sighthound

Japanese sleeve(s) - favorite flavor?

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Hey all, so whether it's just one arm or both arms, what is your favorite iteration of the Japanese sleeve?

Half, full, 3/4, with or without the chest panel? Half with chest panel? Built into a backpiece or standalone? Just one arm or two matching arms? Let's discuss what you like to see, or personally have, or wish you had gotten, etc. 

Personally, I have a half sleeve and about to expand it onto my chest. Wish I had gotten it all planned out and done at once instead of piecing it together, but oh well - live and learn!

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@Dan I prefer the first picture here - the swirls over each breast looks more 'stylish' to me - but I think I also just prefer the work on the more golden oriental skin tone than on the pink-hued caucasian one. 

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4 hours ago, sighthound said:

Hey all, so whether it's just one arm or both arms, what is your favorite iteration of the Japanese sleeve?

Half, full, 3/4, with or without the chest panel? Half with chest panel? Built into a backpiece or standalone? Just one arm or two matching arms? Let's discuss what you like to see, or personally have, or wish you had gotten, etc. 

Personally, I have a half sleeve and about to expand it onto my chest. Wish I had gotten it all planned out and done at once instead of piecing it together, but oh well - live and learn!

@sighthound, i have 3/4 sleeves on both arms, then on the torso it gets a bit crazy.

Tried to post some pictures but not having much luck tonight!

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On 8/2/2016 at 10:59 AM, Tiresius said:

@Dan I prefer the first picture here - the swirls over each breast looks more 'stylish' to me - but I think I also just prefer the work on the more golden oriental skin tone than on the pink-hued caucasian one. 

People are Asian. Rugs are oriental.

Edited by oboogie

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I have two 3/4 sleeves and I plan on chest panels next. I love the look of full sleeves and may go down to the wrist sometime in the future or cap them off with some bonji. I will say it's nice to be able to roll the sleeve back a bit without any ink showing especially when I'm teaching. My first sleeve started out as outer arm only then turned it into a half and finally down a few inches to match the other arm. While it may have looked more cohesive as one design instead of a bunch of add-ons, I'm really pleased at how seamless it all looks.

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I would so, so, so love to have 3/4 or full sleeves, Japanese style, but professionally it is just not an option for me.  Sigh...

I currently have Japanese half sleeves.

There is something about the totality of Japanese sleeves that really appeals to me. It is like they transform the arm into a completely new thing. I really admire people with the nerve to go to full sleeves and display them.

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3 hours ago, soraya said:

I would so, so, so love to have 3/4 or full sleeves, Japanese style, but professionally it is just not an option for me.  Sigh...

I currently have Japanese half sleeves.

There is something about the totality of Japanese sleeves that really appeals to me. It is like they transform the arm into a completely new thing. I really admire people with the nerve to go to full sleeves and display them.

Its strange. I admire the opposite. Theres something so appealing to me about the "modest" bodysuit design. By modest I mean full back, full front with the "river" down the front, just above the knee and just before the elbow, with one main image on the back and one accompaning images on each thigh and each shoulder. I think in the west, tattoos have become sortof trite because we wear tattoos so boldly and outwordly. It looses that speacial something. I like the idea of being in control of your situation at all times, to be a tattooed person when you decide to reveal yourself. You can carry this secret side to yourself that not many people would know about. Not only that but I find it fits the body so much more naturally. Theres something about the suit stoppingvat the hands feet and neck that looks unatural to me. Not sure how I can describe it.

 

If I could start all over id go with the modest bodysuit design for sure, as apposed to the American one-point style bodysuit Im heading towards at thr moment. I still love my tattoos, but I appreciatethe Japanese philosophy much more.

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Edited by a_beukeveld

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21 hours ago, a_beukeveld said:

Its strange. I admire the opposite. Theres something so appealing to me about the "modest" bodysuit design. By modest I mean full back, full front with the "river" down the front, just above the knee and just before the elbow, with one main image on the back and one accompaning images on each thigh and each shoulder...

 

Hey, @a_beukeveld! First of all, great pictures, especially of the vintage Japanese pieces!

Interesting perspective! I get your point, and on some days I would agree! I am very aware of two conflicting ideas in my head. One is the aesthetics of the tattoo, and I love the Japanese aesthetics. In that regard, I might agree with your preference for the "modest" body suit. But I am also very fascinated with the the "idea" of tattooing — of changing the skin, changing the body. That part of me is attracted to the idea of near-total coverage - front and back, full sleeves to the wrists, legs covered to the ankles. The "idea" of changing as much skin as possible is just really attractive to me, hence the attraction to full sleeves. I do like the sharp cutoffs, and for myself, would not go onto hands, feet, neck or head. 

Having said that, I just realistically could never, never, NEV-ER go that far in my world for professional reasons, and because I do have some discomfort about displaying my tattoos in public. So the modest route is more realistic for me if I decide to go further.

I love the Japanese style. I started out accumulating a handful of one-point style pieces scattered around, but by chance I selected an artist who worked in a Japanese style, so when I decided that I wanted to get Japanese half sleeves, I was able to make it work pretty well. I'd like to get a back piece, but that may be a long way off. As much as I like the total coverage, realistically the absolute farthest I would ever go would be 3/4 sleeves, back piece, and coverage on the front of my torso in the Munewari style (the style with the "river" down the center that you referred to). So I guess in the end we are are on the same page!

Edited by soraya

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3 minutes ago, soraya said:

Hey, @a_beukeveld! First of all, great pictures, especially of the vintage Japanese pieces!

Interesting perspective! I get your point, and on some days I would agree! I am very aware of two conflicting ideas in my head. One is the aesthetics of the tattoo, and I love the Japanese aesthetics. In that regard, I might agree with your preference for the "modest" body suit. But I am also very fascinated with the the "idea" of tattooing — of changing the skin, changing the body. That part of me is attracted to the idea of near-total coverage - front and back, full sleeves to the wrists, legs covered to the ankles. The "idea" of changing as much skin as possible is just really attractive to me, hence the attraction to full sleeves. I do like the sharp cutoffs, and for myself, would not go onto hands, feet, neck or head. 

Having said that, I just realistically could never, never, NEV-ER go that far in my world for professional reasons, and because I do have some discomfort about displaying my tattoos in public. So the modest route is more realistic for me if I decide to go further.

I love the Japanese style. I started out accumulating a handful of one-point style pieces scattered around, but by chance I selected an artist who worked in a Japanese style, so when I decided that I wanted to get Japanese half sleeves, I was able to make it work pretty well. I'd like to get a back piece, but that may be a long way off. As much as I like the total coverage, realistically the absolute farthest I would ever go would be 3/4 sleeves, back piece, and coverage on the front of my torso in the Munewari style (the style with the "river" down the center that you referred to). So I guess in the end we are are on the same page!

For sure!

Its interesting, because your dilemma is the dilemma that many Japanese people face. Tattoos are still demonized is allot of Japanese circles, especially within the world of business and government. I can imagine allot of the people featured in these photos would love to be fully covered, but are unable to. We are a bit more fortunate here in the west.

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I hear you@a_beukeveld but of course you can have full coverage down to the wrists and ankles and still stay covered up under a suit or whatever (for men). But I agree with you that the Japanese style may have been designed with more modesty/privacy in mind as opposed to the showoffyness of the West. Personally I like that I can roll up my sleeves one or two folds and still keep my tattoos hidden. But even when I had a half sleeve you could see it with a t shirt.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Yea, I was in the same place - deciding between one-shots and bigger, more cohesive pieces. I prefer the Japanese bodysuit aesthetic over any other style, however, I like the experience of getting tattooed more (in new and different places, by new and different people). I'm a bit asymmetrical in that I have a Japanese half sleeve, and an American traditional half sleeve made of one shots. 

What's your career path @soraya? Just curious as you seem to be pretty conflicted over your tattoo placement. I understand the struggle over keeping oneself professional but also being able to express yourself.  

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 @sighthound- I work for an environmental consulting firm. It is a pretty traditional office environment. Lots of men wear ties, women in business attire. No dress code prohibiting tattoos, and some people do dress casual every day, but I just feel that when I'm at work, I want to project a professional image, without distractions. Others may not feel that way, that's fine. If one of my coworkers wants to display their tattoos, thats fine. Is just my personal rule for me.

If I go beyond half sleeves, the coverup issue really changes. That 6” difference between half and 3/4 sleeves means I’d pretty much have wear long sleeves full time for the summer, and I really do not want to do that, especially out in the field on hot summer days. 

Also, my tattoo life started in my 50s, and is pretty unusual for people my age that are around me. I’m currently tying to get comfortable with showing my tattoos away from work. I really love the way I look with tattoos, and would like to show them sometimes, even though I’m committed to staying covered at work.

 

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I’m in the planning/money-saving phase of a back piece with either quarter or “almost half” sleeves, with chest panels. It will extend onto mu butt, and possibly a bit onto the backs of my thighs.

The thing that first attracted me to Japanese style tattooing was the concept of a single cohesive piece covering a large part of the body. But when I finally made the decision to get a large piece, I was planning to gradually tiptoe into it: First a sleeve, then the other sleeve, then the back, and then the chest. But my artist said that it is hard to develop a flow and continuity doing the piecemeal approach, and encouraged me to outline the whole thing first. I understood her point because the continuity is the thing that I initially liked, but was inadvertently defeating by going piecemeal. 

So I like the idea of one piece planned as a whole.

Having said that, I realize that not everyone can do that because they have may accumulated several tattoos before they decide to go big. You have to do the best you can to tie it together into a whole with tattoos of different styles and different ages and less than ideal placement. Some artists do a great job on this - I think it takes a really good artist with great imagination.

In a way I was lucky because, for better or for worse, I waited. I got one small tattoo early, slightly expanded it several years later, and stayed at one for decades. So now that I’ve decided to go big, I pretty much  have a clean canvas for a cohesive piece that I’ve always dreamed about.

Edited by Intomyskin

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5 minutes ago, Intomyskin said:

I’m in the planning/money-saving phase of a back piece with either quarter or “almost half” sleeves, with chest panels. It will extend onto mu butt, and possibly a bit onto the backs of my thighs.

The thing that first attracted me to Japanese style tattooing was the concept of a single cohesive piece covering a large part of the body. But when I finally made the decision to get a large piece, I was planning to gradually tiptoe into it: First a sleeve, then the other sleeve, then the back, and then the chest. But my artist said that it is hard to develop a flow and continuity doing the piecemeal approach, and encouraged me to outline the whole thing first. I understood her point because the continuity is the thing that I initially liked, but was inadvertently defeating by going piecemeal. 

So I like the idea of one piece planned as a whole.

Having said that, I realize that not everyone can do that because they have may accumulated several tattoos before they decide to go big. You have to do the best you can to tie it together into a whole with tattoos of different styles and different ages and less than ideal placement. Some artists do a great job on this - I think it takes a really good artist with great imagination.

In a way I was lucky because, for better or for worse, I waited. I got one small tattoo early, slightly expanded it several years later, and stayed at one for decades. So now that I’ve decided to go big, I pretty much  have a clean canvas for a cohesive piece that I’ve always dreamed about.

I envy people like you. I started with the mentality that I wanted to go small first, and larger latter. Now I know,and many people who are also heavily tattooed know, that big first, small latter is the best approach, atleast for the american style suit. Im not sure what gives people the impression that they must have a small piece first before big pieces.

Henning posted this backpiece recently. This is this guy's only tattoo. Thats awesome.

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@a_beukeveld - very cool piece by Henning! It actually sort of gives me chills to think of going from nothing to such a major transformation of the body with one piece like that. I'm close to that, but I do have that one small piece, but It won't interfere.

I admire the commitment. That is another thing I like about large scale Japanese work. It represents a HUGE life commitment to change your body so radically and permanently. I find the idea very compelling.

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I ended up doing a 7/10th (as my artist calls it) sleeve. (I've posted tons of pics lately so won't post more in this thread). I had planned to go all the way to the wrist, but I wear a watch and it would cover the end all the time. Plus, stopping at the wrist kind of has a cut-off look that isn't always pleasant, which is why a lot of Japanese tattoos swirl onto the chest rather that stop at the arm/torso line.

The 3/4 sleeve is nice (mine is slightly past halfway down forearm) - it is still "full sleeve" to everyone who sees it, and I can roll up dress shirt cuffs two rolls or hike up a long sleeve T-shirt and have it not noticeable. I work in an industry where tattoos are the norm, but there are still business settings (leasing a building, seeing new clients) where it is nice not that have that extra 2 inches tattooed.

Edited by otisc

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I am getting full sleeves.. my right sleeve is almost done. I have the my whole torso done already so I could not get chest panels :p. In regards to sleeves, I felt that I would eventually get full sleeves so i just started with that.

I am going for a full body suit...i just don't roll up my sleeves when in front of clients etc...

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19 hours ago, otisc said:

I ended up doing a 7/10th (as my artist calls it) sleeve. (I've posted tons of pics lately so won't post more in this thread). I had planned to go all the way to the wrist, but I wear a watch and it would cover the end all the time. Plus, stopping at the wrist kind of has a cut-off look that isn't always pleasant, which is why a lot of Japanese tattoos swirl onto the chest rather that stop at the arm/torso line.

The 3/4 sleeve is nice (mine is slightly past halfway down forearm) - it is still "full sleeve" to everyone who sees it, and I can roll up dress shirt cuffs two rolls or hike up a long sleeve T-shirt and have it not noticeable. I work in an industry where tattoos are the norm, but there are still business settings (leasing a building, seeing new clients) where it is nice not that have that extra 2 inches tattooed.

7/10 sleeves is the proper term in Japanese tattoo.

edit - Wanted to add that i really like the look, size/length and sleeve cutover on the chest of @otisc 's dragon arm. great example of proper research before taking the plunge and skilled tattooer making the tattoo 'fit' the individual very nicely. kudos. looking forward to seeing it done ! /edit

your post echoes my experience getting my arms completed...and then years later i had the urge (and opportunity) to squeeze in some of my favourite tattoos in that small wrist cuff space. in time, my friend, those extra 2" on your wrists will be tattooed ;)

 

Edited by bongsau

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My preference is the full donburi. Really like the look of a giant image taking up the whole torso with all the heavy black connecting everything together. With the munewari opening down the centre torso I like the wider 'river' look. Fits the body nicely. I think if you go chest panels you eventually gotta connect it down the ribs and go for it. If chest panels are made without due care for fitment to the wearer's body it sometimes gives off a dude-in-a-bra look. For women the butterfly-bodysuit look (idk what the actual term is?) is simply beautiful, where the backpiece folds over the front and caps the shoulders.

But really the japanese tattoo look is fitted to the individual and their body. I may like a certain look but my body may be built and shaped for another look that will fit and flow better.

If I were to do it all over again, I'd probably do full arms with only black windbars and full legs with only waves and rocks. But tattoo ain't about regrats or shoulda/woulda for me...I guess it isn't too late though, should be easy enough to just run over the first layer with black!

cheers

Edited by bongsau

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@Intomyskin Nice, Cindy is a great choice - really big fan of her work. 

I also believe, as far as Japanese traditions go, that, yes, it is best to plan and outline the whole thing out all at once. However, IF you were so inclined to piece-meal it, then it usually starts with the back piece first. Then it is easier to connect sleeves later, which are bascially extensions of the background and not necessarily separate or distinct imagines, as the back is supposed to be the main focal image and everything else just accompanies it. 

At least that's one school of thought. There are many more that I'm ignorant of. 

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