I thought you all might enjoy some pictures of my newest tattoo (and these are some of the only photos I have of the Japan). So, as some of you know, this little adventure through the Asia started in the Japan, roughly four years ago. I spent over 3 1/2 years in that proud land living in the Tokyo, the Sapporo, and the Osaka area (also known as the Kansai), with other extensive travels in country. The Japan is a wondrous place, with much to offer in the way of culture, culinary arts, snow, and, of course, the fairer sex. One of the things that I wanted to do in that historic place, was get a big, f-off yakuza tattoo, and here is the result. In fact, that was the reason for the move to the Osaka, as that city has a well-known and well-received tattoo parlor in the form of Chopstick Tattoo (actually three branches). A word of explanation: the motif is based on heaven and earth, hence the koi coming out of the water on the forearm with cherry blossoms surrounding; the waves created by the fish flow into the lotus flower upon which the Buddha sits--this particular image is based on the large Buddha statue located at Todai-ji temple in the Nara (a city in the Kansai); this then comes over the shoulder into the taiko drum (What is the basis of all music?) which has what is known as a tomoe--a yin-yang-like symbol interlocking heaven, earth, and the spirit of man--on its face; finally the little beasty on the inner part of my upper arm is a kirin which is a mythical animal much like a griffin--a conglomeration of different animal body parts--and only appears on earth in times of great harmony, not to mention being an omen of good luck. Anyways, word.