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Video:Japanese Tattoos: Popular Kanji Characters for Tattoos

with Jennifer D'Amore

Kanji characters are popular symbols for tattoo, but be sure you know how the Kanji is correctly translated. Watch this video from About.com for more on Kanji symbols for tattoos.See Transcript

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Transcript:Japanese Tattoos: Popular Kanji Characters for Tattoos

Hi, I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com, and this video is all about the 10 most popular Japanese characters used for tattoos.

Research the Kanji Before Getting the Tattoo

Kanji is one of the three types of scripts used in Japanese and is common to use for tattoos, but being unfamiliar with the script may lead to an unintentional message. Tattoos are for life, unless you opt for a costly removal, so before making the commitment, make sure you're Kanji says what you think it does. There have been plenty of errors in both penmanship and kanji selection committed to the flesh unsuspectingly.

Popular Kanji Symbols for Tattoos

While everyone has a different reason or attraction to the Kanji character they choose, these are 10 of the favorites you may see written on a body.

  • Peace or heiwa the first character is hei meaning "calm" the second character is wa, meaning "harmonious, peaceful" It takes both characters to illustrate the concept of "peace."
  • Passion or Jounetsu
  • Love or ai
  • Harmony or Chouwa
  • Freedom or Jiyuu
  • Courage or Yuuki
  • Hope or Kibou
  • Dragon or Ryuu
  • Prosperity or Hanei
  • And finally, the elements a popular choice, individually or together Fire (Hi), water (Mizu), metal (kin), earth (Tsuchi), or wood (Ki).

Be Sure to Combine Kanji Characters Correctly

Characters can be written vertically and horizontally, but random combining of characters may not translate the way you think it does. If you're want a name or word that is not Japanese in origin, such as a foreign name, Katakana is the phonetic script for that purpose. Hiragana is also a phonetic script that can be used. But having an expert review it is recommended.

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