Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Sarasvati Benten 4

A ukiyo-e surimono depiction of Benten this time riding a dragon an uniquely Japanese idea though they have have gotten the idea from Chinese Esoteric Buddhism or Taoism images of dragon riding deities?

If you've found this blog by accident don't forget to view all 4 blogs so you can see the images in sequence.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Sarasvati Benten Three

Now for some Chinese / Japanese images.

I couldn't find a good image of Biancaitian as shes known in China so I've tried to pick Japanese images that show a strong Chinese influence.

Frankly I'm not sure if this first image is modern Chinese or Japanese and it does show a slight manga / anime influence but the goddess is depicted as a princess / lady of rank in Chinese costume.

this second image was painted in  18th century Japan but the artist clearly seems to have modelled his work on an older piece perhaps a badly damaged scroll imported centuries earlier from China a painting that had to be replaced? If you're familiar with both Chinese and Japanese painting the Chinese influence is very strong ... very.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Sarasvati Benten Two

Two More images of Sarasvati

These two images seem to depict the goddess peacock as a cross between a peahen and a gardua bird unless this is a VERY stylized swan or goose or other bird?

Friday, 20 December 2013

From Sarasvati to Benten One

This series of posts will show images of Sarasvati / Benten from across ASIA.


Sarasvati or Saraswati is also depicted with a tiger or peacock and known as Shar(a)da in Southern India.

The most consistent feature of depictions of this goddess is her stringed musical instrument often described in English as a lute.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Rough Love

A little experiment in using filters to suggest ink splashs and stroke on a rough absorbent paper

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Copyright Julie Vaux 2013

Another note there seems to be no SinoViet loan word from any Chinese dialects. VET appears to be Austroasiatic.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Whats special about November 24 ?

Its the Catholic feast day for Andrew Dung Lac Vietnamese Catholic Priest and other Vietnamese Catholic martyrs.

Lets also take a moment to consider other martyrs Catholic Protestant or Buddhist or others who in ancient or modern times have been persecuted  for their choice of religion or choice to convert to another religion.

Buddhists were once persecuted for practising a "foreign cult".

Take a moment today to consider the plight of minorities and people who have been martyrs for religion or ideology or philosophy or politics of any kind.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Scholars of language believe the original word for summer in Old Chinese was probably pronounced something like h(i)a ?

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013  

Monday, 18 November 2013


The Cicadas are starting to sing of summer despite the fires and rain

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013  

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Continuing our FIRE sequence 

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

Something we've had a problem with lately in Sydney 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

FIRE and Flame

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 
a small piece inspired by last months Sydney fires

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Fire Dots

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

Yes you can generate a svg of the bottom dots form of  radical 86 used in compounds with phonetics and ideograms.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Friday, 1 November 2013

Fiery Huo

We have recently had severe bushfires in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney so Fire and Heat will be the themes of next  month's Technozi.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Copper Tong Graphic

A freebie for you  I tweaked the nodes on this trying to make it look more raised.

Perhaps someone might like to try adding a wood background?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Copper Tong

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 
The SinoViet word is written with a barred d.
Drat the space between Too and Doo disappeared!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Copper 9285

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

9285 is the Unihan / code number more info in my next post.

Friday, 18 October 2013

5 autumns

5 different Fonts and variants of the hanzi  Qiu 
autumn for your reference 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Monday, 23 September 2013

Tun Town

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 
Yes if you're wondering there are reputable scholars who have speculated on whether this is a loan word from Indo European *Dunos though how the word got to Eastern Asia when it's not used in Tocharian or Sogdian ... ?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Inkblot Cloud

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013

I've been playing with the filters again. There's actually 3 combined in this one.
I 'm aiming for an effect suggesting someone printed or brushing ink onto a very rough piece of damp unsized paper. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

8 Clouds

More neat stuff you can do to Chinese characters using Inkscape filters.

Monday, 26 August 2013


The Biography of a City
Jonathan Clements 2008

A good read for some one who's just started looking into Beijing's history.

If you've read other books you'll find some information you've seen before but its a still a good read about one of Asia's greatest cities and its history over the centuries.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Excellent Temple and Wolverine

Zoo Joo Ji Temple in Tokyo features in the latest Wolverine movie along with Hugh Jackman in varying degrees of undress and varying types of action scenes.

Some of you especially if you've been to Tokyo or Sydney may have noticed the blending of Zoojoo Ji with the Chinese Gardens as Hugh fights his way through Yakuza trying to rescue Mariko from her kidnappers.

But what does ZOOjoo  actually mean.

Its one of those frightfully archaic SinoJapanese words that don't appear in standard dictionaries online or offline so I hazared a guess which I run past a Japanese Facebook Friend.

My guess was something like advancement since the two kanji in this name separately read as increase and upwards.

Konii suggested excellence or excellent.

Zoojoo Ji is a Pure Land temple by the way NOT ZEN and certainly does not have a Chinese style garden with a zigzag bridge but we did get to see one of its famous Buddha images and an excellent view of the gate.

The bullet train rooftop fight is superbly choreographed  too.

and now we have the excellence that is Hugh Jackman!

So go and enjoy the movie !

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Shrine Shi

hello if you've discovered this by accident please visit my othereducational  technozi posts  and support the blogger.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

Just as Houses were sometimes donated to religious orders in Europe or part of them made over into a chapel  as early castles were rebuilt into more comfortable mansions and palaces or chateau in Asia parts of palaces or buildings therein within a compound might become shrines or meditation halls or small temples.

Another European parallel might well be the basilica originally a building for holding court sessions which became the model for the first large Christian churches and cathedrals.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Buddhist Temple SHA CHA Hanzi

SHA / cha is a less common term for  a Buddhist Temple

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

Buddhist temples that do not have pagodas or gate towers will probably still have a small stupa or a bell tower / pavilion.

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 

As far as  I can make out from conflicting definitions in the references I have access to Miao is a word originally used to describe audience halls for officials and royalty and  now used for shrines tutelary temples and and Confucian temples. However Confucian "Temples" are usually compounds including study halls and shrines for deified scholars and ancestors of  local clans and sometimes shrines for local deities. I suspect it depends given the on and off hostility between some Taoists and Confucianists on how strict an interpretation of Confucianism is followed and taught at the particular shrine.

Possibly the best place to see Confucian shrines is now Taiwan or South Korea?

I've read but not seen of Indonesian  and Malaysian Shrines being called LI TANG which means something like Ritual Halls. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Congratulations to the survivors of the Gaokao. NOW consider this Imperial era exams were far longer and open to men only. AUSTRALIAN Hsc exams are spread out over 3 weeks Americans have their Sat Brits A levels If you think 2 days are hell ... For some of us life is one long test !

Friday, 14 June 2013

Basic Japanese

An excellent revised edition of an well known and much used basic text with new vocabulary added to cover internet usage and other changes since the first edition called Essential japanese in 1957.

The only critique I could make of this is that the disc with audio files is MP3 only?

This new edition came out in 2012 so its well and truly been brought up to date.

....now if only I had time to study it properly and memorize the excellent examples discussion and diagrams of japanese verbs!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hintons' Classical Chinese Poetry Anthology

So you want to read some #Classical #Chinese #poetry?

In English? In a recent rranslation?

Try this book by David Hinton!

You will find it both enjoyable and useful with a mixed selection of well known works you may have seen in other anthologies and a few pieces I had not seen in anthologies before now.

Google removed the Amazon link widget so please support this blogger via


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Buckwheat is Qiao

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013 
Who loves soba ramen !? Did you know Buckwheat also known as Kasha is one of the oldest domesticated plants? Genetic and other evidence indicates that it started being grown as a deliberately planted crop rather than a harvested wild crop somewhere in Yunnan probably in one of the Lake Basin Valleys since its nearest wild relative is a plant that prefers an alpine habitat at middle altitudes.

In plain English probably a shelter mountain valley well below the snowline maybe in open woodlands or grasslands below the high  meadows and above cloud or rain forest.

Some one took seeds down out of the mountains and the plant spread from South East Asia up to Central Asia and then across Eurasia until it first appeared in Europe in the Balkans about 4000 B.C. It used to be planted to cereal and other crops cos the plant is an excellent nitrogen fixer enriching soils but this practise declined with the introduction of modern fertilisers.

Fortunately human fondness for soba and pancakes and groats and porridge using this grain means you can still buy buckwheat flour at supermarkets ( well happily mine has it) or soba noodles.

Do try making buckwheat pancakes as well as soba noodles at home!

Buckwheat pancakes work well with berries or red bean paste!

A Field of Buckwheat Plants

Friday, 31 May 2013


Zun may have once meant wine vessel for serving and drinking from  but modern Chinese uses bei. See the rest of my notes on zun one.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Radical 12 Ba and variants

Copyright Julie Vaux 2013

And this is just the typographic font forms ... then there's calligraphy ...

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A Paths and node experiment with hanzi

The altered version needs to be smoother but its close enuff to the seal script form to show my point? You can make new forms out of old ones?

Friday, 17 May 2013

You wine radical 164

While wine and alcohol is usually written

in modern Chinese the original radical did not use water on the side .