Throwing another kanji character into the mix doesn’t exactly fix the mistake.
American singer-songwriter Ariana Grande is currently at the top of the music charts in a number of different countries for her new single “7 Rings”. Inspired by the day she bought rings for her seven friends after returning her engagement ring to ex-fiancee Pete Davidson, it’s a song that’s so close to Grande’s heart she decided to get a tattoo in its honour.
Instead of saying “七つの指輪” (“nanatsu no yubiwa” or “7 Rings”), as it does in the official music video, though, Grande opted to leave out the three middle characters, leaving her with a tattoo that read “七輪” (“shichirin”) which, when read separately, translate to “7” and “wheel/circle”, but together, as she has it, they mean “Japanese charcoal grill”.
After posting a photo of her new ink on Instagram, fans pounced on her for the error, prompting Grande to delete the photo. However, it hadn’t completely disappeared from the Internet, as it soon popped up on Twitter, with side-by-side photos showing Grande’s tattoo alongside a shichirin.
Ariana Grande’s new tattoo “七輪” means Japanese style bbq grill, not 7 rings. If you want to know about 七輪, just google “SHICHIRIN” pic.twitter.com/HuQM2EwI62
— *amo* (@hey__amo) January 30, 2019
Grande hit back with a reply that read:
“indeed, i left out “つの指” which should have gone in between. it hurt like f*** n still looks tight i wouldn’t have lasted one more symbol lmao. but this spot also peels a ton and won’t last so if i miss it enough, i’ll suffer thru the whole thing next time.”
Despite seeming unbothered by the tattoo fail, it looks like everyone’s comments did get under the 25-year-old’s skin in the end, as she took to Instagram to post this image on her Insta story today.
— Oona McGee (@OonaMcGee) January 31, 2019
Alongside the image is a message from Grande which says:
“Slightly better. Thanks to my tutor for helping me fix and @kanenavasard for being a legend. And to my doctor for the lidocaine shots (no joke). RIP tiny charcoal grill. Miss u man. I actually really liked u.”
Well, in all fairness, it is slightly better, but only because the new characters she’s added distract the eye away from “shichirin” and cause confusion as you try to work out what’s going on. She hasn’t really said RIP to her tiny charcoal grill, either, as it’s still there in plain sight. Now though, instead of saying “tiny charcoal grill”, her new tattoo reads as:
“Charcoal BBQ Grill
Finger ‘heart shape’”
It’s as confusing in English as it is in Japanese. Grande’s tutor – who probably wished she’d been consulted before the original tattoo session – was faced with a pretty impossible task when asked to fix the kanji to have it read closer to “7 Rings” rather than “shichirin”.
While the best solution would’ve been to get it lasered off and redone correctly on her other hand, they chose to go another route, instead adding “指” beneath the “七輪”. On its own, “指” means “finger”, but when combined with “輪” it reads as “指輪” which means “ring”.
However, given the position of the new kanji, it reads as “Shichirin Yubi” or “Charcoal Grill Finger” rather than “7 Rings”. Japanese can be read from right to left, so doing that gives us “wheel/circle”, “seven”, “heart shape”, “finger”. And if we read it in the traditional style of top to bottom, right to left, it reads “wheel/circle”, “heart shape”, “seven”, “finger”.
Confused? Exactly. The only way it could be read as something similar to “7 Rings” is if we read it from top to bottom, left to right. That gives us “7”, “ring” and “heart shape”. The only problem is that neither English nor Japanese is read in that order.
So, although she has all the necessary kanji components on her palm, they’re all laid out in a mixed up, confusing, nonsensical jumble. Plus, she’s still missing the “つの” hiragana in the middle of it all, which connects the 7 to the rings as a counter for them. Without those in between it all, it still reads “charcoal grill”.
By Oona McGee
This article first appeared in SoraNews24.