Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Photo shared by George Takei is a perfect cultural comment
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Photo shared by George Takei is a perfect cultural comment

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Oh my…. ‘Nuff said. Tip of the hat to George Takei, who shared this piece of brilliance on his Facebook page. The photo now has over 200,000 Likes… in one day.

When white people have asked me (sorry, they’ve all been white people, no Asians, Latinos or Africans) what their tattoo means, I’ve half-jokingly told them “It means ‘I’m a dumbshit.'” or something to that effect. No one I know would ask me that, because they would know that I DON’T READ KANJI.

It’s like when non-Japanese people come up to me and introduce themselves by saying something in Japanese. I know only a little conversational Japanese….

Any Japanese person could tell at a glance that I’m Japanese American, not Japanese, and would not assume I could speak the language.

But that’s another blog post….

UPDATE: A reader, Linguarum, posted a link in the comments below to a site that actually goes to the trouble of translating Kanji tattoos off photos that people have submitted. The site is Hanzi Smatter and it’s a hoot.