Sunday, August 15, 2010

from: W.J. H.
date: Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 11:43 AM
subject: Please Translate Ex-Boyfriend's Tattoo

My ex seems to think that his tattoo means "Hell's Warrior". The fella isn't the brightest crayon in the box and I would honestly be very surprised if he managed to get an accurately translated kanji tattoo in rural Idaho. Care to clarify it's meaning?


Top two character 地獄 does mean "hell", however by itself alone does not mean "warrior".


  1. In Japanese 地獄 is pronounced "jigoku" and means "hell", but warrior would be 武士 (bushi) or 武人 (bujin), so another character is needed. 地獄の武人 would be closer to "Hell's Warrior". (the の is equivalent to 's)

  2. In Japanese, 武 itself means "military" and could be interpreted, without any other characters as "military person", but Fugashi is right that it would be sorta weird if it's not 武士 or 武人. A single character for "warrior" would be 侍.

  3. 地獄武 in Japanese could be sorta close to 'Braving Hell' because the bu can mean 'valor' or 'bravery' as well...

  4. @Fugashi

    >(the の is equivalent to 's)

    Well... it's also 'of' so 'warrior of hell' would be a bit closer, but the concept is the same.

    I still think jigoku bu could be also be 'Braving Hell' in some kind of weird alternate universe Japanese, since 'bu' is valor or bravery, in a military setting.