Thursday, February 22, 2007

"I love sucking ass"

"Dave" sent me a photo of his friend's tattoo about two weeks ago with:

A couple of days ago a friend of mine got a tattoo, and upon asking him what it meant, he told me it was a "secret". I know my friend isn't the brightest of stars and I suspect that he had help translating it after he got tattooed and found out it meant "I love sucking ass" or something similar, so I would REALLY love to know what it really means, and since he can barely speak English, let alone Japanese.


At first I thought (traditional format: ) was some kind of idiom. When my own research turned up fruitless, I then forward it to Alan and he replied with:

What does this jumble supposedly mean? I have no idea. This means nothing in Japanese. Except for perhaps would be recognizable as a variant of .

Even looking at the traditional forms, the characters would be recognized but I don't think that any Japanese person would discern any meaning other than the meanings of the individual characters.

What is this supposed to be? I wonder if the owner of the tattoo simply picked the characters at random.

The whole thing could be backwards (or actually inverted bottom to
top), so it should really be read 乐际节举.

This is all I can guess now, but it is really strange that the tattoo would be written inverted even though the characters themselves appear to be fine. Maybe the tattooist was working from a computer-generated font that was cut apart and re-stacked incorrectly like the case of Kimberly.

I tend to agree with Alan and this could be just another case of gibberish been tattooed on one's body. It has even happened to CIA's "Kryptos".


  1. It just really looks like random characters. It doesn't make in sense in any direction.

  2. It could be his name spelled out phonetically, though not sure what ju-jie ji-le (or goei-jeet zhai-lok in Cantonese) would be: Georgie Jeeley?

  3. Here's an especially bad example of a "Japanese" tattoo (the wearer apparently thinks it's Chinese):

  4. Hm... there's no conceivable way that it's Japanese. None of those characters are used in Japanese, and only the first is easily recognizable--their Japanese variants are almost identical to the traditional Chinese.

    Anyway, if I tried to read that in Japanese, it might turn out something like "", and I can't think of any way of mixing that up to where it makes sense.

    How would it be based on meaning? "Fist - Celebration - Fun"? K

  5. Keep in mind that the Japanese written language was taken from Chinese, and uses many of the same characters. So this tat may not even be Japanese in origin, but Chinese. The Mandarin may be on the right track in that it may be the guy's name spelled out phonetically, and the person who did it was not concerned with the meaning of the characters.

    Quite frankly, it cracks me up when westerners get Chinese/Japanese tats. It's basically the western version of "Engrish".

  6. i like the comments on the site, very funny. does this qualify for hansimatter since he thinks it's Chinese? also, i'd like to defend the people of Fredericksburg, my hometown, but it's not worth my time. their mistaking Chinese for Japanese doesn't surprise me.

  7. Okay,if we think it wroted in reverse, in Chinese, it really means "happy" "time/zone" "prevent" "lift/hard-on". So I think it means "in happy time try not to get a hard-on". Very funny.

  8. I trust online translation tools with another language about as much as I would a tattoo artist, but just to note, Google language tools is actually managing to give me a full translation of the characters:
    "For international music festival"

    That would be benign enough if it were accurate. Which it almost certainly isn't (you've got me - as far as hanzi goes, I know numbers and "person," and that's basically it).

  9. In Mandarin '举 jǔ' is to lift up, '节 jié' is a joint (not the kind that's smoked though), '际 jì' has a 'on the occasion of' meaning and '乐 lè' is of course of happiness. So it looks like this is an attempt to say 'Raise a joint when you're happy.' They should just stop using the dictionary and just get the leaf tattooed instead.

  10. Joe "I know some Japanese" ErikssonJuly 13, 2007 at 5:13 AM

    Well, as I see it it's obvious that in some twisted way this tattoo was ment to mean " (a) Fist up your "Happiness" " or " I put my fist up your ###".

    However, we can never really be sure.

    On another note - The difference between "Engrish" and these tats is simply that you can burn a flyer with sinfully bad English with a single match, but a tat takes a burning with a $1000 laser op.

  11. I finally figured out what this is supposed to say! It's the name JEAN written with a fake "Chinese alphabet" font available on this page.

    The friend of "Dave" must be named Jean.

    This is such a pointless tattoo! But this might just be the same way that Matt Roth got his gibberish tattoo, so there may be more Chinese alphabet fonts out there.