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Kanji - Flow Like Water

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operaSUN

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Hey, I'm brand new to the forum and I'm excited that you guys may be able to help me with a problem I have. My martial arts instructor has some kanji on his belt which he believes to equate to something similar to "flow like water". I wanted to know if this is correct, because if it is I'm planning on making a shirt with similar kanji on it for him. I took a stab at finding the kanji that would best translate to "flow like water" and I've attached what I came up with. Could anyone let me know what my instructors belt actually says and which kanji would best translate into flow like water? Thanks!
kanjiflw.jpg kanjibelt.jpg
 

Toritoribe

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The picture of the belt is reversed. The kanji written on it is 水様流. It's a too-direct transtlation. It's barely understandable, but Chinese grammar should be applied when using only kanji. I would use 流如水. It's read "Nagareru koto mizu no gotoshi" in Japanese.
 

operaSUN

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Haha, wow you're right about the picture. Unfortunately it's not the picture that is reversed it's the actual stitching on the belt which is reversed, whoops! Thanks for your help though, I appreciate everything.
 

operaSUN

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One more question actually, when you say that Chinese grammar should be applied when only kanji are used, are you referring to the order of the kanji? Would the proper order for the saying on my instructors belt have the kanji reversed like so, 流様水?
 

Toritoribe

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The order of the kanji is correct. The key is the difference in the functions between 様 and 如. 水様 expresses more likely the state of things, as in 水様便 "watery stool" or 水様卵白 "thin albumin".

Have you ever heard Takeda Shingen's famous slogan 風林火山[Hūrinkazan]? This word is taken from The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The first two verses in the original are 疾如風、徐如林[Hayaki koto kaze no gotoku, Shizukanaru koto hayashi no gotoshi] "Fast like the wind, Silent like a forest". This is a good example of 如.
 
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