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. One last note, this site may be considered Not Safe for Work. You may not want to browse in places where the naked male form is considered offensive. I’m serious. You’ll see my butt.
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.
If you’ve been here before, you may notice that I have changed the look of the blog. The more I look at it, the less happy I am with this new look. I’ll have to spend some more time on it, but the real reason for the change was based on feedback I got from an internet stranger. That person said they were trying to find quick access to specific parts of the tattoo, but were unable to do so because I didn’t have any sort of short cuts or pages set up for that. This new format has allowed me that opportunity, as you can see on the left side of the page. This will have to do for now.
Below are pictures from my 60th appointment with Horizakura. More tebori on the top of my shin/below my knee. Not much else to say about this. He did some doodling on my thigh/torso and suggested that next appointment he will start outlining another koi on my thigh and a dragon on my torso. Until next time!
Oh! I didn’t see you come in. Have a seat, won’t you? Let’s talk about my 59th appointment with Horizakura!
We chatted a lot during this appointment, so the time really flew by. Horizakura shaded a clump of waves on the inside of my right knee and laid down some black in the rock under and behind the turtle’s leg. This will be my last appointment until early June, but I feel really good about the progress that has been made in the last two appointments.
Looking ahead, we discussed some more ideas for the rest of my suit. There is still maybe three or four appointments left before we really have to decide what is going on my thigh, so hopefully inspiration will find us before August! This year feels like it has started out really slowly, but according to my spreadsheet (shut up) it is pretty normal to have logged five appointments YTD in mid April. I’m optimistic that we can finish the year strong! Until then, I took a couple extra pics this week to earmark our overall progress to this point.
At the beginning of my last post I was filled with the excitement of having two appointments in a row. Shame on me! I ended up having to cancel an appointment because of a work trip in LA, so our run of 5 appointments has become 4 appointments. Could be worse! As work gets busier and busier, I’m becoming more and more thankful for the opportunities I actually have to get tattooed now. One of my greatest fears in life is losing my momentum and not finishing this thing.
That got dark…
…Dark like the background Horizakura laid down during my 58th appointment! It should be fairly obvious to see what is fresh in these photos. It’s the shiny parts. Not much more to say here. We have one more appointment in two weeks which will likely continue the background/rocks around my knee. After that appointment, we’ll be on hiatus until early June. Infinite sorrow. Ok maybe not infinite. Several weeks of sorrow. Looking forward to our next appointment nonetheless!
Horizakura and I met for my 57th appointment on Tuesday, the second appointment in 2 weeks. Feels great to be back into a schedule! I’m not sure how long it will last as he has some travel coming up and work is getting busier and busier for me… let’s enjoy it while we can!
Nothing too wild here. This was about an hour and a half of tebori on the rocks around my right ankle. Easy breezy!
Seven weeks between appointments is just too much. You should see the walls of my house… they’re covered in tally marks counting down the days like a prison cell at the Château d’If.
Despite my long absence, I don’t have much to say. Below are pictures from my 56th appointment with Horizakura. He began shading the background of my right leg, including thickening the rock lines. I really love the way those thick rock lines contrast with the thinner lines of the waves and cherry blossoms. It makes me all the more excited to see how the cave on my knee will look once those rocks are THICC.
No tattoo appointments until next week (Horizakura and I have been like ships in the night), but in the meantime I thought I would give a little share of a new tattoo podcast I’ve been listening to. It is called Books Closed and is hosted by Andrew Stortz. The content centers around changes and trends in the tattoo world and is also just chock full of fun personal stories from tattoo veterans. I’m sure the content has a deeper level of interest for actual tattoo artists, but even as an enthusiast I have had a great time listening. Give him a follow on YouTube or something. Tell him Jordan sent ya!…
Last night I had my very first appointment of 2019. Horizakura spent an hour drawing and about an hour tattooing a bonji inside a cave around my right knee. I am happy with the results and feel his idea of putting the bonji inside a cave is pretty unique. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen it done before. He also added water and waves at the top of my shin and the sides of my knee as well. I returned from Japan two days ago, and I have to say the exhaustion from jet lag made this harder than it needed to be. Overall, not too bad, but a good reminder of why a good night’s sleep before a tattoo is important!
Speaking of Japan, I did get to visit the Yokohama Tattoo Museum. I’m not sure that I have much more to say about it that hasn’t been said in other places around the internet. My personal favorite parts of the collection were the very old photographs of tattooed people. I really love seeing how the techniques and motifs have stayed the same or changed through the years. It sort of gives me a sense of connection to something larger than myself and this personal experience. There are lots of pictures of the museum online, and I didn’t see any signs in there saying not to take pictures, so I will add a couple of my favorites here as well. If you’re into this stuff the way I am, I highly recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself in Tokyo. Yokohama is an easy train ride and worth the time. Get some ramen too!
My trip was great but I am really glad to be home and back into my day to day. Coming home to a tattoo appointment was a great way to cap the trip off.