7 Virtues of Bushido Codes Virtues for Kanji Tattoo Design

A set of 7 codes or virtues of Bushido, 武士道 (The Way of Warriors; Samurai’s code of conduct) for your kanji tattoo design 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.

The 7 virtues of Bushido are

Is there a proper order that they are supposed to be in? Click here.

If you are looking for 武士道 (Bushido, the way of samurai), click here.

Bushido Kanji for Tattoo

Kanji Tattoo Fail on Bushido Codes on the internet.

I can’t stress enough how risky and dodgy it is to get a kanji tattoo design on the internet, especially for free (even paid images sometimes contain wrong kanjis). This man got a wrong kanji on his neck thinking that it’s warrior, but it’s actually dirt… I was watching this tv program to study English and this footage still remain vivid in my memory though it is over 10 years ago..

He got 土, which means ‘dirt’. What the asian guy is saying is that he needs to get the top part longer to fix that kanji to warrior.

When I image-googled “7 virtues of bushido tattoo “, the result was shocking… Here is the search result.

This gentleman has a really impressive back! but to us, the Japanese, some of the characters make us go ‘oh…’

Wrong Bushido Code Kanji Tattoo 1 :  Loyalty

To express ‘Loyalty’ in the Bushido code/virtue, you need 2 kanjis, ‘忠’ and ‘義’. Judging from the blueprint (design data),  the Kanji appears to be designed as 1 word, thus looking rather compressed and imbalanced. Also the second Kanji, 義 is wrong.

I thought it might be an ancient writing style, so I checked it but I couldn’t find that style. It could be the Chinese version but Bushido being the Japanese thing, it’s always safe to stick to what is written in the Japanese literatures, which is ‘義’

Wrong Bushido Code Kanji Tattoo 2 :  Honour

This one is same as the one above. the word for ‘Honour’ in the Bushido Code/Virtue needs 2 Kanjis ‘名’ and ‘誉’.

But it appears that both the data and the actual tattoo are compress into 1 word and looking squashed.

Wrong Bushido Code Kanji Tattoo 3 : Veracity

This mistake is disastrous, it diminishes and changes the true meaning of the virtue.

Veracity : conformity to facts; accuracy.

The Kanji for this virtue is ‘誠’ . This is actually two kanjis put together into 1 kanji and it does exist unlike the other two mentioned above.

It is the combination of the kanjis below

  • 言 : word, to say.
  • 成 : to make it real, to grow.

So, the literal meaning of the kanji is ‘to conform to your word’ or ”If you say something, you make it real, or grow it into reality’ I hope you can get the picture.

This Kanji is actually a symbol of Shinsengumi, a special police force (group of highly skilled samurais) during the late Edo period.


The word for ‘this Kanji’ is read ‘Makoto’ and that kanji tattoo in the photo is pronounced as the same but different meaning, which is “true”, ‘not fake’ and ‘genuineness’. It is a kanji that has a positive meaning but just not right in this context.

Wrong Bushido Code Kanji Tattoo 4 :  Righteous

The Kanji for Rectitude/Righteous is wrong. This kanji is also used in ‘Loyalty’ (忠)

As picture is worth a thousand words, here  I put the right Kanji next to it so you can compare and see the difference.

If I ever meet someone with wrong kanji tattoos like this, should I let that person know? knowing that would most likely disappoint him/her. Maybe I recommend another tattoo, ‘Ignorance is bliss’, which is ‘知らぬが仏‘ in Japanese.

Is there a proper order that they are supposed to be in?

From my understanding YES and the 7 characters are put in the same order as explained in the book called ‘Bushido, The way of Samurai’ by Inazo Nitobe. Some of the virtues is the base of the others and should come first or next to each other. For example, Veracity (誠) is the base or equal to Honour (名誉), because “lying was not condemned as sin, but simply denounced as weakness, and, as such, highly dishonourable” You will receive the rest of my explanation with the excerpt from the book after purchase. That way you’ll be able to decide on the order to your linkings if you want to.

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.

Click the image to have a close look at them.

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

▶️Purchasing process


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