Sunday, November 25, 2012

from: Brian T. 
to: "" 
date: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM 
subject: Trust in God Tattoo? 

My brother in law thinks this says "trust in God". Can you confirm this? 


typically is used to describe deity, not necessarily the Judea-Christian sense of "God", which is 上帝.

信用 is not "trust", rather creditworthiness along the line of trying to get a loan from bank.


  1. In China, 神 is used for "spirits," but in Japan, it can mean the Abrahamic God. However, 信用 is the wrong sort of "trust," as you wrote.

  2. As Carl says, the Abrahamic God is also 神 in Japanese, and 信用 isn't so bad in Japanese. It is associated with money e.g. mutual trust credit union 信用金庫 (lit trust bank or safe). But 信用 is also used to mean trust and trust-worthy e.g. 信用ある人間 a trusted person. But there is a word in Japanese for trust in God which is just 信神. Note that the trust (信) comes before the god (神) in Chinese compounds, which have (S)VO word order like English. The above has three characters 神信用, which Chinese compounds never have, so it looks like a Japanese construction. Since 信用 is a commonly used word the break does seem to come after the first character. It could be a contraction of I trust god (私は 神を信用しています)but to me it looks more like a request - "trust me god!" 神,信用してください!