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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
Kanji: Toku (#2)

So ages and ages ago, myclaudia asked me to come up with a kanji for her to represent 'a desire to live life with grace, honor and love.' So after much puzzlement (which you can read about here), I picked 'toku', which is frequently translated 'virtue', but that's not quite it. 'Integrity' might be a little closer.

(from the previous post): The flamelike shape in the bottom right corner is from a stylized drawing of a heart, and, as in english, heart denotes feeling or spirit. Above, an eye and a stylized crosspieced needle - a direct gaze, meaning 'direct' in general. The sort-of arrow looking thing off to the left is a radical meaning 'go' or 'move'. So this kanji means literally - "To move or act directly from the heart."
It seemed like it fit what she wanted - grace and honor and love as three aspects of the same thing.

All of which was well and good.... until I met myclaudia and had a look at her neck, where the tattoo would go. And then I saw the Dragon, which coils all the way around her back, solid and black, a thing of beauty and power. And that would never do - the calligraphy looked fragile and spindly, so much chaff in the wind. So I redid it, still graceful but heavier and stronger, clawed edges and arched curves. And now I'm happy with it. Sorry for the delay, myclaudia!


very cool. I've been wondering if there's Kanji for "dianthus". It's the whole carnation family, pinks and stuff, and comes from "divine flower". Apparently the color pink gets it's name from the flowers, not the other way around. Pfingsten, for Pentacost --> Pink. Pretty sure I don't want literally "Pentacost" on my body.

Well, there isn't a native Japanese word for 'dianthus', because that botanical grouping is a western idea. For 'carnation', just two loan-words (written in kana, not kanji). However, according to this gardening web page, there are in fact species of pinks native to China, so I figured there might be kanji for them, since the kanji writing system was borrowed wholesale from the Chinese.
In fact, there appear to be at least two, possibly three, kanji to say 'a pink'. Take a look. (a lot of these refer to the color.) I don't think you want the one at the very bottom of the list, though. :)

I like the new caligraphy. That'll go quite well with the dragon.

Ooohhhhh, gorgeous.

Keep 'em coming. :)


Words are insufficient to express my gratitude. You've taken my deepest goals and dreams and manifested them in color and form, so that I can express them on my skin for the world to see. Thank you. :)

yea!! Sarah's thrilled... ;)