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Japanese tattoo (Kanji)

marcp43

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I want to get this tattoo and from top to bottom it is supposed to say: Patience, Respect, Appreciation, Discipline. Can you guys confirm that for me just to be safe.
Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.28.51 PM.png
 
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Sure, I guess you could say that.
But it's 4 words in horizontal (left-to-right) writing stacked on top of each other, so it takes a moment to see that it's not a nonsensical jumble since you'd expect vertical columns to be vertical (top-to-bottom) writing.

My first thought on reading them is 'endure, respect, gratitude, rules' and it feels a bit like reading someone's vocabulary list. Still, each of the words does have to some extent the meaning you stated, and they are actual words and not just random kanji stuck together. They are just a list of words though and not a coherent statement.
 

marcp43

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Sure, I guess you could say that.
But it's 4 words in horizontal (left-to-right) writing stacked on top of each other, so it takes a moment to see that it's not a nonsensical jumble since you'd expect vertical columns to be vertical (top-to-bottom) writing.

My first thought on reading them is 'endure, respect, gratitude, rules' and it feels a bit like reading someone's vocabulary list. Still, each of the words does have to some extent the meaning you stated, and they are actual words and not just random kanji stuck together. They are just a list of words though and not a coherent statement.
Thank you for the feedback.
 
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Toritoribe

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The first character in the first line is a Chinese hanzi, not a Japanese kanji. See the difference from the Japanese kanji attached below.
 

marcp43

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OK, here is a revised version. I made it only one character going down instead of two. Can you guys verify what it says, I have: Edure, Repect, Thanks or Gratitude, and Discipline. Thanks.
 

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Majestic

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Your first set is fine (with the exception of the "忍" in the first line, as Toritoribe-san said). Two-character words in Japanese are very common. Single-character words, without any context or supporting okurigana, make almost no sense as Japanese words. In fact, your second set looks like a part of some sort of ancient Chinese poem, rather than Japanese words.
You could just get the English words tattooed and avoid all ambiguity, but I guess that is not going to produce the effect you are searching for.
 

Mike Cash

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You could just get the English words tattooed and avoid all ambiguity, but I guess that is not going to produce the effect you are searching for.
When I was a kid growing up in America, tattoos meant someone had been in jail, the Navy, or that the carnival was in town. Now it means that you have been to the mall.

Having been absent from America during the tattoo explosion, I can't imagine the extreme reverse culture shock I would experience if I were suddenly dropped into a society where everybody and their grandmother is tatted up like carnies.

I would second the "Why not get it done in English?", except by now I've heard all the lame justifications to the point they're no longer amusing.
 

Glenski

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Tattoos astonish me. Most are there for life. What do you think your body will look like at 50, 60, 70 with such stuff on it?

Why get in a language you don't even understand? Why Japanese, instead of German, Swahili, or Icelandic?
 
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OK, here is a revised version. I made it only one character going down instead of two. Can you guys verify what it says, I have: Edure, Repect, Thanks or Gratitude, and Discipline. Thanks.
The new version doesn't make words at all really, but looks kind of like 敬礼 (’salute’) surrounded by a pair of random unrelated characters. I'd describe this version as 'typical illiterate and nonsensical attempt at a Japanese tattoo'. Much worse than what you started with, honestly, even if the first try did include a Chinese version of 忍.
 

joadbres

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OK, here is a revised version. I made it only one character going down instead of two. Can you guys verify what it says, I have: Endure, Respect, Thanks or Gratitude, and Discipline. Thanks.
Yes, I think this is better than your original proposal. Using single characters has the risk of misinterpretation, as many single characters have multiple, diverse shades of meaning, but as long as the meaning you intend is covered by a character, and the character doesn't also have any negative or inappropriate meanings, I think it is fine.

When it comes to art, which is what a tattoo is, after all, I feel that single characters are better than two-character words, as they are more abstract, and therefore convey ideas and concepts well. In fact, it is not uncommon to see art created in Japan that uses only single characters by themselves.

One additional thing you could do is add a tiny image or symbol of your own choosing between each of the characters, to make clear that they are separate from each other and not part of a longer multi-character word. And spacing the characters further apart from each other than normal vertically-written Japanese text will be helpful, too.

As for the specific characters to use, for the first one, I slightly prefer 耐 (part of your original two-character word) to 堪, but either is OK. For the last one, I prefer 修 to 躾. I assume that your intent with the word 'discipline' is along the lines of 'self-discipline' rather than being disciplined by others. If so, I think that is better conveyed by 修, which suggests personal discipline, including the use of personal discipline to bring about cultivation, self-improvement, and mastering of skills. The middle two characters are fine, I think.

Maybe it would be good to change the order, putting the middle two first and 'endure' last. That way, you start by giving thanks and showing respect for others in your life, and finish by showing your own determination to excel. That's entirely up to you, of course.
 
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