Intrigued by Chinese symbols? Find out about how the Chinese symbol for strength was developed and its contemporary usage.
The Chinese language is a highly complicated system that makes use of symbols rather than alphabets based on phonetics. The symbols, known as characters in the Chinese language are used to depict entire concepts and cannot be broken up to form other words.
Traditionally the collection of Chinese symbols that form their so called symbol alphabet had more than 80,000 symbols. However the bulk of them are no longer in use today. The essence of Chinese reading and writing is based upon a few thousand symbols which is still a lot more than what most English speaking people are accustomed to.
The intriguing symbolism of the Chinese language
On being exposed to this unique construction and basis of language the western world has been greatly intrigued by the traditional use of symbols in Chinese language. On the one hand it has triggered an academic research into the history and origins of the Chinese symbols whereas on the other it has inspired an artistic revolution.
The physical structure and visual appearance of traditional Chinese symbols is truly worth admiring. Although simplistic in nature the balance, composition and strokes make up such an interesting design that has a timeless appeal.
Amongst the many different symbols that are frequently used by westerners today in different forms of art is the Chinese symbol for strength.
The strength of the symbols
The basis of art is to make a picture speak an idea or a concept. Although for the Chinese looking at a Chinese symbol for strength would be like reading it, for the non-Chinese it becomes a totally metaphorical representation of the concept. Hence we find that many artists have been inspired to use the Chinese symbol for strength in various ways.
There is an array of commercial products that feature Chinese symbols on them due to the fact that they have a very aesthetically pleasing look and at the same have the potential to carry profound meaning. Developing these symbols thousands of years ago who could have thought that they would become some sort of a fashion craze in the years to come.
The symbol for strength
The Chinese strength symbol is pronounced as li. A closer observation reveals the symbol to bear likeliness to a tool that is used for ploughing purposes. The upper part of the symbol looks like the handle whereas thee lower end resembles the ploughshare. A vertical stroke goes across the image which looks like the place where you put your foot.
So how come the plough tool was used to represent strength? Ask those who use the tool and they will tell you that you need to have a lot of strength to be able to plough. Hence the symbol gets its meaning from the act of ploughing which requires a lot of strength.
The Chinese symbol for strength is often seen being used as a tattoo design especially amongst those individuals that are into body building. They like to couple their actual physical strength with the Chinese symbol that represents the concept.