from: Joseph B.
date: Wed, May 13, 2009 at 10:45 PM
subject: Does this tat really mean this?
Love your website and had to ask you.
The owner of this tat claims it says "Only god will judge me", is this true? I have heard it means something about being a slave??
Thanks for your help!!!!
The top character may intended to be 大 (large or great), however it is the wrong character, 丈.
In Japanese, 大帝 refers to a "great emperor", which does not mean Christian God. 神様 is used when referring to the Christian God. Other words for God are 主 (literally "the Lord") and 天主 ("the Lord in Heaven").
上帝 is used in Chinese when referring to Christian God. 真主 and 阿拉 typically used for Allah, the Islamic name for God. Funny thing is that 阿拉 means "we" or "I" in Shanghai dialect.
大帝, 玉帝, and 玉皇 are variants of 玉皇大帝, Jade Emperor, from Chinese Taoism mythology. The Goa'uld System Lord Yu from Stargate SG-1 is based on this. Ironically the production company did not cast a Chinese actor for this role, rather Vincent Crestejo.
The verb 裁く [sabaku] does mean "to judge" and 僕 [boku] is a common word that Japanese males refer to themselves, meaning "me" or "I". 裁 means "to cut" in Chinese and sometimes it is associated with tailoring. 僕 means only "servant" in Chinese.
But unfortunately, the grammar and word order of the sentence 大帝裁僕 is not proper for Japanese, so it looks sort of "Chinese" to a Japanese person. A Japanese person could possibly try to read it in 漢文 style, giving the sentence:
大帝は僕を裁く [Taitei ha boku wo sabaku.]
The character 僕 is also read "shimobe" meaning manservant, so the phrase could also mean:
"The great emperor judges the manservant"
"The great emperor's tailor"
It doesn't really mean what it is supposed to mean, in either Japanese or Chinese.