Carpe Diem / Live the moment(前後際断)- Zen Word For Tattoo in Japanese Brush Stroke Kanji

A Zen quote ‘Live the moment’ 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.

If you are looking for a Kanji that means ‘Carp Diem’ or ‘Live the moment’, then this is the perfect choice for you.

Style 1

This is a Zen teaching summarised in what is called Yojijukugo (四字熟語 :4 letter idiom)and sounds/looks much better than ‘今を生きる’, which is the normal translation of ‘live the moment’

Explanations and Interpretations

Here are the meanings of each Kanji

  • 前 : Front
  • 後 : Back
  • 際 : Moment
  • 断 : Break

Its literal meaning is ‘Breaking both front and back moment’. In other word ‘Cut off the past and the future and focus everything on the present.

We often drag the past behind us and worry about the future.  Then anxieties arise. Your energy is deprived and you can’t focus on what is happening right now right here and you can’t get the results you want.

If that is the case, stop worrying about the past and future, over which you have no control. You’d be much better off putting every energy you have now into what you are doing right now right here.

Only then can you make things better.

Isao Aoki, a Japanese pro golfer, was saved by this Zen teaching when he’d been in the doldrums.

Forget about the bad shots in the past,  not thinking about how many holes are left, just focusing only on every single shot that he is just about to make.

Usually ‘Live the moment’ is translated as ‘今を生きる’ but this does not sound strong enough for your resolution or conviction. That is why I recommend this Yojijukugo (4 letter idiom)

What is Yojijukugo (四字熟語)

Yojijukugo in the broad sense simply means any Japanese compound words consisting of four kanji characters.

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

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.

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

▶️Purchasing process


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