Horikitsune, on pain

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An Excerpt from an interview with Alex Reinke a.k.a Horikitsune, apprentice of Master Horiyoshi III, for Sang Bleu 6.
 
SB: How do you feel about the spiritual value in the act of getting tattooed in the West? I think it’s interesting how much energy; emotional and sometimes spiritual or symbolic people hope to put in their tattoos. Do you feel the process of getting a tattoo can or should be a spiritual experience, and have such a value?
 
 
HK: Well a tattoo is a very powerful thing it can even make or break your life. It needs to have a special place and a value – it deserves that. Seriously looking at it -Tattooing is not to be taken very lightly. Its serious business for tattooer and customer both, and not just economically. I mean just for its lasting nature alone. Most tattoos produced in the very ancient past are believed to have been shamanic, ritual designs for magical purposes, or protection and they even believed they had healing qualities.

 

Concerning the process I would even go as far as saying that receiving a tattoo can lead to a spiritual breakthrough, of course not without prior training and lots of meditation practice. Tattoos are a painful thing and pain is what can bring you benefit in your spiritual development. A great example is Horiyoshi III; the more pain he experienced through his illness, the wiser he got. One can feel that and he says that himself.In Zen terms, the pain inflicted by a tattooist on a customer provides a big chance for the person to find some sort of self-realisation. The ultimate truth; or the ‘real’ reality shows itself very often in moments of despair and pain…
 
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