It's hard to say, it is said that that is the case, but I actually tlunk it's the sumi ink that is holding up well. But in terms of colours, it's a lot to do with the maker of the colour, and the person's skin. But I think it is harder to degrade.
DO YOU MAKE EVERYTHING YOURSELF?
Yes, everything but the bamboo, I buy myself, from Saitama. It is light and has elasticity, and is somewhat nicer to the skin. I used to use a metal tool before.
HOW DOES JAPANESE SOCIETY SEE IAITOOS?
Oh there is still a lot of discrimination. Once I got kicked out of my house for being a horishi. When I was in Hasuda, I was an artist, and the landlord leased the place to me, but when I was tattoomg, it became known when I was in a magazine. Wot long after, the police and the landlord came over, and told me to leave, I really love houses, and I would go to a real estate agent to get a house, and no one would lease one to me. So I just bought this place. They won't give me life insurance either. The way tattoos are seen has changed slightly though, by the general public. Ten years ago, if you had a small tattoo on your arm, even though they will stare at it now, before people would quite obviously avoid you. Now they might look at you, but they aren't that scared.
WHO 00 YOU RESPECT?
Horiyoshi III, because of his psychology and philosophy towards tattoomg. What he feels it is to be a horishi. His motivation supersedes other horishi and he studies so much, and thinks about tattooing 24/7.1 really think he is most well read tattooist. And Horiyasu for his technique It's unbelievable.
JACK MOSSIER IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES. HE SEEMS TO UNDERSTAND JAPANESE ART BRUSH TECHNIQUE REALLY WELL. AND HE SEEMS TO HAVE A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK!
WHAI DIRECTION DO YOU THINK THE JAPANESE SCENE WILL GO IN, IN THE FUTURE?
It's a really difficult question. Like at the moment its quite chaotic with people saying they do Japanese, or Western, and eventually I think people will just get then own characteristics. Even the way I do tattoos is traditional Japanese, but I'll also do one point work, so the client's orders will become more significant.
DO VOU EVER INTEND TO HAVE APPRENTICES?
Yes, as I progress and can do outlines like Horimyo with all tebori, I would like to pass on my style to someone eventually.
WHAT GOES INTO A JAPANESE APPRENTICESHIP?
I learnt on my own, but there are two systems, live-in's and those that just turn up for the day. The live-ins' really do all the cleaning and other chores, or conversely there are some places that only teach tattooing. Some places are really lengthy, and others let you go after a year.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO WORK AS A FEMALE HORISHI?
I'm not really conscious of it. I usually liide the fact that I'm a female horishi, and my clients will come in, and be surprised. If it's in English, there might be a he or a she, but in the Japanese magazines, I don't really make a point of including it.
SO YOU HAVEN'T REALLY BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE YOU ARE A FEMALE?
HOW ABOUT SOCIALLY?
I'm really not conscious of it, like I was originally an artist and doing it on my own.
But, for instance, say you are buying a house, O
WHAT UKrvO-E ARTISTS DO YOU STUDY?
Kyosai, Hokusai, Yoshitoshi, and Kuniyoshi, but Kyosai is number one. The shear number of his works and his energy is phenomenally different, I think it's amazing that he drew a Buddhist deity a day. Wot only is he good at what he does, he is tough, and work very hard at his art.
DO YOU THINK TEBORI IS A DISAPPEARING ART?
No, I think it will become more popular. The world's tattoo scene is really focusing on tebori, so maybe it will be the non-Japanese that will take up tebori, like Chinese, Koreans or Taiwanese, etc. and occasionally there are westerners as well. If people focus on this, I think the number of people that do it will increase, which is great.
HOW DOES A PERSON LEARNING JAPANESE IMPROVE IF THEY ARE NOT IN JAPAN?
I would just suggest just living here for a bit, so they can experience the nuances with the seasons. We are a nation of season lovers; it would be great for people to know about the beauty of the seasons, and then Japanese paintings (nihonga).
So, don't look at other tattoos, look at painters, you will improve tenfold.
WHAT FOREIGN MASTERS OF JAPANESE DO YOU LIKE?
There are many, but Jack Mosher is one of my favourites. He seems to understand Japanese art brush technique really well. And he seems to have a huge amount of work! For Japanese artists, it's really important to draw exponential amounts of work, and when you think like this, Mosher has a lot.
and you need a loan, if you ate a female or male, tire amount is completely different, like about 20,000,000 yon difference. You can really call this discrimination, and for things like tax issues, if you are a male, they will ask to see a year's worth of activity, and with me, it was 7 years. If you do work like this, and you are a female, there are repercussions for females doing a job like this. It's strange as the work is the same.
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