Rice Covered Balls

Since both Chinese and Japanese use the same or similar Chinese characters, translations often change their meanings when they are read one way or another.


The top character means “rice”, and in Japanese, it is used to represent “America”. Second character means “cover, hide, protect”.

Last character means “small round object; pellet, pill”. However in Japanese, it means “circle, perfection, purity, and suffix for ship names” and “testicle/balls” in Chinese, as in 睾丸.

The tattoo may be a phonetic name translation or a ship’s name in Japanese, but when I read it:

“rice covered balls”


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