Hi there! Wanted to ask if you could translate what is written on Mito Uzumaki's seal tags (those she has in her hair)? I was super curious about it ever since I've seen them but couldn't find the explanation anywhere, and only now I realized that you would be a perfect person to ask!! Thanks!
Hahaha, unfortunately I can’t help you much, I can maybe provide a little insight.
So you can see in these three manga caps that the calligraphy on her seals are not done the same way every time.
The connecting factor is an extremely loose, flowing style, which most resembles so-called “grass script”, or East Asian cursive. (Wikipedia calls grass script a mistranslation but they can get fucked, tbqh; I don’t feel like going into why I don’t think it’s a mistranslation.) In the most extreme forms of grass script, Chinese characters (kanji, kanji literally means “Han characters”) are totally unconcerned with legibility. You genuinely can’t figure it out, even if you’re a highly educated native speaker, if you don’t already know what the writer was going off of.
More ordinary forms of cursive can be legible, if you are better at reading them than me. I am fucking rubbish at it. I’m not even good at reading people’s ordinary handwriting.
Now the second image contains some aspects that are distinctively, undeniably kanji-like, but it’s also possible that, if the intention was that the seals in her hair change from day to day, that some of the scripts are not actually kanji/Japanese at all. In an odd way, that last one actually reminds me a bit of Mongolian and related scripts, such as Manchu, which if you’ve ever been to China, is all over Qing dynasty related historical sites.
I mean this is just me spitballing, but there’s no reason why, especially if you’re making up your own AU, that Uzushio couldn’t have its own script.
It’s also worth noting that in Japanese linguistic history, these grass style kanji, and then hiragana, which are derived from grass style kanji, were called “women’s hand” 女手, and thus have a strong association with women.
Ancient Japanese society: women are not anywhere near as great as men and there’s no way that women could contribute a huge amount to not only Japanese but world literature