Japanese kanji tattoos are very popular as a style of tattoo design. One character can represent the meaning that you would like to express in a small stylish design. Getting a Japanese kanji tattoo does have its dangers though, as it is easy to get it wrong. Read on to find out what you can go wrong so you make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
If you are after a Japanese tattoo design, you may think the easiest and quickest thing to do is to use an online translation tool. Enter the english word for the tattoo that you want and you will get the Japanese translation back. You can then get a tattoo for the Japanese word that you have found right? The problem is that online translation tools are not perfect, and sometimes get it very wrong. You cannot rely on these types of tools for something so important and it is worth the time and money to get a native speaker to do the translation for you.
Many people want a tattoo design that represents their name. If that is what you want, you should understand that Japanese is made up of three writing systems, Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana, and the differences between them. Foreign names should be written in Katakana only as Katakana is the writing system used for foreign words, including names. Although it is possible to come up with a Kanji, or Chinese character combination for most names, it is a made up and artificial way of writing a foreign name that is not used in Japan.
Once you have selected a design you may have it on a stencil ready for the tattoo artist. If the tattoo artist is not familiar with Japanese characters, it is quite possible that they could get the orientation wrong. It has happened that the character has ended up reversed or upside down. It is best to find a tattoo artist that is familiar with Japanese and Kanji, but if you cannot, at least mark the orientation of the character clearly so that there is no chance that it will be wrong.