Good day, I have tattooed the words "nantoka naru sa" in Kana on my right arm and a while ago I was reading some Japanese lessons where it explains that Katakana is used only when you're translating a word from a foreign language, English for example. And now I really want to be clear about this so I find a way to fix it, or just re-do a new tattoo over the current one.

Thanks a lot.

  • So you have a tattoo saying ナントカナルサ? (Your question body just says "kana" which could be either ひらがな or カタカナ.)
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:45
  • All tattoo questions so far have been off-topic, but I guess you could ask whether nantoka naru sa is usually written in hiragana or katakana. (Really anxious to find out the answer to my first comment, though...)
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:47
  • To answer your question, yes, I have tattooed ナント カナル サ. And about your concern on the topic of the question I wrote it on the tittle, I just thought that you'd need some "description". So yeah, I kinda feel "wrong" with this tattoo now, although it has the same meaning it still feels wrong if it's written in the wrong characters. Thanks for your reply.
    – Hakku
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:21
  • 1
    Well, it's certainly not as bad as other tattoos out there. You can read about katakana vs. hiragana here: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1930/…
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:25
  • 2
    Kana is a general term for both hiragana and katakana. Could you edit your question to say katakana specifically if that's what you meant? (Also, does your tattoo have those two spaces?)
    – user1478
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


It should be written in hiragana, like this: なんとかなるさ. You could also write 何とかなるさ, if you wish, but ナントカ ナル サ is completely wrong.

  • That's the solid answer I've been expecting. Now, here's another question, the word "sa" at the end of the phrase, how important is it?. I haven't said it but this "idea" of the tattoo comes from a manga/anime, but when you watch the anime you keep hearing "nantoka narusa", but in the manga apparently it's just "nantokanaru". One example here: blogimg.goo.ne.jp/user_image/54/4e/…
    – Hakku
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 2:45
  • @Hakku さ is a sentence ending particles that gives a sort of soft emphasis to a sentence. It's mainly used by male speakers. While there's no real direct female counterpart, I would say わ is close (but that's nowhere near as common in real life).
    – Angelos
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 11:56

I disagree with the other answer. Writing ナントカ ナル サ is not familiar modern orthography, but it's not "completely wrong". In fact, there is a very famous poem written with native words in katakana, which all Japanese people know by heart:




Putting spaces between the words is weird but not so bad as to make the tattoo an embarrassment. You often see spaces between words in children's books or video games. Maybe people will think your tattoo is a video game quote.

The "sa" at the end, which you also asked about, is a spoken particle and has a specific meaning.

If you spaced the words incorrectly, "ナント カナル サ", that does look a little embarrassing.

  • The thing is that I never felt that it was "completely wrong", I just feel it's slightly wrong, even tho I'm not Japanese. It's like when you write a word with one incorrect letter or something like that. And to be honest the spacing between the words, in the tattoo, is little, almost too little to be noticed. But I'm probably gonna change the tattoo to the words in hiragana so I can get rid of this restlessness.
    – Hakku
    Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 13:00
  • @Hakku Regardless of what script you write it in, having a manga quote on your arm might look strange to a Japanese person. If you really feel insecure about the katakana version, you might want to consider more personal issues like what you want it for and who you expect to read it. That's outside the scope of this website though!
    – Avery
    Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 9:30
  • It's more of a personal thing. Like I don't care if nobody but me can read it. And if I ever meet a Japanese person I just hope it doesn't look "insulting" or something of the like. This is enough about the question tho, I think I have enough information to take a decision. Thank you all.
    – Hakku
    Commented Mar 6, 2016 at 16:26

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