<![CDATA[刺青芸術工房 龍元洞 TRADITIONAL JAPANESE TEBORI TATTOOING - column]]>Sun, 28 Mar 2021 18:02:03 +0900Weebly<![CDATA[4. A koi swims the waterfall up to be a dragon]]>Sat, 27 Mar 2021 23:47:29 GMThttp://ryugendo.jp/column/4-a-koi-swims-the-waterfall-up-to-be-a-dragonAs you know koi fish is thought to be a symbol of success in Japan.

An ancient tale says there is a vigorous upstream somewhere on the Yellow River. The waterfall at the end of the upstream is called the Ryumon-Gate (literal translation is Dragon Gate).

Many koi gather around the basin of the Ryumon-Gate. If a koi swims the waterfall up it’ll become a dragon and fly away.
Bakegoi (Dragon fish)
The koi gets spiky in progress. Single/double horns grow and the fins get bigger.
The fins turn into wings.
Ouryu (Hiryu)
Legs grow. It's called Ouryu in this phase. 
The tail gets longer.
Finally it swam the waterfall up and turned into a dragon.
by Tattooist Ryugen
<![CDATA[3.kirin]]>Wed, 24 Feb 2021 01:51:41 GMThttp://ryugendo.jp/column/kirinKirin is a mythological sacred creature known in East Asian cultures. It appears when the king governs in perfect virtues called Jin 仁. 
It’s a sign of peace and tranquillity.
It looks like a deer and has a head like a dragon, one-three horns, cloven hoofs like a cow and scales on its body. 
Old books say “Ki” is a male, “Rin” female, but it depends on the book.
The birth of Sage Confucius  麟吐玉書

It is said that right before Confucius was born a Kirin appeared and an auspicious scroll came out from its mouth. The scroll said that child of water spirit would become a person who had a virtue of king. His mother put a string on its neck. It left after two nights.
The capture of Kirin  西狩獲麟

One day when Sage Confucius was 72, a Kirin was captured. People were afraid of the weird creature and killed it. Confucius noticed it had the string around its neck and found he wouldn’t be long before he died. He sighed deeply “what have I been doing? I got stuck”. He stopped writing "Spring and Autumn" that was one of five Confucian books.
by Tattooist Ryugen
<![CDATA[2. A-gyo and Un-gyo]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2021 10:45:09 GMThttp://ryugendo.jp/column/2-a-gyo-and-un-gyoAt shrines and temples you often see a pair of Shishi (foodog), one is with mouth open the other with mouth shut. This rule is not only for Shishi but also for gate keepers, dragons, tigers… Many pairs have mouth open and shut.
Karajishi Un-gyo
Karajishi in Un-gyo below the pent roof
Karajishi A-gyo
Karajishi in A-gyo below the pent roof
This is originally from Ommyo-do (Japanese Yin Yang, based on Taoist theory and mixed with Shinto and Buddhism).
Oni mask Un-gyo
Oni mask in Un-gyo on top of the roof
Oni mask A-gyo
Oni mask in A-gyo on top of the roof
Opened mouth is called A-gyo (pronounced ahh-gyō), means “the beginning”.
Closed mouth is called Un-gyo, means “the end”.
Dragon Un-gyo
Dragon in Un-gyo of the beam
Dragon A-gyo
Dragon in A-gyo of the beam
If you put a dragon with mouth open on your one side you need to put another one with mouth shut on the other side. This is one of the traditional ways of Japanese tattoos.
Rikijin (power god) Un-gyo
Rikijin (power god) in Un-gyo on the beam
Rikijin (power god) Un-gyo
Rikijin (power god) in A-gyo on the beam
Gate keepers in A and Un
Gate keepers in A and Un at the gate
by Tattooist Ryugen
<![CDATA[1. karajishi]]>Thu, 24 Dec 2020 07:22:27 GMThttp://ryugendo.jp/column/karajishiThe literal meaning is Chinese lion. Another name is Komainu. Komainu used to have a horn. Nowadays they are mixed and have no deference. And originally they were the same lion from Mesopotamia.
You often see them as a pair of guardians at temples and shrines, one is with mouth open, the other with mouth shut. 
Only Botan (peony) can go with Karajishi, no cherry blossoms, no maple leaves or no chrysanthemums.

Karajishi is the king of animals, symbolizes strong man. Peony is the queen of flowers, symbolizes beauty. Karajishi-Botan is for a man among men, king of kings.

Inside themselves they often have bugs that destroy them, called “Shishi shinchu no mushi” that means “betrayers”. They sleep under peonies. Because the morning-dew on the peonies kills the bugs.

by Tattooist Ryugen