Tag Archives: Tattoo

Primer: Travelling Japan / places to go, getting around, accomms, culture, etiquette and geography

A rather rough overview originally compiled in advance of friends coming to Okayama for wedding. Re-purposed in slightly more general terms for logistical convenience as needed.

See also: “Travelling to and Around Okayama, Japan,” “Japanese Culture and Language Primer” and other resources in this archive including video guides. 

Japan Ramble Primer

Japan can be intimidating, even for seasoned travellers. You arrive to massive sticker shock, tiny octopi in soup, and 30 kinds of hot canned coffee (which all taste moreorless the same) in ubiquitous vending machines. 

Japan is a long country with 80% mountains – covering several climates, from frosty Hokkaido in the north, to tropical Kyushu giving adventurous folks much opportunity to head to the outer provinces for exploration of the heady scenery of this varied archipelago. With some planning, politeness and persistence, combined with a little zen, you can find big adventures.

Indeed, it is easy to get lost in the big cities of Tokyo and Osaka – crowded with skyscrapers and twisted alleys, piled high with screaming neon clubs pumping techno, reggae or karaoke and shops piled with futuristic technological gadgets that won’t make it to North America for another decade – but, far away from the expensive hotels and talking toilets of the huge Pacific metropolis, you may find yourself soaking in alpine hot springs on a starry night, drinking sake with strangers crammed into a mountain hut after a backcountry dinner of rice, seaweed, miso and green tea.

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Tattoo Culture of Sailor Jerry – Choogle On #124

Choogle On with Uncle Weed – Sailor Jerry Tattoo Culture

From SXSW 2008 – amidst sirens and Austin, Texas 6th St. street noise – comes an interview with filmmaker Erich Weiss premièring “Hori Smoku, Sailor Jerry” about the originator of contemporary tattoo-ing – and iconoclastic libertarian American – Norman Collins who combined Japanese technique, Polynesian traditions, and American motifs in Hawaii during WW2.

The interview delves into the the “screwed, boozed (blued), and  tattooed” wild culture as a million sailors and soldiers descended upon the idyllic islands (especially Hotel Street), plus Mr. Collins’ complex life, the artistic lineage of Sailor Jerry, rivalries and legacies of various tattoo artists/legends, mentorships of Don Ed Hardy and others, and the remarks about “fad” tattooing and (lack of) regret. 

Might hurt a bit: Sailor Jerry Tattoo Culture – Choogle On with Uncle Weed #124 (.mp3, stereo, 30MB, 14:44)

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Personal Archeology of Diligent Creative Endeavours

The things we make in the rapid pace of creativity, often fall judgement to our own perfectionism and subjectivity at the time,… But, one stashed away and preserved, they can become artefacts that show us how we became ourselves. Additionally, by preserving output made by our co-conspirators and collaborators, we can help fill in the gap’s of their stories.

In this case, videos made by my dear pals:

Brandon G Kiggins (Formerly of Utah, now of Brooklyn/NYU) “the environmentalist” (award-winning)

Eiji Masuda #RIP Japan who was my collaborator on the pioneering digital doc Hempen Road (20 years old this year) “Mistaking the shadow” #Experimental

A documentary about the Russian revolution “The beginning of our troubles” made by my Uncle Mark Bannatyne while at USU doing graduate studies

A film by my Mom Lauralee Elliott #RIP with significant assistance from the aforementioned Brandon Kiggins, while at #UVCC “Tattoo”, note: long before everyone had a tattoo :-)

A public TV show which broadcast clips from the previously mentioned Hempen Road on “Master Weed theater”

The one labelled “Giggling Piglet Co-op” features me and the Japanese girl on the island of Guam demonstrating flower sticks and talking about the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia who had recently died on a show called “Buenas”, and might… also contain a similar juggling stick performance from Tottori, Japan which appeared on the nationally broadcast morning show “Zoom in Asa”.

In some cases, these might be the only remaining evidence of these diligent creative endeavors. Eventually they will be digitized and shared an archived so the hours that one into them and the inspiration which comes out of them, can pass on to others.

What do you have in your closet or shoe box which Will surprise and inspire your friends and strangers?