Geisha Tattoos:

The geisha, or, “person of accomplishment” date back to 1751 in the mid-Tokugawa period in Japan. Geisha’s were originally men, but eventually became women.

geisha Ami James
Deep in thought by Ami James.

Geisha’s were trained artists skilled in tea ceremony, flower arranging, and as singers, dancers, storytellers, servers, and conversationalists. These women were all literate and were familiar with poetry and tales of warriors in order to entertain their patrons. Geisha’s were not prostitutes, but worked in the pleasure districts, also called “the floating world” and while not they were not sex workers, some did become concubines or mistresses for men who would buy their contracts from their masters.

geisha Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle
Black and grey neo Japanese geisha with cherry blossoms by Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle, UK.
geisha Anna Yershova
Realistic side/stomach piece with cherry blossoms by Anna Yershova.
geisha Asakusa Horiyasu
Brilliant Japanese back piece by Horiyasu.

Geisha’s are known for their musical prowess, particularly with an instrument called samisen, which today is also used in kabuki plays and has an inherently “Japanese” sound. As for appearance, while working a geisha would wear a kimono tied from the back, which is another difference between a geisha and a prostitute as a prostitute would have her kimono tied in the front. A thick white foundation of makeup is applied to the face, neck, and upper chest, with a line around the hairline creating a mask like appearance. Other makeup includes black around the eyes and eyebrows with bright red lips.

geisha Daniel Gensch
Fantastic neo traditional neck piece also with cherry blossoms, by Daniel Gensch in Berlin, Germany.
geisha Emily Rose Murray
A more Westernized neo traditional geisha by Emily Rose Murray in Melbourne, Australia.
geisha Gakkin
Blackwork Japanese piece of a sly looking geisha by Gakkin in Amsterdam.
geisha Horihana in Brasil
Another traditional Japanese back piece with cherry blossoms, skeleton, and Buddhist imagery by Horihana in Brazil.
Geisha Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne
Dark American traditional geisha and flower by Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia.

Geisha’s still exist today, though due in part to the rigorous training in order to become one, are much less frequent. Today, geisha’s mainly entertain politicians at parties.

geisha Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo
Neo traditional namakubi or severed head geisha with peony by Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo.
geisha Mark Wosgerau
Realistic black and grey geisha by Mark Wosgerau at Sinners Inc in Denmark.
geisha Michael Litovkin
Bold mix of black and grey and colour in a realistic style by Michael Litovkin.
geisha Pavel Krim
Soft, colourful, realistic geisha by Pavel Krim in Stockholm.
Geisha Reuben Todd at Kapala tattoo in Winnipeg
American traditional black and red work by Reuben Todd at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg.

As a tattoo a geisha will generally be done in Japanese traditional style, neo Japanese, American traditional, neo traditional, black and grey, or realism.

geisha Shon Lindauer in Hollywood
American traditional work by Shon Lindauer in Hollywood.
geisha Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK
Fantastic Japanese piece by Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK.
geisha Tony Nilsson in Norway
Bold American traditional piece by Tony Nilsson in Norway.
geisha Victor Octaviano
Modern watercolor piece by Victor Octaviano in Brazil.
Geisha William Roos in Stockholm
tiny blackwork geisha and hannya by William Roos in Stockholm.
Geisha Zak Partak in Toronto
Geisha head and fan by Zak Partak in Toronto.

Geisha’s are an important part of Japanese history and make a fantastic design!

Sailor Moon Tattoos:

Sailor Moon is a popular Japanese Anime show based off the 52 manga chapters entitled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. The show premiered in Japan in 1992 and was popular there as well as overseas.

sailor Alicia Foley
Brooch and crystals with colourful dotwork on the knee done by Alivia Foley at Artful Dodger Tattoo in Seattle.
Sailor Uls Metzger at Puro Tattoo in Italy
Dotwork mandala and brooch by Uls Metzger at Puro Tattoo in Italy.
sailor Nikko Hurtado at Black Anchor Collective in L.A
Photo realistic Sailor Moon portrait by Nikko Hurtado at Black Anchor Collective In L.A.

Sailor Moon is the heroine name of the main character, a young woman who fights evil. A cat named Luna gives Sailor Moon, or Usagi (Serena in English), a magical brooch that transforms her into Sailor Moon. Throughout the show Usagi/Serena meets other young women who are also given magical objects able to transform them. Together they form the Sailor Soldiers. Along with being able to transform, they have other items that help them to fight evil.

sailor Anunnakitattoo
Bright purple one by Laura Anunnaki.
Sailor Charlotte Ann Harris at Castle Ink Studio in Birmingham, UK
Black dotwork piece by Charlotte Ann Harris at Castle Ink Studio in Birmingham, UK.
sailor Eric Flannes
Fight like a girl! By Eric Flannes.

The show is particularly popular with young woman as it is about strong, powerful women who fight evil and are portrayed as strong and capable, but also human, capable of having human breakdowns as well as strength.The show also has themes of love triumphing over hate.

Sailor Erick Holguin at Ink and Dagger in Roswell, GA
In Japanese Sailor Moon is called Usagi which translated means bunny! Realistic piece done by Erick Holguin at Ink and Dagger in Roswell, GA.
sailor Helena Darling in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Brooch, dotwork mandala by Helena Darling in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
sailor Kimberly Wall at Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA
Lotus and crystal thigh piece done by Kimberly Wall at Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA.
sailor Teresa Sharpe at Unkindness Art in Richmond, VA
Neo traditional flowers, script, and brooch by Teresa Sharpe at Unkindness Art in Richmond, VA.

As a tattoo, many people get Sailor Moon or the other Sailor Soldiers, the cats Luna, Artemis, and Diana, the different magical items, and the crescent moon. These tattoos are often bright and colourful but can also be done in blackwork. Styles range from American traditional, neo traditional, realistic, new school, dotwork, blackwork, black and grey, and watercolour.

sailor Kadee Spangler at Chroma Tattoo
Luna by Kadee Spangler at Chroma Tattoo.
sailor Brando Chiesa
Bright realistic/ neo traditional Artemis by Brando Chiesa on Florence, Italy.
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Neck Artemis with sceptre by Brando again.
sailor Brando
One more Artemis and creepy Sailor Moon by Brando once more.

Who is your favorite Sailor Moon character?

Deathly Hallows Tattoos:

The Deathly Hallows are three magical objects from the Harry Potter series that together make up a triangular design that when worn shows you are a believer. The three objects are the Elder Wand, a wand made to be unbeatable, The Resurrection Stone, which brings back the dead, and the Cloak of Invisibility which as it says, renders the user completely invisible. The cloak forms a triangle, the stone is a circle within the triangle, and the wand is a straight line within the triangle and circle.

Hallows 1
My own Hallows and quote Done by Carly Montgomery at First String Tattoo in Winnipeg.

The story of the Deathly Hallows is first told in the seventh book. In the story, Death created each of these three items, and gave them to the three Peverell brothers who had outsmarted Death by crossing a river that usually claimed lives. These items were their rewards for outsmarting him. The two eldest brothers had requested the wand and the stonem but both met grisly deaths due to the nature of their magical items. The wand caused Antioch Peverell to gloat, leading him to be killed in his sleep and have the wand stolen, while the stone caused Cadmus Peverell to take his own life after bringing his late wife back from the dead, as she was unable to be happy in the land of the living again. The youngest brother Ignotus Peverell requested Death’s own cloak, and used it to avoid him until he was ready for Death. Ignotus passed the cloak on to his son and from there greeted Death “like an old friend”. This cloak is the very same on that Harry had passed down to him.

hallows Brit Tigera
White Hallows and bright flowers by Brit Tigera.
hallows Felipe Bernardes
Watercolour background with Hallows and hand holding onto the Elder Wand by Felipe Bernardes.
hallows Fulvio Vaccarone
Neo traditional hand with Hogwarts and Hallows by Fulvio Vaccarone at Dark Ink Tattoo Studio in Italy.

Lovers of the Harry Potter series, whether the books or films, have often gotten the Deathly Hallows as a tattoo to show their love of magic. The Deathly Hallows symbol is often paired with quotes or other images such as flowers, Hogwarts, magical creatures, spells, potions, and people’s patronuses.

hallows Helena Darling, Halifax Nova Scotia
Brightly coloured Hogwarts in a globe with Hallows by Helena Darling in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
hallows Jack Peppiette
Brilliant geometric patterned back of the neck piece with Hallows by Jack Peppiette at Insider Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland.
hallows Mike D Old Rose Tattoo Califirnia
Hallows and American Traditional rose by Mike D. at Old Rose Tattoo in California.
hallows Nichola Pierport at Jays Inks in Lincoln UK.
Blackwork/dotwork tree’s, broomstick, wand, snitch, and Hallows by Nichola Pierport at Jays Inks in Lincoln, UK.
hallows Raul William
Golden snitch, Harry Potter, and Hallows with watercolour background by Raul Willian at Jack Tattoo.
hallows Ryan Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem Ma
Mcgonagall in cat form with Hallows by Ryan Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem, MA.
hallows Ryan Tews
White Hallows and bright watercolour background by Ryan Tews in Calgary, Alberta.
Hallows Twon Egypt
Blackwork Hallows and and Augrey, a magical bird creature that is tattooed on the Character Delphi from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Done by Twon in Egypt.

“Always” keep the magic alive!

Tiger Tattoos:

Tiger’s make a fantastic design and can be done in many different styles including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American traditional, neo traditional, black and grey, photo realism, dotwork, geometric style, and watercolor.

tiger Adam Guy Hays
Neo traditional scalp tiger done by Adam Guy Hays at Red Rock Tattoo.

Tiger tattoos can also carry many different meanings. When done in an Asian style a tiger represents strength, courage, long life, and are also meant to ward off evil spirits, bad luck, and even disease. When done in a more Western style such as American traditional, black and grey, realism, etc.. the tiger is tattooed for its beauty, power, and intensity.

tiger Adrian Bascur
Watercolor space tiger done by Adrian Bascur in Chile.
tiger Alex Gotza
Huge neo traditional three-eyed tiger head by Alex Gotza done at Dirty Roses Tattoo Studio.
tiger Brian Flores
Beautiful neo traditional tiger head by Brian Flores in Spain.
tiger Sandra Dauksh
Photo realistic tiger head with flowers done by Sandra Daukshta at Home of Tattoos in Latvia.
tiger Mikey Holmes
American traditional tiger fighting a snake done by Mikey Holmes at coast to Coast Tattoo in Charlotte NC.
tiger Stefan Johnsson
Another American traditional tiger fighting a snake done by Stefan Johnsson at California Electric Tattoo Parlor in California.

Tigers are one of the biggest predators in the world, and are a solitary creature, so are often seen as symbols of strength and resilience. Tiger tattoos are often done just as a head, but can also be done as a full body. Generally tiger heads are done in a more Western design, with a full body tiger being done in an Asian style, though both can be done in any style.

tiger Apro Lee Seoul
Korean style blackwork tiger done by Apro Lee in Seoul South Korea.
tiger Eli Ferguson Ichi Tattoo
Japanese tiger done by Eli Ferguson at Ichi Tattoo in Tokyo.
Tiger Sean Cushnie Kapala
Unfinished Japanese backpiece done by Sean Cushnie at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg.
tiger Jakob Holst Rasmussen
Realistic black and grey tiger head by Jakob Holst Rasmussen done in Aarhus, Denmark.
tiger Mark Ostein
Geometric dotwork tiger head done by Mark Ostein at Wozen Studio in Lisbon.
Tiger Matt Jordan, Ship Shape Tattoo New Zealand
Realistic full back piece with skulls done by Matt Jordan at Ship Shape Tattoo in New Zealand.

What is your favorite style for a tiger tattoo?

Studio Ghibli Tattoos

Studio Ghibli is often called the Disney of Japan, and Hayao Miyazaki the Walt Disney of Japan. Studio Ghibli is the most well known Japanese film studio, having won many awards over the years.

ghibli-andy-kurth-at-electric-chair-tattoo
Brilliant full sleeve of Ghibli characters from some of the most famous Ghibli movies. Done by Andy Kurth at Electric Chair Tattoo.

Studio Ghibli was officially founded in 1985 after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which came out in 1984. The character of Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro is the company’s mascot, but the company’s most popular film is Spirited Away, which has won multiple awards such as a Golden Bear, and an Academy Award.

ghibli-anton-yellowdog-at-mad-fish-tattoo-in-moscow
Totoro done in watercolour style all by Anton YellowDog at Mad Fish Tattoo in Moscow.

The company is most associated with award winning director Hayao Miyazaki, but the company also has other talented directors such as Isao Takahata, Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita, Gorō Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

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Forest spirit from Princess Mononoke by Adam Machin at Three Kings Tattoo.
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Neo-traditional Princess Mononoke by Juan David Castro Ramos.

The film company has many amazing movies, with brilliant characters that have captured the hearts of fans all over the world. Fans around the world have immortalized Ghibli characters on their skin with the help of some amazing tattoo artists.

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Sketch style Haku in dragon form by Caro at Utopian Tattoo Tribe in Ireland.
ghibli-russel-van-schaick-in-florida
Haku and No Face from Spirited Away by Russel Van Schaick in Florida.
ghibli-jes-tay-at-keys-on-kites-tattoo-and-gallery
Realistic No Face from Spirited Away with background, by Jes-Tay at Keys on Kites Tattoo and Gallery.
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Dotwork No Face from Spirited Away by Goldie Bold in Istanbul.
ghibli-athena-chan-at-solo-tattoo-in-hong-kong
Howl’s Moving Castle and other characters by Athena Chan at Solo Tattoo in Hong Kong.
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Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Victoria Kurtz at Bananafish Tattoo Parlour.
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Giant guardian from Castle In The Sky, by Kalatu at Gristle Tattoo in NYC.
ghibli-tiggy-tuppence-at-briar-rose-tattoo-in-london
Bright little Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service, by Tiggy Tuppence at Briar Rose Tattoo in London.
ghibli-fabian-pedroza-ar-good-fortune-tattoo
Dotwork and blackwork designs from Grave of the Fireflies by Fabian Pedroza at Good Fortune Tattoo.

What is your favorite Ghibli movie?

Dr. Who Tattoos:

Dr. Who is a science fiction show that has been produced by the BBC since 1963. It is a cult favorite show around the world that features, aliens, robots, time travel, and space exploits.

The Doctor (various versions), the Tardis, space whales, Rose, and various villains are popular designs for Dr. Who tattoos. Dr. Who tattoos are often done in American traditional style, neo traditional, realism, black and grey, and watercolor.

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Watercolor space whale by Carl Caracia at Orange Tattoo Co.
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Neo traditional Rose and wolf done by Pete Larkin at Kyklops Tattoo in Pittsburgh.
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Watercolor and script with Tardis and star dust by Tom Cutsinger at Eternal Tattoo in Columbus NE.
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The 10th Doctor and Tardis by Jay Joree in Dallas Tx.
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Traditional Tardis by Ernesto Visser.
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Brilliant realistic half sleeve of space and the Tardis by Neil England at Empire Tattoo in Boston.
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Tardis and angels by Nicole Auletto at Dollhouse Tattoo Parlour in Glendora NJ.
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Watercolor and blackwork piece by Peta Jamieson.
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Realistic half sleeve of Tardis with space background by Teresa Sharp in Richmond VA.
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Tardis in vincent Van Gogh style by Victoria Rose Lundberg at Wild Heart Tattoo in Brisbane.

Fans are extremely dedicated to the show, which is evident from their brilliant tattoos, conventions, pop up shops, cinema screenings, and even symphonic tours around the world.

Swallow Tattoos

Swallows are a staple of American traditional tattooing, and were first tattooed on sailors. They are as popular as ever to those who love travel and the sea, and are now done in other styles such as black and grey, realism, linework, dotwork, surrealism, and watercolor.

The meaning of a swallow tattoo was firstly to indicate that a sailor had sailed 5000 miles. They also mean a return home, as swallows would migrate, returning to their homes. A metaphorical return also meant that if a sailor died at sea, the swallow would carry their souls to heaven.

tumblr Josh Stutterby Melbourne, Australia
Traditional swallow and rose by Josh Stutterby in Melbourne, Australia.
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Black and grey matching hand swallows by Ryan Jessiman at Old Habits tattoo in London.
tumblr Adrian Bascur
Surrealist starry sky swallow by Adrian Bascur in Viña del Mar.
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Linework swallow by Diana Katsko in Russia.
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Watercolor matching foot swallows by Simona Blanar at Black Bull tattoo in Prague.
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Simple traditional swallow by Harry Harvey at Vagabond tattoo in London, England.
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Traditional swallow by Hugh Sheldon at Cloak and Dagger in London, England.
tumblr Dr. Woo
Dotwork and linework hand Swallow by Dr. Woo at shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles.

Which one is your favourite?