Kanji wear it?
January 1, 2013 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Any idea what this says?

On a dark "ninja style" hoodie my young newbie martial arts enthusiast has fallen for. There is a stylized Japanese sun patch on it as well, so I'm assuming kanji ....

Mostly don't want to offend someone or look foolish with some crazy nonsensical thing; could say "eat Fruity Oatie Bars" for all I know. Knowledge is power. Thanks.
posted by tilde to Writing & Language (12 answers total)
posted by misozaki at 10:59 PM on January 1, 2013

Confirming what misozaki wrote.
posted by Nomyte at 11:01 PM on January 1, 2013

But the "nin" is wrong. It should look like this: 忍
posted by misozaki at 11:02 PM on January 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You guys rock. Can you break down the two characters specifically? Figure kiddo can expand a few horizons ...
posted by tilde at 11:02 PM on January 1, 2013

Best answer: 忍 is "nin" and 者 is "ja." The character for nin means stealth, to hide, to endure etc., and the ja means person.
posted by misozaki at 11:09 PM on January 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Coolness! I'm curious as to why the nin is wrong or how - is it like homonymic-almost like the English calender/calendar or homonymic like your/you're to/too/two or more "typo" messy mistake like sloppy cursive hand writing? Or likely someone just got all artsy with "nin", not realizing how far their alteration went?
posted by tilde at 11:22 PM on January 1, 2013

The latter I'd say...probably sloppy artistic license by the designer.

As a Japanese student, I would pretend that I was doing the same thing when it was just ignorance usually ;)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:53 PM on January 1, 2013

It's a weird error. Not a question of sloppiness (the character is otherwise well-formed and very standard-looking) and not really an artistic thing. The "how" it's wrong is that there's an elongated dot in the top left when there should instead be a short line going through the vertical stroke; the result is a character that doesn't exist. The elongated dot is a distinct element of some kanji (as you can see, it appears in other parts of this one) and putting one instead of that short line really isn't the sort of thing you'd do to be "artsy."

Hard to draw parallels in English but imagine if there was some very standard Helvetica and then all of a sudden the lowercase "h" was dotted as you would a lowercase "i" or "j."
posted by paperback version at 12:47 AM on January 2, 2013

Best answer: To expand on my answer a bit: it's not like someone typing "breaf" when they meant "bread" -- "breaf" may not exist as a word but it's still pronouncable. When you mis-write a kanji character and create one that doesn't exist, it cannot be pronounced. If it's close enough, most people will get the gist and be able to understand what it's supposed to be -- but it can't be said aloud "incorrectly" like "breaf" can.
posted by paperback version at 1:02 AM on January 2, 2013

Best answer: It's not that the character is "wrong," that's actually the Chinese way of writing the character.

posted by C^3 at 1:18 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Misozaki: I've got Chinese fonts installed on my computer, and the character you typed is showing exactly how it is printed on the hoodie. So yeah, what C^3 said.
posted by msittig at 1:21 AM on January 2, 2013

Oh, wow, I had no idea! Sorry about that, carry on.
posted by misozaki at 2:31 AM on January 2, 2013

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