Intense Concentration(一心不乱)- Japanese 4 character idiom for tattoo

If you are looking for a Kanji design that means ‘Doing my best”, then this kanji (一心不乱) phrase is the best option.

一心不乱(Isshin Huran) is one of the Japanese 4 character idioms, Yojijukugo (四字熟語).

‘Doing my best’ is often translated as 「頑張る」(ganbaru) but this phrase is more of colloquial and does not sound suitable for a resolution or conviction, especially in writing it sounds rather cheap/cute(like kids saying it). 「頑張る」(頑張る) is so commonly used (overused in my opinion) that it has, in a sense, belittled its own meaning.

In general, I would not recommend translating what you want to say in English into Japanese for your Kanji design as it usually end up in awkward/unnatural phrase. Instead, I recommend finding a Japanese idiom that matches your needs and I have a post on why I think that way.

Literal meaning of 「一心不乱」

Here are the meaning of each Kanji

  • 一 : one
  • 心 : heart/mind
  • 不 : never/not
  • 乱 : stray/wander/disturbed

Its literal meaning is ‘one mind never gets disturbed’. This can be interpreted as ‘Intense Concentration’ and sounds much more mature and determined. I would probably never use 「頑張る」(Ganbaru) for any designs to express my conviction/resolution but 「一心不乱」or 「初志貫徹」are much better alternatives.

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

You can download the file right after purchase and no need to wait.

Don’t risk getting dodgy tattoo designs for free on the internet.

I have a post on why people end up with kanji fails by downloading free kanji designs on the web.

➡️NO MORE TATTOO FAIL ! Get 100% Confident with your Kanji tattoo

What you will get

Each design comes with calligraphy style including 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 when you print it out.

Depending on your purpose,  pick either of these files

  • Medium Resolution jpeg
  • Illustrator Editable pdf

Click the links below to download the demo (examples) .

When you make a purchase, you will be redirected to the download page.

Download and print it out / send it to your favourite tattoo artist.

The design is 100% accurate and authentic. and your tattoo artist does not need to know Japanese.

Available in 5 different writing 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.

Which format is right for me?

If you are looking to use the design just as it appears and not wanting to resize, 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 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?

Before making a purchase

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ THE PAGE BELOW to avoid buying wrong items and get exactly what want.

▶️Purchasing process

Do you like the background Image too?

The image of the background is a door(Fusuma) paint for the Lord Tokugawa at Nagoya Castle Honmaru Palace

Check out the photo gallery.

➡️ Royalty Free Photos of Nagoya Castle and Honmaru Palace


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  • Last Updated

    December 13, 2020

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  • Released

    September 12, 2020

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