いれずみ

Came across these illustrations a while back from a book entitled Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters (1972) by Gōjin Ishihara. Ishihara basically illustrates some supernatural monsters and creatures (yōkai 妖怪) from Japanese legend/folklore, so what better way to seriously start thinking about ink than right here.

Yurei ghost that exists on Earth until it can be laid to rest

Enma Dai-O – a large man with a scowling red face, bulging eyes and a long beard. He wears traditional robes and a crown on his head that usually bears the kanji 王, which stands for “king.”

Tengu – the tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics

(Beatbox Bandits #9 ~ one of the many favourite Samurai Champloo episodes recreates these Tengu chasing Mugen down through a forest in a rather dope stylised way, due to all the musical elements, animation style, use of frame & so on; Watch the full EP bellow!)

Corrupt officialsforest GoblinsWarrior priests and fields of weed 20 feet high;

what can go wrong?!


Rashomon-no-oni – ogre of Rashōmon Gate (sick illustration, personal favourite)

Kyubi-no-kitsune some folktales speak of kitsune employing the ability to trick others… other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives

Onmoraki fire-breathing, bird-like demon resembling a black crane, face resembles that of a human and its has a spine-chilling chirp

Tenjo sagari (ceiling dweller) – This reminds me of the brilliant Kuon & Forbidden Siren series of games

Yamasei – (mountain sprite), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972

Rokurokubi – They look like normal human beings by day, but at night they gain the ability to stretch their necks to great lengths

Jorogumo – According to some stories, a Jorōgumo is a spider that can change its appearance into that of a seductive woman

Kubire-oni – (strangler demon)

Nure-onna – an amphibious creature with the head of a woman and the body of a snake

Baku – supernatural beings that devour dreams and nightmares

 

Aside from the visuals, the 1st step in finding the right tattoo is taking the time to know what you really want, so in time I will probably end up creating my own design based on various Japanese inspired imagery (like the Hannya, Tengu, etc masks and so on); I guess you can call this research with meaning. More can be found here

 

Dope work by Shohei Otomo!  仕上げの刺青です ready to go!

Really love the mixture in traditional Japanese and a more modern style, find more of his illustrations (manga & so on) here or on his official website

 

Peace,

Mokujin~

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