Understand the meaning of Kanji Tattoo Designs

Kanji Design for Spirit

As with Irezumi, the path that Kanji Tattoo designs have travelled, is a long and interesting one.

While it is generally accepted today that Kanji is a Japanese language, few people know that it originated in China.

Kanji was first introduced to Japan via Korea in the 5th Century. Before the introduction of these Chinese characters, the Japanese had no writing system. They gladly adopted the Chinese characters and pronounciations and also associated these symbols with corresponding native Japanese words and their pronounciations, thus creating a vast "language Library".

Kanji is just one of the three different language scripts used by the Japanese. The other two are Hiragana and Katakana, though we are not going to go into detail on any of these, after all, this is a tattoo site, not a language site.

Most Chinese people can still speak and understand Kanji.

Interesting though, is the fact that Kanji is best known today, especially in the Western world, as popular symbols or designs for tattooing. However, a word of caution, before you decide on a Kanji tattoo design or symbol, please carefully study the meaning of the symbol, and bear in mind that a combination of different symbols can have a radically different meaning than the two symbols on their own, for example, the use of the symbol for "electricity" (not that I know why you would pick to have this tattooed but anyways), together with the symby for "car" does not relate to an electric car, but translates to "train"!

For a gallery of free Kanji Tattoo Designs and their meanings, click here. Once again I have to warn you that I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the meanings, as I have no clue whatsoever as to the Japanese language.

To Go Back to The Japanese Tattoo Page, Please Click Here

If you would like to read a little more about the ancient japanese art form of Irezumi, feel free to do so here.

Still a little unsure if Japanese Tattoo is really what you are looking for, go back to our home page where you will find a wide selection of options to choose from.

If these don't work for you, feel free to try google for more choices.