Sunday, August 15, 2010

from: vicki
to: ""
date: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 10:52 AM
subject: please help me translate my tattoo

so, i got a tattoo on the back of my neck on my 18th birthday and was told it would be the kinji symbol for "princess".

through recent research via internet, all i can find is "princess" being 2 symbols not one. can you ease my mind and hopefully let me know this means princess? if not, i would love to know what it means and which language is actually on my neck.

thank-you in advance!!

2010-08-09 01.16.31

by itself alone means "palace", not quite princess.


  1. Well, in Japanese, 宮 (miya) by itself usually refers to a Shinto shrine or some sort of Imperial palace.

    宮 does often appear at the end of the formal titles of princes and princesses in the Japanese Imperial household. For example, the current crown prince has the title 浩宮 (Hironomiya).

    So then, does 宮 "mean" prince or princess? Perhaps in a roundabout sort of way. But the connection is pretty tenuous.

    Someone wanting a tattoo of "princess" in Japanese should go for 姫 instead.

  2. Isn't it also the monosyllabic version for "castration"? (宮刑)

  3. One would think that a princess would be better groomed.

  4. The ancient punishment of 宮 (宮刑) was evidently castration for males and confinement for females. Perhaps our "princess" here was confined and permanently marked with 宮 as a mark of shame.

    A Chinese version of the scarlet letter, perhaps?

  5. In ancient China, an empress refers to herself as 本宫. Princesses didn't, or weren't allowed to.

  6. If it was Japanese she wanted, she would be looking for hime or yu in there 姫...

    Just add to it so it says 姫宮 (himemiya) instead.

    With some of these that are wrong, they COULD BE fixed in some way... Maybe it might be nice to tell people how they can fix them if its possible?