More Than One Way to Tattoo a Cat


OK! I’ve been spending a little time over the past couple months working on a tattoo. A friend and his partner want to get matching tattoos written in kanji. I had to look back at the original idea for the tattoo today, because things have migrated a bit as we talk about it. We started with their desire for “Never in my life”, as in “Never in my life did I expect this wonderful situation.” It is a great thing when lives line up and people find they can spend their lives committed to each other. Ultimately we settled on a Japanese phrase Tomo ni ayumu (共に歩む), which could be simply – but slightly inaccurately – translated as “walking together”. Ayumu uses the same kanji as aruku; the latter being normal walking, the former being more like to pass through life. Tomo means together, but issho ni (一緒に) is the more common and regular form. Tomo is the first character in Communism because it really carries the context of cooperating together. So, the phrase really expresses the feeling of passing the time together in a partnership.

Anyhow we have to settle on which script style and which form of the characters to use. I regularly (lately, semi-regularly) practice three script styles, in each style there are usually two or three forms of simple characters. Our latest discussion has us looking at kaisho (楷書) or gyousho (行書) for the man; and gyousho or sousho (草書) for the woman. I am having troubles with email attachments, so I uploaded the pages from my shotai jiten (書体辞典) to Flickr and will show them to the world.

I marked the scripts (kaisho, gyousho, sousho) in red, yellow, and blue. The two with red dots in the corner are the ‘common use’ or standard versions of the characters. We might use those for the male tattoo. For the female tattoo, I am leaning toward the lower left and lower right characters. They have smooth flow, good balance, and they will match up well with the two hiragana characters (に and む). Once decisions are made, and I have practiced writing the characters, I will show you the works. In June we will hopefully have some good photos of the body art.

Tomo Aruku Shotai Chart 


6 Responses to “More Than One Way to Tattoo a Cat”

  1. fightingwindmills Says:


  2. Mark Says:

    THANK YOU ERIK! We can’t wait!

  3. Mark Says:

    Sandy and I were talking last night and the love and energy that’s coming from this process – and project – is just wonderful. Thank you SOOOO much for being a part of our lives in this way.

  4. Sylvia Says:

    How romantic. And much more practical than “Angelina” or “Billy Bob.” 😉

  5. びっくり Says:

    After I found that two of my schools networks allowed posting, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately the school I work at two days a week is still locked down. Sylvia, I definitely agree it would be silly for Mark and Sandy to get tattoos that said “Angelina” and “Billy Bob”.

  6. Sylvia Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: