Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kanji Tattoo Symbols

Kanji Tattoo Symbols

Kanji tattoo designs are quickly become one of the most popular tattoo designs. It is now quite common to see people sporting a tattoo that looks like cryptic Chinese alphabet. Well, firstly it is Japanese and not Chinese, though originally it was derived from Chinese. But why is this mysterious looking alphabet becoming so popular, even though the person on whom it is inked is himself not conversant with that language?

The reason for Kanji tattoos immense popularity is that this alphabet is not really what people in the west think of as an alphabet; this is actually a symbol which represents a picture, a fable or an expression. So for example if you want to get something tattooed that represents "Love", Kanji has a letter to be able to do so or if you want a tattoo that symbolizes the fable of the hare and the tortoise, you can do it easily by using the Kanji alphabet. People generally also put the English translation next to the tattoo so that it is easily understood.
Kanji Tattoo SymbolsKanji Tattoo Symbols
Apart from Kanji characters, Japanese language also consists of Hiragana and Katakana letters. Hiragana is the phonetic alphabet set, used for connecting different sentences and it is not used for tattooing. Katakana characters are also used as tattoo designs. In Japanese Katakana characters are used to write foreign words and names, hence if someone wants to get their name tattooed in Japanese, one can use Katakana. But Kanji characters have been the most popular throughout the world.

The total number of Kanji characters is close to 80,000, so there are very few tattoo artists who are really experts in Kanji and this has lead to lot of fake artists. They might not know the right Kanji character and may ink something wrong, or even if they know the symbol they might not ink it in the right way because each character is very complicated and even if a small mistake is made it can mean something entirely different. Kanji tattoos are in fact one of the most frequently removed tattoos because of the number of people who have got the wrong Kanji symbol. So when picking the tattoo artist, be very sure about the artists knowledge of Kanji, pick an artist who is proficient in Japanese.

One can also find lot of Kanji symbols and their representations on the internet. But several of these symbols are also incorrect. So if you are picking the Kanji symbols from the internet, be sure to pick it from a trusted site which doesn't give away free tattoos. Lot of the Kanji symbols given away by these free tattoo websites are worth just what you have paid for them. Even after you have picked up a symbol from a trusted site, it is best to get it verified from a Japanese expert before getting it tattooed on your skin. It can be extremely painful to carry around a tattoo on your skin for the rest of your life which is inaccurately drawn or it means something that you didn't intend it to be.

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