One legend depicts how a Koi climbed up the falls on the Yellow River at a point called Dragon Gate and was transformed into a dragon. Based on that legend the Koi became a symbol of perseverance, tenacity, ambition, aspiration and advancement. Another remarkable thing about the Koi is that when it is caught, it would lie still on the chopping board without struggling or flapping around. This led to the Koi being a symbol of courage, composure, peace and tranquility under pressure. The Koi are also referred to as “living jewels,” and are also associated with good fortune. The image of five golden koi are said to mean “eternal wealth” and well-being.
“The True Gentleman is the man… who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather then his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.” -John Walter Wayland
Are the blind leading the blind in tattooing these days? This is a question that has been a major topic of discussion between my peers lately. With tattooing becoming as popular as it is these days every person that knows how to doodle wants to become a tattooer. I can only complain about it so much before I start feeling sad and a bit responsible as a result of partaking in crappy reality TV. When I first watched a tattoo being made it felt like I was in something out of a J.R.R. Tolkien book, it felt totally magical and mysterious, and in some ways it really was. Myke Chambers described it best when he said “This local tattooer was like a wizard to me”. Tattooers would perform the most amazing magic act, and they’d be damned if they would teach you how their trick was done. Now days you can go to a ‘school’ for tattooing and pay money in trade for second-rate so-called knowledge on how to tattoo. It’s a terrible shame, those who know little or nothing about our trade trying to teach the undeserved how to tattoo… for money. (more…)
I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a Koi fish and some Japanese finger waves. This guy here was with his friend and they both were in their “whites” from the night before, both stained from a long night of NY partying. True sailors, and the best part is during the tattoo, him and I exchanged what we each knew about the navy and its strong ties to traditional tattooing, the meaning of swallows, nautical stars, and classic images like that. I was impressed with his knowledge on the subject, it was great. Good for him, its cool to see a young guy respecting some tradition.