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Motifs & Symbols

Alternatively, browse terms in alphabetical order according to their Chinese Pinyin 汉语拼音

Chinese Pinyin: He (Xian He)
Chinese: 鹤 (仙鹤)
Name Of Image: Crane

According to the oldest dictionary in China, Shuowen jiezi 说文解字 (Explanations of Simple Graphs and Analyses of Composite Graphs), the earliest version of the character for ‘crane’ is a composite graph consisting of a pictograph for a bird, the present-day …

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Chinese Pinyin: He Hua
Chinese: 荷花
Name Of Image: Lotus (He Hua)

One of the most commonly drawn motifs in Chinese traditional artworks, particularly favoured by scholars. Lotus in Chinese can be translated into He Hua (荷花) or Lian Hua (莲花). The use of their images, however, are interchangeable. Lotus flower, leave, …

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Chinese Pinyin: Hu Die
Chinese: 蝴蝶
Name Of Image: Butterfly

‘Dié 蝶’ from hú dié 蝴蝶, the Chinese character for ‘butterfly’, can be used to pun on ‘dié 耋’, meaning ‘octogenarian’ in the phrase ‘May mother live up to a ripe old age 萱耋’, or ‘dié 瓞’ for ‘small melons’ in the phrase …

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