Friday, January 05, 2007

Stupid Tattoos

We have all read articles etc., about the Japanese using absurd English as decorations on clothing, bags, and so on. The New Yorks Times and other newpapers seem to find it informative to run a few articles about this, complete with examples every few years. Tourists to Japan become near orgasmic at the sight of some of the weird English one can see.

Well, according to a Japan Times article, and a NYT article, westerners seem to be just as weird---or more so---in their use of kanji (Chinese derived characters) for tattoos. Actually, this is even weirder because it is a tattoo and thus permanent. I have never seen a Japanese with "Pokkari Sweat" tattooed on their ass. But Britany Spears has weird or strange (hen 変?)tattooed on hers.

There is even a blog devoted to these type of tattoo screwups here.

I remember when the movie Black Rain (with Michael Douglas) came out in the late 80s. Our local video store in Pullman, Washington where I was attending college had posters (perhaps from the studio) with the title in katakana. It was supposed to be written ブラク レィ-ヌ(not sure if the small ィ is needed. Feel free to check.), but they wrote the last part, rain, backwards---something like ブラク ヌーレィ which reads Black Nurei.

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