When choosing kanji symbols is that they are only one of three writing systems used in Japan --which is where kanji is used (not China). Kanji is the oldest and most complicated of the three writing systems( kanji, hiragana and katakana). The other systems are hiragana and katakana, with katakana being the most familiar to westerners. Why the most familiar? Because katakana is used specifically to write foreign words (and science words and a few other things) and foreign names.Characters can be written both vertically and horizontally. Here are some Kanji Tattoo Symbols pictures.