More Reverse Engrish – Kanji Tattoo

posted on 30 Apr 2012 in Reverse Engrish

Recently on Japanese television they interviewed a person with a Japanese tattoo in New York, and I thought it was a funny exchange:

They had him pull up his shirt to show off his “kanji” (Chinese character) tattoo, which says “ronin”.

Tattoo’d New Yorker:  “It means a ‘samurai without work’, or a ‘student’, right?”

Japanese Reporter: “Actually it (commonly) means a student who didn’t pass his entrance exams.”

(In other words, a “student” who has yet to enter college/university – something not to be too proud of…)

Tattoo’d New Yorker: “Well, that’s cool too…”

  • Lollerskate

    At least it ain’t hemorrhoids!

  • coffeebot

    it’s actually called hsirgnE

  • Hugo

    In Chinese, “浪人” means a wander or an itinerant. The meaning has changed in Japanese.

  • Big Fat Cat

    Is this related to Ronin?

  • RT

    Mmm it does mean Ronin – as in a ‘masterless samurai’, but the meaning of the word now – since there are no samurai anymore – is now closer to the modern usage which is why it’s embarrassing/stupid.

    More reverse Engrish please! There are tons (or used to be anyway) of t-shirts and shirts with Chinese and Japanese characters spewed all over them.

    Or yes @coffeebot, hsirgnE! More hsirgnE!!!

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