Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Stop Woman Flow"

Two months ago, a young man named "Chuck" posted his tattoo which supposedly to be his daughter's initials in Chinese in BMEzine's tattoo gallery.

However, his choice of characters was not the best, and his tattoo proudly indicating to everyone that he menstruates regularly.

Today while browsing through the tattoo gallery, another young man is boasting his own (Dec. 4, 2006).

means "stop woman flow".

Is this some type of viral advertisement for feminine hygiene products? Perhaps I should forward it to my good friend, Steve Hall, at

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Seeking Tattooed Participants for Portrait Book

Two weeks ago I was contacted by Professor Kip Fulbeck of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) about a tattoo portrait book project.

For those who are interested, here are the details:


We are looking for individuals who may have had incorrectly translated (or applied) Chinese calligraphy tattoos for our upcoming book Permanence: Tattoo Portraits by Kip Fulbeck to be published by Chronicle Books in 2008.

If you are in the Southern CA area and are interested in being photographed for the book please email to

Anyone with interesting or unusual (by subject, style, or just plain bad) tattoo work is also welcome to contact us. Please note: We have PLENTY of tribal, Japanese sleeves, lower back butterflies, kanji, mid-scapula crosses, and mother's names already.

Friday, December 29, 2006

CNBC - Game On

On Nov. 15, 2006, CNBC aired a special titled "Game On" talking about the history of video games and its $25 billion financial impact.

During the show, an American businessman was quoted "I was told the only Japanese I needed to know was , which meant 1,000,000 units." At the same time, CNBC showed 百万台 on the television screen with last two characters upside down.

video: 917 KB Windows Media (thanks to Yang Zongbao)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Miami Ink - Weathering the Storm

Reader Wendy has tipped me about an episode of Miami Ink broadcasted earlier this year titled “Weathering the Storm”.

video: 16 MB Windows Media, mirror

In the show, a young lady wanted a “Japanese sign of Happiness or Inner Peace”, but what she and her friend downloaded from the internet was incorrect.

Chris Nunez then chimes in: “I think the single biggest crime is that there are so many tattoos on people either totally fake or doesn’t mean what they are looking for.” He then went on about how great it is to have Yojiro "Yoji" Harada in the shop to keep a watchful eye on fraudulent Kanji clients bring in.

Oh really?

Here is a screen shot of Kanji book in Miami Ink, and how come Yoji never spotted this?

by itself alone is not “stylish”, it means “time, season; era, age, period”.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Chuck's Tattoos

* Photo removed on behalf of Chuck Smith's request *
The original photo can be found in *

Chuck posted a photo of his tattoos in BMEzine's gallery on Nov. 6.

My Daughters Name In Chinesse
(Dragon Done By Ron At Stormi Steele; Lettering Done By Scott, Stormi Steele, Kingston, Pa)

It looks like Chuck got suckered into believing English alphabet can be translated directly into Chinese characters. Or, perhaps his daughter's name is really , which means "woman healthy flow".

Saturday, November 4, 2006

"It means 'Eternity'"

These three photos were posted in BMEzine's Kanji tattoo gallery on Oct. 30, 2006, with the caption of:

It Means "Eternity". Muster Said. I Don't Know Exactly, But Any Way. Whatever.
(by Sheremetyev, Golden Dragon, Omsk, Russia)

Since all three of the photos had date stamp on them and they appeared correctly, it was clear that the character been tattooed was mirrored. Also, the character does not mean "eternity", it means "[to] choose" or "select".

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hanzi Vigilante Blogger

For the last two weeks of October, I was in Montreal, Canada. While I was there, a friend of mine has sent me link to a story published in the Vancouver Sun titled "More Skin, Less Ink" by Paula Brook.

The story is about people's regrets of their own tattoos. Of course with that, yours truly was mentioned.

I laughed so hard when I read the part where Ms. Brook referred me as:

Hanzi Vigilante Blogger

I am thinking about making some business cards with that title.

On the other hand, the term "vigilante blogger" makes me feel like the character with dual personalities of Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in Fight Club. Or, Jan and Peter in The Edukators (Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei).

The original Vancouver Sun's story is here, here is a pdf copy of it, and for those who are too lazy to read, mp3 version of the article are also available here and here.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Caressing Flaw

Two weeks ago, I got an email from another U. S. Navy recruiter (I really think U. S. Navy should present me some kind of honorary award for my service) requesting tattoo translation. This young recruit got what he thought was "MC" tattooed on his chest.

The two characters and are pronounced as "mo" and "ci" in Chinese. Perhaps that is where he or the tattooist got the correlation to "M" and "C".

However, the second character is missing a small vertical stroke. Ironically, the literal translation of the two characters is "caressing flaw".

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"This is a Tattoo" and "Fish Ball Soup"

It has been two years since I first started Hanzi Smatter. With almost 400 entries achieved here about poorly done tattoos, it is always interesting for me to receive emails from people who got humorous Chinese character tattoos.

The first one I got is from Andy Scott and his “This is a Tattoo” tattoo:


I just stumbled onto your site and I want to say that is fantastic.

I've been living in China now for just over two years, whilst my speaking and listening isn't too bad, I cannot read or write more than a few characters. I too got a tattoo here in China, but luckily I have a endless resource here to make sure the words are correct. I attached it here.

It should say 'Zhe Shi Wen Shen' or 'This is a tattoo.' I get a lot of enjoyment creating a different meaning every time someone asks what it translates to. I haven't seen any English tattoo's here, but some of the phrases that are on clothing, menu's and other signs are just as amusing as some of the ones you have written about.

I'm sure there is some poor Chinese person out there with some poorly transcribed words inked onto their skin too. But, it's great that you are shedding light to the fact that language mistakes are made all over the world, not just in English. Though it's good for a laugh.


Andy Scott

The second one is from Mark Pulver, and he got "Fish Ball Soup" tattooed on his leg:


I thought you'd get a kick out of the story of a tat on my leg...

My other half and I have always found sites like interesting, and especially Hanzi Smatter - we love seeing the mistakes you point out.

"What do you mean it says "Beef & Broccoli?? It's supposed to be Love & Happiness!"


We decided to invert the process... We figured that we would _actually_ get "beef & broccoli" inked, and then just tell people that it says "love & happiness". In the end, 99% of our friends and the people we meet would never know the difference, and we'd have a fun story to tell to those who tell us "ummm, did you know that..."

Yeah, we're goofy that way.

Since we were actually looking for beef & broccoli we went searching for Asian menus online - we figured that would be a good source for a valid translation. In the process we found which offered up a LOT more than just B&B!

Now, being the head goofball, I noticed "fish ball soup" and glommed onto it REAL quick. On top of it, I came up with a back-story where I would tell people that the characters represent the last line of an old story that talks about love, happiness, relationships, children, all the things that have been held important for thousands of years by the Asian cultures. :)

With the symbols and a story in hand, I asked a friend of a friend of mine at work to verify the translation. He did and also re-wrote the characters to be clearer. I made a phone call to my tat guy and I was off to the ink shop. The end result is here:

I understand that the last character is loosely translated as "broth only" - I have an alternate writing where the last character is "with noodles" as well. :)

It's all in good fun... we don't mean anything rude or insulting by it, it's more about having fun with a poke back to the people that _don't_ do the research before they get tattoo's.

Keep up the fun!

Mark Pulver
"The Fish Ball Soup" guy

Saturday, October 7, 2006


My friend Alan Siegrist writes:

Hi Tian,

Just browsing bmezine’s kanji tattoo web pages can be entertaining indeed. I just noticed an astonishingly stupid Japanese tattoo:

It is supposed to be キンバリー, which is a reasonable Japanese equivalent of the name “Kimberly” but the stupid tattooist did it upside down!

And, since the text is vertical, the final ー should be oriented vertically instead of horizontally.

Kim should get her money back…

Thanks for your good work as always,


Friday, September 29, 2006

Eternal Evil Flame

This piece had the following caption in BMEzine’s September 27, 2006 tattoo gallery:

Different Typs Of Tattoos
This Is Kanji With Stars And A Green Filler
(by Brandon Eardman, Tribal Expressions Tattoo & Body Piercing, 107 Highland rd Pauls Valley OK 73075)

To compare this person’s work with crayon doodling done by retarded children at local Applebee's restaurants would be an insult to the mentally challenged.


Few days ago I received an email from an U. S. Navy recruiter in Jacksonville, Florida, asking me to translate this tattoo of a new recruit for him.

The new recruit claimed that his tattoo means “Daisy” in Chinese.

I tried my best to decipher it, and then I realized the “characters” are just English alphabets that made to mimic the “Chinese-look”. Here are some similar fonts.

Apparently Mr. “Daisy” is not the only person that got fooled by this font type, here are two more:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Breaking of Extreme "Wind"

(full size)

Serenity’s Peach Tin Label

Reader Yin Huang spotted this peach tin label in The Prop Store of London.

The label was made as a prop for the popular science fiction television show Serenity/Firefly. It was never used in the show, which is probably would be a good thing, since some of the printed Chinese characters are mirrored.

"A peach tin label made for the sci-fi adventure Serenity. This prop made label has “Peach Halves” printed on it in English and Chinese and a picture of peaches. It was made to be used on the tins in the store room but was never actually used. The label can be stuck onto a tin by peeling the backing off. It measures 33cm x 15cm (13" x 6")."

just above “Peach Halves” means “[has/have] nutritious food”. Below “Delicious, Sweet Ripe Taste”, the mirrored phrase is supposed to be “小精灵的酒吧”, which means “little goblin’s bar”, and 善服务团 which is a machine translated meaning for “good service group”.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Anti-Blood Clot Medication Kimono for Sale in Ebay

If you are interested in purchasing some authentic Japanese kimono replica, why not just check out eBay’s bargain selection?

Especially item number 270025981666, “Boutique Clovergirls BDB Costume Geisha Kimono Japanese”. (thanks to "Furisode Fan" for the tip)

* I have removed the photo that was originally posted here after “” (who is not the seller of the kimono, not the legal guardian of the girl shown in the photos, nor owner of the actual photos) decided to do a little “cybercensoring” of her own.

Luckily, the actual photos are located at as well as, and it is not copyrights infringement by directly linking to there.

(more photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

* I have decided to repost the image from eBay after contacting Electronic Frontier Foundation ( about my blogger's rights. I am free to post the photo since I am only using the image to illustrate my point, the image size has been reduced from its original, and it was posted on eBay, thus it does not hold the same copyrights as commerical photos.

Look, they even have some Japanese characters accompanying all the photos.

means “anti-blood clot medication”.

The clever seller has simply lifted some Japanese characters from medicine bottles and pasted them over the photo to give them the “authentic” feel.

Ps. Dear,

Since you like to censor other people's websites so much, why not write to this website and defend Lindsay Lohan's flashing vagina?
Oh my, how embarrassing.

And Jzcustoms,

Sweetheart, before you splash together another photo of your latest creation, how about do a little research?

Music is Life

means “music is life” in Chinese.

If so, having the phrase partially tattooed, would that be the equivalent to “tone-deaf” of life?


This photo titled “gabriel” is posted in Flickr by user “PunkyPlastik”.

The top character means “tutor” or “teacher”, however it is done incorrectly and missing a small horizontal stroke.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Tuur has sent in this photo of a fellow concert attendee from Leuven, Belgium several weeks ago.

is Simplified Chinese for “Cannabis Sativa”, also known as “marijuana”, “pot”, “chronic”, “weed”, “grass”, “ganja”, “420”, “blunt” (not James Blunt), “dope”, “reefer”, “mary jane” or “mj”, “cheeba”.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gibberish Asian Font Mystery Solved

Alan Siegrist, a professional Japanese-English translator, member of both Japan Association of Translators (JAT) and American Translators Association (ATA), has finally solved the mystery of gibberish “Asian Font”.

With Alan’s help, I have compiled this following chart:

Obviously the characters themselves might be correct and have meanings in both Chinese and Japanese.

However, the characters have nothing to do with the English alphabet, yet many tattoo shops consider this template as a valid translation tool, and using it to translate English names and words into Chinese and Japanese.

Alan has also mentioned:

"There are no equivalents for the letters V and W. This looks like the right side of , but is the closest full character I can find. This looks like the radical in the top-right of . This looks like the radical in the bottom-left of . * The character for "Y" is a mystery, looking something like 米米産 as one character.

If you look carefully, you will note a pattern of where the partial radicals come from:

(C) = (D) + (A)
(G) = (I) + (H)
(N) = (O) + (P)
(R) = (T) + (S) "

We have also found an actual website that is still currently selling this gibberish "Asian font" along with some other designs for $64.99.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


This photo was submitted to's gallery in August 28th accompanied with the following caption:

"lettering that was suppose to say Jason"

(by Doc, A & B Productions, Brown City, Michigan)

Another sucker of the downloadable gibberish “Asian font”.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Reader Robert found this photo posted in one of’s pages and would like to know what the phrase meant.

The top character means “very, too, much; big; extreme”, and the bottom one means “break wind; fart; buttocks”.

In Chinese slang, especially in internet lingo, 太屁 means “lame” or "pathetic".

Update: August 27, 2006 - According to the original website, the tattoo is supposed to be "fat ass".

If that is true, the top character should be , not .

Friday, August 25, 2006

Short Sleeved Tee at Guess

I saw this shirt in Guess' store window today.

Short Sleeved Tee at Guess store 1

Short Sleeve Tee at Guess store 2

When I asked the sales lady what the Japanese on the shirt meant, she replied "that is CHINESE" but still did not know what they meant.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I saw this photo in someone's MySpace page. He has since then closed his MySpace account, but the photo is still available at

I assume the last character is , which means "fortunate" or "lucky".

Notice his username "Lord Chino"? I am unsure about if he is referring to

1. Trousers made from coarse twilled cotton fabric
2. Spanish word for Chinese

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Jon Stewart Made Fun of Condoleezza Rice's Tattoo

I caught a glimpse of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight, where he made fun of Condoleezza Rice's Chinese character tattoo.

Jon Stewart makes fun of Condoleezza Rice's tattoo
Videos: 4.12 MB Divx, 2.39 MB Windows Media, and mirror

This is after the Daily Show aired a clip showing Condoleezza Rice tried to use a Chinese phrase to describe American's war in Iraq (or terrorism in general?) during a news conference in August 6, 2006.

By the way, the term Condoleezza Rice used does not actually mean "danger+opportunity=crisis". My good friend Mark Swofford at has posted an essay by Victor H. Mair on this misperception.

The character on Condoleezza's shoulder means "pig".

Update: August 9, 2006 - After receiving two emails from readers that felt the need to share their inside knowledge about The Daily Show with everyone, I just want to point out for those who hasn’t already know, The Daily Show is produced by Comedy Central, and it is a satirical television program.

The show is hosted by “the most trusted name in fake news” Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, also known as Jon Stewart.

Another headline from the Gullible Readers’ Digest: Is Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Bruno, and Sacha Baron Cohen the same person?

Say it ain’t so!

Monday, August 7, 2006

Maclean's "Botched in Translation"

In August 7th issue of Maclean’s magazine (Canada’s leading weekly magazine), there was an article titled Botched in Translation about Hanzi Smatter by Nancy MacDonald.

maclean's magazine August 07, 2006
(larger view)

Besides the rectangular tidbit at lower right corner of the page about “Polish grannies making skimpy, see-through women’s thong using traditional crochet patterns”, I thought the parts about tattooist 6ix Acheson (yes, that is his name “6ix” with a number in it) and Dr. Gerald Boey were very good:
“[6ix] Acheson thinks accuracy is a responsibility shared equally by client and artist. ‘Even if the client comes in carrying a drawing, they shouldn’t just blast it on.’”

“‘Unfortunately, it’s a buyer-beware market,’ cautions Dr. Gerald Boey of Vancouver’s Arbutus Laser Centre, a specialist in laser removal, noting that about 20 percent of those with tattoos are considering removal.”
Thanks Nancy!

Friday, August 4, 2006

Dodgy Asian-Themed Restaurants

I was talking to a friend of mine Marc about a new Asian-themed restaurant just opened in northern Scottsdale called Ten Asian Bistro. A quick browse through their website, I have spotted something that is not quite right. Under each item in the rollover menu, it has a corresponding character.

For someone that is not familiar with Chinese or Japanese, one might think the characters are actual translations of “home”, “menu”, “general info”, and so on.

These are random characters that are there to give the website an “Asian” feel. Especially when is used for both “home”, “décor”, for “general info” and “reservations”.

Recently in Phoenix New Times, Stephen Lemons wrote this about another Scottsdale restaurant called Ippei Japanese Bistro:
“Ippei general manager Justin Cohen would not allow any photos of his restaurant's food. His lack of confidence is telling… Ippei aims to be destination dining, but it is not there yet. As of now, I'd rather do the five or six hours via car to L.A. But if you're in Ippei's vicinity, you could do worse. After all, both McGrath's Fish House and the White Chocolate Grill share the same complex.”

I was about to post this, then I got an email from Igor with this photo of a Japanese restaurant he visited.

What are those characters in the left plaque? It could be due to poor lighting, but doesn’t the chef appears to be more Hispanic than Japanese?

Domo Arigato, Senor Avocado San.

P.s. Do not even get me started on the establishment known as P. F. Chang’s.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Carlos Mencia Says "Get the Right Tattoo!"

Miara tipped me about during one of Carlos Mencia's monologues in season one of Mind of Mencia, Carlos has talked about people getting tattoos.

video: 3.35 MB windows media or YouTube
“…Let me get this straight, you got a tattoo in jail from a guy that has failed English and Spanish, but now he knows Chinese, is that what you telling me?

You have 26 letters in English and Spanish kicked his ass, but 1,300 characters in the Chinese language…

Are you retarded?! I can’t wait till this guy ends up in Chinatown and some Chinese guy goes: ‘oh, that is a beautiful tattoo, so you love to suck *bleep*…”
Having a tattooist who can't even spell words in English correctly to do your tattoo in another language would be a problem... It does sound like that person I recently got those angry comments from...

Monday, July 31, 2006

Duty Honor Courage

Original Posting: July 31, 2006

This is a freshly done arm band tattoo shown in BMEzine’s gallery (July 31, 2006) by James “Devilboy” Robinson of F.I.S.T. Ink in North Carolina (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK). The six-character set supposedly to be “Duty Honor Courage”.

The first two characters are not even close to “duty”, unless the client is a dedicated gardener.

means “enlighten, advance; progress” and is “peduncle or stem of plants”.

Perhaps, they were some kind of “wicked” phonetic translation from English to Chinese or Japanese? But, why?

do mean “honor”, except is missing a stroke.

The last two are “courage” or “bravery” and they are correct.

A quick browse of James “Devilboy” Robinson’s MySpace page (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK), from metal fabrication to graphix (his spelling) design, it seems he is a very talented person. Although, no where it was mentioned on his page if he has ever studied Chinese or Japanese.

Oh right, tattooists are “artists”, and they are not linguists.

Update: August 1, 2006 - James Robinson (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK) has sent me the following angry comment and instant messages:

(larger view)

(larger view)

Update: Aug. 2, 2006 – I have forwarded my experience with James Robinson (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK) to my good friends Shannon Larratt and Marisa DiMattia, hoping not all tattooists are like him and it was an isolated incident.

Shannon Larratt is the man behind the largest body modification website in the world called Body Modification Ezine (, where some of James Robinson’s (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK) pieces were originally posted.

Shannon, Marisa, and I regularly exchange tips and emails regarding the tattoo trend. Some of our postings have cross-linked in each other’s websites.

Shannon says:
“That email is hilarious. But it's a pretty typical response. Tattoo artists can be a little like Klingons. :) PS. Marisa will love that you forwarded this to her too -- I was just about to when I saw you had included her. She just had a very similar run-in...”
Marisa replied to me with:
“It's true that tattoo artists should not be responsible for characters that are not native to them. That said, if he really cared about reputation, he would not have Chinese flash representing his work. I don't want to see what the rest of his portfolio looks like.”
Marisa DiMattia is a New York attorney by occupation. In her spare time, she manages and writes a legal column for Recently, Marisa had a run-in with Joseph Smith of Big Brains Productions in Omaha, Nebraska, after she confronted him about theft of work done by someone else.

Referring to James Robinson (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK) as a “tattoo artist” is giving a bad name to all other respectable tattooists in the profession. In my opinion (after his email and instant messages), he is nothing but a man who can hold up a mechanical needle, dipping in ink, and trace color lines on gullible clients’ skin. That is no different from developmentally challenged students to trace color lines in special education classes.

And I am sure those students would have more humanity in them than James Robinson (not the James Robinson of Nine in Brighton, UK) ever would.

Update: Oct. 21, 2009

from: Nine
date: Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 5:35 AM
subject: Duty Honour Courage - Hanzi Smatter


I'm writing to you in good faith in reference to:

One of my tattooist colleagues is also called James Robinson and we are concerned that the general public may link the individual to whom you are referring, to James Robinson of Nine, Brighton, UK. I myself did a google search and fell upon this page and was quite taken aback as what you were describing fitted in no way with the James Robinson I know and work with. It was only upon reading right down the page that I found the information to which James Robinson you were referring to.

If anyone does a Google search on his name, the following is on the first page of the search:

Hanzi Smatter 一知半解: Duty Honor Courage
Referring to James Robinson as a “tattoo artist” is giving a bad name to all other respectable tattooists in the profession. In my opinion (after his email ...

I am sure you can agree that this is defamatory to James Robinson of Nine and request you specify which James Robinson you are referring to to make it clear.

I trust you can update your page changing all the James Robinson's you list as James "Devilboy' Robinson of F.I.S.T. Ink in North Carolina to make it clear to anyone perusing your page that this James Robinson has nothing whatsoever to do with James Robinson of Nine, Brighton, UK.

I run an incredibly well respected and tight ship here and do not wish any damage upon the reputation of my studio or any of the tattooists working within it.

I look forward to hearing from you about this matter.

Kind Regards,

9 Boyces Street
+44(0)1273 208844

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Fearless Gibberish

My friend Mark Swofford has informed me about a new movie called Fearless starring Jet Li, which is loosely based on the life of Huo Yuanjia.

The movie is written and directed by a Chinese person, dialogue is in Mandarin Chinese, and the storyline is about a Chinese person, yet ironcally the characters in the movie's trailer are gibberish.

These are two screen shots Mark has captured from the movie's trailer to show just how ridiculous they are:

Just below COMING SOON is a giant ㄍ. Along the right side of the screen is the following, in zhuyin fuhao: ㄇㄞㄒㄖㄘ. This, in Hanyu Pinyin, would be “maixrici,” which is complete gibberish. The other vertical lines of text are also nonsense in zhuyin fuhao. Again, there’s nothing wrong with how these are written. It’s just that they’re no more meaningful than a random string of letters. (more)

The zhuyin fuhao on the left read, from top to bottom, ㄔㄐㄎㄊㄆ, which would be “chjktp” in Hanyu Pinyin. As I think should be obvious even to those who don’t know Mandarin or any other Sinitic language, this is simply nonsense. (more)

Hopefully the actual movie would be better than the trailer, unlike the last movie I saw Lady in the Water by M. Night Shyamalan which really sucked scrunt's balls.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Asian Font Gibberish 3

From Shannon Larratt's gallery, here is a July 27th posting from Bulgaria:

Two of my earlier postings (one & two) have already talked about some people would download this so called "Asian Font" from the internet and tattoo themselves with gibberish.

If you have not seen Clerks II, Shannon Larratt had a brief role in the movie. He was the "Ear Guy" in Mooby's.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Wise Words Very Beginning

Helen of sent in this photo from Zao Tattoo in Macomb, IL.

means "wise words" or "famous saying" and is "beginning" or "initial".

Obviously this person has never heard of the wise words from Dr. Gregory House, Seth MacFarlane, Red vs. Blue, Fox News (it is a bit strange to see "Fox News" associated with "wise words"), and Bill Maher.


Aiko Valentine sent this photo to me a few days ago. Her sister has purchased this parasol from a store called Earthbound Trading Company.

(larger view)

Despite the incorrectly written characters, 伊勢 or 伊勢囯 is a province in Japan. or 時代 is referring to Japan’s Warring State Period which is roughly from mid 15th to early 17th century. 国村 could either be a village or a compound from the Warring State Period.

For those who are not familiar with Japanese history or read the five characters on the parasol as Chinese, might mean something like “Iraqi/Iranian warring/conflicting village”.

The reason why it might mean either “Iraqi” or “Iranian” is because both terms were phonetically translated into Chinese and often abbreviated using just the first character. 伊拉克 is “Iraq” and 伊朗 for “Iran”.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Hanzi Smatter was mentioned in the latest episode of HanselMinutes with Scott Hanselman and Carl Franklin. For those who do not have the patience to sit through over twenty minutes of geek talk, the clip starts at time mark 26:30.

audio: clip 517 KB mp3 or entire show22.5 MB mp3

I use Macromedia Fireworks (now Adobe Fireworks) for most of the graphics work, and Sony Vegas 6.0 for audio and video editing work.

The character in Computer Zen's logo is , typically "zen" is referring to .

Monday, July 17, 2006

House M.D. - Nonconformity

Andy from Texas Tech sent in this screen capture from episode 19 of Fox’s drama series, House (or is it “House M.D.”?).

video: windows media 3.95 MB or mirror

Dr. Roger Spain (First Applicant): Wow, I thought you'd be the last person to have a problem with nonconformity.

Dr. Gregory House: Nonconformity; right... I can't remember the last time saw a twenty something kid with a tattoo of an Asian letter on his wrist. You are one wicked free thinker! You want to be a rebel; stop being cool. Wear a pocket protector like he does, and get a hair cut. Like the Asian kids that don't leave the library for a twenty hours stretch. They're the ones that don't care what you think.

Dr. Gregory House: Sayonara

Many places including tattoo shops advertise as "harmony, peace; peaceful, calm". In modern day Chinese, it only means is frequently used to represent "with" or "and".