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Kanji Tattoo Meaning


Hanzi, also known as Kanji in Japanese, are logograms used in Chinese and Japanese writings. It is the oldest known writing system in the world that is still continuously used today. The origin of Hanzi can be traced back as far as 6500 BC in China.

Over centuries, the system has been adapted for almost all the major Chinese dialects, the Japanese language and is also used to a certain extend in Korean and Vietnamese. The Hanzi characters represent words using several methods, mainly ideograms, which are iconic illustrations of words.

The simplicity and beauty of Hanzi made it a popular script among tattoo enthusiasts. Unfortunately, mastering this writing system and the intricacies of Asian languages that utilizes it is a daunting task that requires years of dedicated study. It is a safe bet that almost all experienced tattooist had seen and dealt with their share of Hanzi tattoo disaster stories.

As with all script tattoos, there is no greater embarrassment than walking around with a tattoo that reads something totally different from what was intended. So, unless you are well-versed in the language and writing system, it is generally not encouraged to get a script tattoo in a non-Romanized script. If you still feel strongly about getting one, then it is a good idea to consult an expert on Hanzi (not just a native speaker) to save yourself from regret in the long-run.

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