A co-worker sent me this picture, she was laughing her ass off. At first glance, it seems like a kid with a supercool sweater with a Japanese character. The problem is that the character 痔 means “hemorrhoid” in Japanese. Probably the designer confused the character 侍, which means “samurai” and is pronounced “ji”, with the character 痔 that means “hemorrhoid” and is also pronounced “ji”… Both characters are graphically very similar but the meaning is totally different!! Poor kid… although probably he is very happy without knowing what the character means 😉
The same thing is even worse when people decide to have tattoos of Chinese or Japanese characters; my advice is: Don’t do it… unless you know a native! For example, a soldier in the last cover of TIME magazine has a tattoo written in Japanese in his right shoulder. Most likely he wanted to tattoo himself something like “I am a crazy boy!” but when translating, the tattoo artist wrote “気違い” which in Japanese has a VERY pejorative meaning. It could be translated as “I am a lunatic”. The poor guy is being object of many jokes in many online forums in Japan.
Be careful when you buy a t-shirt with things that are not written in your language, and be even more careful with tattoos!