To commemorate her song “7 Rings,” Ariana Grande recently got a tattoo of the song’s name in Japanese. Unfortunately for the singer, the tattoo was miswritten, with the actual meaning closer to “small charcoal grill” than “seven rings.”
Grande left out three kanji characters and only had the two characters that mean “seven” and “circle” (when used separately) tattooed on her hand. Together, however, they mean shichirin, which is a small charcoal grill used for Japanese barbeque.
In a since-deleted tweet, Grande wrote, “Indeed, I left out ‘つの指’ which should have gone in between.” The singer had a sense of humor about the whole thing, adding, “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.”
Grammatical mistakes are a big problem when East Asian languages are adopted (or appropriated) by non-locals when getting tattoos. Ariana Grande isn’t the first, nor will she be the last to succumb to that unfortunate mistake.
Making things worse, Grande then proceeded to share a now-deleted text message conversation with her Japanese tutor, who told her to correct the tattoo by adding another character on top of the existing ink.
Instead of following her tutor’s advice, Grande placed the correcting character below the existing tattoo and added a heart. The “fixed” tattoo now roughly translates to “Japanese BBQ Finger.”
In a series of since-deleted tweets, Grande addressed the situation at length.
“I went back and got it fixed with the help of my tutor to be more accurate, I can’t read or write kanji obviously. What do you want me to do? It was done out of love and appreciation. What do you want me to say?
You know how many people make this mistake and DON’T care just cause they like how it looks? Bruh…. I care soooo much. What would u like me to do or say? Forreal.
I have crippling anxiety lol. I don’t like hurtin people. People on this app really don’t know how to be forgiving or gentle when someone has made an innocent mistake. No one considers feelings other than their own. It’s very pointless. I don’t even know why I’m talking about this anymore.
There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation. My japanese fans were always excited when I wrote in japanese or wore japanese sayings on my clothing. However, all of the merch with japanese on it was taken down from my site not that anyone cared to notice.
I’mma stop taking lessons too. It’s literally just something that brings me joy and that i’m passionate about. I legit wanted to move there one day. But all good. Have a good one.”
While Grande was a good sport about the whole thing and it provided some entertainment to Twitter users, it also serves as a warning for those getting tattoos in languages they don’t speak, nor understand.