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The World Through Your Eyes


Interesting, the first one I had far too many options for, none of which looked right enough. I was not going to be interpreting the bottom line as 4 individual strokes and was thinking the left radical would have had to be 辶.
Second one I think that’s the one I settled for eventually as well. 3rd I see now works, never found that one at all though, same for the 4th. That’s where I started to gave up myself and figured I needed my friends help.

It does look like google translate is more cooperative with it if treated as Chinese, but it still really doesn’t seem to like the 2nd character.

Thanks for the help there, I very much enjoy the puzzle of decoding handwritten Japanese when I come across it, though it is still too often for naught. I am often able to figure out if it’s Japanese or Chinese, most of the time.


You are welcome, glad to help.

The best way to look at handwriting is the particular script known as “Kai” sometimes “KaiTi” or “KaiShu” that’s the way proper writing should look like.

With the brush strokes, often things are linked together in a way that only people who are used to seeing the linkages are able to easily decipher them, so don’t knock yourself there, it takes a lot of experience.

The following are images from Google search for these particular words:

The first word on the left is the “Kai” handwriting as I described.

The second word is also able to be jumbled into seemingly nonsense.

You can totally see how difficult some handwritings can be in recognition. (Yes, row two, column three is the same word.) This is also the word that gave away to me that the writing is in Chinese. Because Japanese words as they were borrowed from China mostly over a thousand years ago, before the simplification of the outside box of this word, as you can see the difference between the first and second examples. Granted, a lot of Chinese calligraphy uses traditional words, so it’s very common to see Chinese handwriting that does not use simplified Chinese. Also note simplified Chinese is used in mainland China, not in Hong Kong or Taiwan. (Don’t worry about it too much, this is a little tid-bit about how I knew.) (I also look for some Japanese characters that are hiragana or katagana in a whole line of text. If I see any at all, then most likely it’s not Chinese, but there are some “cursive” handwritten words in Chinese that may look like one of those letters. The Chinese words that you see basically all fall into the Kanji words that are Japanese.)

The words that have a single stroke that gets extended out, as that “pie” stroke (it’s a stroke that goes from top to bottom and from right to left), especially as the final stroke in a word in typical handwriting, it can get very exaggerated, especially in calligraphy.

You can see an example of that here:

Note the balance of the entire piece, as if the three words are balanced by the extension of the third. In order for everything to look balanced, the middle word is given slightly smaller real estate, whereas the main bodies of the first and third words are about the same. Because that “pie” stroke would make the whole thing look like it’s going to fall down onto the right side, the third word is written thus in such a way to completely balance the whole image. (Plus the baseline of the words together look like there’s a progressively upward move for preparation for this last down and to the left stroke.)

What I mean


The last of the set really doesn’t get modified much from the Kai handwriting on the left, but you can see the middle stroke being drawn out as well, similar to the last word.

Okay, that’s your Chinese lesson in handwriting for the day… :rofl: I am getting back to my paperwork I have to do at work.




Speaking of languages…

I had my first ancient Greek lesson today, folks! :greece:

And it seems like I’ll be learning some French too… :fr:

Funniest bit was that I walked into the class and one if my favorite psychology teachers was sitting there and we just stared at each other like


Seriously. Have any of you ever been students alongside one of your cool teachers in a class? Rad AF. :+1:

Bonus points because the class is free and the teacher is a hella funny knowledgeable old man with hearing impalements so I had to loudly scream my name in a class full of people I’ve never met three times while my cool teacher laughed her ass off.

Good day :blush:

PS: @YQMaoski I may have a similar painting at home I’d like your thoughts on. Pretty sure it’s Japanese, though. Once I find it I’ll post it here.




Lmao my autocorrect is so funny and I love the mental image so much I’m just leaving that there for posterity. :joy:


@YQMaoski please do your magic if you are so inclined :+1:


@coralinecastell, this is definitely a Japanese piece just by the style of art. But you are in luck, the two words there are both Kanji, and very easily legible.

The piece is titled:


Meaning literally “initial/first snow,” indicating the first snow of the season.

You and @kovec are providing examples to make me look edumacated… :man_facepalming: most of the time I have a lot of trouble reading inscriptions on artwork…


Far faster than me, I got yuki 雪 easily, but the first one I would by no means call easily legible. Closest I got, before you posted, was hirigana yu ゆ and that didn’t feel right at all.

Where are you all finding these awesome prints? Weird how they’re not lying littered around in Swedish thrift stores.


Pretty sure it was :jp: but didn’t want to assume. So thanks for confirming and for translating! Certainly makes it more special to me. Thank you so much!

And gee it was certainly not my intention to make you look edumacated:joy:

My parents had it since before they had me. F if I know where it came from! They probably don’t remember either but I’ll make sure to ask.


Oh darn, imagine that. My vehicle no longer having factory warranty. What ever would give that away?

I think I’ll do this instead:


At dinner, and still thinking about things here. Enjoying a pretty nice brew from Belgium, and immediately thought of @Gnuffi

Now back to dinner!


@YQMaoski ideas on this? I think it’s upside down. Guessing it’s Chinese as well.


it says:



Kinda hungry now. But going to try and wait for breakfast.


Yes it’s upside down and pretty easy since it’s perfectly legible I’m sure anyone can feed it into google translate.
is what I get out of it, which google translates to “the official shrine of white mountain shrine”. The only tricky part is whether or not some of these are meant to be one 2 part character or simply 2 or 3 characters on the same line. As the 3rd and 4th are possible 2 parters, but also possibly 2 separate characters, where as line 5, 6 and 7 I do not think can be combined to be one character. Though I’d love to hear from Maoski to see if I’m wrong on that.


I failed.



@Pylinaer, while it is impossible to tell just by looking at it whether it’s Japanese or Chinese, I did a little searching and concluded that it is a Japanese sequence of words.

The reason why it’s impossible to tell: each one of the characters depicted is being used both in Japanese as Kanji and Chinese regular language commonly.

The individual words, and @Fraggles was very close. And yeah, the way it’s written out is funny, it’s not written in complete top down order, this is the way it’s broken up (Click image to see whole breakdown):

So the word sequence is:

白山 = White Mountain

(This was a little tricky at first, because there’s a city called that in China, there is also a city called that in Japan.)

But putting those together with the next 2 words, and we get this:

白山神社 Literally meaning White Mountain Shrine.

Of course that was the biggest give away that this this is a Japanese stamp.


交通 = Traffic

安全 = Safety

御守 = Guard

This last set of 2 words was the next give away for it being Japanese than Chinese.

A little Google Translate gives a direct translation for this from Japanese:


But if you try it in Chinese, you get nothing.


Because it looks like an abbreviation of four character combination from times of imperial China, and not used currently in regular speech, but okay, but nobody uses this abbreviation even when talking about it. (At least I don’t think so.)

The full four word combination is as follows:


If you look carefully around the edges of this piece, you can see a faint seal as well:

It’s kind of squarish on the outside and circular on the inside, I don’t know in detail of what it is:

But I imagine that this is a personal identity/proof of ID for the shrine’s guard, and that the seal was probably once a red stamp that has since faded. Kind of like you have a print, and that is the official authorization seal. The series of words on there is clearly a stamp, possibly and likely a woodblock print. The seal is to make if official.



Doubtful it’s a proof of id for a guard. I would think more likely a tourist stamp. Either way…it’s…err…in the trash compactor.