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Why TJP doesn't help with Japanese Tattoos

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Revision as of 09:51, 1 September 2006 by Keatonatron (Talk | contribs)
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I think Japanese tattoos are kind of a sore spot for all of us. Therefore, when one comes asking "what is the kanji for [love/peace/eternity/strength/death metal]? it's for a tattoo so get it right!" they might receive a less-than-warm response.

The thing with tattoos is, 1) they're permanent, and 2) they are supposed to reflect a part of yourself. That's why people, you know, permanently engrave them in their bodies. I don't think there is any argument that a tattoo is supposed to be meaningful and expressive. So, what does a tattoo in kanji/Japanese say about the person who is sporting it?

If the wearer is studying Japanese/Chinese, comes from Chinese/Japanese/kanji-using ancestry, and/or chooses the character themselves for the personal meaning it holds, that would be a pretty awesome tattoo, with a lot of meaning. It would say something about that person's personal qualities and how they view themselves.

However, if someone has no inside knowledge of Japanese/Chinese, simply wants a symbol because it's 'cool', and/or (most of all) can't even tell if the character is written correctly or how it's pronounced in its native language, what meaning and personal characteristics does that tattoo portray? Ignorance, stupidity and trying to be 'cool' (basically, a sellout or poser).

To recap:

-- Kanji carefully selected by the wearer, using an intimate knowledge of the characters and their meaning: portays the feeling of an Asian scholar expressing themselves through Chinese characters

-- Kanji chosen because it looks cool or 'my friend said it means this': portrays the feeling of an illiterate who can't even read something that is supposed to be meaningful to them.

Understandably, when these types of people come here, they often get treated like someone who can't even read their own name, because essentially that is what they are saying about themselves.

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