Jump to content

Misuse of Chinese characters in Tattoos


sydneyvegan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I apologize to all those forum members that have character letter tattoos but honestly I think they are all stupid unless you speak that language(and I mean fluently). What makes them so cool even if they actually say what you want them to mean??? I would never get a tattoo in German, Russian, or whatever other language I don't understand. I've been to Japan and I've never seen any Japanese people with traditional sayings in english.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a friend who got the word "strength" tattooed on the back of her neck in Sanskrit. A lot of us wondered if it really said strength. The tattoo artist was a known bigot, so there was a lot of skepticism about what it might actually say.

 

I think if you have a familiarity with a text -- like if a marital art student got the name of their school or art form -- that would be different. But it is questionable why someone would get text that they are unfamiliar with tattooed on their body.

 

Additionally, I think you'd want to have the tattoo done by someone who knows the language. Would you trust a tattoo artist who couldn't spell English to just copy words off a computer print out? I don't think it is any different for other languages.

Edited by Daniel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me it seems like its just a part of the culture of suping up a Honda Civic and covering it up with character letter decals. Its unfortunate...the same way asians are obsessed with our pop culture...however they don't get tattoos of american things in mass

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do feel sorry for the people who have the tattoos, but at the same time I agree with Potter.

When you consider the fact, that you need knowledge of around 3000 to 4000 chinese characters for fully literacy, it probably pays to find someone that is a native speaker, rather than the local biker tattooist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One would think that if someone was going to get text (in any language) tattooed on their body, that was going to be difficult if not impossible to change or erase, that they'd do their own research first and not just blindly trust the artist. The "stop woman flow" was hilarious.

 

I think that asian character tattoos are fascinating, if they have personal meaning for the person... but kind of stupid if they're just trying to be cool like everyone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Tattoo's I am getting (Starting in 19 days, yay) will involve some Asian Symbolism, but not characters.

I was draw towards an Japanese/Chinese style tattoo, as I've always liked Asian Woodblock prints (Hokusai, for example), So I asked the Tattooist to draw something for me, involving Elephants, cherry blossoms and clouds.

He suggested we add Wu Fu (5 bats or good luck bats) and I liked the way they looked as well as the symbolism, health, wealth, long life, love of virtue and a peaceful death. I also like bats and flying foxes.

I've always liked Elephants and it turns out they have added symbolism of meaning strength of mind.

The cherry blossoms, come from my love of Irezumi, so I wanted these in there somewhere. They have a few meanings, but one is transition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I often read about wrong chinese tattoos - wrong written, mirror-inverted... I would ask 20 different people to get sure. But I think these sign are boring 'cause so many people have them with just looking in a list and thinkig "oh, that's a nice word". It's often not really personal.

 

But I dream of a Buddhistic wisdom about the nature in Tibetan language with a nice picture for my back. But I still search for the right wisdom and somebody who is writing the Tibetan language... *lol* It seems it will be a long progress to get this tattoo.

 

I don't think you have to spreak that language a tattoo ist written in. It's more important when the tattoo has a special personal meaning and you maybe feel close to the country.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah but I can love Africa and put a translated saying on my body in English...I think if your interested enough in a culture to get some part of its language tattooed on you forever you should be willing to spend a few years learning some of it first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A similar concept to people getting tattoo's in another language is people who copy Maori designs, Ta Moko. The patterns actually have meaning, relating to each person and their family history ( It would be like getting someone elses family tree tattooed on yourself) Maori Tatooist will not tattoo you in this way, instead they use a similar style, Kirituhi, which has a similar look, but does not have the same symbolism.

 

I think it is fanastic to have an interest in other cultures, you just to find a way to get a design you like, but at the same time respect their language and traditions.

 

I've been interested in Japanese woodblock since I first saw Ukiyo-e (A style of Japanese woodblock), in high school. When I decided to get tattoos I looked for a Studio where the tattooists had ability in Japanese style tattooing. 1 spent time in Japan learning from a Horiyoshi III (A Japanese Master) and the other one has a real passion for Asian art and culture, mainly woodblock, brush painting and bonsai. Their knowledge of the language might be limited, but their knowledge of the Artistic side of it meant I go get a tattoo designed that I would like without getting a meaningless character or phrases tattooed permanently on my body.

 

I guess I'm saying I think you can still get the personal meaning and interest in the culture across without using their language.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...