Asian inspired tattoos are increasingly popular in the West. Chinese dragons and Japanese tattoos have been mainstream for years. There seems to be no let up in people getting tattoos in Asian style writing. In the West Kanji tattoos started becoming popular in the 1980s. Nowadays even kids are getting temporary tattoos out of vending machines with kanji style tattoos!
But are kanji tattoos really that popular? Some tattoo artists state that one out of every 20 people looking for a tattoo asks for a kanji style tattoo with Asian lettering. It has also created another problem namely people getting kanji tattoos which can mean something completely different than what they think it does.
There are many urban legends of disgruntled tattoo artists tattooing words like ‘loose’ and ‘whore’ onto a persons body because they feel that the person getting the tattoo does not really appreciate tattoos as an art form but is just slavishly following fashion.
It is always a good idea to keep in mind before you decide upon a tattoo that kanji is based on a different form of language and is unlike english in its construction. Be sure to spend time researching the authenticity of each symbols’ meaning. It could be rather embarrassing to learn later on after you have been tattooed that the Kanji tattoo you thought meant one thing turned out to be something completely different.
If you don’t speak Japanese it is very hard to find characters that say what you want and are not something that will turn heads with native japanese speakers for all the wrong reasons. Trusting a non native speaking tattoo artist is recommended either as the tattoo artist may be as much in the dark as you are. It is highly recommended that you do your reasearch before rushing off to get a kanji tattoo character done.