Ink About Ink

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With a little reluctance, I’m going to talk about tattoos again. The last time I did, my traffic shot up, but for weeks it was mostly tattoo-related. Not that I’m opposed to tattoos, it’s just disappointing that its popularity dwarfs my interests.

So, I was contacted awhile back by a friend of a friend, requesting help with an amusing tattoo. Many folks, thinking kanji looks cool, head to any old parlor and ask for something profound: perhaps “Love and Peace”, or “Live Free or Die”. Often they wake up the next day, proud of their great piece of art. Later, when someone who reads kanji sees it they say, “Why did you get Moo Goo Gai Pan written on your arm?” As a kind of joke, my new friend wanted to get “Fish Ball Soup” written on his leg.

His thinking was to tell people it was from an ancient love story or something. When someone in the know inquired about the soup, they could have a chuckle together.

He managed to get written up on Hanzi Smatter – a website about the mistaken smattering of kanji, mostly in tattoos, to be found in society today.

Anyhow, he was interviewed and photographed for a book awhile back. Finally, the book is published and available under the title: Permanence. It is written by Kip Fulbeck with a foreward by Horitaka. It documents stories of why people get tattoos.

Warning: if you are going to get a kanji tattoo, please get linguistic, cultural, and artistic help first.

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2 Responses to “Ink About Ink”

  1. The Fish Ball Soup Guy Says:

    🙂 yay.

    Thank You Erik!

    – Mark

  2. びっくり Says:

    No problem! I hope we can get you all lined up for the next work. Since I have no intention of inking my body, I think this is a way for me to live vicariously through you. 🙂

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