Kanji tattoos look awesome. I really hope all the tattoo artists have the right reference! Today I’ll answer the question about a Japanese kanji tattoo.
It’s supposed to mean a thing like “through issues to the stars” like the Latin NASA’s slogan “per aspera ad astra.”
To be honest, I didn’t know the phrase “Per aspera ad astra.” (*´з`)
Anyway, now I know and I can kind of get it what this tattoo tried to say.
“Per aspera ad astra” in Japanese Language
“Through hardships to the stars” can be translated into “困難を乗り越えて星の彼方へ.” This Japanese phrase makes sense very well. Anybody can understand the meaning even if they don’t know the original Latin slogan.
困難を 乗り越えて 星の 彼方へ
Konnan-o norikoe-te hoshi-no kanata-e
困難 means “Difficulties”, “Troubles”, “Distress”, and so on.
困難を乗り越える means ”Overcome difficulties.”
星 is a star, and 彼方 is a word that describes a very distant place. So, we can clearly get this phrase is talking about the space.
So, What Does My Japanese Tattoo Actually Mean?
星まで困難道で is clearly written in Japanese, but unfortunately it’s a little unnatural. It’s tough to understand for Japanese people what it means. If they know the original Latin phrase, however, I believe they can pick up what the tattoo trying to say.
By Konnan(Difficult) Road to a star
This is what I can figure out from “星まで困難道で.”
I can tell you or somebody else tried to translate from “a difficult road” to 困難道(Konnandou), but 困難な道(konnan na michi) is the proper way to say it. “困難道で” sounds more like he is on the way(道) named Konnan(困難: difficulty, a hard stuff to do).
By the way, Japanese people may think your tattoo trying to say something like “スターへの道は困難だが諦めない(I never give up even if the road to become a star would be hard.).”.
The kanji “星(hoshi)” means commonly a star as a planet, and a star as a person is “スター(sutaa: star)” in Japanese. But they still can imagine that you got 星 for スター accidentally. Sorry!((+_+)) Because the phrase is not clear and astronaut is not common occupation.
Anyway, there are no bad words and no letter that doesn’t exist. Japanese people might ask you what the tattoo is trying to say, but usually they understand that Japanese language is super difficult for foreigners. Having an improper Japanese tattoo is unfortunate but they know that’s not your fault. It is a “Good try!.”
Thank you for asking me!(*’ω’*)/
Today’s Kanji Shirt is “Bushido”! Wearing a shirt is easier than getting a Tattoo, don’t you think?
If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!
If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.
I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org