Kanji tattoos

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A failed tattoo? Not necessarily.

The tattoo in the picture below is often given as an example of a failed tattoo (I've founded the same confusion even on hanzismatter.blogspot, a blog which belongs to someone who seems to have vast knowledge of Chinese and Japanese languages).

ideograms tattoo - chinese meaning = fool, sucker; japanese meaning: Akiko - a very popular female name

If we consider only the Chinese reading of these characters, the tattoo's meaning is "fool, sucker" - 呆 (pronunciation: dai with the first tone) = dull; dull-minded, simple, stupid; 子 (pronunciation: zi with the third tone) = offspring, child; together they form the word 呆子 (daizi) which means "fool, stupid, sucker".

On the other hand, in Japanese 呆子 is just one of the nearly 300 ways (I know, it's hard to believe that there are really that many) to write the popular name "Akiko".

In conclusion, this is not (such) a failed tattoo.

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Failed tatoos: Kanji mistakes - the seven virtues of the samurai

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