Don’t risk getting an awkward, unnatural or even wrong Japanese calligraphy tattoo on your skin.
In this article, I will give you some examples as to why and how people end up getting wrong/improper Japanese calligraphy designs.
First of all, here is the google image search result “Japanese Kanji Tattoo”
This result came on the first page and there are so many faulty or wrong kanjis already…
Not only are they improperly laid out (at an angle, imbalanced combinations), but also contain wrong explanations.
Kanji mistake below. Plus these kanjis look written with wrong stroke orders and more like kids writing (nothing wrong with kids writing but would you want that style on your skin? that’s the question I would like to ask)
The Kanji list below makes me speechless… only 3 kanjis with the red square are correct. All the other kanjis are shown with wrong meanings..
For example, the one next to Death「死」is ‘Heaven’ （天）not ‘to die young’.
Also I came across a vector image with wrong Kanji on Shutter Sock where you need to pay to download images…
The Kanji used in the image is 「誇り」(Honour/Pride) , but as you can see, the kanji is divided into 2 blocks and placed one block below the other one. This is just simply wrong…
Not only free kanjis but also paid ones has some risk of ending up with wrong kanji…
Here at Yorozuya.tech, you can be assured that all of our calligraphy designs are 100% accurate and authentic, impressive to those with Japanese background, as they are all checked by a native Japanese speaker.
Just as Japanese people love to use English symbols and phrases on T-shirt, logo or tattoo design, non-Japanese speakers also find Japanese Kanji Symbols cool and use them for their own design needs.
When I was young, I’d find English letters/text cool even though I had no idea what they meant.
I remember that a friend of mine had a cap with an English word on it.
He’d always put that cap on.
One day, I looked that word up in the dictionary and found that it means “Stupid”.
Yes, the cap had the word “Stupid” on it.
I know you might think that I just made it up just now but no it’s true.
Lucky it was not a tattoo and he could easily change or stop putting that thing on.
But the thing is, the same goes for non-Japanese speakers and it is NOT UNCOMMON for them to end up having Kanji / Japanese calligraphy in an awkward way like this picture
This kanji reads “Chicken Noodle Soup”
We can only guess as to the reason behind this tattooed.
Maybe He/She really like this dish? but most likely not.
Plus the positions of these kanji (how they are laid out) are bizzarre to us.
This is one of the reasons why some of us might frown at people with Kanji tattoo.
It’s not that we find it offensive or rude, rather we find it
- unnatural (incorrect Japanese)
- lame form
- looked squashed
- wider than normal
- not properly laid out
- improperly positioned
etc.. that we think it is not only pity but also don’t know how to respond to it.
What if I showed you my arm with this tattoo on it (Me having a big smile on my face and looking proud of it)
You might laugh at it or be like “oh…” right?
That’s exactly how I would be like, if you showed me a tattoo like this.
This one above shows a 4-kanji tattoo but this phrase does not make sense to Japanese people.
We recognise these 4 kanjis individually and they are indeed correct.
- 住 : To live
- 用 : For
- 現 : Currently
- 今 : Now
However, putting these 4 kanjis altogether does not make sense.
Plus, these 4 kanjis are
- all different sizes
- not aligned properly
- wrong stroke
In other words, it’s not cool nor impressive…
I know different people have different tastes but I just want to help you get the right, correct and cool word/phrase for your needs.
The Japanese language uses 3 different scripts (Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana) and getting familiar with those 3 takes years and it is certainly a pain in the neck.
So you might think of relying on Kanji generator or of some kind for translation but I don’t think that’s a good idea.
Here is why.
Let’s say you are a boxer and you want a “Gust of wind” / “Gale” on your arm, as you can throw a punch very fast like a “Gust of wind” or maybe you want that kanji on your motorbike because you are a motorbike lover.
When you google “Gust Japanese”, here is what you might get.
Now you have 5 options.
Yes, these options do mean “Gust”, but each has different connotations.
The First one “突風” is associated with sudden wind and uncontrollable.
The second one “煽り”(Aori) can also mean “tailgating(drive)” and “provocation”
The third one is the most appropriate and fits this context best.
This Kanji was actually used for a Japanese fighter (Aircraft) during the world war 2 and resonate well with delivering a fast blow.
The forth one means simply “wind”
The fifth one is more like “to puff” or “to spray for a second”
I hope you get the picture.
Also it is quite often the case that different kanji that sound alike have totally different meanings.
That “gust” （疾風） is spelled “Shippuu” and very similar sound “Shippu” is written 湿布(cold press for relieving body pain)
If you want Fuujin（Wind God）, you must be very careful not to confuse it with Fujin(lady or Battle formation) .
- 風神 : Fuujin（Wind God）
- 婦人 : Fujin（Lady）
- 布陣 : Fujin(battle formation)
Another factor that needs to be considered is the tattoo being upside down.
Not only did this person had the tattoo upside down, but also the Kanji was possiblelly wrong..
This kanji 「求道」can be read as either
“Kyudo” is to practice in search of truth and enlightenment while “Gudo” is to seek the Way of the Buddha.
But if he wanted “Kyudo”, it might have been the case that the correct kanji for him was 弓道.(the Japanese martial art of Archery)
As you can see, there are number of reasons why you might end up having wrong/weird Japanese calligraphy designs.
So please be very very careful with Kanji symbols, especially if you are looking for your tattoo design..
Here at Yorozuya.tech, we only provide script designs that truely make sense.
You can check the meaning, background, story, script style etc before purchase.
Here, I’lll just use one of the most famous Haiku (Japanese Poem) page for example below
Here at Yorozuya.tech, we provide a wide range of Japanese script designs taken from
- old poetries
- Samurai quotes
- Death Poem
- 4 Kanji idioms
- Japanese proverbs/sayings
- Japanese Zodiac
as well as 1~2 Kanji combinations that does make sense.
Happy browsing and hope you come across a perfect design for you.