Japanese React to Kanji Tattoos (Interview)

Japanese React to Kanji Tattoos (Interview)

Hey guys, it’s Yuta. So the concept is very simple: I showed random Japanese people some kanji tattoos, and asked them if they think they are cool or not. And I included both normal ones and weird ones. Check this out. Yeah, so if you want a tattoo in a foreign language I think it’s best to check with people who speak that language natively. Or at least you can find a tattoo artist from the country where they speak that language. But if you really want to understand what kanji is cool in the Japanese context, you need to be able to understand Japanese. And if you want to learn Japanese with me, I can send you some free Japanese lessons by email. So click the link, and subscribe to my email group, Japanese With Yuta. Alright, see you guys soon. Ciao ciao!

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “Japanese React to Kanji Tattoos (Interview)

  1. I thought to myself…what if the Kanji Tattoos on (mostly) white girls shoulders, necks, and wrists, were just the Kanji signs for Shoulder, Neck and Wrist…
    Also…I'm still waiting for an Asian to get a Romaji (latin) Tattoo 😛

  2. 無料 This word is MURYO and it does mean FREE but only in the sense of NO COST, the price is zero. If you were aiming at BEING FREE or FREE IN SPIRIT you would have to use a different word. Like JUYU 自由. Looking things up in Google translate is really dangerous.

  3. I'd love this video more if not for certain japanese singers covered in tattoos whose idea of English is totally… meh. I love them but their vision of the world sometimes really is small.
    You know, someone might choose tattoo "for free" on themselves for personal reasons. As surprising as it might sounds, the world is packed with people who study japanese and own a vocabulary. I tell you it's also damn heavy.

  4. I like how they assume that Japan is the only place that make use of traditional chinese characters >.>

    Taiwan/Hong Kong/Korea/Macau.. and all of Chinese literature from before the civil war.

  5. I have the kanji 天 tattooed on my wrist. The difference between me and some of the ones shown here is, I know what it means, and I got it specifically as a reference to Akuma/Gouki from Street Fighter. It's contextualised by the rest of the tattoo being an illustration of the button presses for his signature move, which in the game results with 天 being displayed onscreen.

    The downside is that the quality of the tattoo is good but not great. I got it by letting my friend, who was learning how to tattoo, use my design to practice on me. (I knew what I was getting into, so don't worry, it's fine.) It's still perfectly legible, but my design was incredibly clean, while his interpretation of it is a little shaky.

  6. I saw a guy who had “くるくるパー” on his neck in San Francisco. It means “stupid” or “crazy”.

  7. the first two guys were really nice and educated, also very empathetic lmao I laughed at these with no second thought

  8. I once came across a guy who ran a bagel shop who had 朝御飯 tattooed on his forearm. Although he told me it mean strength through power or some such blather, I appreciated his passionate commitment to breakfast. I am no expert but I could see that the kanji were well written and clear. Plus, he was insanely handsome.

  9. How do I write "Japanese is a cool language" in kanji?
    I would only reccomend this tattoo for ironic purposes.

  10. I love how Yuta asks Japanese people, people who are known for keeping their opinions to themselves, their opinion anyway. You can tell what they're really thinking despite their desperate struggle for polite neutrality.

  11. the tattoo "to die" actually means "for death" ! that's why is confusing cause even the Samurai didn't fight wishing death so it's like what the heck , who would wish death for themselves !!

  12. no one:
    foreigners:Hmmmm I dont know what that means but because it's a language that idk so its gonna look cool

  13. After watching so many Japanese porn in my life time, I just can't look at Japanese people the same way again.

  14. They are so laid back. Seems like they would be fun to hang out with, they would be like that's cool you like Japan just don't be a dork about it lol.

  15. I gave my son a Japanese name which I first took time to research and then I got a tattoo of it, which I also had checked by Japanese people and non-Japanese students of Japanese and Japan, independent from each other. When I had multiple confirmations I had it placed on my back. It’s almost always covered because it’s s a personal thing.

  16. please dont introduce such virus like practice of tattoos to these nice kids. you do a diservice to your people

  17. "If it was beautiful in english, it would be strange"
    Exactly. It does not look classy to someone for whom it is their native script just werid

  18. "If it was beautiful in english, it would be strange"
    Exactly. It does not look classy to someone for whom it is their native script just werid

  19. In Japanese traditions, only Yakuzas wore tatoos so it's not very classy to have one there as you are identified as a criminal

  20. dont be damien, he still regrets relying on google for his kanji tat
    apparently it was meant to be the kanji for strength he found out a few years after getting it thanks to a japanese tourist here in aus that it said "sandwich"

  21. I have kanji tattoos, I know what they say and mean, not only did research but asked a Japanese friend to confirm way before the needle ever touched me, also none of my kanji tattoos mean anything important anime characters names spelled out with color around the out lines

  22. "What do you think of people who get tattoos without knowing the meaning?"
    Me: they're stupid, just say it boy.

    They try to stay so respectful, I respect that hahaha

  23. Oh god I was dying laughing at the beauty tattoo. Mostly because it looks like sheep 羊 on top of big 大, so all I can think of when I see the kanji 美 for beauty is being in such a dry spell that even large sheep start looking beautiful.

  24. I (hope I) have the phrase "Wabi-Sabi" tattooed on my left shoulder. My advice would to double and triple check the translation of your tattoo and if possible, speak to someone who knows the language.

    I made sure to check mine in multiple sources and it's still done in an outline which would be incredibly easy to cover.

  25. I saw a pretty woman has a tattoo "雞“ on her shoulder, which means chicken, and it also a common slang for prostitute in Chinese ?

  26. i have a little language question for peoples that read and write japanese about something i have heard! i heard kanji can be read in multiple ways i have heard of a story about "yomi" ( on yomi and kun yomi if my memory is good) for exemple i have heard that the kanji for "moon" can be at the same time read "getsu" and " tsuki" ( and maybe others) but did all reading mean things diferents at least partially for exemple (it's an exemple i'm not sure at all of anything) "tsuki" been the " moon planet" and " getsu" the "image of the moon you see in the night sky!"?

  27. Many of us Westerners have difficulty understanding why people do this also.
    That one was up to their ankles in it?

  28. I keep hearing a word– "igetemasu / igeteru / igetenai", it sounds like? Am I mishearing that? I'm not finding any search results for that word.
    The captions say "Cool" when that word comes up.

  29. If you are planning to get a tattoo in kanji or any other language for that matter, I think it's always a good idea to check with someone who speaks that language as their first language. Ideally, it's best to ask several people to be sure.

    Or better yet, you can learn Japanese yourself so you will understand what your tattoos mean without relying on other people. (Still, it's a good idea to ask other people's opinions though.) In fact, I have some free Japanese lessons I can send you, so click here and sign up https://bit.ly/2Fk3gSp

  30. Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana looks really cool but if you are going to have a character tatooed in your skin, make sure you know what it means. You wouldn't want a tattoo that says "I am a poop".

  31. Back in my teens and early 20s, kanji and tribal tattoos were all the rage, so people had all sorts of dumb tats that didn't mean what they thought they meant. People didn't think to consult the internet for everything like we do now. If I wanted to get a tat in a foreign language or script nowadays, all I'd have to do is find people on the internet who know that language, and ask them to translate. I really, really hope people aren't still getting messed-up kanji/kana tats anymore. There's no excuse.

  32. This fucking guy man ? the way he slides into the ads for his Japanese courses kills me. It reminds me of Julien's (from Jenna & Julien) segways on the J&J podcast. #dinkfam represent

  33. 日本人自己都不知道啥意思 孩他妈指导别人

  34. My cousin tottoed his last name with Chinese characters in Mexico. According to the chart he saw, the characters represented different letters in our alphabet. Turns out he wrote a whole nonsensical sentence with the word airplane in it.

  35. Please keep in mind that some tattos are actually hanzí, which makes sense in chinese but might not in japanese. (Vice versa for chinese speakers)

  36. ありがとございます。今は笑うすぎる

  37. Some Japanese also wear t-shirt with random English word that sometimes gramatically incorrect, misspelled, or correct English word but with bad meaning.
    Did you watch Yamashita Tomohisa's TV show about "T-shirt with English words that Japanese wear", in that show he found a Japanese girl wearing T-shirt with word "fugly" (short form of fuckling ugly) printed on it.

  38. I legit saw somebody on the train with the tattoo 火鸡三明治 (turkey sandwich in Chinese) on their arm and i still wonder if that guy knew what it said

  39. i remember in eyeshield 21 he had a tattoo word 大便 (daiben) he knew that the meaning is big and useful but the totally it mean is feces,shit ??

  40. It's just kinda lame because the only ostensibly interesting thing about the tattoo is that it's in a different language, in some cases written in nice script. Just getting a random, basic word on you like 'beauty' would be silly and superficial in English, and it's still silly and superficial when dressed up in another language.

  41. I'm Japanese. The other day I went to a shopping mall, I happened to see a young man wearing a hoodie… it says "I AM A LOLITA." I wonder he knows what that sentence means…

  42. I like the one at 4, it seemed like a ship going through water to me, what they called wings would be the wake.

  43. The Japanese culture holds respect in high regard. They have this right, as disrespect is a reflection on the person who is disrespectful. Unfortunately, in the US the opposite is true, just look at our politicians.

  44. The one with tattoo 糞 , maybe he want a tattoo “ shit ” but it’s just obvious so he want it on other language and they uses google as source…

  45. 無料 maybe he wants to say “ don’t expect” 無 = not have 料 = expect, supposed ( as verb meaning ) , material , stuff ( as a noun meaning) ..

  46. Imagine someone acting like Yakuza member then you see “糞“ and “無料” tattoos on them

    Then you look at their face and are grateful that you two are at a distance anyways

  47. I’m Japanese and I have studied in a certain country just for two semesters when I was a college student. On Halloween, (There were many American students in the dormitory I stayed), a friend of mine asked me to write “something cool” in Japanese on her forehead, so I wrote “冷蔵庫” on her forehead. (冷蔵庫 = fridge).

  48. "無料" is a Tattoo?? LMAO, guess the red n**k wants to express "freedom", tragically choose "free"(no charge)?

  49. I think for the 無料 one they just googled free as in freedom or something similar and instead of 自由 they got 無料 ?

  50. I agree. The calligraphy for 舞 is quite elegant and the design is meaningful. I still can't stop laughing about "no cost". This person obviously has never given language in itself (as in, what it is, how it works) any meaningful thought in their life. They slept through English class, etc. Then, after dropping out of school, they look up "free" in an online Chinese dictionary and take the first response they get to the tattoo parlor. The punishment definitely fits the crime. Moron.

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