The Trib took pics of a bunch of Chicagoans with kanji character tattoos. They then asked the tattooed what the characters meant. Then they went to the Japanese Consulate: (discussion on MeFi)
What she thinks her tattoo says: “circle seven.” What it really means: The tattoo does read as “circle seven,” but in Japanese, “circle” and “yen” use the same symbol. So Starr’s tattoo also means “seven yen,” or about 5 cents.
That’s the trouble in grabbing tattoos and symbology from a culture you’re not familiar with and one reason why I was at the library looking at Celtic and Irish symbolism. I would love to get Maori warrior tattoos – but those are sacred marks that are not mine to appropriate. Leaning towards an armband to celebrate the
birthday next week – we’ll see…