I desperately need some opinions on this difficult decision I am making.
(I do apologise for the length of this post. I tried to keep it condensed, but I really wanted to get across how much this means to me)
I’ll explain a bit of back story first. I have loved Japanese culture ever since I started studying it in high school at 12 years old. 2 years later around 20 students across the school were selected to travel to Japan, and I have never been so blown away. I never could have imagined the breathtaking beauty, the stunning kindness, the incredibly interesting customs, technology and history- I could go on and on.
A little later in life I was introduced to the simple, yet deeply meaningful Ensō symbol on a website related to a documentary I had watched called ‘Planetary’. I LOVED it. I had many thoughts of it being my first tattoo. It was long forgotten until recently when I was given the amazing opportunity to travel 6 weeks around my home country, Australia, with my best friend, and boyfriend for my 18th birthday in March.
So I have been thoroughly researching into it again, which has reignighted that passion for the symbol. I have gone through many years of severe mental, and physical illness’s, the former nearly taking my life at one point. Its philosophy’s that surround symbols like this that have helped me through my worst moments, and especially as the swiftly recovering being I am now . I’ve been meditating and painting the Ensō every day recently. I don’t want to just steal a photo off the internet and get it tattooed. I’m an artist. I want it to be my creation, my emotion.
My inner strength.
Now to get to my actual point that I need help with:
I want to purchase a Hanko that seals the art pieces.
Yet I have been stuck, wracking my brain for a week trying to figure out how to write my name. I found very quickly that Katakana would be the best, probably most polite option. However アレックス is too long to fit on the stamp I want.
The more I looked into Kanji, the more uneasy I felt. I really love the way it looks, but I love the culture- more specifically, respecting said culture much more. I don’t want to be one of those foreigners who tattoos something that doesn’t make any sense.
Eventually I decided to contact the beautiful lady my best friend and I stayed with for 2 days in Japan 4 years ago. She was very kind, and helpful. These were her suggestions:
‘And in kanji
These kanji have good mean!‘
It was with that, I felt much better. I still wanted to know what the kanji meant though, so I did more and more research. I eventually ended up on this forum, where someone was carving a hanko for a girl named Alexandra. I thought it would help, but I was left even more confused! I want to use this name chop to sign art, most definitely; but one art piece will be on my body permanently. I know it is that fact making this decision so hard. (No matter what I end up doing, I would always bring a tattoo covering cream when traveling to Japan.)
The only other option I can think of, is shortening my name in Katakana to アレクス , which could then fit on the Hanko. However, I don’t know if that makes sense either!
If anyone has any other thoughts or suggestions, that would honestly be beyond amazing- it’d make my day to finally put all this questioning to rest!
If anyone has read this far,