date: Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 12:09 AM
subject: kanji paranoia
Hi! I got this tattoo a little over a year ago. It's supposed to mean "pure child", as I am a Christian. My tattoo artist is very careful and we even referenced a Japanese children's workbook to make sure that's what it meant.
I stumbled onto your site and now I am a little paranoid. Can you set my mind at ease?
I attached a pic :)it's my boobs, hope you don't mind. it's a little blue Kanji on my left boobie.
First of all, Alan and I welcome boobies!
I have always wanted Cornershop's Brimful of Asha as one of my party anthems, especially the chorus says "everybody needs a bosom for pillow, everybody needs a bosom."
Although 清子 are technically translated as "pure" & "child". A Japanese person would surely first assume that 清子 tattooed on a woman is supposed to be the common Japanese girl's name Kiyoko. But then the cognitive dissonance would set in.
Judging from certain, er, attributes of the tattooed subject, we would have to assume that she is not ethnically Japanese, so the question arises: why does she have a Japanese name?
Anyway, as a name, 清子 can be read several different ways including, in order from most to least common: Kiyoko, Seiko, Sugako, Sayako, Sukako.
Matter of fact, most Japanese would think this is a tattoo paying homage to their former princess 黒田清子, Sayako Kuroda.