|Fashion & Style Information|
Five Must-Knows When Getting a Kanji Tattoo
Japanese tattoos are cool. But if a personal translator is out of your league how can you avoid becoming a kanji fashion victim and get stuck with a tattoo you will really regret?
1. Know the difference ? hiragana, katakana and kanji
Before you talk to your tattoo artist, make sure you know what you are talking about. You say you want a Japanese tattoo, but what do you know about Japanese characters? You need a quick stint in 2-minute Japanese boot camp.
First off, let's be clear that there is no Japanese "alphabet". There are three sets of Japanese characters ? hiragana, katakana and kanji ? and each group has its own history, function and style. Get your head around these facts and you will already know more than 99% of the people walking around with Japanese tattoos right now:
Hiragana ? These simple, rounded characters represent sounds, but have no independent meaning. They were developed by women in the Heian period and are still considered feminine by Japanese people.
Katakana ? Developed by Buddhist monks around the same time as hiragana, these are simple, angular characters that also represent sounds and have no meaning of their own. You saw them cascading down the screen in Matrix (although they were backwards!)
Kanji ? Originally from China, these characters are like pictures, representing a meaning and also several different sounds depending on the situation.
Just reading this has probably given you an idea of which style you might like for your tattoo ? but don't stop just yet! Now you know what kinds of Japanese characters there are, let's move on to?
2. Writing styles
Come a bit closer. Lean forward towards the screen. That's right. Now, look at the words in front of you. Take a good, close look at the shapes of these letters. OK? Now tell me honestly: Would you want a tattoo in Times New Roman? How about Tahoma? What's that? You don't want a tattoo by Canon or Epson? Sure you don't. And in the same way, you don't want to have your Japanese tattoo looking like a printout either!
So, now we move on to writing styles. Just like there are three kinds of Japanese characters, there are also three ways they can be written. Don't worry. This is easy! I know, you are thinking that you can't even read Japanese, so how on earth will you be able to recognize these different styles? Well, try this:
Kaisho ? Block letters. You learned to write your ABCs like this, and Japanese kids learn to write their characters in just the same way: Like a Volvo ? boxy but good.
Gyousho ? Cursive letters. You moved up to middle school and learned you could write faster by letting the parts of some letters flow into the next. Yes, you guessed it - the Japanese do the same thing, and they call it gyousho.
Sousho ? Super-cursive letters. Ever seen a prescription from a doctor? Then you know what sousho is like in Japanese: Sure, the writer or some other trained person can (probably) read it, but no one else has a clue what it says!
Are you getting the picture? If you want to look like a computer printout, then be my guest and go for the kaisho style. That's your choice. But I think you probably want to use either gyousho or sousho for your tattoo. My personal preference would be gyousho: It's stylish, but it won't leave even native speakers baffled.
3. Real or fake?
Remember I mentioned Mel C at the beginning? Well guess what kanji she got tattooed on her arm? That's right ? "Girl Power": Great in English, but show this kanji combination to most Japanese people and you'll get a blank look at best. Want a worse example? Try "big daddy". Now, you know what it means in English, but put it into kanji and you end up with "large father"! It just doesn't work.
I'm sure you remember that kanji are the only characters that have meaning as well as sound. And their beauty means that they are what most people want for their tattoos. But watch out: As well as being popular, they can also be the most dangerous!
Let's see if we can find a pattern here: Look carefully at the examples above. What are they communicating - concrete concepts or abstract ideas? Can you see the difficulty the translators had? The kanji for "dragon", "samurai", "love" or any other concrete ideas are pretty easy to discover. But go for anything with an idiomatic meaning and whoever is trying to help you translate it is going to get a major headache!
Just an idea, but how about this suggestion: Rather than trying to force a round English peg into a square Japanese hole, why not find a real Japanese phrase that you like and get that instead? Bushidou (the Way of the Warrior) and Ninjutsu (The Art of Stealth) are two good examples of real Japanese terms that would make great tattoos.
4. Your name in Japanese
As I'm sure you remember from 2-minute Japanese boot camp, katakana are the characters usually used to write foreign words and names. So, if you want to get a tattoo of your name, technically these would be the characters you would choose. But I am guessing that, like most people, you want your name written in kanji.
Do a quick search on Google and you can find a number of sites that specialize in translating names into kanji. Basically there are two different methods that these sites use, so let's look at them here.
Translating the meaning
This method involves finding out the original meaning of the English name, and then researching the kanji equivalent.
For example, my name has its origins in Greek and means "crowned one". The one who is crowned is the king, so I could translate my name into the kanji for king and call myself ohsama. (Perhaps a little pretentious ? and disturbingly similar to Mr. Bin Laden's first name!)
Translating the sound
This is a lot more difficult! Flick through a dictionary and you will find a bunch of kanji that can be combined to sound like your name. But sound isn't everything: Remember that kanji have meaning as well. In fact, it is even more complex than this! Be sure to check each of the following factors with anyone who translates your name like using this method:
1. Sound ? Does it sound like your name or not? I have seen my name "translated" on certain websites to sound like Stefan. Shame my name (Stephen) is actually said the same as Steven!
2. On-yomi and kun-yomi ? Yes, more technical words! But don't panic ? they are easy to understand: Basically, kanji have two kinds of reading. One kind, on-yomi, is their original Chinese sound. The other, kun-yomi, is their Japanese-only sound. What to watch is that (like oil and water) on-yomi and kun-yomi don't mix. Use either all on-yomi reading or all kun-yomi readings to make the sound of your name.
3. Meaning ? Do the kanji have a good meaning together? Now, it can be very difficult to find kanji that sound right and have a good meaning, so you may need to compromise a little on one of these.
4. Masculine or feminine ? I guess this is more like a sub-category of meaning, but it is something you need to check out to avoid embarrassment. For example, while "Asian Beauty" may be a great combination for a woman, I get the feeling most men would not be too happy about having that permanently written into their skin!
5. If in doubt, check!
First, use your new-found knowledge of Japanese to ask a few difficult questions to your tattoo artist or kanji "specialist". If you get the feeling they don't know what they are talking about, you probably want to look elsewhere.
Next, before you get anything permanent done, use an online dictionary to check whether the Japanese really means what you want it to. You may not be able to input Japanese yourself, but you can copy and paste characters from an email or web page and see what they mean.
Finally, if you are lucky enough to know any, ask a Japanese person what they think. Their confused expression may tell you that you have come up with another "big daddy"!
Follow this advice and you will avoid the most dangerous pitfalls of Japanese tattoos and get a kanji tattoo you can be proud of.
Stephen Munday lives in Japan and is the creator of http://www.japanese-name-translation.com/, where you can download images of over 2,200 names in kanji or have a unique phrase translated into Japanese for a tattoo.
Sterling Silver Jewelry Fashion Trends for the New Year and Beyond
Each year, on fashion runways from New York to Paris, Milan, and Toyko, sterling silver is "new again" as designers interpret it in new and exciting ways. What makes sterling silver a fashion perennial? The answer is clear: when it comes to beauty, versatility, durability, and affordability, sterling silver jewelry is unsurpassed.
Fashion Marketing 101
In a nutshell, fashion marketing is a profession that takes the latest trends and designs in clothing and communicates them to a target market in such a way that the consumer is not only aware of the product, but wants to and ultimately does buy the product. A target market is a sector of the consumer market to which a company wishes to sell (i.e. market) its clothing. To fully know what fashion marketing is, it is important to understand that marketing does not stop at ads in magazines or commercials on TV. The world of marketing is just as dynamic as the world of fashion. Marketing clothing includes elements such as determining which stores the apparel should be sold in, what price the clothing should be sold for-all the way to how the in-store displays should look. Fashion marketers often are as savvy about business as they are about fashion and popular culture.
Fashion Tip: Dont Make These Fashion Mistakes
1. Wearing the Wrong Colors
Mens Fashion Coordination on Solid Colored Mens Dress Shirts
It is common to find men choosing white for their solid colored mens dress shirts. They believe that it is the easiest with other outfits as well as creating a formal appearance. There are people who feel that white dress shirts projects radiance onto mens face.
Beyond Gold and Platinum: Mokume Gane
In many ways the "ultimate" noble metal that one might consider for jewelry isn't gold or platinum but their slightly tan colored cousin iridium. With the possible exception of osmium (which is smelly and toxic) it's the rarest non-radioactive element in the earth's crust -- several times more so than either gold or platinum. It's even more chemically incorruptible than the other two, it's heavier (17% denser than gold and 6% denser than platinum), and it's much more scratch-resistant. There's also the additional mystique that most if not all of the iridium we mine comes from meteorite impacts and is therefore extraterrestrial. Unfortunately no one has come up with a way to work with it economically, mainly due to its absurdly high melting point and its glassy brittleness. The first artisan to tame iridium will surely take the world by the tail.
Fashionable Silver Earrings for Anytime and All the Time
It's been said that silver jewelry makes a person look youthful and energetic, while gold makes a person look sophisticated and mature. Hence, silver is a popular choice of the young for their adornments. It is also more practical, as it costs less than gold jewelry and is more widely available. There are more specialty shops that sell silver earrings, rings necklaces and bracelets, for example, than those that specialize in gold jewelry.
My Shopping List: Shoes, Dress, and a Hairdresser
Change is a funny thing. When seasons change, so do people and their way of thinking. For some of us it can be scary and for others a welcomed challenge. A few of us will throw out clothes we have not worn in years. Others will throw away old shoes, handbags, jewelry, hats and belts only to refill their closets with a shopping trip. Shopping is the ultimate change for a shopaholic. However, there are some of us who will shop for the ultimate change? a haircut. Whether it is a two-inch cut or a 10-inch cut, you better be sure to shop for a person who knows exactly what he/she is doing. I never thought that one must also shop for a hairstylist in the same way that we shop for the perfect dress or pair of shoes. After I saw my neighbor's hair, I have changed my thought process.
What to Wear: Summer Dressing in a Business Environment
Choosing appropriate clothing for the business environment can be challenging at the best of times. It becomes more difficult when temperatures rise and we feel being fully covered is uncomfortable and downright hot. It becomes even more of a challenge when we leave home in sweltering heat and then move into an air conditioned work environment. How do we dress? What should we wear?
Stockings ? Getting a Leg Up, Again
It hasn't been all that long since vintage stockings became a staple in women's attire. Leg wear has been around for longer than we have been alive, but it wasn't until the early part of the twentieth century that the fashion hit the mainstream. The twenties were roaring with a newfound freedom and independence. Women took the initiative to make the world their own. By doing so, fashion forward apparel hit the main stage, and opened up new lifestyles for women around the world.
Menswear ? Putting Together A Business Wardrobe
We're going to discuss some specific aspects of Men's business dressing, which has different rules than women's. Ladies, if you have a husband, son, brother, good friend or other relative that could use this information, please feel free to pass it along. Enjoy this segment, and come back for the others!
Mens Fashion - How To Create Lasting And Permanent Styles
Many men and women do not have much idea about Mens Fashion. Very often the advice I have been approached on are what men can wear to appear professional or what men should wear so that they do not look outdated but overtly trendy.
It's that time of year when we pack up our bags and head to the beach for the day to enjoy those warm sunrays and the refreshing sound of the lapping water.
Leather Jackets, Pants, Skirts: Bikers - The Hot Products In Leather Market
What is Fashion? Embracing style, trend, and comfort is called Fashion.
The Skys the Limit when it Comes to Buying Sunglasses Online
There is a never ending supply of quality sunglasses options today, including discount sunglasses. Styles include polarized sunglasses, designer replica sunglasses and fake sunglasses, sports sunglasses, mirrored sunglasses, golf sunglasses, sun glasses for kids and sun glasses accessories. With so many sunglasses to choose from it's possible to find good quality discount sunglasses on reputable online sites that offer good customer service, money back guarantees, free shipping, sales advice and tips along with a good inventory of sunglasses.
How to Care For Your Designer Handbag
Whether your designer handbag is a Louis Vuitton, a Gucci, or any other designer, it is important to take proper care of it. Proper care will give you many years of beauty and use in return.
Stylin? Safety Glasses Are Hot to Look At
What do you think of when you hear the words "safety glasses"? Are you picturing the big clear plastic one size fits all glasses that sort of fit over your eyes? I have a pair of really cheap safety glasses that I only wear when I know no one will see me. They don't fit well and are very uncomfortable. I guess they serve their purpose for keeping debris out of my eyes; but there has to be a more stylish way to go. We're busy and very active people. We have lots of interests and we're involved in all kinds of sports and events. We like to be doing things and we want to look good doing it. There are all kinds of specialty equipment on the market for every interest so why not safety eyewear? According to a Vision Council of America (VCA) survey, the most important reasons for purchasing specialty types of eyewear include:
Celebrity Engagement Rings
Whether we like it or not current trends in engagement rings say bigger is so much better. Just have a look at what style engagement rings celebrities are choosing. And of course what's good for them is good for the rest of us.
Women?s Guide: Fashion Trends for Summer 2005
If you are like me and many others the warm weather motivates you to do or try new things. It even inspires you to pay more attention to your overall appearance. But, before you go shopping I suggest you take a look at this list to see what is in style.
Gemstone Earring: One Small Way to Express Your Individuality
Some people have specific color preferences while some people also like only specific stones, and are energized by being around them. Gemstone earrings exist so that people may be able to select their jewelry based on their own preferences, and customize their accessories according to their desires.
Why Fashion Matters
Fashion has suffered its share of browbeating and scorn. To understand fashion and what it truly implies for a culture I take a step back from my undertaking to catalogue fashion history. The wedding itself and the events leading up to the ceremony are stepped in Victorian customs one of the first influence the young girl is choosing the month and the day for her wedding. June has always been the most popular month, for its name after Juno, Roman goddess of marriage she would bring prosperity and happiness to all who wed in her month.
home | site map
|Copyright © 2005 www.My-Marketing-Tools.com|