Friday, May 15, 2009

My tattoo

This is my tattoo. It's an age-old Japanese tattoo image, of a hanya mask, used in traditional Japanese Noh theatre. Masks with different expressions are used in Noh theatre to depict various characters and emotions, while the actors/dancers play out their roles.

The hanya mask is specifically used to represent a woman incensed with jealousy, all out to seek revenge. The bulging eyes, the exposed fangs, the straggly hair, all point to a woman who has clearly lost her mind. And is all out to make sure "somebody gonna get a hurt real bad."

So in essence, it's a fierce tattoo. Since getting it done, I have had countless queries "Why a demon??", "Why so scary??". Really, I just like the art. The detail of facts, like the bulging eyes and the straggly hair, and the how the emotion is depicted graphically.

When Maya's friends ask, I say "I think it's pretty to decorate my body with art. Your mummy wears mascara and blush, I wear my tattoos. :)". When Ruhi's friends ask, those whose parents allow them to ask (some actually get shushed and quickly escorted away, like I have a contagious disease or something), I say, "This is to scare away the bad guys and monsters who want to disturb me. :)". I always do it with a big smile, to try and take away the stigma of only prisoners, killers and mad people have tattoos. I hope it makes a difference to young impressionable minds... :D

Tonight, I have another appointment to get it coloured. I am not looking forward to the pain. 2-3 hours of sitting there, having my armed scratched over repeatedly with a little needle. The blood, the scabbing... hmmm. And the next five days of healing, of having to sleep in a single position so as not to roll onto this giant wound, of having searing pain with every accidental touch and every time I take a shower.

But I love it, really. At the end of it all, I get to walk around with this gorgeous, gorgeous piece of art on me. :D

I can't wait!!

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