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Archive for the ‘Asian’ Category

Liesl’s Tattoo Stories

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Japanese Kanji Tattoo Girl
Liesl’s Japanese Kanji Tattoo on her Back

Foot Tattoo of Wolf Print
Wolf Print Tattoo on Her Ankle

I got my first tattoo of 3 Japanese kanji’s. They say Spirit, Wolf, and Eagle. They are on my back so I can draw great strength from knowing that the 3 of them are always behind me.

My next tattoo is of a wolfs paw on my right ankle. This symbolizes the wolf always walking with me.

All my tattoos have a deep spiritual meaning to me.


Tattoo artist: Jumbo
Tattoo Studio: Jumbos Tattoos

More Japanese Tattoos
More Tattoos on Backs
More Tattoos on Ankles

Samantha’s Dragonfly Tattoo Story

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Dragonfly Tattoo Photo
Samantha’s Dragonfly Tattoo

From the time I was 3 until I was about 13 my stepfather sexually molested me almost every night. In 7th grade I finally told someone and it seemed as if my life would always revolve around him and what I went through as a child. 5 years later I decided that it was time to put it all behind me and start with a clean slate.

I live in NY, but I got this tattoo in Canada, 2 months after my 18th birthday. My dad designed it for me with the tattoo artist that day. It means so much more to me because of that.

The dragonfly symbolizes endurance and my mental and emotional growth and maturity. It is said that people who have the dragonfly as their totem have had passionate and emotional early years, but as they grow older they achieve emotional and mental clarity and control. That’s me.

The character to the dragonfly’s left is the kanji symbol for “LIFE.” The symbol is a reminder to me that I have so much to live for, that the life I lead for last ten years does not have to be the one that leads me for the next ten.

And if you look closely there is an “S” where the dragonfly’s body should be because I am that creature and that creature is me.


- Samantha

Tattoo Artist: Sergei
Lower East Side Tattoo and Body Peircing – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

More Dragonfly Tattoos
More Tattoos on Shoulders

Tattoo Story – Traci: Yin Yang Tiger Dragon

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Traci's yin yang tiger dragon tattoo
Traci’s Yin Yang Tiger Dragon Tattoo

My tattoo started out as just a ying-yang that I had done for my 18th birthday. The ying-yang represents balance in my life, which is more of an abstract concept than something I’ve been able to practice. Its a goal I aspire towards. It was always the intent that I would finish my tattoo with a dragon and a tiger around it, but I did not have enough money when I was 18.

Through the years I’ve been keeping an eye on designs, but never following through on finishing the tattoo. Then a tragedy happened this past winter. One of my best friends from high school was brutually murdered in a random act of violence. I was angry, and that anger found me in the chair at the tattoo studio.

The artist who did my work competes nationally, and I was amazed all of the awards he had gotten. His nickname was Freehand. I told him what I wanted, and he sparked an interest in working on me. He had drawn a design of a tiger and dragon with the intent of putting it around a ying-yang on one of his friends. But this never happened because his friend had been murdered only a couple of months prior. He modified the design a bit for my tastes, but said that he would love to put the design on me, and even signed the original handdrawing for me to keep.

I guess I’m a bit of a whimp when it comes to needles, or at least thats what I’m told, but my anger got me through the first 40 minutes of the job. It was the last 5 or so that my anger faultered and I was in tears, from both the pain on my shoulder/back and in my heart. The experience for me was very healing, and I found it much easier to start to deal with the pain in my heart as the other pain subsided. I still miss my friend very much, and I ache to know that I never got to say good-bye, but I know she is still with us, at least in heart and spirit.

So, thats my story, and I’m sticking to it….


Yin Yang Tiger Dragon Tattoo

Tattoo Story – Monique: Koi Tattoo

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006
Koi tattoo Photo
Koi tattoo Photo
Moniques’s Koi Tattoo

These are two seprate tats done by two different artists in different shops but they came together nicely.

I have five tattoos but I love my arm work because it was done after both my grandparents passes away. They would have killed me for having them but always taught me to be free and not care what others think of me and to flow like the water. I want to continue working on my arm and include my mom and lil bros and sis in it too but my g-rents are what inspired the pieces I have now.

The Koi, even though it brings luck, can be a fighter just like me! The water lily is my home, something beautiful but you can still seek haven in, just like my grandparents!

- Monique

Tattoo Story – Back Tattoos

Friday, June 30th, 2006
shoulder tattoos

I was a drug abuser for many many years and lost sight of who I was and who I cared about…The tattoos across my back are like this…..The forever love tattoo was for my grandparents who died while I was in drug treatment…..The scorpio and the leo symbol are for me and my best friend with out whom I wouldnt have stayed clean…..The tiger represents the old me breaking through into the new place I want to be….


More Shoulder Tattoos
More Back Tattoos
More Zodiac Tattoos
More Flower Tattoos

Tattoo Story – Ms Bees Knees: Butterfly Geisha

Thursday, June 1st, 2006
black swallow tattoo

The famous Temple Tattoo in Oakland is right down the street from where I work. Freddy Corbain (mr nice guy) ownes the place and is world-known for his religious tattoos. His artists are also some of the best in the world, two being Jason McAfee and Jesse Tuesday.

I stopped by, checked out their books and fell in love with jesse tuesday’s japanese-inspired style. I booked my appointment (he’s booked a month in advance) and began drawing up my design. I then gave it to jesse, who sketched up a final piece and the rest is history… my geisha butterfly tattoo was created.

-ms bees knees (also see her Black Barn Swallow tattoo)
Tattoo by: Jesse Tuesday – Temple Tattoo, Oakland, CA

Tattoo Story – Kelly’s Octopus

Saturday, May 27th, 2006
octopus tattoo

Here’s the story behind Bobo, my octopus tattoo.

From 2000 to 2005 I had chronic abdominal pain caused by endometriosis, adenomyosis and uterine fibroids. Anyone who’s had chronic pain knows that it’s hard to talk about, hard to describe. You don’t want to be complaining all the time, and you don’t want people to feel sorry for you, but it’s also important to express what you’re feeling. It’s important to communicate your state of pain to other people so you don’t feel isolated and alone in your distress.

In 2002 I started characterizing my uterus as an octopus in my abdomen — a strong force of nature who was sometimes very angry and swollen, sometimes mildly stirring, sometimes blissfully asleep or gone. I named my octopus Bobo, and it was easy to talk about her. “Bobo’s very angry today,” I’d say. Or, “Bobo’s good, she’s off somewhere else and I’m so happy for her.” People could ask me, “How’s Bobo today?” and I didn’t have to feel like they were feeling sorry for me or judging me.

Talking about Bobo was an effective way for me to talk about my pain disassociated from emotions, lighthearted, playful and irreverent. The octopus was also an effective metaphor for the types of pain I was experiencing — whether she was squeezing, spikey, radiating or whatever. Bobo the octopus wasn’t bad or mean, she was simply a strong force of nature, doing what she had to do.

In February of 2005 I had a hysterectomy — a blissful, wonderful, freeing hysterectomy. I have been pain-free since my surgery and I am so thankful for no longer living with pain and pain medications. Bobo has been free in the world, set free, and I have been given my life back.

The octopus is still a powerful symbol for me. In May 2006 I got my octopus tattoo from Sasha at Electro Lady Lux in Vancouver, BC. Sasha created the custom design, and I’m so happy with it — it’s exactly what I wanted, like Sasha was reading my mind.


Tattoo by Sasha at Electro Lady Lux in Vancouver, BC

More Octopus Tattoos

Tattoo Story – Foster

Monday, April 24th, 2006
Picture of a girl with Asian tattoo on her bare shoulder.
Tanya’s Foster Tattoo

This is my second tattoo. I got it on April 9th, 2006. It is the Japanese Character for “adopt” or “foster” I am adopted, have known that since birth. My dog’s name is Foster, named partly after Jodie Foster and partly because, like my folks, I took him in.

I moved to Japan in 2001 and studied Japanese for 1.5 years, so I have a basic knowledge of the language. I despise people who get Asian characters but have never studied the language. I choose red for China, where I am living now. In Chinese, the character is close to what one would use for ADOPT as well, but they use one more character.

- Tanya

Tattoo Story – Strength, Courage, Wisdom, Faith

Monday, March 27th, 2006
Strength Courage Wisdom Faith Tattoo

This tattoo is in memory of my past as a whole and has been a work in progress – the tigerlily was my mothers favorite flower, the garland surrounding it from the pattern in my father’s baby ring – the writing says “strength, courage, wisdom, faith” – which has been my mantra for survival.