How to Pick Meaningful Japanese Tattoo Symbols


The Japanese language has three type of character symbols used for different purpose in written communication. Japanese tattoo symbols are written in all three: Kanji, Katacana and Hiragana scripts, however Kanji characters are the most popular symbols used for tattoos.

There is a large selection of themes and ideas in all three Japanese scripts to use for tattoos symbols. Use these tips to help you select Japanese character symbols for tattoos.

  • Decide on which Japanese alphabet characters you are going to get tattooed. The Hiragana, Katacana or Kanji scripts are all used to communicate ideas and symbols in a tattoo. Hiragana scripts are used in daily Japanese communications. Katacana is mainly used for foreign names and nouns. Kanji symbols originally came from the Chinese language and are very popular for tattoos.

  • Make sure that the Japanese written translation of your tattoo symbols is done correctly. Sometimes a phrase or idea in a native language may not have a direct written translation in a Japanese script. For these instances, you need to consult someone with good knowledge of the written character symbols. Compare various translations of your choice of tattoos to ensure accuracy.

  • Find Japanese tattoo symbols online or in books and catalogs. There are many free online services that provide popular Japanese tattoo symbols and translations. Consult a tattoo symbols catalog or a book on the Japanese characters of your choice.

  • Pick your Japanese tattoo symbols. Some of the most popular themes to get tattooed include ideas such as; love, peace, luck, harmony, temptation, honor, conscience, justice, hope, pride, truth, happiness, passion, wisdom, soul, success, Zen, compassion, death, ambition and martial arts symbols.

    Mythology is often used in Japanese inspired tattoos. These are represented by symbols such as; the dragon, swords, constellations and other characters. Horoscope symbols can be translated into Japanese scripts and used for tattoos.

    Names and ideas that have personal or emotional meaning to you can be used as Japanese tattoo symbols. For example, your name or the names of your loves ones can be tattooed. Family relationships, such as daughter, cousin, mother, father, brother can be inscribed as Japanese tattoo symbols.

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