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Q. How do I put Japanese characters together for a tattoo?

A. First of all, if you are looking for kanji characters for a tattoo, click here for the "Kanji for Tattoos" page. 

Most words in "50 Popular Kanji" pages are written with the combination of two kanji characters. For example, see the characters for "peace (heiwa)" below. 

The character on the left is "hei(平)" which means "calm." The character on the right is "wa(和)"which means "harmonious, peaceful." I am often asked if each character means "peace," which as you can see they do not.  It is the combination of the two characters that makes the word, much like the combination of letters in English.

Japanese can be written both vertically and horizontally. If you wish to write it vertically, put the characters one above the other.

Click here to learn more about vertical and horizontal writing.

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