My purpose here is to keep track of my experiences with Japanese tattoo. My perspective isn’t completely unique (many non-Japanese people have or appreciate the art), but it will be unique insofar as it is happening to me and to no one else. It is my hope that I will be able to provide not only a journal of my experience and updates on the evolution of my tattoo, but also interesting cultural anecdotes, information, or articles about this art. I will not discuss the cost and I cannot help you get a tattoo appointment. Before proceeding, please note:
1) This site may be considered Not Safe for Work. You can expect pictures of my butt and (mostly covered) crotch region.
2) The only photo adjustments I make are for white balance and exposure. Contrast, black/white, and saturation levels are never adjusted in an effort make as accurate a representation of the work as possible.
This blog is inspired by and dedicated to Mike, a man I have never met. Mike’s blog Munewari Minutes served as a constant source of inspiration early in my tattoo journey. His blog was a touchstone for my goals and an assurance that what I wanted was worth patient pursuit.
For this, my sixty-seventh appointment with Horizakura, we finished my right knee. I will never have to have my knees tattooed again. Hurrah! As you can see in the pictures below, Horizakura shaded the last two rocks of the cave and shaded the hollow of the cave as well as the bonji inside. From what I remember, almost all the shading on my body is using different values of sumi, but for the bonji, Horizakura used pure sumi. I was really curious how he was going to handle all the shading of the rocks, the darkness of the cave and the color/shading of the bonji. You can see how raw my skin still is in the pictures, but I am super stoked to see what this looks like when it heals. Not much more to say here…. 3 appointments without cancelling. We’re on a spree. #feelsgoodman
During my 66th appointment with Horizakura, he continued thickening the cave lines and shading the rocks. I mentioned earlier how tedious and time consuming the thickening is. Well I’m very happy to report that all the lines of the cave have been thickened, so hopefully from here on out the shading will go a little quicker. I would have to go back and check my previous posts, but I believe my left knee was done, front and back, in only 2 or 3 sessions.
Nonetheless, all progress is progress. Frankly, I’m just thrilled that we haven’t had to cancel an appointment in 6 weeks. That’s the first time that’s happened this year! Anyway, here are some pictures of my swollen knee:
For my sixty-fifth appointment on October fifteenth, year of our lord two thousand and nineteen, Horizakura thickened the outlines of the cave rocks around my right knee and filled some of them in. It was an hour and a half, though it probably looks shorter because the process of thickening rock lines is really tedious and time consuming. When he first outlined that part of my tattoo, I knew this day would come. A day when he works and works and works but it seems like very little actually gets done. Pesky rocks!
Nonetheless, I am thrilled that we were able to make two appointments in a row. There is a good chance we can get another appointment in two weeks from now as well. Hot dog!
After another month of travelling and work cancellations, Horizakura and I were finally able to meet again for another appointment. He poked me for one and a half hours shading some waves as seen below. It feels great to be back! It feels even better to know that we are locked in for another appointment in two weeks! It’s been a slow year for tattooing, so I’m happy to take the opportunities that are available.
I feel like I’ve probably used that title before. Anyway, below are pictures from my 63rd appointment with Horizakura. This appointment actually took place on August 20th but for reasons that aren’t worth explaining, I’m not uploading until now. It’s a little difficult to tell what was done here because it’s all mostly healed already, but he mostly shaded that wave on the side of my knee and the water on the back of my knee. Not much else to say here. I have another appointment tonight after over a month off, so I’ll have another post tomorrow morning.
Attend the tale of my 62nd appointment with Horizakura! This was a brief one hour outline session during which he drew on and outlined some background elements around the koi that was tattooed two weeks ago. Despite his tattooing me in nearly identical locations as last appointment, I was noticeably more twitchy this time. I cannot explain why. I felt really great after the last appointment, but this brief jaunt down my thigh and the back of my knee was not great. The human body is a mystery.
Looks like we will have one more appointment in two weeks to connect some of the background on my left and right thighs. The goal (I think) is to achieve that typical “V” pattern that you often see in the armpit area of sleeves. I’m not at all looking forward to the position I’ll be in for him to tattoo me there or the compromising, unsightly photos that I will have to take of the results.
Here are some awkward photos to prepare you for that:
For my 61st appointment, Horizakura outlined a new koi on my right thigh and began the process of outlining background and connecting the leg to my backpiece. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I really get spoiled by the silence of tebori. It’s so much more meditative and soothing than the machine is. That said, I do enjoy how much gets done in our usual two hour session. Feels good man.
We grabbed a couple beers after the appointment and while I was telling a story about my last trip to Japan, it sparked a whole new idea for my torso tattoo. I feel like I’ve already spilled so many ideas for what we were going to do there and it keeps changing, so for now I’m going to keep it secret until we know for sure that this is what we’re doing. It’s different than what I thought would go on my torso… but it’s also a really cool idea that ties to a personal experience and still fits with the overall suit. My next appointment will be the back of my knee connecting to the backpiece and the following appointment could very well be the start of my torso. I hoped to lose a little weight before I had to start posting pictures of my gut here, but that ship has sailed. I’d rather be fat and tattooed than skinny and not tattooed.