Japanese Tattoos - Design Options

japanese tattoosSo you've decided that you want a Japanese tattoo. Congratulations. You've chosen a style of body art that's rich with symbolism and has links to ancient Japanese traditions. The majority of Japanese tattoos consist heavily of written symbols which can be divided into three main categories.

1) Kanji

Of the three types of Japanese tattoo symbols, Kanji is the most popular because it is so expressive and artistic. Each different Kanji symbol (of which there are reported to be more than 40,000) represents a specific idea or meaning. So by combining a number of different Kanji symbols in your tattoo design it's possible to create a stylish and unique tattoo that expresses an unlimited number of ideas and messages.

2) Hiragana

Unlike Kanji symbols, which represent various ideas or meanings, Hiragana is a style of writing that's used in everyday Japanese life. You'll find it used in media such as newspapers and magazines, so it's much more amenable to literal translation than Kanji.

In terms of design, the hiragana characters are more rounded than Kanji symbols, which is worth bearing in mind depending upon your artistic tastes. Hiragana writing is also known as cursive, so don't get confused if you hear someone speaking about a cursive tattoo.

Japanese tattoo
3) Katakana

The system of Katakana is similar to Hiragana. Together they're known as Kana and were originally based on the Kanji symbols which existed more than one thousand years ago. Since than they've developed into their present form and both Hiragana and Katakana each have their own set of 46 symbols with which to form their words.

The system of Katakana symbols is used almost exclusively to represent words that are non Japanese in origin. These symbols are similar to the system of hiragana with the main difference being that words in Katakana have sharper edges and are much more angular in appearance.

And that concludes the three types of Japanese tattoo symbols that are available. However, there's no rule that says you have to choose one style and stick to it. You could have your tattoo designed so that it includes more than one of these styles. For example, you could have a sentence written using Hiragana that includes various Kanji symbols to enrich it with greater meaning.

But whatever option you select, it's important to take one additional safety precaution before you go anywhere near a tattoo studio with your design. As you can see from this brief explanation of different character types, the system of Japanese writing is extremely complicated and subtle.

So unless you want to walk around wearing a Japanese tattoo that looks like a bad practical joke, if you don't speak Japanese fluently, it's vital to get an accurate translation of your design from a Japanese language expert.

It's also a good idea to make sure that you find a tattoo artist who has experience forming the various Japanese characters and symbols.

Japanese tattoo
The best way to find your perfect Japanese tattoo is to do your research and then think long and hard about it before you make your final decision.

Use the internet to look at as many different types and styles of Japanese tattoos as possible. Do some research on the culture and learn how the language operates. After that, spent time thinking about what ideas and meanings you want to express through your tattoo design.

Ultimately, the tattoos that people are most pleased with are those that have deep personal meaning or significance.


Unique Tattoo Design

tattoo design

One of the biggest mistakes which people often make, and then regret later, is to choose a tattoo design, simply because it looks nice on other people, because a celebrity was spotted wearing a similar design, or it looks nice in the flash portfolio.

Before making your unique tattoo design, how in the first place do you approach on your perfect tattoo? Before scanning through hundreds of websites, magazine pages of tattoo publications and through the tattoo parlor catalogues, do some internal soul searching to find out what you want. To guide your thought process, the following could help:

# Your essential beliefs:
zodiac signs, quotes, religious phrases, tribal art, modern art, mythological characters, memories of a person or place, etc.

# Purpose of tattooing:
Why do you want to sport a tattoo? Again, reasons for tattooing can help you decide on what type of uniqueness you want.

# Limitations in future:
Think of any limitation to your tattoo exposure in future. Would your place of work allow a visible tattoo?

tattoo design

# Significance of the tattoo design:
Every tattoo has a meaning and significance. Choose a design, whose meanings appeal to you personally.

tattoo design

Whatever results emanate from your soul searching, it can add a lot of value when you decide to sit down with your tattoo artist to make your tattoo unique. You could also pick up one of your favorite designs from the artists’ catalogue and add you own twist or draw your own design! The tattoo artist should be able to expand on it and come up with unique piece of tattoo art.

Needless to mention, there are thousands of design concepts to explore.

Suzuki Swift - The Cars We Need Now!

No one is better than Americans at blurring the lines between wants and needs, and the sudden upheaval in the car market is proof of that. In the past few months of this year, small-car sales have shot up, while sales of large SUVs and pickups have dropped sharply. American car buyers' needs haven't changed; consumers have just realized that they never actually needed those gas guzzlers in the first place. And now they're seeking ways to contain their fuel bills.
Fact is, a small, economical hatchback is all the car most of us need most of the time. The Suzuki Swift is a practical car that addresses what consumers really need: simple transportation. As an added bonus, the Swift strokes a few of our wants, too-it's downright adorable, a complete hoot to drive, and available with some of the toys from the big boys. Things like steering-wheel-mounted radio controls, keyless entry, air-con-ditioning, and power windows aren't real needs, but they're features many of us really want.
The first three generations of the Swift were sold here from 1984 through 2001, occasionally badged as Chevrolets and Geos, Sprints and Metros. They offered remarkable fuel economy, their window stickers promising as high as 53 mpg in the city and 58 mpg on the highway. The fourth-generation Swift (pictured here) isn't sold in the United States, and it isn't quite that easy at the pump, but it's the kind of car many Americans-especially those who are Suzuki dealers-could use right now. Luckily, an all-new fifth-generation model will return the Swift nameplate to the States in 2010 as a 2011 model.

The current Swift has been on sale around the world since 2004. It's almost fourteen inches shorter than the new Honda Fit but more than two inches longer than a Mini Cooper. Four adults can ride comfortably, provided they don't have much luggage (there's not much room behind the rear seats). Because the Swift is a hatchback, its back seats fold down, creating a large, usable cargo space.
The Swift is offered with a choice of four-cylinder engines displacing 1.3, 1.5, or 1.6 liters. The high-revving, cammed-out 1.6-liter powers the Swift Sport, and with 123 hp arriving at a lofty 6800 rpm, it isn't messin' around. Even the 100-hp 1.5-liter is, well, swift. It has a meaty torque curve thanks to variable valve timing, and short gearing helps the Swift feel even quicker than its ten-second 0-to-60-mph time suggests. And unlike penalty-box economy cars of yore, it's not at all scary at its 115-mph top speed.

In fact, if there's one thing that the Swift is, it's fun. Driving it reminds you that light cars can have authentically light controls without the need for feedback-numbing assist systems tuned to overboost to compensate for a heavier vehicle's heft. It reminds you how much fun we used to have behind the wheel-how satisfying it was to rev the bejeezus out of a willing little four-banger; how exciting it used to be to drive at crazy high speeds like 75 mph; and how much fun it was to go forty miles on a single gallon of gasoline.

Introduces 2009 Honda Jazz

In today’s climate of high petrol costs, small cars are rapidly increasing in popularity as Aussie motorists move away from large cars and SUVs to something a little more frugal.

The timing then for Honda’s Australian release of the second-generation Honda Jazz could not be more perfect, as its spacious interior, light weight and thrifty engine line-up looks to be just the thing to give cash-strapped motorists some relief at the petrol pump.

The look of the 2009 Honda Jazz may be familiar to most of you, but the sheetmetal is all new. It’s a little chunkier than the outgoing model and the front now sports an almost Civic Type R-ish visage. The tailgate is a little less squared-off than the old model too and the sides are a little more dynamic than the featureless slabs of the 1st-gen Jazz, thanks to more pronounced rear fender flaring and a few strategically-placed body creases.

The new Jazz comes in three trim levels: the base GLi with a 73kW 1.3-litre engine, the more powerful VTi which comes with an 88kW 1.5-litre inline four and side and curtain airbags; and the top-spec VTi-S, which adds a sportier front and rear bumper, side skirts, cruise control, leather steering wheel and 16-inch alloys to the VTi’s equipment.

ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution and dual front airbags are standard across the Jazz range, however you’ll need to check the box for an optional Safety Pack if you want side and curtain airbags on the GLi.

While sub-100kW power outputs wouldn’t even excite your great-grandmother, the new Jazz’s engine lineup’s biggest drawcard lies indisputably in its fuel economy. The 1.3-litre sips just 5.8 litres per 100km when equipped with the 5-speed manual, while the 1.5-litre needs just 6.4 litres to travel the same distance with the same gearbox.

The 2009 Jazz can also be optioned with a newly-developed 5-speed automatic, the only one of its kind in the compact car segment. The automatic VTi-S also gets a pair of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for rowing through the ratios.

The suspension has also undergone some changes for 2009. Steering geometry has been revised to endow the Jazz with a 9.8 metre turning circle, while new suspension bushes and a redesigned rear torsion beam improve handling.Honda Australia has made no mention of when the exact release date is, or of the pricing for the various models, but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as the information comes to hand.