Half Sleeve Outline, 2 Sessions

Pictures below show the results of the first two appointments.  10 hours all in, about 3 hours was Horishun drawing the water and rocks on with marker.  Since he spoke very little English and I spoke even less Japanese, the only sound was the tattoo machine and jazz on the radio.  About once per hour, he would call for a break, would smoke a cigarette and review his work.

A Little History…

In 2007 I went to Japan for work.  Before going, I called NY Adorned to speak with Horizakura and ask where I should go to get my tattoo.  His assistant gave me the phone number for Tattoo Soul  in Ikebukuro.  Once in Japan, I had the concierge at the hotel set up an appointment at Tattoo Soul for me.  The shop arranged to have an English speaker there to translate.  Upon arriving at the shop, I met Horishun who would be doing my tattoo.  He spoke almost no English at the time, so we worked through the translator.  The plan was to do the outline on this trip and then begin filling in color on subsequent trips (the project I was on was meant to have multiple return trips to Tokyo).  Horishun voiced his concern that I would get the outline finished in Tokyo and have somebody else fill it in once I arrived home.  I gave him my word that I wouldn’t let anybody else work on the tattoo.  As misfortune would have it, I would have to keep that promise for 8 long years.

A Declaration of Intent

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 (we finally 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.