Kanji for mindfulness

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pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

Hello there, I've been taken to your forums via Google and I find this community quite inspiring :D You just seem to know your stuff and are really open and helpful.
I've a question to ask;
Is this the correct kanji for "mindfulness." (Or, awareness of self, I have been told.)
Image: http://www.drmease.com/mindfulness.gif
If not, what is?

Would this be appropriate?
http://i51.tinypic.com/2iitjes.jpg


Thank you in advance.

Last edited by pyratus (2011 March 15, 11:35 am)

dat5h Member
From: Tokyo Registered: 2008-07-15 Posts: 160 Website

念 is the character you've got there. I suppose in some senses 'mindfulness' is an ok definition. When i asked my girlfriend she says she has the image of prayer in mind.

May I ask what you plan for this character? Is this a tattoo?

yudantaiteki Member
Registered: 2009-10-03 Posts: 3632

I assume this is for a tattoo; the way Japanese (and Chinese) works, you can't take an English word and come up with the single "correct" kanji for it; the best you can do is pick a character that might represent that word or concept sometimes.  (This is especially true with abstract concepts like "mindfulness".)

Here's EDICT's list of 29 common words that use this kanji, so you can see if it's what you like:
http://jisho.org/words?jap=*%E5%BF%B5*& … ;common=on

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ファブリス Administrator
From: Belgium Registered: 2006-06-14 Posts: 4024 Website

Hya and welcome.

Discussing character meanings or writings can be posted in The Japanese Language, which is about "Grammar, vocab, kanji and kana" (ie. the writing system).

Topic moved.

Reply #5 - 2011 March 14, 3:19 pm
pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

dat5h wrote:

念 is the character you've got there. I suppose in some senses 'mindfulness' is an ok definition. When i asked my girlfriend she says she has the image of prayer in mind.

May I ask what you plan for this character? Is this a tattoo?

It is for a tattoo, yes.
Though, oddly enough, after going through this site and the community I am way more interested in possibly learning to interpret and understand Kanji in a recreational sense too.


yudantaiteki wrote:

I assume this is for a tattoo; the way Japanese (and Chinese) works, you can't take an English word and come up with the single "correct" kanji for it; the best you can do is pick a character that might represent that word or concept sometimes.  (This is especially true with abstract concepts like "mindfulness".)

Here's EDICT's list of 29 common words that use this kanji, so you can see if it's what you like:
http://jisho.org/words?jap=*%E5%BF%B5*& … ;common=on

That's the reason I came to you guys as you seemed to know your stuff.
I think, from looking at the link, that it is the most accurate character to describe the general concept of mindfulness, should no one else expand on this I shall use the character. Thanks very much and cheers for that link too.


If I were to use this character (http://jisho.org/kanji/details/念) would the following stylised version be appropriate?
http://i51.tinypic.com/2iitjes.jpg
Or should I be looking for something a little cleaner?
I guess I don't want it to be misinterpreted or use the wrong Kanji.


Also: Thanks ファブリス for moving this to a more appropriate section.

Last edited by pyratus (2011 March 15, 11:35 am)

Reply #6 - 2011 March 16, 6:33 am
pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

Sorry guys, just wanna clarify, then I'll be out of your hair; would this version of the 念 Kanji be appropriate?
http://i56.tinypic.com/fva35e.jpg

Reply #7 - 2011 March 16, 7:30 am
vinniram Member
From: Brisbane, Australia Registered: 2009-05-09 Posts: 370

if you want to say mindfulness as in "right mindfulness", part of the noble eight-fold path, you can say 正念【しょうねん】.

Reply #8 - 2011 March 16, 8:10 am
pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

vinniram wrote:

if you want to say mindfulness as in "right mindfulness", part of the noble eight-fold path, you can say 正念【しょうねん】.

I think 正念 is exactly what I'm after. Thank you big_smile

JimmySeal Member
From: Kyoto Registered: 2006-03-28 Posts: 2279

pyratus wrote:

Sorry guys, just wanna clarify, then I'll be out of your hair; would this version of the 念 Kanji be appropriate?
http://i56.tinypic.com/fva35e.jpg

That version would only be more appropriate if you're really really into heavy metal.

Reply #10 - 2011 March 16, 12:13 pm
pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

JimmySeal wrote:

pyratus wrote:

Sorry guys, just wanna clarify, then I'll be out of your hair; would this version of the 念 Kanji be appropriate?
http://i56.tinypic.com/fva35e.jpg

That version would only be more appropriate if you're really really into heavy metal.

Why do you say that?

Reply #11 - 2011 March 16, 1:43 pm
Tori-kun このやろう
Registered: 2010-08-27 Posts: 1193 Website

@pyratus

because it looks.. imbalanced (NOT imba!). Calligraphied kanjis need to have some balance. That's the art of shodou. Yours hasn't (correct me if i'm wrong) or looks really.. metal-like. smile

Reply #12 - 2011 March 16, 1:46 pm
pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

Tori-kun wrote:

@pyratus

because it looks.. imbalanced (NOT imba!). Calligraphied kanjis need to have some balance. That's the art of shodou. Yours hasn't (correct me if i'm wrong) or looks really.. metal-like. smile

Ah, I see exactly what you mean. I'll work to soften and balance it, much appreciated for all your help.

Reply #13 - 2011 March 16, 2:11 pm
Eikyu Member
Registered: 2010-05-04 Posts: 308

You can look at this:
http://www.edrdg.org/cgi-bin/wwwjdic/ww … 059_%C7%B0
to get an idea of how to draw it.

Reply #14 - 2011 March 16, 2:15 pm
pyratus New member
From: Essex UK Registered: 2011-03-14 Posts: 7

Eikyu wrote:

You can look at this:
http://www.edrdg.org/cgi-bin/wwwjdic/ww … 059_%C7%B0
to get an idea of how to draw it.

That's really helpful, thank you big_smile

Reply #15 - 2011 March 17, 10:32 am
yukamina Member
From: Canada Registered: 2006-01-09 Posts: 761

Are you sure you should be drawing your own tattoo design?
Anyway, if any more confirmation is needed, I looked up the English wikipedia page for Mindfulness, switched the language to Japanese, and it does give 念 as the kanji.

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