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Japanese tattoos don't always mean what their wearers think they do
By Junko Hamaguchi
Stop by any tattoo shop, and there's a good chance you'll see someone getting a kanji character inked onto his or her skin.
Kanji is one of three different scripts used in the Japanese language; the stylized, exotic look of kanji symbols, which are derived from ancient Chinese characters, just cry out to be turned into hip tattoos.
The problem is that sometimes the tattoos don't mean what their wearers think they mean.
With the assistance of Mariko Sasaki, a researcher at the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago, we examined the tattoos of five Chicagoans.