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 迪蒂 are not even close to “duty”, unless the client is a dedicated gardener.
迪 means “enlighten, advance; progress” and 蒂 is “peduncle or stem of plants”.
Perhaps, they were some kind of “wicked” phonetic translation from English to Chinese or Japanese? But, why?
荣誉 do mean “honor”, except 誉 is missing a stroke.
The last two 勇气 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:
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 (www.bmezine.com), 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.
“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 Needled.com and writes a legal column for BMEzine.com. 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
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.
9 Boyces Street