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Japanese Script


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it should be written vertically - top down. And the stroke direction of how you write a character can change the meaning.

You should know though there are actually 2 "alphabets" which are phonetic and don't include a number of english sounds, as well as roman script and the Chinese Kanji characters in Japanese - so 4 ways to write one thing - each having different implications. Hiragana is the script for native Japanese words, and Katakana for foreign words.

So if I was writing my name in Japanese I could write it 4 ways - Erin, エリン(elin- a foreigner), えりん(elin - if i was born in Japan - also how my name was written on my bank stuff), or 英鈴 (Ei-lin which translates to English Bell - if I was a Japanese national).

Be careful with tattoos of a language you don't speak - or have a native speaker to correct for you. I lived in Japan and speak some Japanese, and still don't trust myself. I have a Kanji as part of a larger tattoo on my back for my Japanese astrology, the year of the ox (or ushi). Google and most tattoo flash said to use the Kanji 牛 but my native speaker friend, who is also a calligrapher said the symbol for the year was actually 丑、as 牛 basically just means cow - like on a menu. Always double check.

Also things do not always mean/ translate to what you think- for example my stepbrother named his dog what he thought was "child of the forest" in Japanese - what he actually named her was Kuniko- it means mushroom.

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