half sleeve based on the story of aburaakago by Joe Galloway

Abura-akago (油赤子, “oil baby”) is a Japanese yōkai that appeared illustrated in Toriyama Sekien‘s mid-Edo period Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, as an infant spirit lapping oil out of an andon lamp.

The words after “long ago in the village of Shiga” were quoted from a story about a mysterious fire called the “abura-nusumi no hi” (the oil-stealing fire), which featured in the Edo period books, the Shokoku Rijin Dan (諸国里人談) and the Honchō Koji Innen Shū (本朝故事因縁集).[2] In those books, it’s stated that there was a folk belief where an oil merchant from Ōtsu, Ōmi Province steals oil from a Jizō statue at the crossroads so that he can sell them, and became lost and turned into a mysterious fire after death. In Mount Hiei, it’s said that a mysterious fire called the abura-bō appears, and in the Shokoku Rijin Dan, this fire is seen to be the same as the “abura-nusumi no hi.”[3][4] It’s inferred that Sekien’s abura-akago was a made-up tale based on this “abura-nusumi no hi” in the Shokoku Rijin Dan and other books.[2]

Hannya Sakura Half sleeve design by Joe

Really aiming to complete the whole list of Asian creature stories right from A-Z. I find it fascinating that within the edo period so much was drawn and written about legends, myths and creatures to such detail. The Hannya (般若) mask is a mask used in Noh theater, representing a jealous female demon. It possesses two sharp bull-like horns, metallic eyes, and a leering mouth.

Sunflower tattoo coverup

Black and grey sunflowers done over two sittings. Also covering up some writing luckily was fine lined. First sitting we got the basics down and free handing some background. I wanted the tattoo to have some natural flow which free hand allows. I used a black of black and grey wash and solids. On the last session we used a solid grey and white giving texture to the sunflowers. I was grateful for my client traveling to Leeds for this tattoo.

click here to book in with Joe https://familiatattoo.com/book-with-joe/

Oriental Pagoda dragon tattoo by Joe

Was great to finally finish this Oriental Pagoda dragon tattoo for Rhiannon. I have been tattooing her for a few years now as one of my very first tattoos was done on her ribs. The pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves. Built in traditions originating as stupa in historic Asia and further developed in East Asia. We also wanted to incorporate a dragon into the pagoda almost wrapping around the tower. Rhiannon also has a great interest in Oriental styles and is always great to tattoo. I loved having the dragon wrapping around the top area.