I’ve commented several times here about the importance (to us, at least!) of the Tuan Jie symbol and the ‘strength through brotherhood’ imperative which it represents:

Well, at least we know what this one means, and we’ve even translated it into a number of other languages, including Japanese (‘Renshinakai’) and, bizarrely, Maori ‘(Kaha Whakamanawa’) – well, that’s actually ‘Strength and Honour’, but you get the idea. Actually, Gary came up with that from somewhere in his cluttered brain, shortly after our two Chinese friends Yao and Li Tsang had revealed to us what Zach had actually had tattooed on our lower backs to represent the special bond between Zach, Gary, Dave and me.

I thought that, as the end of another year approaches, I’d have a little competition – not that I know the answers – on some other tattoos we’ve noticed on various guys. I start with what I think is the easy one:

We think that this is a two-stroke Japanese’ kanji’ symbol meaning ‘power’ (any Japanese reader is requested to confirm by comment!!) – and the development on the guy I guess justifies that – martial artist? Next:

Three Chinese or Japanese characters here: too complex for our tiny minds, so can anyone translate? No. 3:

‘Power’ again, for the first one, but what follows? Chinese or Japanese? We know that the same symbols often have different meanings in the two languages. Anyone accept the challenge and willing to comment?

Fourthly, the plain weird:

We have quickly eliminated Korean here: wondering about Aztec or Mayan or something… or maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all.  And since these are all web captures, we can’t ask! Over to you.

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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