Typing Japanese text from images or clothing

In the linked thread the user posts a shirt that has some nonsense Japanese on it, including a couple rather implausible uses of the handakuten (e.g. サ゚and つ゚). Setting aside whether the question itself belongs here or on SuperUser, what concerns me is how some of the voting went down on the reactions.

The first answer pointed out that it's a nonsense shirt, and did absolutely nothing to actually answer the topic of the question: how to look up characters you don't know how to read. Another answer was posted recently (reviving the thread) that attempted to provide a useful strategy, and it picked up 3 downvotes in short order—with the only explained one being that the shirt didn't actually say what the user posted in his example.

Now, if people are trying to say that using Google Translate's handwriting feature isn't a valid strategy in their opinion then that's fine, but if the only reason is because the OP chose a poor example to use in his post then it seems in poor form to punish users who are answering his original question in good faith.

So, in the interest of making this post a question, I guess it boils down to this: Are we supposed to answer the question as asked and intended if it can be discerned, or are we supposed to wait until a proper example is provided?

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