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Chinese Tattoos and Their Meanings

The Chinese script holds a very alluring and magnetic charm for people who wish to get some text inked on their body. These tattoos are very complex to understand due to the fine artwork involved in the text, and finding the right symbol requires a lot of research.
ThoughtfulTattoos Staff
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
The hieroglyphics of the Chinese script involve a lot of fine lines and strokes, and as a result of this, tattoo artists who are not well versed with the Chinese script and symbols end up making mistakes. The meanings of Chinese body art can change completely due to the omission or the inclusion of a single line.

When an individual decides to get a Chinese tattoo, he/she must be absolutely clear that the script or the symbol means what he/she wants. These are so interweaving and intricate that a second and third opinion is always required in order to confirm the true meaning of the symbol. It's true that these symbols impart a very exotic look, but at the same time there are only a handful of people that can actually read and understand them accurately. If you are planning to get one and you know someone who can read or write the text, then you definitely need to consult him/her to understand their myriad meanings.
Chinese Script
Even though there are only a few thousand Chinese symbols that are in use today for the purpose of writing and reading, there are a total of around 80,000 characters in the Chinese language. Most of these characters are not in use today, due to which you may end up choosing a symbol that means something entirely different from what you believe it means. The large number of similar symbols is what makes them so difficult to comprehend. 
Each symbol in the Chinese script denotes an entire word, and a slight variation here and there in the strokes makes a whole new word altogether. If you happen to get a Chinese tattoo that means something weird, not many people will know the difference. But since it is a permanent part of your body, why compromise on its meaning. You should also know that there are primarily two types of Chinese scripts that are in use for writing. These are the Kanji script and the Hanzi script.
Kanji Script
This is the script that is most commonly used to denote body art in the West, and in this script the use of a single symbol denotes an entire idea instead of just a word. These are more likely to get muddled up by tattoo artists, primarily because a wrong shade of thickness or an incomplete stroke can mean an entirely different idea or concept. Kanji though, is a Japanese word, and this implies that the Chinese script has also been adopted into Japanese culture.
Hanzi Script
Unlike Kanji, the Hanzi script is more of a traditional Chinese script. It is used primarily in the inner circles of the Chinese culture and it also contains more characters. But, here also there are just a few thousand symbols, the knowledge of which makes reading and writing possible. Figuring out Chinese body art and what it means requires working out which script is better suited for you.
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Hieroglyphics and symbols possess more than just aesthetic beauty. They carry with them a great aura of mystery and intrigue, which makes them more attractive options for tattoos. Since a single symbol can mean an entire word or concept in the Chinese script, there is tremendous scope for getting a tattoo that portrays entire phrases or sentences. The amount of space they require is also much lesser as compared to another scripts or languages. If you are getting a Chinese tattoo, a few options for you are the symbols for power, strength, love, wisdom, luck, beauty, happiness, nobleness, or path. These will provide a sense of comfort to you, and bring good fortune upon you.
The choices that are available to you are vast, but you need to make sure that the symbols you have chosen signify what you want. Consulting somebody who knows how to read the script is a must. Simply trusting those designs that you find over the web is not advisable. Once you have found the right symbol for yourself, rest assured that you will be happy with the tattoo for the rest of your life.