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Showing posts from March, 2016

The Artistry of the Japanese Tattoo in exhibition

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In 1993, my sixteen-year-old daughter Francesca acquired a tattoo without telling me. I thought she was simply spending the weekend with a girlfriend when it was actually a mutiny of sorts.  
“Fran, what have you done?” I gasped.  “I knew you’d never give me permission and Kelly was getting one. So . . .” her voice trailed off but she didn’t drop her eyes.  “What is it anyway?” She told me it was a rose but it looked more like a dragon to me, smoking its way toward her knee.   “You realize you’ve marked yourself for life?” Francesca nodded, a smile lurking at the edge of her mouth. 
Not long after, Francesca’s older brother Thomas had both his arms tattooed. At the time it scandalized my relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Twenty years later not a day passes without my noting young people and even elders flaunting tattoos that extended up arms and legs to the neck and ears.
On February 25, 2016 I gained a greater appreciation of tattoos when an exhibition at the Morikami Museum a…