What Flourish Must Fade(盛者必衰)- Zen Word For Tattoo in Japanese Brush Stroke Kanji

A Zen quote ‘Nothing is permanent’ for your kanji tattoo is available for an instant download and you have 5 different kanji calligraphy styles to choose from. Your favourite tattoo artist DOES NOT need to know any Japanese.

‘What Flourish Must Fade’(盛者必衰)is a Zen word and also used in the famous opening line of the Tale of Heike.

Explanations and Interpretations

Here are the meanings of each Kanji

  • 盛 : flourish, prosper
  • 者 : person
  • 必 : inevitable
  • 衰 : abate, decay

It means ‘prosperous persons are inevitably abate in the end’. This phrase works like a doctrine/ethic for not becoming complacent and arrogant, but to remain modest and keep up your hard work to live up to the status you have now

Zen related phrases

For more Zen related phrases, click here.

Yojijukugo(四字熟語) for your Kanji Tattoo

In Japanese, there are idioms called ‘Yojijukugo’ and it is in the broad sense simply means any Japanese compound words consisting of four kanji characters.

  • 四 : Four
  • 字 : Letter
  • 熟語 : Idiom

There exists tens of thousands of them in Japanese ranging from those spoken in everyday-life-situation (casual) to the one used only in writing, sounds very formal, sophisticated and impressive.

Suitable for Kanji design

Why I recommend Yojijukugo for your kanji designs?

Because they sound

  • natural
  • straight to the point
  • concise and neat
  • have a nice ring to it

I wrote a post on why I am not a fan of translating English to Japanese when It comes to Kanji design and the reason I recommend revers – look ups instead.

Lost in Translation, 2 overlooked factors that cause a pity Japanese sentence tattoo

You can check other 4 letter idioms here.

Instant Download

You can download the file right after the purchase and no need to wait for me to send it to you. Then you just simply forward it to your favourite tattoo artist. The design is 100% accurate and he/she does not need to know any Japanese.

The file contains both calligraphy style and line art (Stencil).Stencil is what your tattoo artist must have to ink the tattoo, as it serves as the outline to trace the artwork onto your skin.

NOTE : the design DOSE NOT NEED TO BE MIRRORED, meaning it should appear on your skin/object just as it appears on the paper.

Depending on your purpose,  pick either jpeg or pdf

If you are looking to use the design just as it appears and not wanting to resize it, then the “jpeg” should be fine.

But if you are looking to

  • use it on a large object and need to resize
  • change the layout / position
    (e.g, vertical▶️horizontal / angled,  etc)

then the “pdf” should be your choice as it will be less work for your tattoo artist, meaning costs less.
(You need to check with your tattoo artist though)

Click the link below for more information.

▶️ pdf or jpg ? Which one is right for me?

5 different styles

You have 5 writing styles to choose from for this design.

each style gives different impressions and I have summarised in the gallery above.

How to order

Just simply tick your preferred style and add it to the cart.

To have a close look at them, just click the image.

If you are not sure, please read through the page below or simply contact me.

▶️Purchasing process


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