How to translate chinese into english?
You could try to go to Yahoo! Answers' "Society & Cultures" --> Languages section asking for help in translating the Chinese language to English. If you cannot type the Chinese characters into the computer, then you need to upload the images to those photo sharing site in order to let people read it. ============ Edit to add: Of course you could not copy and paste the words in the image to the computer because it is an image you see? That's why i mentioned before that you should upload the picture to somewhere e.g. http://imageshack.us/ or http://tinypic.com/ then give out the link (url... the http address) for others to see the image. Hope this helps. ===== Edit to add: I am Chinese, if it was written in Chinese, i should be able to help. Why not email me the images? ===== Edit to add: It is in Simplified Chinese. 线标 Thread Symbol 线号 Thread Number 全针绣 Full Cross Stitch 半针绣 Half Cross Stitch [you may want to consider using three-quarter cross stitch instead] 股 using here means "strand / strands", so 1股 = 1 strand; 2股 = 2 strands and 3股 = 3 strands. __号线与__号线各1股 means "1 strand each of Thread No. __ and Thread No. __" 1股__号线与2股__号线 means "1 strand of Thread No. __ and 2 strands of Thread No. __" 用__股__号线勾边 means "using __ strand/strands of Thread No. __ for back stitching" 用__股__号线打法国结 means " using __ strand/strands of Thread No. __ for making French Knot 说明 Explanation 黑的细线 Thin Black Line 黑的粗线 Thick Black Line 母狮眼睛里的黑点 the black dots in the eyes of the lioness 兰线 [there is typo, should be 蓝线] Blue Line 绿线 Green Line 母狮子身上的红线 the red line on the body of the lioness 红线的延伸部分 the extension portion of the red line I emailed the translation to you in image format too because i am not sure if you would be able to read Chinese characters on your computer. Hope this helps.
Is this Chinese or Japanese writing?!?
Yes, I would agree it can be pretty confusing for non natives. To clear up any initial confusion, let me just say that this can be both Chinese or Japanese. I'll explain. First, the art style and all the words, including the red seal bearing the artist's signature, are in Chinese characters. This is a good indication that it might be Chinese. However, it is not uncommon for old Japanese art to look like this and use Kanji (Chinese characters) exclusively either. One thing is for sure though, the 4th character 卖 is a simplified Chinese character that does not exist in traditional Chinese (which should be 賣) nor Japanese (売 is the Japanese equivalent). This may point to it being Chinese in origin (or it may be the artist's intention for it to look like so), but done by someone with no knowledge of traditional Chinese. My next point is about your translation, 指寒ふ卖香, which is not quite correct indeed. The correct words are 梅寒不卖香. This means that those are plum flowers, not cherry blossoms. From what I can interprete, it roughly translates as "Plums in the cold, they do not sell their fragrance". You may like to have a look at the article here, under "Cultural significance", they show a really old Chinese artist's depiction of the plum blossom that looks almost identical to the tattoo in your picture http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_mume The red seals bearing the artist's signature is also a good indication of its origin, but those usually bear really old Chinese words stylized so hard that it's quite difficult for anyone not trained in calligraphy to read it.
Japanese flag translation?
Wow, this is an old flag from a war time!!! I'm Japanese and I can tell you that this flag was a gift. In Japan, we have a custom that when someone that we really like leaves us, we get together and write our name and message on something and give that to the person as a gift. And in this case, they used a Japanese flag to write their name and message and they gave the flag to someone as a gift. I assume that the people who wrote on the flag were Japanese soldiers because I see these Japanese words such as " Taisa (colonel)," " Chu-i (officer???)," " Gunsou ( sergent) And I also see these messages : " genki de (take care )." "shikkari (don't lose heart), " "seichu ( loyalty)" and so on. So I'm pretty sure that the person who got the flag was a Japanese soldier who was leaving the people who wrote their name and message on the flag. Well, back then they used these old Chinese characters that Japanese people don't really use today. So it's kinda hard for me to understand some messages. But still I kinda understand what they wrote but not everything, though. Well, they just basically worte a very short message and they wrote their name right next to it or under it. And I'm just going to write the people's name that I can understand on the flag: Chu-i Ogihara Hashimoto Masao Kurosawa Yoshitaka Horita Katsumi Shibata Yoshinobu Tomita Kouichi Iriyama Gozaemon Nomura Chu-i Matsumoto Suzuki Masuo Iwata Mitsuo Nishida Toshiaki ( or Toshimitsu?) Tsutsui Colonel Hotta Sergent Imaeda I might've read these people's name wrong. Japanese people's name isn't like English name that there might be more than one way to read it so if I read it wrong, sorry.
How did Chinese culture spread to Japan?
Just a few tidbits before I start with the heavy stuff. Much of Chinese culture spread to Japan through Korea. Korea itself was heavily influenced by Chinese culture...earlier than Japan was. Also, Japan did not have a writing system until they adopted Chinese characters. They still use many of these words (kanji) but have since developed hiragana and katakana - both of which were influenced by the shapes and forms of Chinese characters. Other influences include: The traditional Chinese hanfu (check it out, it's beautiful) led to the creation of the Japanese kimono. Much of Chinese folklore has been passed on to Japan. A few examples: The rabbit on the moon The red string of fate The goddess of the moon And here are some excerpts that help to answer your question: "Contact between China and Japan had been established in the early part of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). This was enhanced by both the Sui (581–618 CE) and the Tang (618–907 CE). During the Tang Dynasty Japan sent envoys to China on nineteen separate occasions. Students and monks swarmed into the empire to study." http://www.history-of-china.com/tang-dyn... "After entering China, Buddhism was introduced into Japan through Korean Peninsula by Monks from Baekje in 538. The Tang Dynasty saw the peak of cultural exchanges between China and Japan. Japan learned and transplanted Chinese culture into its own culture. Encouraged by the then Japanese dominant class, Japan was introduced with Chinese architecture arts, painting, music and dance. Japanese even imitated the living habit of Chinese people in Tang Dynasty in terms of food, housing, transportation and other customs. Now in Nara and Kyoto, the Nara capital Pingchengjing and Ping'an capital Ping'anjing, modeling on the layout of Chang'an of the Tang Dynasty, still exist. The art of calligraphy of Wang Xizhi and his son Wang Xianzhi and Ouyang Xun were also introduced into Japan and prevailed at a time, causing a fever of imitation. The appearance of the so-called Three Calligraphers reflected that Japanese calligraphy got the gist and extract of that of the Tang Dynasty after learning from Chinese calligraphy. Japan continuously sent its envoys to China, as well as exchange students, monks, painters and various technicians, to enhance cultural and academic exchanges between the two countries." http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_exchan...