Saturday, September 18, 2010

from: d.h.
date: Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 8:38 AM
subject: Here's one

This is supposed to mean passion. I don't think it does. In fact, i couldn't locate this configuration of radicals at all. What are your thoughts?


It means "hot, middle", which does not mean "passion".

This tattoo also reminded me the terrible hip-hop song by Nelly, Hot in Here.


  1. According to the WWWJDIC, 熱中 means "nuts!; enthusiasm; zeal; mania."

  2. 熱中 is "enthusiasm" or "enthusiastic" in Japanese. Not quite "passion" which is more like 情熱, but pretty close.

    In Chinese, 熱中 seems to mean "to be fond of" like here:

  3. Showed this to my wife and she mentioned that in Japanese it can be read as "ねちゅう” (nechu) which has a meaning similar to 夢中, pronounced "むちゅう” (muchu) which means "absorbed in" so it could mean something along the lines of "passionate about." E.g. "I'm passionate about model trains" is roughly the same as "I'm absorbed with model trains."

  4. @ Evan: Not quite to be precise, it is ねっちゅう (double consonant there). But this tattoo is not too faulty I guess, aside from it being awfully ugly.

  5. Yes, in Japanese it really is a sort of passion. There is actually an NHK documentary series called 熱中時間 (netchuu jikan) in which they introduce individuals with passions for various things. For example - one is an outdoor sleep enthusiast, another is a collector of train handhold straps, another one knows everything about underground waterways, and so on.

  6. @ Herouth:

    As pointed out, it's more accurately coined as enthusiasm. The meaning overlaps with passion, but they're not quite the same word.

  7. By the way, the style of the calligraphy looks an awful lot like what they call ペン字 [pen ji] in Japan. As the name implies, this is done with a pen, not a brush. I think this is mostly done by school-age kids to practice their penmanship for simplicity with a pen rather than go to the effort of preparing a proper ink and brush.

    As others have mentioned, the calligraphy is terrible. If I were the teacher, I would mark this up with lots of red ink, pointing out, among other things, that all of the "dots" at the bottom of 熱 are pointing the wrong ways, and send the kid back to write it again.

    It's a little late to do this with a tattoo, though.

  8. It was most likely meant to be 热衷, "to be passionate about..."; pronunciation is the same as 热中。Probably a case of 错别字 here.

    1. 熱中、熱衷 are sometimes interchangeable. See

  9. 熱中 Necchuu, as I understand it, means to be really into something, think hobbies. You can say ~に熱中する ni necchuu suru "to be really into ~".

    夢中 Muchuu is different in that

    1. it's used to talk about being passively transfixed by something at that moment in time (think TV), not to talk about being actively involved in some regular activity like a hobby and

    2. it can't be used with suru (to do). It can be used with "ni naru" (to become) or just regular "desu" (is), however.

  10. @Evan
    Im sorry but you are wrong. it can NEVER be read as "ねちゅう” (nechu). its totally wrong. if you have a kanji quiz in japanese class and write "ねちゅう”, teacher say its incorrect. thats it.
    so it can NEVER be 夢中 either.("absorbed in" )

    you can never say " I have a 夢中/熱中"
    I have a 情熱(passion) is correct.
    夢中=be absorbed