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Can someone please tell me what it means? I don't understand the 2nd kanji and can't find it online.

  • The second character does not exist in Japanese (or rather exists in traditional form): detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1246327712 – virmaior May 29 '16 at 11:09
  • baike.baidu.com/view/492051.htm – virmaior May 29 '16 at 11:10
  • @virmaior sorry, I didn't knew this – aishi May 29 '16 at 11:12
  • @aishi. You do't need to say sorry at all. You simply didn't realize it's a Chinese phrase. I've done the same thing very often in English Language & Usage site, but the users of EL&U are generally broad-minded, and condone. There's Japanese proverb - It's a momentary shame to ask about what you don't know, but it's a lifetime shame not to ask what you don't know (and remains ignorant). The question needn't to be closed. – Yoichi Oishi May 29 '16 at 12:35
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吉, short for 吉祥, lucky, auspicious, propitious 庆, short for 喜庆, joyful, happy event, to celebrate 有余, to have enough and to spare, to have a surplus

to have a lot of happy things

In some Chinese traditional paintings, you may see a plump child holding a halberd(戟, ji3, similar with 吉), a chime stone(磬, qing4, same with 庆) and a fish(鱼, yu2, same with 余), usually a cyprinoid, sometimes only a fish and a lotus flower, which indicates 吉庆有余.

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The second character is 慶 in the simplified form (簡体字). It can be read as 吉慶有余 (pronounced as 'jiqing-youyu' in Chinese). It's not Japanese. It's a Chinese phrase printed on a made-in-China T shirt. If we read it in Japanese way, we read it "吉慶余りあり," meaning "There are so many happy things," and it passes as a Japanese oldish expression.

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From baidu baike, the term "吉庆有余" share the same meaning with "吉庆有鱼", which has the meaning to be auspicious or lucky.

The term "吉庆有余" derives from traditional Han's auspicious symbol.

The term "吉庆" in "吉庆有余" means auspicious.

Here is the evidence:

From baidu baike, in the 《琵琶记·旌表》 written by 高明, there is a sentence: "祥瑞如此,吉庆必来。" My mandarin chinese interpretation is that 像这样祥瑞的时候,喜庆的事情一定也会到来, which means when it is a good time, something auspicious will happen.

Therefore, "吉庆有余" veil with a meaning of being propitious.

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