With the fourth session, Horizakura migrated south to my leg and ass. So far, getting my ass tattooed has been the least pleasant tattoo experience I have had. This seems like maybe a good time to discuss the content of my back piece. I had a couple ideas in mind for what I wanted, but was pushed in a different direction. My initial idea was to have a Ryu-gyo (a koi fish with a dragon’s head) fighting an octopus. Horizakura told me I could not get an octopus because I have a fresh water tattoo and octopus are from the sea. Furthermore, Ryu-gyo do not make for appealing backpieces as they don’t look great as a large piece. I was understanding of these points. You do not approach a person foremost in their field and tell them how to do their job. The reason I wanted Japanese tattoo to begin with is because it adheres to specific thematic elements and cohesion. I am bound by the laws of the art itself. To me, that is a crucial understanding of accepting a Japanese tattoo. Its rules are rigid and slightly inflexible, but that is what makes it what it is. Horizakura suggested a dragon should take center stage on my back and the Ryu-gyo could be on my left arm. I agreed, but asked that there be something unique about the dragon. Dragons are a fairly common theme for backpieces and I was hoping to have something a bit more unique. He thought maybe a dragon with wings would be different, and I have to say I personally have not seen many traditional Japanese tattoos that feature a dragon with wings. I suppose even in adhering to tradition, there are ways to push the envelope. Additionally, as seen below, he said there should be elements on the back of my legs to balance out the dragon. He asked to add a koi to the back of each leg and I was more than happy to consent. I love the chaotic, highly detailed nature of this style and adding additional content and forms really elevates that.
Anyway! Below is the fourth session, bringing us to the 7 hour(ish) mark.