Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I stopped in a street tattoo shop in Harajuku, just to check it out, and there was a super Philadelphia presence in there. This Topper painting was hanigng on the wall, and a lot of the flash was from Adam Shields. It felt A little like home, but not really!

This airplane...

plus this great tattoo design...

plus this great movie...
(my first introduction in life to Japan...if it wasn't for Mr. Miagee I don't know when I would have heard of Japan, but at a young age I was drawn to Japan from this film, cheesy but true..lol)

Plus this great tattoo shop...

Equals Karate Kid Slug. Done by Hata.

So, Im at a flea market in the Ueno ward of Tokyo, and this gentleman approaches me and says some stuff in japanese and grabs my arm and says some more stuff, I'm assuming he might not like my tattoos, well little did I know he pulls down the collar on his shirt and shows me his chest, and says Yah kuza, after that he shows me that his left pinky finger had been cut off. Mind you neither one of us can understand a word each other are saying, and we are both talking to one another as if we both understood our respected languages. I give him a thumbs up and walk away. Thinking to myself how tranqued I have always been about their tradition and that I had just met an elder member, I could not let the opportunity pass without a photo to go along with it. I tell Melissa, what just happened and how crazy it was to meet a japanese Yah kuza, and see their perception about our tattoos(especially My melissa's full traditional japanese sleeve.) After about a minute I decide to walk back over to him and signal with my hands to take a picture, He is with some young girl that starts to giggle, but he decides he would take the photo together, I take my shirt off and motion for him to as well, and he is very hesitant, and looking around. They do not show their tattoos in public, and especially from his era. He takes his shirt off and everyone around stares in awe, Like the record had just skipped. Meliss takes the pics, his girl takes a pic on her cell phone, and he tells his girl to hurry up and give him his shirt, I could tell he felt very uncomfortable having everyone see his tattoos, and knowing that he was who he was. He gives me his card and in some hand language type of communication we had going on suggests that I send the pic to the address on the card. It made my day, and for that matter made my trip! I spelled the word Yah kuza wrong on purpose, so it doesn't come up in google searches, I had someone interprit his card and he is very serious business, and High up, so in respect to his Gangster, I don't want to have him come up in a google search.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cyclemania. Tokyo

If I didn't know any better I would have thought this was my friend Deny's bike from the last time he was in Japan.

I took these while wandering around the city, but I saw many more cool bikes, but they were being ridden.

This one was my favorite!