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.
Take a look, in a book!
This appointment concludes my third full year of getting tattooed by Horizakura. It feels like it has been much longer than that, but I suspect that has more to do with how much has happened in my life in the last three years than it has to do with the tattoo process. If the start of this journey was a snapshot of my life at that moment in time, I am glad for the realization that things have generally only improved since. It’s been fast and furious, but it’s been good. I’m sorry I started this post with a retrospective, but you’re the one sitting there reading it so I feel like you are partly to blame. On to tattoo things!
Below are pictures from my 54th appointment with Horizakura. You will see he added some cherry blossoms, water, and waves around the sides and back of my knee region. After uploading the photos to my PC, I realized I forgot to take a picture from the front to show how the waves on each side sort of wrap towards each other… we’ll call that a little manufactured suspense for my next post. I did, however, have the presence of mind to take a picture of both legs to show how he designed the waves to create a natural symmetry between each leg. I am really pleased with how it looks!
Christmas is right around the corner and I will be in Japan for 10 days, so our next appointment is set for mid January. The trip is not tattoo related, but I am hoping to maybe visit the tattoo museum in Yokohama if I have time after my work is done. Perhaps I’ll have something interesting to write about here afterwards. Until then, look upon my works ye mighty, and despair.
Last night’s appointment was a quick 1 hour tebori session. Horizakura finished filling in the rocks on the back of the turtle and thickened the lines near my ankle. EZ PZ.
Next appointment is in 2 weeks and the plan is to do more outlines on my leg. Can’t come soon enough!
My most recent 2 hour appointment came with more rocks and some new plant life for my tattoo’s ecosystem. You can see the turtle is now standing on some rocks and we have some seaweed-y type plant life waving around. I love it! It may seem a little odd to love weeds so much, but with such a consistent water/cherry blossom background, I really enjoy little additions here and there to give variety. Also, if you look at my left leg in the photos below, you can see the line Horizakura drew around my ankle in order to measure the border for my right leg. I didn’t even notice it until I reviewed the pictures. I guess I forgot to scrub it off. Let’s pretend it was on purpose for a “behind the curtain” look at the process.
Horizakura and I discussed what comes next. Looks like we’ll do another bonji on my knee with some fire around it, then the head of a dragon will be on my inner thigh with its body extending up to my torso. I am beyond stoked. I am also beyond furious that I already had to cancel my next appointment because of work.
Cry havoc and let slip the turtles of war!
Exciting results from my 50th appointment! Horizakura began outlining my right leg! “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” For my right calf, he drew up a Dragon Turtle. You can see the shell of the turtle is covered in rocks and plants, and of course he has a dragon’s head. You may also notice that the poor guy is an amputee. I’m pretty sure Horizakura is going to add the fourth leg later on, or perhaps it will be covered by water or waves. We’ll see! I’m really jazzed up on this design though. It has kind of a hard or rigid look to it compared to the goldfish on my left leg. As for the rest of my right leg, Horizakura has a couple different ideas but still hasn’t decided on the layout. There is a possibility that whatever is on my right thigh will be an extension of the dragon he wants to put on my torso. Or maybe there will be something else altogether up there. Either way, I’m just happy to be here.
As my most recent post was more about “playing catch up” with my progress, here is the most recent work from my 49th appointment with Horizakura. The primary focus here was the back of my knee. I think about a third of this was already done on appointment 43. As I said in that post, the back of the knee was not as bad as I was hyping myself up for it to be. This whole appointment was pretty easy breezy. You will notice in the picture of the inside of my leg, the only unshaded portion left is that wave under the Koi’s chin (do fish have chins?). I am not sure if my appointment this Tuesday will be shading that or if Horizakura will begin outlining my right leg. Either way, I’m super pumped!
We have started talking about the content for my right leg, but considering we live in a culture of immediate gratification, I’m going to make you wait. HA! Check back in a week.
Without further ado…
Below you will find photos of my white hairy man thigh. Once your eyes adjust to the glare, you will notice that the waves around the koi fish have been shaded! The other thing you might notice is a different background. In between my last post and this appointment, my wife and I bought and moved into our first house. I’m hoping to have a better lighting situation for these photos going forward, but in the meantime this office is what you get.
My last post mentioned there would be a substantial gap between posts because of some cancelled appointments. This appointment was actually from July and the large gap in appointments has passed as well. I had an appointment last night and I have another scheduled for next week (to make up for lost time), so you can expect two more posts very soon.