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tattooedj last won the day on February 18 2017

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  1. Rei at Inkrat Tokyo finished up my old school Japanese-American-Japanese backpiece last week. It took around eight sessions - roughly one a month - and I couldn't be happier. In a weird way, I'm going to miss my montly sessions under the needle. It was prickly at times but it taught me a lot about myself... j
  2. I am a big fan of Angelique Houtkamp. I got a lady head from her a couple of years ago - and it was a great experience from start to finish. Super cool parlour outside the chaos of the city centre and there's the Foodhallen nearby for pre-tattoo lunch...
  3. Around the 12-hour mark and I'm liking the way my Japanese-American-Japanese backpiece is coming together. I seem to have fallen into a steady-ish rhythm re: the sessions. Beforehand: A bowl of ramen and gyoza beneath Tokyo Station and then the ride to InkRat, Koenji. The studio's kickarse blues tunes to get through the session. (Work has been so hectic recently that I've actually grown to look forward to these sessions and the lack of need to do anything for a solid three hours.) A can of IPA on the train home, undress the wrap, a hot-then-cold shower and air-dry with a glass of Penderyn. Finally some after-care cream and to bed in a shirt stained multi-coloured from past tattoos. Will post an update as the colours come in... tj
  4. All folk on my maternal grandmother's side were gypsies who traveled pre-WW1 Europe chasing the fruit/vegetable harvests and telling tarot cards to make a living. Always on the road they carried their stories/possessions on their skin instead of in their homes (they had none). Fast-forward to the '80s and me growing up among these faded blue-grey tattoos of my landlocked relatives. At funerals/weddings/weekends, some showed their tattoos and told the toddler me: when I died St Peter would ask to prove ID at The Gates; while the plainskins patted down their now-nude bodies for proof of who they were, my kinfolk told me, they - the gypsies - only needed to point to their tattoos and stroll smiling right in through Heaven's doors. For a decade the thought of dying plain and ID-less terrified me so much that finally as a (young) teenager I blagged an older cousin's driver's license, faked my way into the town's only tattoo parlour and got my first tattoo.
  5. Yesterday, I started my full back piece with Rei from Inkrat, Tokyo. Three-and-a-half hours of lining was pretty prickly in places - but some good blues music, a howling spring wind outside and the stoke got me through it unscathed. And there's something mindboggling about a Japanese tattooer doing an American old school interpretation of how a Japanese tattoo should look. Colours are coming in a few weeks and I'll update then, j
  6. Today, The Japan Times is running a revisionist history of Japanese tattooing calling for Japanese people to (re-)embrace their long&proud tattoo culture. Japan inked: Should the country reclaim its tattoo culture? | The Japan Times "Tattooing is the most misunderstood form of art in contemporary Japan. Historically, Japanese prohibitions against tattoos have been aimed at the working classes, women and ethnic minorities - and today the bearer of a full-back tattoo is increasingly likely to be a sensitive salaryman rather than a punch-permed thug." The story goes into bans on tattoos for women from Okinawan and Hokkaido minority groups - as well the future of tattoo culture in Japan vis-a-vis the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Enjoy! jm
  7. I think the site was under maintenance this morning (Japan time) but now it's back up...
  8. The Japan Times has a long-ish article about the history of foreign-Japanese tattooing relations: Loved abroad, hated at home: the art of Japanese tattooing | The Japan Times It takes the Perseverance show as its jump off point and then looks at how international and Japanese attitudes towards tattoos have often been so different. There are some quotes from Japanese American National Museum's top - plus Horiyoshi III gets a mention and Don Ed Hardy. As a side-bar, there are also some interviews with Tokyo residents about their tattoos and a nice piece by Shige: Tokyo: What's the story behind your tattoo? | The Japan Times Happy reading!
  9. Here's the latest on the beach ban on tattoos: U.S. Forces Japan: Zushi Beach tattoo ban not aimed at service members | Navy Times | navytimes.com It seems the ordnance hasn't been passed yet - and it may not make it into law. The beach is pretty near where I live so I'm interested in seeing how this pans out.
  10. On a similar note, the mayor of Osaka is a well-known control freak when it comes to tattoos. He created a survey that all city workers had to fill in stating whether they were inked or not. On the surface, it seems to be a way to clean up the city's image - but there are a lot of power games going on in the city and this seems to be a way to clamp down on certain elements that don't back the mayor. An acquaintance of mine is helping local lawyers to fight the mayor's survey on grounds that it violates human rights...
  11. Not sure I agree with this comment. The situation sounds more like an excuse to get rid of the noisy young uns by the older retirees living nearby. Local residents have latched onto the tattoo and noise issue as a way to shut down the bars there. Not really a "Japanese" situation - it's more generational...
  12. Just in case you were wondering whether Japanese authorities were becoming more relaxed about tattoos, a beach near Tokyo has become the latest to consider banning the open display of ink. Story here: Zushi looks to tame its unruly summer beach | The Japan Times Meanwhile, last month a school office staff in Oasaka was docked a month's pay for having visible tattoos...
  13. Review of the book is here: Wabori: Traditional Japanese Tattoo | The Japan Times I can't wait to read it myself
  14. Just finished my first session with Tomo from Yellow Blaze. Super sweet dude with a magic touch. Plus the place itself is incredible - located just up the road from Yokohama's Victorian-era studios where all the Euro(-trash) royalty got inked in the 1800s. Got a few weeks for the ink to settle and then back for the colour...
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