Shou (character)

Shòu ( simplified Chinese :寿 ; traditional Chinese :壽 ; pinyin : shòu ) is the Chinese word / character for “longevity”.


Three of the most important goals in life in Chinese traditional thought are the propitious blessings of happiness ( 福), professional success or prosperity ( 禄), and longevity ( shòu寿). These are visually represented by the three “star gods” of the same names ( Fú, Lù, Shòu ), commonly depicted as three male figurines [1] (each wearing a distinctive garment and holding an object that allows them to be differentiated), or the Chinese ideographs / characters themselves, or various homophones or objects with relevant attributes. shòuis instantly recognizable. “He holds in His Hand has wide peach, and attached à son are staff has long gourd and a scroll. The stag and the beats Both indicate indication fu happiness. The peach, gourd, and scroll are symbols of longevity.” [2] His most striking feature is, however, his broad and high forehead, which earned him the title “Longevity Star Old-pate”. [2]

The Chinese character shòu (寿) is usually found are textiles, furniture, ceramics and jewelry, in icts Generally more complex ideograph (壽) icts goal aussi en simplified (post-1950) form (寿). The ideograph may appear alone or be surrounded by flowers, bats, or other good luck symbols, but will always hold a central position.

Longevity is commonly recognized as one of the Five Blessings ( wǔfú五福 – longevity, wealth, health, love of virtue, a peaceful death) of Chinese belief [3] that are often depicted in the homophonous rendition of five flying bats because of the word for ” beats ” in Chinese ( 蝠) sounds like the word for “good fortune” or “happiness” or in this case, “blessings”. [4] In this arrangement, the shòu ideograph Sometimes takes the dominant central position Replacing the fifth beats.

Other symbols in Chinese iconography that represent longevity include pine trees , cranes , spotted deer, special collectors’ stones ( shòushí寿 石), peaches , and tortoises . [5] These are often depicted in small groupings to emphasize the central, symbolic meaning of the picture (for example, cranes standing among pine trees).

Perhaps the most common Chinese language in the world: shòu shān fú hǎi (寿山 福海), which can be translated as good fortune as limitless as the seas “.

Since 2017, the Unicode Standard features a rounded version of the symbol in the “Enclosed Ideographic Supplement” block, at point code U + 1F262 (ROUNDED SYMBOL FOR SHOU). [6]

In names

As a sign for a resonant cultural concept, the character became a part of many Chinese names (eg Palace of Tranquil Longevity in Beijing). The Japanese equivalent is Kotobuki see (see Nakajima Kotobuki , Tsukasa Kotobuki ). See also Jurōjin (Shou Laoren) and Fukurokuju .

See also

  • Fu character (福)
  • Double Happiness (calligraphy) (囍), a common calligraphic good-luck design


  1. Jump up^ Duda, Margaret (2011). Traditional Chinese Toggles . SHS. p. 59.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Werner, ETC (1932). A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology . Kelly and Walsh. p. 431.
  3. Jump up^ Bartholomew, Terese Tse. Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art . Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. p. 164.
  4. Jump up^ Bartholomew, p. 24
  5. Jump up^ Duda, pp. 204-6
  6. Jump up^ “The Unicode Standard, Version 10.0, Enclosed Ideographic Supplement” (PDF) . . The Unicode Consortium . Retrieved 16 August 2017 .

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *