Tuesday, July 13, 2010

from: J. S.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM
subject: Tattoo Translation


I just stumbled across your blog and thought that you could assist me in verifying the meaning of my tattoo. I did them myself late one night a couple years back while apprenticing at a tattoo parlor.


J. S.


First of all, the top character is upside down. Bottom characters 阿呆 means "fool, idiot".

The tattoo is very fitting & means "bitter [or suffering] idiot".

Sunday, July 11, 2010

from: Paul W.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 9:47 PM
subject: Tattoo Question


I saw your blog on Mental Floss and thought you could help.

I have a tattoo, it's supposed to be kanji for hope, but I haven't been able to find a symbol that matches it and has the same meaning.

Actually, I haven't been able to find the symbol at all.

Is there anyway you might be able to tell me?

Thanks in advance,

Paul W.


means "date, period".

Saturday, July 10, 2010

from: ian b.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Sat, Jul 10, 2010 at 8:41 AM
subject: Tattoo translation dilemma!

Good afternoon,

I found your blog by googling 'What does my Chinese symbol tattoo mean?'

I was perfectly happy that my Tattoo meant 'friendship' for over 10 years until i recently researched symbols on the Internet and discovered that mine doesn't appear to relate to which it was sold as.

Can you assist me in a true translation for my tattoo.

Thanks very much in advance.



does not mean "friendship" as Ian was first informed if it is read as Chinese. When read as Japanese, (なか), it is interpreted as "relation; relationship".

Thursday, July 8, 2010

from: james h.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 3:52 PM
subject: Lost In Translation

I ran across your blog in the hopes that you might be able to translate my tattoo. A buddy of mine has the exact same tattoo and he got me it as a gift for my birthday. Over the years I've questioned the authenticity of the meaning and turns out he has know idea what it translates to. He told me it was kanji for "Fear No Man" , but I've looked in to it and know where can I find any similarities between what I have and what I have researched.

I would appreciate your help in translating my tattoo so I could have some peace of mind.




棺材佬 means "coffin man".

However, the middle character of 木見才 does not exist in Chinese character list.
from: Wendi B.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 3:42 PM
subject: Tattoo

Hello, I found your blog randomly through "stumbling" and thought I'd toss my tattoo your way. When I got it I thought it meant "calmness" (out of a book at at tattoo parlor I worked for when I was young and dumb).

A few months later, a Japanese exchange student came in and told me it meant "lonely." So I just thought it would be interesting to see if you concur. Sorry it's a little blurry (also the artist used a tattooing method to make it look "brushed on"...and it's old at this point).


tat 001

has multiple meanings when it is used alone. When read as Chinese, it can be interpreted as "solitary". However if it is read as Japanese, it would mean "lonely".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

from: Justin
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:42 AM
subject: Tattoo query


I was reading your blog and it very interesting. I have been having this dilemma of finding out what is the true meaning of the tattoo I got in my teen years. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million.


元氣 means "vitality", in the tattoo is distinctively a variant used in Japanese.