But Grande’s fans and critics alerted her that “七輪,” doesn’t signify “7 rings” as she probably intended. In Japanese, the characters translate to “shichirin” — a small barbecue grill.
As the web site Kotaku notes, the kanji character “七” means “seven” and “輪” means hoop, circle or ring. When those characters are combined, however, the meaning becomes completely different.
“When we translate 七輪 in English directly, it means “Seven Rings,” one Instagram user wrote. “BUT!! In Japan, the word 七輪 is used for a portable clay stove used for cooking!!!!!!!!”
Grande, who has posted photos of herself studying the Japanese language in the past, acknowledged the mistake, writing in now-deleted tweets that she forgot the additional characters in the tattoo, which should’ve read “七つの指輪.”
“Indeed, I left out “つの指” which should have gone in between,” Grande wrote, using an expletive to indicate that the process was painful. “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.”
She continued, “also.....huge fan of tiny bbq grills.”
The tattoo artist Grande tagged her in post, Kane Navasard, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. He posted a photo of Grande’s tatted-up hand to his Instagram on Tuesday and tagged the singer, writing, “If you didn’t know, @arianagrande is a G.”
Ironically, the correct Japanese translation of “7 Rings” can be seen at the 12-second mark in the song’s music video. A photo of the misspelled hand tattoo was still published to Grande’s official Japanese Twitter account late Wednesday afternoon:
Grande later tried to correct her tattoo, but wound up complicating things further. BuzzFeed reported that Grande posted a text exchange with her Japanese tutor on Instagram in which the tutor explained which kanji characters and placement would fix the error. The post now appears to be deleted.
In an Instagram Story posted early Thursday, Grande showed off a revised tattoo. “Slightly better,” she wrote. “Thanks to my tutor for helping me fix.” Except, it wasn’t better.
A BuzzFeed Japan reporter was quick to point out that the new, incorrect placement of the additional kanji characters actually made it read “Japanese BBQ finger.”
As Kotaku reported, because characters are sometimes read top to bottom and right to left, adding the new kanji character beneath the existing “七” would make the tattoo translate into nonsense. BuzzFeed explains that if read left to right instead, it would translate into "charcoal BBQ grill finger ♡”.
Grande’s Instagram caption concluded: “R.I.P. tiny charcoal grill. Miss u man. I actually really liked it.”