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Posts tagged “Gomineko Books

Gomineko Creatures Publication: Call For Submissions

Heikegani Tomomori Ukiyoe

 
Heikegani (Samurai Crabs)

These are the rad crabs  popular with Kuniyoshi that feature the face of a samurai on their shells. Really cool little guys. They are a product of the Gempei war, a conflict between the Taira and Minamoto Clans. During the battle of Dan- no-ura Yoshitsune and his chief retainer Benkei defeat the Taira clan. These crabs are believed to be the reincarnated spirits of the defeated Heike warriors, who,  following their leader Tomomori, jumped into the ocean to their deaths in shame from their defeat. Their fierce spirits however would not surrender and instead infused into the crabs living in the bay. Because these crab hold the spirit of their ancestors Japanese people do not eat them, so now they are quite common in that area.

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An Interview with Alex McWatt

By Crystal Morey

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When I first met Alex McWatt he immediately demanded to know where I lived, in Japanese. It caught me off guard but I answered him, in Japanese, and that was it. I passed the test and we were friends. I believe the next night ended in an odd hand poke circle of amazingness, but that’s a whole other story.


Gomineko Books Customer Appreciation Contest

gomineko contest
I wanted to take a sec to say thanks for all the orders of late, so I figured I’d make a honker of a contest. Post a pic of books ordered from me, tag @gominekobooks and #gominekobooks and you are entered. I know a lot of you are still waiting on books, they are coming! Contest ends August 31st, a winner will be picked randomly, from the hashtagged page and the winner will receive $1000 credit for anything I have a hand in, the books, the ig auctions, the tours…you can spend it on whatever you want! Only photos with purchases from me will be considered, thank you very very much for supporting Gomineko Books and helping sustain a quickly fading genre.
xoxo Crystal

*New* Photos Added To The Gallery

Tattoos by Horimasa

http://gominekocrew.blogspot.com

Japan

horimasa 5 horimasa4 Horimasa snake Horimasa 22


Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part II)

crystal-morey-16By Crystal Morey
Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days.

Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… (Click here to read Part I)

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Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part I)

crystal-morey-16By Crystal Morey
Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days.

Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… (more…)


Gomineko Books: Adam Kitamoto’s Myths, Gods & Legends

adam-kitamoto-1Courtesy of Gomineko Books: Gomineko Books is proud to announce our newest publication, Adam Kitamoto’s Myths, Gods & Legends. This is a brilliant collection of Kitamoto’s illustrations and tattoo work, highlighting his keen eye for Japanese nuances and aesthetic…  (more…)


Crystal Morey: William Thidemann Interview

By Crystal Morey
I just spent a couple weeks in Colorado, participating in the Paradise Gathering giving seminars and at Kaze Gallery in Denver, and I got a chance to sit down with one of Kaze’s owners William Thidemann. I love talking to William. His world is wonderfully black and white and he filters it through a well thought out canon of ethics that centers on respect and hard work. It is incredibly refreshing to come home to the states and find that it isn’t all reality TV and triple Big Gulps, there are still people there working to improve their lot and who inspire growth in those around them. William’s demeanor impressed me… his door seemed to be open to anyone who comes in earnest, be it a hot mess needing to cover up her old lover inspired tattoos, or younger tattooers looking for help with compositions and design. He was like minor royalty… ha-ha, like a duke. The Duke of Denver! But seriously I appreciate his pragmatic view of the world and his steadfast dedication to the code he lives by. Interviewing him was a treat… (more…)


Crystal Morey: Tanuki (Japanese Raccoon Dog)

By Crystal Morey
One of the three most famous Henge (shape-shifters) the tanuki is a round jolly little fellow with an enormous scrotum who usually has a sake bottle in hand. He is a Dionysian spirit, devoted to self gratification possessing a head full of tricks to get his hands on rice wine, rich foods and warm ladies. Not malicious in spirit, he’s portrayed as a fun loving character whose exploits backfire as often as they succeed… Undaunted he moves on to the next. For tanuki life is an adventure. Tanuki’s supernatural powers are strong and he’s believed to be more adept at shapeshifting than even the kitsune… (more…)


Adam Hays: Tsuchigumo Progression

By Adam Hays
This might be of interest to a few of you who like to paint in watercolor. It’s my preferred medium as I suck with most others. I did a painting of the giant Earth spider Tsuchigumo recently for the Gomineko book project of Japanese creatures. It’s from it’s moment of death when the belly of the beast was sliced open spilling a lifetime of skulls along with hundreds of baby spiders. Cool story…  (more…)


Owen Williams: Crystal Morey Interview

By Owen Williams
Anyone who has been to a tattoo convention of late, from Milan to Sydney may not have actually seen, but definitely would have heard the whirlwind that is Crystal Morey. Usually holding court at the Gomineko Books stall (an invaluable source of Japanese tattoo culture reference and hard-to-find, out-of-print rarities) while simultaneously translating and taking bookings for her Japanese tattoo cohorts. Aside from kicking butt, taking names and rolling dice at convention time, what is it that goes on in the life of the pint-sized Texas Tornado and number one Tiger Mama(more…)


Crystal Morey: Sandi Calistro Interview

By Crystal Morey
I met Sandi Calistro in Montreal last year and was struck by how sweet she was and by how amazing her business cards were! I went back to my hotel and pulled up her website that night. For someone so young her portfolio is very strong and it looks like she has really redefined the way artwork is translated onto skin. It has been my experience that many tattooers can’t draw on paper, and many artists have a hard time satisfactorily tattooing their illustrations… Sandi not only works well in both mediums, but her work transcends and she brings her trademark ladies to a new level of distinction with each new piece. Suffice it to say, I am a big fan of both Sandi and her work… (more…)


Crystal Morey: Owen Williams Interview

By Crystal Morey
I’m gonna just start this whole interview with a disclaimer… I love Owen dearly and really want to do this interview, but he’s one of my best friends and partner in crime so this is bound to get real messy, real fast. That being said I do think, for the record, that he’s über talented. Each new piece he does leaves the last in the dust… Sucking its thumb and crying for its mother. While he is without a doubt one of the loudest people in the industry, he is also incredibly modest and hard-working. His artwork is insane, be it portrait work, Japanese inspired pieces or pin-ups – the end result is always jaw-dropping. I think he’s a bit of an idiot savant…  (more…)


Crystal Morey: Yotsuya Kaidan – The Story of Oiwa

By Crystal Morey
This is one of the most famous Japanese ghost stories and a popular motif here in Japan for tattoos. There are many variations since it was first penned in the early 1800s but the essence of the story is the same. It is the story of Tamiya Lemon, a samurai turned ronin, and his wife Oiwa. Lemon, a masterless samurai forced to take up employ in a redundant job making oil paper umbrellas becomes resentful and bitter about the downward turn his life has taken and he in turn focuses his frustration on his wife Oiwa…  (more…)


Phil Kyle: From Brighton to Milan and Back… Part II

By Phil Kyle
So a few days later it’s off to Milan tattoo convention… The 17th edition, already! This is another one of my favorite convention because you get to see everyone and yet again… another great time. This convention is always packed with kick-ass artists, the attendance is unreal and it’s placed perfectly for folks from Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France to get there fairly easy… (more…)


Phil Kyle: From Brighton to Milan and Back… Part I (VIDEO)

By Phil Kyle
So I got to Brighton on the 26th of February.  The day after was the Magnum Opus pre-tattoo convention party. There was a shit-ton to do in that short time.Had to haul my drum set over to the Prince Albert where the party was..had to pack for the Brighton convention… had to get prints made etc… You know, all that last-minute shit… (more…)


Josh Egnew: Gomineko Tour Diary (Part II)

By Josh Egnew

Day 5
Up and at ‘em! We hit our local ramen spot and jumped on the train. Today we were going to see the Great Buddha! As we exited the train and made our way through the tiny village, Crystal brought our attention to a vending machine that dispenses fortune poos. Yes, little piles of colored plastic poo complete with faces depicting their moods, each with an accompanying fortune! We had to have them… (more…)


Crystal Morey Gets Fast and Furious With Bunshin Saikian Horimasa (VIDEO)

By Crystal Morey
Sooooo… I was hoping to interview Bunshin Saikian Horimasa while racing through the Nagano mountains in his Porsche 996. He and 69 other Hemi enthusiasts have formed a “touring” club that meets once a month and just drives fast. The 69 Brothers. I was hoping for footage of me screaming obscenities and wishing I had a helmet but on the day we went it was raining. And there were police. With cameras. It was the weirdest thing… We would pull into a truck stop and the police would follow us, one would eventually come over and say how much he liked the cars and asked where were we going, while another car came around the back of us and took photos.

 

I’m from Texas, when cops are taking your picture on the sly it is NOT good. Back in the car I asked Horimasa if he was concerned and he laughed and said we were fine, that we weren’t ‘bōsōzoku’ (teenage gangs identified by their obscenely festooned motorcycles and cars that they race through the city causing as much noise and mayhem as possible) and we weren’t doing anything illegal. Except doubling the speed limit. He maintained that he and his crew were adults and responsible drivers therefore it was not a problem. We did slow down whenever a cop caught up, and the guys in the back quickly texted the guys in the front to let them know, but no one was pulled over or issued even a warning and, as there are no speed cameras in the tunnels, we did get a fair bit of racing in. We drove for eight hours and is seemed like three, with stops off here and there to see the Shunen no Ishi – the rock of regret*, and eat soba on the peak…  (more…)


Crystal Morey: Baku, The Nightmare Eater

By Crystal Morey
Going to start the New Year off with a benevolent creature and a personal favorite, the Baku. Unlike the more devious Kappa, Baku come to the aid of those who suffer from nightmares or bad dreams, and supposedly they devour the evil spirit or creatures responsible for the disruptive visages…
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Josh Egnew: Gomineko Tour Diary (Part I)

By Josh Egnew
A while back some friends from around the globe and I decided that we should all converge in Tokyo to take one of Gomineko’s tours. Crystal Morey is a good friend and fellow tiger, so I knew that we would be in good hands. She’s extremely knowledgeable about Japanese art and culture and speaks fluent Japanese. How could we go wrong? We can’t sir.

Read on my friends…

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Japanese Mythical Creatures from Gomineko Books

Courtesy of Gomineko Books: Our new Japanese Mythical Creatures book is finally in the works. Illustrations of Kappa, Kirin, Baku, Nue, Kitsune and Tsuchigumo from over 120 different artists world wide. Reserve your copy today through the website: www.gominekobooks.com.

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Crystal Morey: The Japanese HiHi (Horiyoshi III VIDEO)

By Crystal Morey
I want to continue blogging on some of the more obscure Japanese yokai and as chance would have it, Matty No Times from Three Kings Tattoo was just out here on tour and wanted to have Horiyoshi III tattoo something on him that is some way mirrored his visage… and I immediately thought of a HiHi. We pitched the idea to Horiyoshi III who thought it was hilarious and, sourcing Yoshitoshi, he did an amazing piece in about 45 minutes…

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Crystal Morey: Kyubi no Kitsune – Nine Tailed Fox

By Crystal Morey
This was a really difficult write-up for me because there is so much information and such a wealth of folklore surrounding these creatures, it is quite overwhelming. In Japanese Kitsune means fox. Foxes play a huge role in Japanese mythology -they are both loved and feared by the Japanese people. Foxes, by their very nature, are perceived as sneaky and cunning. Though not always malicious they are generally not to be trusted, and they appear in folklore worldwide as the antagonist… (more…)


Crystal Morey Talks Shop with Bunshin Horitoshi

By Crystal Morey
I dropped Bunshin Horitoshi’s shop today. I adore his work, particularly his underwater creatures and I think that, for an emerging artist, he’s done a remarkable job creating a signature style for himself, while still adhering to the strict canon of wabori (Japanese traditional tattoo motifs). His work is simple yet bold and flatters the form. There is a wonderful playfulness to his illustrations, which mirror Horitoshi’s own personality and it is this levity that make his pieces so appealing and unique.

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