Saturday, June 2, 2007

Oliver's Chinese Arm Tattoo

My friend Alan writes:

Hi Tian,

I think is a gold mine of silly Chinese and Japanese tattoos. Check out this one:

You will notice that it says (from top to bottom):



At first, it looks like just random gibberish, until you realize that it was actually all tattooed in inverted order, bottom to top rather than top to bottom!

I think it was supposed to mean “Love Hurts” followed by “Easy Money."

The silly client or tattooist must have just looked in a Japanese dictionary and found the words “love” (), “hurt” (痛い) and “easy money” (あぶく銭, also written 泡銭) and then strung them all together, grammar be damned, breaking the text in strange places and, to top it all off, tattooed the characters in the wrong order.

All in all, it is a piece de resistance of ludicrous, terrible Japanese tattoo work, although the characters themselves are correct and written well.

Thanks for all the hard work as usual.



  1. As I pointed out on that page, this tattoo actually reads "sen" (an old, small value coin worth 1/100 yen), buku (gibberish), a (gibberish), itai (it hurts), koi (love).

  2. What did you think about this one ?

    Thx for your work homie