Saturday, February 27, 2010

Patience, Pain, and True Meanings- The art of Tattoos Blog # 9

Have you ever walked inside a tattoo shop before? If no, then I have something in common with you. I have a few friends back in the bay that have tattoos, and I have to admit that some of the tattoos that they have are just plain...well stupid. This made me think about what Mason was saying last week about how some people just have tattoos for the heck of it and for stupid reasons; and I have to agree with him. Tattoo is an art, it is the traditions of a people, not something you can simply get just by going to some random tattoo parlor. I would understand people that get tattoos because they put in deep meaning into it, or if there is a reminiscent value to it (since it is PERMANENTLY etched onto your skin). But seriously, I had this one friend that got a tattoo on her neck of the chinese symbol of peace....uhhh yeah the reason?! it was because she thought it looked pretty. It was a spontaneous trip to a tattoo parlor one day when we were in santa cruz, and oh did she regret it after; now she wants to get one on her lower back...how typical?! If you know about the talk about getting a tattoo in the lower back, its called a "tramp stamp", why its called that, don't ask me. But anyways, tattoos, who would have thought that Japan was one of the first to ever make tattooing a form of art?! I had no idea, just think, the art of tattooing started during the Edo period in which artists would carve their designs onto woodblocks and then shading it in. "The close links between Japanese woodblock and the tattoo are undoubted and well known" (Reader 355). However, much of the traditional Japanese tattooing today still holds a negative connotation, a taboo almost within the Japanese. Back then tattooing was considered as a way of marking criminals and today it still has that sort of meaning behind it. I mean, think about it, when we see a person with tattoos we automatically think "bad", "rebel", "trouble". We can't seem to get that negative connotation out of our minds because we link tattooing as a form of rebellion, and trouble almost. Maybe because we see gangsters or bikers sporting tattoos that have some sort of signature of their affiliation in society; like for example, gangsters would have their gang name or some symbol that they belong to one inked on their arms, chests, neck, back, or wherever in their body. It gives the person who ever sees it this vision of "oh they belong to some gang, or they are affiliated with rebellion, trouble." But what people don't know is that tattoos hold a very deep meaning to them, thats why they are PERMANENT!! Before the negative connotation associated with tattoos, the Japanese inking was a form of art, a show of skills by the artists, and the amount of pain that one could withstand. Long time ago they didn't have ink guns or whatever you call them, they had needles and from what I've seen on discovery channel, sticks with needles on the end and another stick to hit it on the skin. (that sounds PAINFUL!) Japanese tattooing wasn't something that you could do in just 1 day, it took a very long time; some inked on the sleeve and some even the whole body! We know for a fact that tattooing is a form of art because the name for a tattoo artists is called a Horishi, meaning carver, and this goes the same for wood carvers also. The colors and lines that tattoo artists and carvers alike are what hold the meaning of the tattoo. Tattooing is also a form of passion on traditions, Kitamura talks about how difficult his journey was as an apprentice to Horiyoshi and that he had to learn from a range of teachings such as "historical lessons, to drawing instructions, to advice on how to treat my clientele." (Reader pg. 361) Tattooing is thought of as a training of patience, soul-finding, and appreciate of arts and traditions. Upon reading about tattoos and the meaning behind them, I've actually wanted to get one on my right wrist of the Philippine star; however having a tattoo is not an easy thing to have, especially if you want to get a job. I'm still thinking of getting a tattoo, but just not now or anywhere visible to the eye. :)

The Negative Connotation of Japanese Tattooing ----> You'll see the traditional tool used for Japanese tattooing


---> guys aren't the only ones that get full body tattoos!
<--- the Yakuza Tattoo style

Compact challenge? hmmmm another 7 bucks richer :) but damn you starbucks for tempting me with a venti passion tea lemonade with no classic and 3 pumps of rasberry and strawberry flavoring DAMN U!!! By the way... finals are coming soon, ughhhh finally the quarter is ending but at the same time its FINALS!! good luck with whatever midterms you guys have left and good luck on finals! This is the 9th week...freakin fast!!!



image 2:

Ed Mullowney Paul. "Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing" reader.

1 comment:

caroline said...

excellent post! unfortunately, no name, no points.