Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So what is munewari? Munewari (literally "chest dividing") is a tattoo style which covers the front of the torso while leaving the center of the chest untouched. The grey areas in the illustration to the left represent tattoo. The shape is meant to conceal the tattoo when traditional clothing such as a kimono is worn. As a matter of practicality, I confess the shape has become an anachronism. You're not likely to see many folks in kimono outside of the rare formal occasion. But the style is unique to Japanese tattoo and I think quite stunning visually, which no doubt has contributed to it's longevity - it is still a commonly tattooed style. This shape will connect to the border of my existing back piece - imagine my current tattoo "growing" around the sides of my torso and towards the middle of my chest. Note the shout out in the picture to one of my favorite anime movies...I couldn't resist.

Munewari style broadly defines the outlines of the tattoo on the torso, but there are many options which still need to be considered. Will there be sleeves, and it so, how long will they be? What length and shape will the tattoo take on the legs? In what style will the border of the background be drawn? More on those things as they come into focus.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

After 34 sessions or approximately 80 hours of tattoo work, Shinji and I have finally finished my back piece. I hope I speak for us both when I say I'm incredibly pleased with the results. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Shinji, gained not only by my growing appreciation of his craft but by his professional and friendly demeanor which have made these two years an enjoyable experience. Three "banzai" cheers for Horizakura!

Over the past two years I've been surprised by my own perseverance. Back when I started I wasn't so sure that I would be able to finish. Perhaps the tattoo itself bestows the properties of strength and perseverance, acting as a talisman of sorts. Kintoki is strong but gentle, and the koi graceful even while struggling upstream. I will certainly need these qualities as I prepare to start another large project with Shinji.

It's too early in the planning stage to share many details at this point, but as the name of this blog suggests I do intend for the next portion to be munewari style. For those of you who don't know what that is, please stop back by in a few days for an explanation.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hi folks, welcome to my new blog. The topic will be my continuing exploration of traditional style Japanese tattoo (usually refered to as horimono or irezumi). The first two years of my tattoo experience were covered in my personal blog, Metaken. As I'm about to begin another phase of tattooing, I thought this would be a good time to start a new blog which could be more focused topically. I hope you enjoy.

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