Kanji is the term for Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese language. There are two different types of characters that are used in written Japanese: kana, which includes the types of writing known as hiragana and katakana, and kanji. All written Japanese evolved from written Chinese, and were modified to create the different sounds of the Japanese language. Kanji in Japanese are typically characters from the Chinese language that have been adapted to mean Japanese words. The meanings in Chinese and Japanese can be the same but pronounced differently, or they may have entirely different meanings. Some kanji were developed in Japan and are not seen in the Chinese language at all. Still other kanji are written in different forms but have the same meaning.
Japanese Kanji Tattoos VS Chinese Symbol Tattoos.
The Kanji Tattoos you have seen in the tattoo parlor or anywhere else are actually Chinese Symbol Tattoos, when you are planning to get a Kanji Tattoo, Choosing Chinese Symbol Tattoos instead of Japanese Kanji Tattoos, Why? Japanese Kanji only have hundreds of writing symbols which evolved from written Chinese Symbols, You can not get whatever you want to express by using Japanese Kanji. Whereas, Chinese Symbols have about 4000 year history and there are 47,035 Chinese symbols in Chinese Kangxi Dictionary. Put it simple, You can get whatever you want to express in Chinese symbols.
How to Get a perfect Kanji Tattoo you truly deserve
My Name is Yingying, I am a Chinese tattoo artist, and have been helping the western people get their Kanji tattoos for three years. Kanji have a complex beauty as well as individual meanings. People who get Kanji tattoos are often drawn to this. Unfortunately, the flip-side is that there are a lot of Kanji tattoo Mistakes. I have personally seen such elementary mistakes as Kanji being tattooed backward and meant something else other than intended. My goal is to help people explore the beauty and complexity of Kanji safe in the knowledge that they are dealing with the professional. Why many western people make mistakes with their kanji tattoos, the main reason is because they made no preparation before inking and just walked into a tattoo parlor without knowing what they would get. And then their Chinese tattoos became the permanent source to embarrass them. Yes, they can get their tattoo removed, but removing unwanted tattoos is a very expensive, lengthy and painful ordeal! You are wise to research your best possible options before going through with it.
First: you need to find a pro to do the translation, instead of anyone who speaks Chinese. The Chinese symbol (Kanji) has a time span of 4000 years and a geography span across countries like China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It simply takes knowledge and expertise to do the translation well.
Second: the Chinese Symbols need to be custom designed by writing them into Chinese calligraphy. Your body deserves Chinese calligraphy art, NOT kanji writing! Chinese calligraphy is not just Chinese kanji writing, neither just writing well. It is an art that can display spirits. People can feel the mood, feeling, thought from the calligraphy. Having a Chinese calligraphy tattoo is a love and a respect of yourself. Moreover, Custom designed kanji Tattoos also include stencil outline. Most people don't realize that every tattoo design has a matching stencil. To apply tattoos on the skin, the tattoo artist needs both a good clear reference of the actual design, and well drawn stencils (line drawings) as the "blueprint" for the actual tattoo. When inking, your tattoo artist will use stencil outlines to trace the artwork onto your body. Stencil outlines are vital for inking kanji as it can prevent tattooists from making mistakes while inking.