Friend or Foe

Body Modification Ezine has the largest online gallery which features all sorts of body modification. One section I am particularly interested in is the Kanji tattoos, where clients and tattooists submit their pieces to be showcased. Although almost all the photos have some kind of caption, but most of them do not include translation and simply labeled as “Kanji”.

One of the recent entries (shown above) belongs to a tattooist named Babakhin Dmitry. I have emailed him asking if the photo was mirrored or it was indeed the actual work. He then replied that he has scanned in the photo mirrored and the actual work is fine.

Update: One of Hanzi Smatter's readers points out that in the photo, the tabs on the clients' jeans are on the right side, where they should be. Unless the clients were wearing jeans that are made with tags on the left side (which are very rare, almost non-existent), the tattooist has indeed tattooed the mirrored character on the clients.

= friend, companion; fraternity

The question remains:

If the mirrored photos are proudly displayed in the online gallery and assume to be correct, then how many suckers are out there with the actual mirrored image tattooed on them?

Mirrored examples:

Upside-Down examples:


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