In the article “The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing,” I thought it was interesting how Japanese tattoos has deep roots as a form of art, at the same time also has the affiliation with the world of the Japanese Mafia. However, things are beginning to change as the younger generations are getting similar tattoos despite the stereotypes that tattoos are for thugs. Far from the Yakuza gangs, youths are getting tattoos as a way to get in touch with their Japanese-ness. Similar to this, in America the views of tattoos have begun to change rapidly over time. According to a New York Times article, “It’s hard to look authentically rebellious or menacing these days, when even well-behaved businessmen wear earrings and ponytails and college students destined for quiet suburban lives have body piercings and tattoos.” This is significant because tattoos have always been affiliated with rebellion and non-conformity. However, this has begun to change because people of all walks of life are getting tattoos as well. An example of this is how “tattoos have been used for centuries to reflect changes in life status, whether passage into adulthood or induction into a group like the military or a gang but in recent years, tattoos have also become a fashion accessory, a trend fueled by basketball players, bands and celebrities.” In connection to this, I have always wanted to get a tattoo as well but not for the stereotypical reasons of being rebellious or because I’m in a gang. I wanted to get a tattoo because I felt like it would add some color to my plain skin as well as character to my look like fashion.
For my compact challenge, I decided to go to a thrift store despite the fact that I did not like the smell of thrift stores because they smell like old clothes. On my way going through aisles, I wasn’t expecting to find anything I would want to buy because I have this stigma of not wanting to buy used items. However, I was able to find a very nice almost brand new portrait of a beach. As a result, I decided to buy it because it was so cheap and I liked it a lot.
Paul Mullowney Ed. “Wood Skin Ink: The Japanese Aesthetic in Modern Tattooing” reader.