Flower in the Mirror Moon on Water in Chinese / Japanese...

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Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water

jìng huā shuǐ yuè
kyou ka sui getsu
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll

This old Asian proverb means "flowers in a mirror and the moon reflected in the lake" or "flowers reflected on a mirror and the moon reflected on the water's surface".

Literally, 鏡花水月 reads "Mirror Flower, Water Moon".

Figuratively this can be used to represent a lot of different ideas. It can be used to express an unrealistic rosy view or viewing things through rose-tinted spectacles. So you can use it to relay an idea about something that is visible but has no substance, something that can be seen but not touched, or something that is beautiful but unattainable such as dreams or a mirage.

This expression is used to describe things like the subtle and profound beauty of poems that cannot be described in words.

鏡 = Mirror (or lens)
花 = Flower(s)
水 = Water
月 = Moon


Can also be written 水月鏡花 (just a slight change in word/character order).




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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
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water鏡花水月
镜花水月
kyou ka sui getsu
kyoukasuigetsu
kyo ka sui getsu
jìng huā shuǐ yuè
jing4 hua1 shui3 yue4
jing hua shui yue
jinghuashuiyue
ching hua shui yüeh
chinghuashuiyüeh
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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Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Scroll


And formats...

Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Vertical Portrait
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Horizontal Wall Scroll
Flower in the Mirror, Moon on Water Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Flower in the Mirror Moon on Water in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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!

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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.

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