Righteousness in Chinese - Meanings
The Chinese character 義 means righteousness, justice, or meaning. The Chinese character for righteousness, actually contains inner meaning, encompassing moral values such as honesty, justice, trustworthiness, and loyalty. Pronounced as “Yi”, it looks like a combination of the character of sheep (羊) and I (我) on the bottom.
So many people asked why the character for sheep and I equal to “righteousness”? according to Chinese tradition, sheep is kind and obedient. The animal is considered to be the symbol of prosperity and good luck. The character of sheep (羊) and I (我) are placed together to form 義, can be literally interpreted to signify “I am a sheep”.
The sheep, according to traditional Chinese culture, is also a sweet animal linked to many good things. The Chinese characters for sheep (羊) composed of beauty (美) and auspicious (祥). In ancient China, a sheep was sacrificed to honour the gods. And therefore, in regard to that ritual, one can make sacrifices in the name of justice/righteousness.