The Official Blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine

Posts tagged “Japan

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…)


Kokoro: The Art of Horiyoshi III

Horiyoshi III art exhibition to open in London on March 21st, 2012 at the Somerset House. Meaning ‘heart, mind and spirit’ in Japanese, the concept of Kokoro underpins the Japanese culture and defines its people’s approach to all aspects of life.

Described as a “living legend” by The New York Times, Horiyoshi III is best known as the undisputed master of Japan’s ancient art of tattooing of his generation, but he is also a prolific artist who has a passion for painting on paper and silk as well as skin… (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…
(more…)


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…

(more…)


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…

(more…)


Horitaka: Molly Skobba Previews Bloodwork: Bodies


By Molly Skobba

I had a hard time writing this blog. It took me longer than usual, with more restarts and edits before send off. I realized that it’s because BloodWork: Bodies is such a gigantic project with so many facets and possible approaches in writing about this book. It is epic not only in content but also in physical stature with 2 volumes, 900 pages and weighing over 25-pounds filled with massive pages of outsized and extravagant photos that bond the human form and visual art seamlessly…

 
(more…)


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 to Dan Sinnes About His Genital Genius

By Crystal Morey
I just got back from the Montreal Tattoo Arts Show and it was such a great event. The Tattoo Mania crew really knows how to put on a great convention and the Gomineko crew can’t wait for next year. While I was there I got a chance to hang out with one of my favorite convention buddies Dan Sinnes and pick his twisted brain a little…

(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.

(more…)


Tattoo Art for Japan

By Diamond Jim
What has happened and is still happening in Japan is for us an unthinkable nightmare. Sadly it is not a dream anyone can awake from. Most of us go through life half asleep, concerned with vacation time and whether or not we can afford the newest and best of things. Imagine these things being swept away from you and not knowing if your family members are alive. To survive a natural disaster is a horrifying experience. After you have survived you try to pick up the pieces and with the help of others you start anew. Our brothers and sisters in Japan are not able to do this because for them the disaster is not over; it seems only to be getting worse…

(more…)


New York Tattoo Artists Publish Flash Book to Benefit Japanese Disaster Victims

Courtesy of Shirts and Destroy: On the six-month anniversary of the devastating tsunami that swept over northern Japan, New York City’s most renowned tattoo artists have come together to create a completely unique, limited edition spiral bound collection of tattoo flash sheets, entitled Flash For Japan to benefit victims of the tsunami…

(more…)


Crystal Morey: The Japanese Kappas

By Crystal Morey
Kappas are definitely one of the oddest indigenous Japanese creatures. They are depicted simultaneously as both sinister and unerringly cute. They are typically the size of a large child and appear to be a cross between a chimpanzee and a turtle. Their bodies usually resemble a monkey or upright frog with a turtle like head (often with a beak). (more…)


Crystal Morey Chats with Japanese Tattoo Master Horiren (VIDEO)

By Crystal Morey
Additional Photos By Hiro Hata
I recently had the opportunity to go out to Horiren’s studio in Saitama. Self-taught tebori (hand-poke) artist and student of legendary Ozuma Kaname. Horiren discusses the disappearing art of Shamisen Bori.

I love going out to Horiren’s, her studio is standard for a traditional Japanese tebori artist, a secluded house with no street signs, traditional tatami mats and a low kotatsu table. Her client today was an older gentleman with an amazing black and grey koi backpiece, laid out on the mats in fundoshi, the diaper-like attire seen in photos…  (more…)


Horitaka: Molly Skobba Previews Horitomo’s New Book Immovable

As many people in the tattoo world are aware, Horitomo has been busy working on his first book and seminar. I was just telling my girlfriend Molly that I was going to blog about this and she beat me to the punch. She even snapped some photos at Horitomo’s house when he was showing us his drawings. Here is a sneak-peak at what I think will be one of the most important books in tattooing. Introducing guest blogger Molly Skobba… Enjoy!
-Horitaka

(more…)


Dave Allen: How to Save the World and Gain Karmic Bliss While Tattooing (VIDEO)

By Dave Allen
Photos by Jayme Ford 
I never thought that I could make much difference in the world, let alone inspire others to follow my lead. I’m just a hard-working tattoo artist that no one’s heard of.  And to tell you the truth, I don’t mind slaving away in anonymity. But I guess when certain circumstances move you to act there’s no telling what might happen…

(more…)


Crystal Morey: The Japanese Kirin

By Crystal Morey
The Japanese Kirin traces its origins to Chinese mythology, but they have diverged quite a bit since then, both in physical appearance and attributes. In Japan, Kirin are believed to be more powerful than the dragon or phoenix, but are much less aggressive…

(more…)


Crystal Morey Talks to Japanese Artists About Their Country’s Recent Disasters (VIDEO)

By Crystal Morey
When asked to do some interviews over here in Japan for the TAM Blog I immediately thought of profiling Kishi San from 56 Tattoo in Shibuya, Tokyo. In the tragic aftermath of the quake in Japan’s Tohoku prefecture, Kishi-San immediately went into action contacting his immense web of tattooers and organizing his motorcycle club, the 56 Syndicate, to assist in the still ongoing struggle. I sat down with him and Ako (owner of Ghetto Culture and brother to everyone in the Tokyo underground scene) for a coffee…
(more…)


Rollo & Me Comic #5

The “Rollo & Me” strip is a series of stories told by Keith Underwood and illustrated by Dan Henk which appear regularly in Tattoo Artist Magazine. They chronicle Keith’s experiences living with and working alongside one of tattooing’s greatest icons of the 20th century- Mike ‘Rollo Banks’ Malone. Mike departed this life in 2007 but these stories represent Keith’s healing process and are figuratively supposed to occur on the couch of his therapist.
Enjoy. There’s more to come.

(more…)


Eric Jones Talks Tattoos and Vietnamese Bars with Horitaka

By  Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura

A few words with Professor Eric Jones…

HT: How do you feel about Vietnamese bars?

EJ: How do I feel about Vietnamese bars? Since you were the first to show me, it has a soft spot in my heart. It might be hard in other places…

(more…)


Tattooers for Japan Founder Dave Allen Talks to TAM in Toronto (VIDEO)

[Pictures and full story on expanded page]
(more…)


Artist Profile: Chris Trevino (VIDEO)

By Ed Hardy:
I first met Chris Trevino when he and his then-partner, Shawn Degan, came to San Francisco in about 1992 to talk with me about getting some work done. He had not been tattooing very long at that time but Chris’ enthusiasm and ideas were off the charts… [Video and pictures on expanded page] (more…)


Chris Trevino: Gods and Warriors Book Preview

Gods and Warriors

This is a fitting title for Chris Trevino’s first book. His tattoos often depict these precise themes. But more notably, the title is actually fitting for Chris himself. In many ways he embodies the eternal qualities of the warrior hero or the deified persona of an ancient culture’s history; in short, a modern knight in quest for the mythic grail. His accomplishments, perhaps in a slightly older culture and rendered symbolically in the romantic style, could very well be the foundation of myth. (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,796,158 other followers