Travel, Teach, Live in Japan
There are three types of Japanese symbols to choose from when considering a Japanese style tattoo. Kanji is by far the most popular of these three Japanese symbols, especially if you are looking for a unique and stylish tattoo design. Every individual Kanji symbol represents an idea or meaning and there are literally thousands of Kanji ideographs up to some estimates of 40,000 so it makes sense to go to a specialist to give you a proper translation and purchase a stencil before you commit to your tattoo.
The other two Japanese symbol types are called Hiragana and Katakana. Hiragana is used as an everyday writing style script and used in media and print such as magazines and newspapers it has a much more rounded appearance than Kanji symbols and some people refer to these Hiragana symbols as cursive, so when searching for a Hiragana tattoo remember it may be referred to as a cursive tattoo. It is possible to mix these styles so that you have writing ( Hiragana ) and your Kanji (idea or meaning ) in one sentence.
Katakana symbols are mainly used to write non Japanese names i.e. the translation of non Japanese words and have a more angular and sharp appearance than Hiragana symbols. Hiragana and Katakana are know together as Kana and there are approximately 46 symbols for each set of Hiragana and Katakana these symbols were originally based on the Kanji symbols developed in the 9th century and have been modified since this time to produce the symbols you see today.
Because the Japanese writing style is tremendously complex it is exceptionally important that you get a 100% accurate Japanese symbol translation for your Kanji design or you may well end up with a cursive tattoo that has a completely different meaning than you intended.