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Crystal Morey Talks to the Unconventional Gakkin About Japan and Tattooing

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By Crystal Morey There are a million differences between the Kanto (Tokyo) region and the Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto) region of Japan. The ramen tastes different. They use different words and expressions. They stand on the opposite sides of the escalator. There are more tacoyaki (fried octopus fritters) shops down in Kansai than convenient stores. In Kansai people just forget to sleep. They go to work, then go out, then walk outside the club or karaoke bar at 5 a.m. and say, “Oops! It’s daytime!” go home, take a shower and do it all over again. It’s insane. Kansai is also home to some off the hook tattooers and is the birthplace of Japanese new school tattooing. 21st century wabori. Strongly influenced by manga, graffiti and graphic design these pioneers have taken Japanese tattooing a whole different direction and the results are incredible. One of my favorite shops in Kansai is Harizanmai in Kyoto – home of Gotch, the owner and Gakkin. These guys have been consistently putting out unique, mind-blowing tattoos for years now and their work continues to evolve. I snagged Gakkin this weekend for an interview… Read More »