary

Lookup Empty Hand in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!

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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 Empty Hand Kanji, Empty Hand Characters, Empty Hand in Mandarin Chinese, Empty Hand Characters, Empty Hand in Chinese Writing, Empty Hand in Japanese Writing, Empty Hand in Asian Writing, Empty Hand Ideograms, Chinese Empty Hand symbols, Empty Hand Hieroglyphics, Empty Hand Glyphs, Empty Hand in Chinese Letters, Empty Hand Hanzi, Empty Hand in Japanese Kanji, Empty Hand Pictograms, Empty Hand in the Chinese Written-Language, or Empty Hand in the Japanese Written-Language.

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