No Jodan, No Life

On Sunday, during my 117th appointment with Horizakura, I saw a bright light and heard the beckon call of my ancestors calling me into the afterlife. At least, that’s how it seemed while he was outlining my chest for a little over an hour. The last time I had outline done on my chest was in 2007 when I started my half sleeve in Japan. It turns out the chest is particularly unpleasant for me and I think I died a little. Unpleasantness notwithstanding, I am incredibly happy with the results of this appointment. Not only in terms of coverage, but also in terms of Horizakura’s choice to keep things simple with a cherry blossom branch and wind. The understated chest will let the phoenix on my belly take center stage on my torso. There is now only a very small area on my chest that is left to be outlined! After that is done, all that remains of a fully outlined body suit is my right forearm! We are so very, very close!

I noticed a long time ago that when Japanese and Korean people say my first name (Jordan), they have a tendency to drop the “r” and say Jo-dan. I never thought much of it until an appointment about a year ago. Horizakura was drawing on my stomach and kinda mumbled “Jodanjanai” two or three times to himself. Haru started laughing and explained that jodan is the Japanese word for “joke.” Jodanjanai means “not a joke.” While I was certainly appreciative that Horizakura was invoking the contrary, it feels awfully fitting that my name would be synonymous with a joke. It fits nicely with my sometimes rye sense of humor. Anyway, with that context in place, during this appointment Horizakura hit me with the gem “No Jodan, No Life.” I live my life with an ego that is always on the precipice of being too large to tolerate. Now that I have been blessed with the kind of life affirming phrase usually reserved for bumper stickers and Live Strong bracelets, my wife may soon find me absolutely impossible to live with.

If ever you should find your life at a crossroads, just remember: No Jordan, No Life.


  1. I stumbled on this blog recently. It’s been so interesting reading through your journey. Horishun and Horizakura are a couple of my favorite tattooers. The transitions are incredible, how the half sleeve gets added to back! Probably my favorite part is when the full suit is decided “a hard pivot!” So good man making the jump. I can’t wait to see the transition of Horishun half sleeve to Horizakura elbow to wrist forearm section! the motion in the back section of your suit is wild! I also wanted to thank you for being so detailed and generous with sharing your journey. I needed a splash of inspiration for continuing my tattoo journey and desire to visit Japan.

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you! That forearm extension will be happening really soon! The whole outline is almost complete. I’m really excited about that! Japan is one of my favorite places on earth. My advice is, if you are able to go, don’t spend all your time in major cities. Spend a few days going to smaller, quieter towns. In my opinion, that is where Japan is at its best. Try to visit the Hokusai museum in Obuse, for instance.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s