Friday, February 6, 2009

from: Emily B.

date: Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 2:55 PM
subject: Tattoo

i got this tattoo years ago it was supposed to mean warrior- now I'm just really questioning whether or not that's what it means.
Can you help? Thanks,



It looks like this "warrior" had some combat injury.

Actually, by itself only means "military; martial, warlike".

Perhaps the same person did her tattoo work also painted these handicap parking space logos:

Armless Handicapped Parking Spot 01


  1. I'm sorry, I have to comment : who the hell gets a tattoo on their foot that says 'warrior'? I understand a martial-artist getting one ; I got one in younger, stupider days (although it happens to actually be correctly written, if in bad taste), but it's on my shoulder. Is she a member of a very specialized art that only uses feet, specifically feet wearing heels?


  2. In the WWWJDIC kanji lookup, the main meaning of the character is "warrior" - although when the character is used as a word, it is, indeed, "military art" though it has a secondary meaning of "military officer".

    So perhaps this tatooist is leaning more to the Japanese than to the Chinese.

    Anyway, he is not leaning far enough to be able to count strokes, that's for sure.

    (Funny, when I saw the picture, not having read the text yet, I immediately thought "Oh, 'warrior'", and then "Oh, but this poor warrior is injured". It was funny to read the text afterwards.)

  3. Maybe the intended meaning was "foot soldier"?

  4. why do people keep saying 武 means "warrior"? clearly it does not. warrior is Musha 武者, where the second Kanji depicts an actual person. isn't that what a "warrior" is? an actual bonafide "person"? so just 武 on its own just means military; martial. it doesn't infer an actual person or individual of the military or military arts.

  5. I'm not sure that the difference is as clear cut as the OP makes it. "Warrior" in English doesn't have to refer to a person. "Warrior" can be an occupation as well in the exact same sense as "military officer." I'm not sure that there is a real disagreement over the kanji as there is over what the woman meant by "Warrior" in the first place.

    Given the fact is on her foot, and given the fact that she is in heels, the connotation of "Office Warrior" (as an occupation or a means of doing business) makes perfect sense to me. In this sense the difference between "warrior" and "warlike" (in English) is a distinction without any meaningful difference whatsoever.

  6. @ previous Anonymous (10:41 AM),

    That still does not excuse the fact that her tattoo 武 is missing a stroke.

    If we follow your logic of she being an "office warrior", then she is not doing a very thorough job, yes?