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Japanese Script

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I'm looking to get Japanese script tattooed on my back. Is Japanese traditionally written horizontally like in the Western world? Or is it written vertically?

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If you mean the Japanese writing system using Chinese characters that is called 'kanji' in Japanese, then it can be written and read both vertically and horizontally. Make sure you don't get a tampon advertisement tattooed.

P.S. Vertical would be the more "traditional" thang.

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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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