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Characters in 'Love is a Battlefield'

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Hi guys. I know this is a weird question (and perhaps more suited to a place like hanzismatter, I know), but can anyone work out what the Chinese characters mean on Pat Benetar's shirt in her famous video '

? They appear at about 0:38. From what I can see they read as [...]天羅部 but I have no idea what that could mean. I did a google search but nothing came up... Thanks

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This video is not available in your country due to copyright restrictions.:-?

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That is 天羅部. I have no idea what it means either.

This link works ->

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Someone asked me for this trivia the other day.

Before I decided to work on it, I tried to find a solution online but didn't find any.

I noticed that many people have been wondering about this text, including many Chinese and Japanese people and you in this forum. I also noticed that many have said that the text on the shirt is 天羅部 which is a partial yet a very important mistake.

The first character is not 天. It's .

The initial stroke is quite small, but it's clearly visible if one pauses the video at the right split second.


Actually there are four characters written on the T-shirt. Not three.



mù shǐ luó bù

It doesn't make much sense in Chinese.

So I wondered if it does in Japanese.

Kanji (as they are called in 日本) have a Chinese-derived reading, and a reading which originated natively in Japan.

They can have more than one reading of each type. Some characters have no reading of a type or another. (But this is another topic. {^|^})

Notice how these characters can be read in Japanese:

目 矢 羅 部

moku shi ra bu

boku ya_____be


I immediately noticed that 羅部 could mean "love" since in Japanese, the word "love" is rendered as "rabu" in Katakana: ラブ.

Moreover, 羅 and 部 are often used for their phonetic value only; that is, the meaning of the ideograph doesn't contribute to the meaning of a word. In such cases, it's only the way it sounds that counts.

The Japanese sometimes want to write a word in Kanji characters instead of Kana syllables, for aesthetic or cryptographic reasons.

羅部 = love. Because it sounds like it.

What about the other two characters?

It didn't take much time to realize that 目 stands for "I". After all, 目 means exactly that: "eye".

In English, "eye" and "I" have same the exact sound since they are homophones.

By the way, in Japanese, 目 "eye" and 僕, which is a (rather masculine) word for "I", have the same Chinese derived reading: BOKU ボク

Also, the English word for "eye" and "I" sound like the word for "love" [愛アイai/爱 ài] in both Japanese and Chinese. {^|^}

And what about 矢?

Well, you've probably guessed it right: it stands for "you".

To be exact, it stands for "ya", the more colloquial version of the English pronoun.



アイ + や + ラ ブ


I ya love

It seems like it doesn't make much sense if one doesn't know that in Japanese syntax, the verb (or the verbal substitute) is usually put at the end of a sentence:

I(目→僕)はya(矢→君)をlove(羅部→ラブ→愛)してる。← 僕は君を愛してる。

I(目→僕)はya(矢→君)がlove(羅部→ラブ→好き)だ。 ← 僕は君が好きだ。

目矢羅部 = I love ya.

But that's not all. ;-P

Apparently, the t-shirt was made by[?] or for[?] Pat Benatar exclusively for her video.

The title of her song is "Love Is A Battlefield", and what depicts the image of a battlefield more than an arrow 矢 in the eye 目 of a warrior?


So 目矢羅部 also means "Love is a battlefield" or "(A) battlefield (is what) love (is)."

Some also say that "love is in the eye 目 (like an arrow 矢) of the beholder".

The text is therefore a pun mixing Japanese, English and some Chinese.

It could be genius or a huge meaningful confusion.

Whatever the case, it's incredible, and I'm going to print one for myself someday. (On a white t-shirt though.)

Love 羅部 is really a battlefield 目矢, and one has to fight hard for it.

I hope this reply satisfies your curiosity. (Faċli ħafna kienet hux?)

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Chinese guy here .

I've totally no idea why love is a battlefield translated to 天罗部 。

I believe that's not Chinese.It's Japanese.

love is a battlefild just means "爱是一个战场“ 。 maybe love means 情场 here .

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