Maybe some of you know that いれずみ (irezumi) is the literal translation of tattoo. But in Japan irezumi is what Yakuza (gangsters) get and has bad connotations. (which is why tattoos are banned in some places). So most people would instead call it ファション·タトゥー(fashon tatuu) or just タトゥー (tatuu).
Anyway, I drew an idea for a キツネ (kitsune/fox) tattoo about a year ago and wanted to add it to what I call my ‘Japanese arm’.
Initially I planned to have it done in Scotland by someone who does Japanese work but I procrastinated my ass off and it actually worked out for the better because it meant I could get it in Japan! How terribly authentic of me.
I did some research beforehand and found スリータイズタトゥー (Three Tides Tattoo) in Harajuku.
If you’re ever gonna get a tattoo abroad you should make sure you get an English speaking artist. Or pre-arrange exactly what you want so there are no mistakes. My artist didn’t speak English but I know enough Japanese to get by, though I can imagine it being very awkward and confusing if there is no mutual language.
Here’s the shop front (which is actually their balcony). Japan is really densely packed so you’ll find a lot of shops are stacked in one building more like apartments would be. They all have a directory near the door so it’s easy to find whatever you’re looking for.
And here’s my artist, Ganji, working on the background. It was a toss up between fire and clouds but clouds won in the end.
And here’s the finished article 🙂 I’m pretty chuffed with it. I definitely plan to go back there during 3rd year and get more work done.