Oct 06 2012
Sep 22 2012
Sep 10 2012
Aug 24 2012
Aug 03 2012
Aug 01 2012
i’ve come to realize that the majority of people blogging tattoos these days have none themselves, but claim to be experts after reading wikipedia entries and watching a few documentaries they found through google video.
this is wonderful for those of us who are actually knowledgeable AND heavily tattooed, as it eases the burden in which we have to associate with people who treat this as a commodity to be blogged about and “wanted” all the time.
more worrisome, perhaps, is the fear that our photos will be taken (without permission), posted online, and gawked at by some 20-something non-Japanese posing as Japanese/people obsessed with Japanese culture, with the intention of coveting an expression of our consciousness that is very personal and legitimate.
most wearers of tattoos partially incur this lifestyle to garner attention and social status in peer groups that would otherwise ostracize them. the american tattoo culture has a gang mentality that supports this; the complete opposite of Japanese tattoo culture, which while is associated with gangs, typically occurs AFTER initiation, rather than a means of proving oneself as “cool” or basing popularity on image. this can be said for all forms of american culture, and it is (in my experience), unique unto the western hemisphere.
when i started this blog, only a few like-minded individuals existed on tumblr (namely fugu-suicide and kilesa), and while it was a small group, i definitely preferred it to what has happened in the past year.
my life is entirely different now. i am no longer willing to share my photos online, talk about Japanese tattoo culture, share my knowledge of prints and/or folklore, nor communicate with people on the internet, as a result of my experiences on tumblr. not only have these experiences directly affected my social networking online, but they have pretty much destroyed my trust and faith in people as a whole.
a year ago, i might have not put any thought into the risk of exposing my tattoos (some are unavoidable), but i have never been one to flaunt my ink because it is extremely personal to me. generally, i am a person who avoids attention, and at all costs, being completely in the spotlight. but now i maintain full coverage at all times, much like my comrades before me, but for opposing reasons.
i cannot speak for all Japanese. but for myself, the fetishisation of Japanese culture, horimono, and east asian imagery by americans and europeans, is one of the most significantly offensive and racist attempts on a culture, since the genocide of the original Aboriginal people. have you forgotten about hiroshima, nagasaki, and pearl harbour? about how you raped and bombed your way into Japan, killed her women and children, set up camp, and made everyone cater to you? and then you attempt to appropriate the culture for your own?
this isn’t any different from how americans and europeans have treated every other nation on this planet, but for personal reasons, it hits too close to home.
you can tell me to “get over it”, “it’s in the past”, but it’s been less than 70 years. the culture and its living residents are still reaping the “benefits” of this warfare. you can tell me that i have no right to claim offense over this because i am mixed, but my own country exiled or forced us into internment, a mere 63 years ago. members of my immediate family were included in all of the incidents mentioned above, including those criminals that you place on a pedestal because of their tattoos.
so my dear tumblr “comrades”, fuck you. your collective vision is completely skewed, racist, and devoid of all respect towards the person(s) you appropriate your lifestyle from. you have exhibited a lack of common sense and decency that is expected out of humanity, or any species that calls itself humane. and race or geography aside, i am genuinely embarrassed to be of the same sort with anyone who claims to have a sincere interest in Japanese culture, but limits their views to what is aesthetically pleasing, or morally convenient, at first contact.
Aug 01 2012
two of my best friends left for grad school today. feeling blue.
Jul 30 2012
Jul 25 2012
Jul 25 2012