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Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 08:14
Hello there,

I would like to get a tattoo of my sons name to celebrate his birth. I love the look of "Kanji" tattoos although I know there are mixed feelings on westerners getting kanji tattoos.

So my question is: I have found a kanji symbol for "Hunter" that means "one who hunts game". I've also seen websites that convert non-japanese names into symbols that represent the way the name sounds in english. I'm not sure which would be the better way to go. The first option seems to have a bit of a double meaning, as I do hunt game for food. The second option might give a more accurate sound with the symbols, but I do not know what the symbols actually mean.

The second thing is I would hate to use the wrong symbol. I have found this: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hzTLX3APsWA/U0lqwZ395fI/AAAAAAAAEmc/V0nVbdoc... which appears to have been drawn by someone who knows what they are doing.

Please give me some suggestions and guidance. I will not get something unless I am 100% sure that it is an accurate symbol in its design, and also accurate to its meaning.

Thanks so much.
by JaseN (guest)  

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 08:48
word of advice, stick to something you know and understand.

by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 09:15
Are you suggesting not to use japanese characters or just to use the letter representations instead of a "word"
by JaseN (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 09:36
.. is simply suggesting to use something you KNOW, instead of trying to write something in a language you don't understand :)

When people ask for "Japanese name" for their western names, there are two things we can do:

(1) -a. write the name as it sounds phonetically (in katakana writing, normally used to write non-Japanese, non-kanji words and names),
(1) -b. furthermore, for some names, we could find kanji that have similar or same sounds to the original name (thus to the katakana writing) and choose a kanji combination that has pleasant meaning. In this case, the selection of kanji is completely arbitrary and up to the person who chooses the kanji, as there can be many different kanji that have the same sound.
(2) take the original "meaning" of your name in your language, and find a Japanese name/word that is closest in "meaning" to your name. In this case, the sound can be completely different from the original name.

(1)-a will get you ハンター (ha-n-ta-a)
(1)-a: I cannot come up with a good combination of kanji to represent that sound...

(2) is what you are trying to do with 狩人.

If you "must" do it, I would go for (2). The image you have looks OK, though the brush strokes look a bit rough. And again if you "must," please have it done at a tattooist who KNOWS kanji (not just can imitate the shape but knows the strokes and everything).
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 10:24
Thank you for your recommendations. I have not been able to find a tattoo artist that actually knows how to write the language, hence my enquiry here.

Do you think I'd get a favourable result if a good tattoo artist were to use something drawn by a japanese calligrapher?
by Jase (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 11:13
Nobody gets favorable results from any kanji tattoo...
by Tuna (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 14:00
They're suggesting to find a tattoo artist who knows the language because it's not just a matter of copying a picture; kanji is written using a certain order of strokes drawn in certain directions. You're unlikely to get an accurate tattoo without finding a tattoo artist who understands the language.

Really, why does the tattoo need to be in kanji? Is your son Japanese? Does he like Japanese things? Do you have any history with Japan? If you want it to mean something, don't use a language you're not connected to. Cultural appropriation.
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Tattoo of my Sons name 2015/12/11 14:11
First of all, in Japanese all foreign names are written in Katakana, not Kanji. It would be super weird for a foreigner to write their name in Kanji. You can use a Kanji symbol for 'Hunter', but that would imply an occupation rather than a name - if Japanese people see the Kanji they'll think you're a hunter and not know it's someone's name. Also in Japanese culture tattoos are frowned upon - most people in Japan with tattoos are members of the yakuza so it's very taboo. So it's a little odd to get a tattoo in Japanese writing when it's antithetical to the Japanese culture if you get what I mean. Personally I would get his name tattooed in your own language, or a picture that represents what he means to you. But each to their own.
by Jenn Jett (guest) rate this post as useful

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