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Kanji help for tattoo

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Kanji help for tattoo 2011/8/2 13:06
Hi, I'm looking to get the Bushido Code tattooed. My tattoo artist said however that when placing characters next to each other, they can change the meaning, rather than if they were just by themselves. So if I placed the first row, in my link, running vertically on one arm, and the bottom row of the link, on another, will the meaning change?

Also, some have said that the font and style of some of the characters looks wrong? Can someone offer suggestions?

Thank you.

Heres the link
http://i.imgur.com/SLPhq.jpg

by Anti Her0z (guest)  

... 2011/8/2 15:56
Are you sure you want to get a tattoo in a language you don't understand? :)

The first "five" kanji, `Em琽, can be placed either side by side, or vertically. If you just did the "first row" in your link, that would be missing the last one!

The second line can be _ ` (those are two two-kanji words).

Or you could do ` E m _ ` in one line/row as those seem to be the full Bushido Code.

The second one "courage" looks a bit funny - the vertical line running straight down the top half should be aligned with the starting point ot the left stroke of the bottom half.
For the rest of it, um, generally speaking the calligraphy is not that great, I must say... you might want to look elsewhere for the right calligraphy/font.

by AK rate this post as useful

? 2011/8/2 15:58
Anti,

if I placed the first row, in my link, running vertically on one arm, and the bottom row of the link, on another, will the meaning change?

I'm not sure if I understand the question. Do you realise these aren't sentences?

Also, some have said that the font and style of some of the characters looks wrong? Can someone offer suggestions?

They're not wrong at all, but very unbalanced. Some letters are huge while others are small.

by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/8/2 16:04
Sorry, I didn't realise AK's post coming in as I was posting mine, but I think we're generally saying the same things.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/2 18:44
Are you sure you want to get a tattoo in a language you don't understand? :)

I kinda agree and if I imagine someone tatooing these words in English it seems too funny, so I understand how Japanese must feel to see these kind of tattoos.

When english speakers look at "product poetry" in Japan I think it is kind of the same thing...
The english writing on packaging is more decorative and alluding to something rather than meant to be read directly.
On my sandwich from the conveni it often says bizarre things like
"freshness from the joyful meadows bringing you tasty sandwich with loving heart"
Of course most Japanese never bother to read it, they just think it looks a little bit cool and European perhaps?..I don't think this by the way, I would much prefer to see the Bushido code written out on my sandwich wrapper than some waffly whimsical bulls**t but I understand it is aimed at non-english speakers and not me so I just sigh.
Same with this tattoo...maybe he just wants it to look a bit asiany, spiritualy, martial artsy?
each to their own.

by gilesdesign (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/2 18:54
gilesdesign,

I "happen" to read those English inscriptions (or they jump into my view), and wish they weren't there. Nor would I want my sandwiches to advertise that they were made according to Bushido code either lol. Well, some of those English writing is just too bad (beyond "grin it off" stage) even if the intention was just for decoration :)

I know what you mean, but tattoo is for life. You don't put something frivolous on your skin permanently (or I hope people won't). And it would be better if you (general "you") don't ask someone on an anonymous internet forum for some comments (even though I try to answer truthfully to the extent I can - which may be a contradiction) and go ahead and carve something onto your skin permanently, even if it was just for the looks.

And if the original poster really loved those phrases/words/code of conduct, then I would expect him to have understood those phrases fully before he marks his skin with it...

by AK rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/2 19:48
haha,
yeah I agree, a tattoo is more important to get right than a sandwich wrapper.
I'm sure lots of people don't even get as far as asking on an internet forum, maybe they just pick from a photo in a tattoo shop, so kudos to the OP for at least attempting to get some sense of meaning.
by gilesdesign (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/2 23:31
I saw a nice tatoo just today on a young European woman: ƍN
by Uji rate this post as useful

Font 2011/8/3 04:38
I really am doing my best to get it right, without disrespecting the Japanese culture. So I made a couple more, with different fonts. Is font merely a matter of opinion, or does it get to a point, where it just plain isn't correct? Because I like the font from the first pic. But you guys be the judge.

http://i.imgur.com/vAt9g.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/NeCIG.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/iHz7y.jpg

One final question too, I've been told from different people that the yu form of courage is more correct than the yuuki form. What do you guys think. Some said the yuuki form is more in line with the spirit of the Bushido Code.

by Anti Her0z (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/3 05:27
= makoto (not makato)
by Walkingfool rate this post as useful

.. 2011/8/3 05:28
someone said that before. What would Makato be then? I can't seem to find it.
by Anti Her0z (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/3 07:32
Makato? There's no such word in Japanese as far as I know.
by Walkingfool rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/3 07:44
I've been told from different people that the yu form of courage is more correct than the yuuki form. What do you guys think. Some said the yuuki form is more in line with the spirit of the Bushido Code.

I don't even understand the question - what do you mean "yu FORM" and "yuuki FORM"?

And I agree, "makato" does not exist in Japanese. The correct word is "makoto."

Another question; you are not putting the reading and meaning in English alongside the kanji on your tattoo, right?

by AK rate this post as useful

Kanji 2011/8/3 08:45
There is a point where kanji can be just plain wrong- the yuu in the first example you gave definitely is, as others have pointed out, and other kanji in the example are unbalanced and just ugly really, especially jin and rei. To me they don't look like they were written by a native Japanese speaker.

I was wondering about the translation of makoto as "honesty", I had always thought it meant "sincerity", which is similar I suppose but not exactly the same. Can one of the native Japanese speakers confirm whether honesty is also a good translation of ?

by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/3 09:03
To Sira,

is "not lying, not faking things" (both to yourself and to others). So... being truthful. I would say "sincerity" if I'm asked to give a one-word translation, but either "honesty" or "sincerity" would be fine.

by AK rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/3 12:04
No, I'm not putting the meaning in the tattoo...thats just a reference point for me. And now I understand, I messed up, it's just a typo mistake, with makato.

Anyways, are the examples I just provided fine, or are they still funky?

Here they are again
http://i.imgur.com/vAt9g.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/NeCIG.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/iHz7y.jpg

as far was what I mean with the yu and yukki form. In the Bushido Code, courage is often cited as this

http://www.japancalligraphy.eu/images/kanji/courage.jpg

this is the yu form

http://www.craikido.com/Courage_Kanji_Yuu.gif

by Anti Her0z (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/3 14:24
Anti Her0z,

Good to hear you are not putting the English, and got the "makoto" straightened out.

About "yuuki" and "yuu."Those are not "forms," by the way. "yuuki"EC is a full Japanese word meaning "courage," that is used in everyday writing/speech as well. The other one, "yu(u)" E (one kanji) by itself represents the main meaning of "courage," so in codes, slogans, and in artistic writing, this single kanji is often used.

As the Bushido code uses E, and the string of five kanji `Em琽 is common, if you want to stick to it, I think this single kanji is better.

Among the three "fonts" or styles you've listed, the first one looks like textbook font, the second one looks unusual and bold, and the third one is the full flowing brush-stroke style. None has any ill-balanced shape like the first (earlier) one happened to have.

by AK rate this post as useful

.. 2011/8/3 14:52
Sweet, I'll stick with the yuu E then.

And for my last question, then I think everything's straightened out, your earlier post AK, when you were talking about placing the first 5 words on one arm, and the last two on the second. Was it because it wouldn't make sense otherwise, or is it just so there is some sense balance, since they are two kanji letter words? I just wanted to hear your reasoning behind it, because I agree with you.

You've been beyond helpful AK, and I really appreciate it. And thank you everyone else for your answers.

by Anti Her0z (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2011/8/3 17:40
OP wrote on 2011/8/3 04:38
"I really am doing my best to get it right, without disrespecting the Japanese culture."

You are not disrespecting the Japanese culture. It's just that to the average Japanese, your tattoos will make you look like you're disrespecting yourself. The designs are so foreign and un-cool to the Japanese. But that's none of my business.

by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2011/8/4 12:16
Was it because it wouldn't make sense otherwise,

Right - the first five always seem to come in a string, and the latter two two-kanji words separate. Since the latter is two words consisting of two kanji each, it would not make sense at all to put the last kanji from the first row at the beginning of a new word at all.

Again, I'm not promoting kanji tattoo at all, but if you must get it done...

by AK rate this post as useful

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