2 Down, 98 To Go


As you know, I spent Saturday at the Rites of Passage Festival where I crossed the second item off my bucket list.

#23 Get a traditional Japanese tattoo (Tebori).

You can read more about my experience at Day 2 of Rites of Passage here

I always love the surprise of not seeing my tattoo design until the last moment. All I told Crystal (the woman organising appointments for the Japanese artists), was that I wanted a bakeneko tattooed on my left calf.

if you search bakeneko on Google Images you’ll see various incarnations of this shape-shifting cat. There are anime versions and others with traditional clothing. I really had no idea what to expect. I was blown away by the detail of Hori Shin’s drawing.

The bakeneko was tattooed on me using both traditional and modern methods of tattooing.

The outline and some of the colour was done with an electric tattoo machine. It enabled Hori Shin to get perfect lines and tattoo the finer details on the face and the jacket.

The instrument used for hand poking looks similar to that of a paint brush, but instead of bristles, there are many tiny needles.

Here’s the finished product –

(Source – Hori Shin)

As you can see my calf is rather swollen and red, but that has since subsided.

I was surprised how little I could feel of the tattooing process, Perhaps it’s lucky that I have muscular calves. If it were possible, I would get all my tattoos done using the traditional Japanese hand poke method. It’s far more pleasant than the vibration of a tattoo machine.

I’ll be posting another photo once the tattoo has fully healed.

Now I need to think of which thing to cross off my bucket list next.

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4 thoughts on “2 Down, 98 To Go

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