Reader Kat has emailed me yesterday this photo of her husband's back:
He got it done four years ago and the characters should be Knowledge, Loyalty, Courage, Warrior, & Father.
Since Alan just got back from Japan, I forwarded this to him. Here is what Alan concludes:
Besides the terrible calligraphy, the character 識 is missing a dot at the upper right-hand corner. Also, the stroke at the bottom center of 寿 is supposed to be a separate dot rather than the incorrect connected stroke pointing down and to the right that we see.
Anyway, the characters mean roughly as follows:
識 knowledge, consciousness
寿 congratulations, celebration, long life, sushi
危 danger, dangerous
狂 crazy, insane, mad
Is this supposed to mean "celebrate the knowledge of a dangerous, crazy father" or something?
I don't get the whole picture but it doesn't sound very complementary to the "father." The characters do not seem to mean anything like they think they do.