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Posts tagged “japanese mythology

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: 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…)


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…)


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…)


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