And kanji with manga
Thursday, April 4, 2019

inmon 淫紋

NSFW: this article may contain words or images you'd rather not have your boss see.

In hentai pornography, a "womb tattoo," in Japanese: inmon 淫紋, "lewd crest," is usually a crotch tattoo or lower stomach tattoo that looks like some sort of crest, or magical rune, and might or might not carry some sexual meaning.

Definition

An inmon 淫紋 isn't necessarily a tattoo. It's just a "pattern," moyou 模様, in a crest-like shape that resembles that of a tribal tattoo.

Lisesharte Atismata, リーズシャルテ・アティスマータ, example of womb tattoo.
Character: Lisesharte Atismata, リーズシャルテ・アティスマータ
Anime: Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut 最弱無敗の神装機竜《バハムート》 (Episode 1, Stitch, Cropped)
  • Is this a tattoo?
  • I don't know.
  • But it's crest-like, and it's on the lower-stomach, so it's an inmon 淫紋.

Womb Tattoo

The English term "womb tattoo" refers to the same thing as inmon in Japanese.

The term "womb tattoo" is kind of weird because you don't tattoo a womb. The womb is the uterus, and it's internal. You tattoo the crotch, external. So why is this term "womb tattoo"? Well, there's a reason for this, and it isn't because the crotch is just above the womb.

Since an inmon is "lewd," it's sexually suggestive or related to sex somehow, it's normally pink or red, and normally in the shape of a heart, because love and all that.

Turns out a heart can look like an uterus if you distort it enough, so some designs look like a heart-womb or a heart in a womb or something of sort. Which is where the term "womb tattoo" comes from.

A collage of womb tattoo designs by Misogohan みそごはん on Pixiv. High-resolution versions are available for free in his Pixiv gallery.
  • Note the designs range from a simple hearts to shapes resembling Fallopian tubes and ovaries.
  • The ones with bat wings reference the Succubus, a kind of lewd demon monster girl.
  • The ones with flowers reference one kind of flower, the "lily," which in Japanese is yuri 百合, which is also a genre of lesbian fiction.

For reference, some illustrations featuring inmon 淫紋:

For the record, even a male character, which physically doesn't have a womb, can get a womb tattoo. It's just a trope at this point.

Effect

The womb tattoo doesn't need to anything to be a womb tattoo, just being there is enough, however, sometimes it does have some sort of sex related effect, like:

  • inran ni naru
    淫乱になる
    To become perverted. To become lewd.
  • hatsujou saseru
    発情させる
    To make [someone] become in heat.
  • aku-ochi
    悪堕ち
    Falling to evil. (literally.)
    • In the sense of a heroine changing sides to villain.
    • ochiru 堕ちる means "to fall" in the sense of fall from grace, in this case to stop being a good person (something superior) and become a villain (something inferior), hence why they're "falling" down to that point.
    • sen'nou
      洗脳
      Brainwashing.
  • mesu-ochi
    雌堕ち
    Falling to a female. (literally.)
    • mesu means a "female" in the biology sense, osu 雄 being the "male" counterpart. These terms are only used toward animals, and considered offensive when used toward people as you'd be treating them like animals. They also have a sexual nuance in the primal sense that the purpose of a male is to copulate with a female and vice-versa.
    • In English, some people consider calling a woman "a female," by using "female" as a noun, to be dehumanizing, too.

In some cases, the effect is more beneficial to the tattooed person:

  • hinin
    避妊
    Avoiding pregnancy. Contraceptive.
    • In other words, the womb tattoo makes it impossible to get pregnant through magical means.
    • ninshin suru
      妊娠する
      To become pregnant.
    • sakeru
      避ける
      To avoid.

Obviously, what it does exactly, if it does anything at all, varies from work to work, specially when you consider some inmon-esque symbols appear in SFW works from time to time. For example:

つよつよハートフルデビ桃フォーム!! リリスさん考案。 桃のパワーや体格を活かし、大火力の技を放出することを優先し 高いレベルでまとまったフォームだ!! ちなみにリミッターを解除したデビル桃・第弐形態になるとへそに刻んだハートフルタトゥーがゲーミングカラーに発光してすごくかっこいいのだ!!
Manga: Machikado Mazoku まちカドまぞく (Chapter 66)
  • Context: Chiyoda Momo 千代田桃 gets an upgrade canonically, complete with a womb tattoo, cat ears, dead eyes, and hair strands sticking out of her head, although the latter two may be unintended.
  • Tsuyotsuyo Haatofuru Debi Momo Foomu!!
    つよつよハートフルデビ桃フォーム!!
    Strong Heartful Devi Momo Form!!
  • Ririsu-san kouan.
    リリスさん考案。
    Lilith-san design.
    • A character called Lilith designed this.
  • Momo no pawaa ya taikaku wo ikashi, {dai-karyoku no waza wo houshutsu suru} koto wo yuusen shi, takai reberu de matomatta foomu da!!
    パワー体格活かし、大火力の技を放出することを優先し 高いレベルでまとまったフォームだ!!
    It makes good use of Momo's power and body size, prioritizing {unleashing techniques of great-firepower}, a high-level form!
    • ikasu
      活かす
      To make best use of. To let something do what its best. In this sense, a form that lets she makes use of natural power and body size.
  • chinamini {{{rimittaa wo kaijo shita} Debiru Momo Dai-ni-shiki keitai ni} naru to} heso ni kizanda haatofuru tatwuu ga {geemingu-karaa ni} hakkou shite sugoku kakkoii no da!!
    ちなみにリミッターを解除したデビル桃・第弐形態になるへそ刻んだハートフルタトゥーがゲーミングカラーに発光しすごくかっこいいのだ!!
    By the way, {when [she] {becomes {Devil Momo Form Two [with] {[her] limiter removed}}}, the heartful tattoo engraved on [her] navel glows {in RGB color}, and [it] looks very cool!!
    • ni 弐 - a more formal way to spell the number "two," ni 二, used in documents, etc.
    • geemingu karaa
      ゲーミングカラー
      "Gaming color." (literally.)
      Rainbow colored, as in the RGB aesthetic found in products targeted at gamers.
Lewisia Aquablue, レウィシア・アクアブルー, win and lose screens.
Character: Lewisia Aquablue, レウィシア・アクアブルー
Game: Bombergirl
Image source: https://wikiwiki.jp/9988/アクア, accessed 2021-05-08.
  • Context: in Bombergirl, an official spin-off by Konami コナミ of the classic Nintendo game Bomberman, Aqua アクア gets a womb tattoo when she is defeated.
    • Why, tho.
    • fuku-biri
      服ビリ
      Torn clothes.
      • See also: fanservice.
        • No, I know about fanservice, but why would Konami DO this...
        • ...to Bomberman.
        • Bomberman.

Exceptionally:

よろしい では 契りの証し 聖紋を刻みます ケイン様 お手を・・・ はい
Manga: Ossan Boukensha Kane no Zenkou おっさん冒険者ケインの善行 (Chapter 10, そんなの今 どうでもいい, Collage)
  • Context: the pinnacle of parody.
  • yoroshii
    よろしい
    Very well.
  • dewa, chigiri no akashi, seimon wo kizamimasu
    では 契り証し 聖紋刻みます
    Then, as proof of the vow, [I] shall engrave the holy crest.
    • Hahahahaha.
    • Wait, are you for real right now?
    • HAHAHAHAHA.
  • Kein-sama, ote wo
    ケイン様 手を・・・
    Kane-sama, [give] [me] [your] hand...
    (incomplete sentence.)
  • hai
    はい
    Yes.

Acquisition

In spite of how it's called in English, a womb tattoo doesn't need to be a tattoo. In fact, considering it's magical somehow, it's unlikely for it to be actually tattooed like a normal tattoo. Ways it can be attained include:

  • It just suddenly shows up due to "magic," mahou 魔法.
    • arawareru
      現れる
      To appear. To show up.
  • It's a "curse," noroi 呪い. It could be that giving the character a curse makes an inmon appear, or that giving the character an inmon curses them with some effect. Who knows.
    • kizamu
      刻む
      To engrave [something] [somewhere]. To carve. To etch.
  • It's an actual "tattoo," tatwuu タトゥー.
    • tatwuu wo ireru
      タトゥーを入れる
      To insert a tattoo. (literally.)
      To tattoo.
  • It's a mark branded on skin with a burning iron, in the same way you brand farm animals, "cattle," kachiku 家畜.
    • yakiin
      焼印
      Burning-mark. A brand branded with iron.
    • burando
      ブランド
      Brand. As in brand clothes. A name associated with a product, service, company, etc. Not to be confused with Dio Brando ディオ・ブランドー.
  • It's just a "symbol," shirushi 印, like on a robot glowing with electricity or something.
    • shimesu
      示す
      To show [a meaning]. To display. To mean. (e.g. the symbol shows the battery is low.)

If a character is a "succubus," katakanized sakyubasu サキュバス, a.k.a. inma 淫魔, "lewd demon," or muma 夢魔, "dream demon," or a monster girl of sort, then there's a chance they'll have a womb tattoo for no reason besides the fact they're a lewd demon so the lewd crest suits them.

Location

In spite of its name in English, a womb tattoo doesn't need to be actually located on the lower stomach, or rather, an inmon, "lewd crest," can be located anywhere on the body, so long as it has a lewd effect.(dic.pixiv.net)

Another common placement is around on the chest.

Aloe アロエ, example of "womb tattoo," and other lewd crests, inmon 淫紋.
Character: Aloe アロエ
Anime: Ishuzoku Reviewers, 異種族レビュアーズ (Episode 2)

Since we already know these tattoos sometimes appear in SFW works, that leads to the situation in which basically any inmon-like tattoo in any work could be called an inmon, even if they don't actually have any lewd effect.

Cardia, カルディア, example of a character with a chest tattoo.
Character: Cardia, カルディア
Anime: Code:Realize ~Sousei no Himegimi~ ~創世の姫君~ (Episode 1)
  • Context: is this an inmon?

But that's a bit too vague, isn't it? Since an inmon isn't defined by function, nor by acquisition, and the placement, too, doesn't seem to matter very much, we may end up in a situation where any mark placed anywhere on the body would be an inmon, which sounds pretty ridiculous.

Ciel Phantomhive シエル・ファントムハイヴ, lifting his eye patch to show his left eye with a glowing pentagram on it.
Character: Ciel Phantomhive シエル・ファントムハイヴ
Anime: Black Butler, Kuroshitsuji 黒執事 (Episode 20)
  • Context: is this an inmon??
    • magan
      魔眼
      Magic eyes.
    • mahoujin
      魔法陣
      "Magic square." Magic circle. Pentagram.

I guess someone is more likely to call something an inmon, even if it has no lewd effect, if it's a horizontally symmetrical pattern placed at the center of the body.

  • In the Fate series, several characters have "command spells," reiju 令呪, most of them showing up on the back of the right hand. It doesn't make sense to call these inmon.
Brad Blackstone, ブラッド・ブラックストーン, showing off his tongue tattoo.
Character: Brad Blackstone, ブラッド・ブラックストーン
Anime: Taboo Tattoo, タブー・タトゥー (Episode 5)
  • Context: is this an inmon???
    • shita tatwuu
      舌タトゥー
      Tongue tattoo.

Tramp Stamp

In English, a tramp stamp is a tattoo located on woman's lower back.(merriam-webster.com)

A tramp in this case probably means "a woman of loose morals," i.e. a "prostitute."(merriam-webster.com)

Clearly, this is a term very similar to womb tattoo, the only difference is that a womb tattoo is typically on the front, while a tramp stamp is typically on the back.

Although both terms have female origins, the same terms are also used toward men, because they refer to the thing, not to the person on which is the thing.

Jean-Jacques Leroy, ジャン・ジャック・ルロワ, example of tramp stamp tattoo.
Character: Jean-Jacques Leroy, ジャン・ジャック・ルロワ
Anime: Yuri!!! on Ice, ユーリ!!! on ICE (Episode 8, Stitch)
  • Context: IS THIS AN INMON???????

There's no exact way to say "tramp stamp" in Japanese. The closest term would be:

  • koshi tatwuu
    腰タトゥー
    Hip tattoo.
    • koshi

      The area from the lower back above the buttocks, wrapping around to the sides and front around the hip bones.

For the record, an oshiri tatwuu お尻タトゥー, "butt tattoo," would likely refer to a tattoo on the buttocks, rather than above them.

Reverse Tramp Stamp

By the way, in 2009-07-05, someone on the internet posted the term "reverse tramp stamp" to refer to a tattoo on the lower stomach.(urbandictionary.com)

Google shows 2 hits for the phrase before that date, so at least they didn't just made it up, but only 2810 hits total, compared to 165000 hits for "womb tattoo," so basically nobody calls a womb tattoo a "reverse tramp stamp."

References

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