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.  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.

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5 thoughts on “A Declaration of Intent

  1. Hi there,

    Your blog is great! Always been curious what this process is like. It’s crazy to see it’s been 10 years and counting. One thing I was looking to get some insight on is the initial conception process. For instance did you tell Shinji you want a dragon? or did he decide that? How much say do you have in what is included in the tattoo?

    Looking forward to more updates!

    Like

    1. Thanks for commenting! Glad you like it.

      So the actual concept was the result of a couple different factors. When I was 21 and first conceptualized what I wanted for my sleeve, I also inadvertently picked the setting and season of the tattoo. It also narrowed down the possible themes for the whole tattoo. Its also worth mentioning that when I was 21, I didn’t realize I would start going for a body suit. So I told Horishun what I wanted for my sleeve, and he executed that vision without really going over the implications for future work, because he didn’t know what my future plans were.

      Once I was ready to start my back, I had sort of changed my thoughts from getting a dragon to getting an octopus and ryugyo fighting. Horizakura explained that that back piece wouldn’t make sense because octopus are from the ocean and my sleeve is freshwater. So my whole body would have to be freshwater. Horizakura suggested the dragon, which I was ok with, but expressed concern that there are lots of dragon backpiece and I would like something a little different. That was when he suggested a winged dragon which I was happy with.

      Besides the backpiece, he would never tattoo something I said I didn’t want. But since he is an expert in the content and themes and rules of Japanese tattoo, I have to put my faith in him since he knows what’s best. I often makes suggestions of subject matter that I would like and he either tells me it won’t work or says that we can pursue the idea. Horizakura was very firm about my left leg being all koi and goldfish since the backpiece includes a koi. I initially wanted all kinds of amphibians and reptiles worked into it, but he said I would look like a zoo. I love zoos, but I guess it isn’t a great look for a traditional tattoo. I’m really happy with where things are, and even more excited for where they are going. Thanks again for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi!
    Thanks for sharing. It’s progressing fantastically. I have been researching for the past couple of months the possibility of getting a traditional tebori piece. I live in NYC and was having some trouble finding places that do this. I read that Horizakura is no longer at NY adorned, is that so? I am sure there is a waiting list but I am in no rush, good things take time (you are 10 years and counting!) and I am prepared to wait patiently.

    How can I get in touch with him? Is it OK to ask for a consultation?

    Keep posting!

    Like

    1. Unfortunately, I am not able to give out Horizakura’s contact info. After all these years, I still don’t have his email address as we only communicate by text. Sorry that I can’t really help in that way. If you are dead set on him, your best bet is to find him at a convention and meet him in person. If you are still open to other artists, I recommend checking out Invisible NYC owned by Troy Denning or Monji at Flyrite Tattoo. Good luck!

      Like

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