Chic, Stylish, Cool (粋) – Japanese Word in Kanji Calligraphy for Tattoo and Interior Design

Tattoo designs for a Japanese word ‘iki’(粋)are available for an instant download and you have 5 different kanji calligraphy styles to choose from.

  • Chic
  • Stylish
  • Cool

are usually translated into「かっこいい/格好いい」(kakkoii), but this phrase is so broad and overused, thus sounds rather cheap.

「粋」(iki) is something more specific yet versatile and has a sophisticated, thoughtful, sexy and rebellious connotations to it. It is an aesthetic concept thought to have originated amongst the merchant classes of Edo. It is a 1 word and concise, has a nice ring to it.

Style 1

Not only for your Tattoo design, but also this Kanji goes very well for an interior design as well.

Style 4

So if you are looking for something off the mainstream, it might be worth checking what Iki is.

What is Iki ‘粋’ ?

Have you ever seen a kimono which has a plain colour and very simple outside but has a nice looking beautiful drawing inside like this.

This is a great example of what 粋 is, a distinct aesthetic ideal of subdued displays of taste and/or wealth, with an emphasis on belying, on first glance, the efforts – monetary or otherwise – taken to appear stylish.

But why this design ? You won’t be able to show off the drawing once you wear it.

To understand why, you will need to learn a bit of Japanese History. Don’t worry, I’ll make it simple here.

Hitory : the development of Iki concept

During the Edo period(1603~1868) , the Samurai were ruling the society being at the top of the hierarchy.

* Japanese Hierarchy 「 士農工商」

  1. 士 : Samurai
  2. 農 : Farmer
  3. 工 : Artisans and craftsmen
  4. 商 : Merchant
  5. えた・ひにん : Abattoir worker・Criminal

The merchant class were considered to be at the bottom of the hierarchy (Apart from abattoir worker and criminal). But because of the political stability that last over 200 years, some merchants became richer than Samurai who should be at the top of the society.

Therefore, a number of edicts were passed restricting expression of material wealth by those in the lower class of society to maintain the status or dignity of the upper class.

Simply obeying the law is too soft and make you a wuss, which is uncool, but showing off too much of it will risk your assets.

This is how the concept of iki, a subdued display of wealth,  came about.

If you are interested in this concept and want to learn a bit more of it, a book from Kuzu Shuzo is a good one.

Reflections on Japanese Taste: The Structure of Iki

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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