Apr 21 2008

Tattoo Two: The Wave

Published by at 1:51 pm under Mothers & Daughters,My Daughter's Tattoos

Here’s the story of Yo-Nenny’s second tattoo. She got it about a month after her first one, when she’d just turned sixteen.

I went straight home after getting my first tattoo, looking for inspiration for my next one. I got the idea off a mirror that my brother gave me from The Met. I looked in my backpack and I had this teeny little hand-mirror and it had this design on the back of it, of Hokusai’s The Wave.

This is when I still actually cared about what the tattoos looked like. I wanted it to be attractive and meaningful. I’d seen the design a thousand times before. It didn’t speak to me but I realized I could put it on me and then I’d have another tattoo. It satisfied my need for a tattoo that looked somewhat interesting.

In the back of my mind I knew it was silly for me to get something like this because I thought of it so quickly. But because it was my second tattoo, it meant so much less.

This tattoo resides just to the left of her first tattoo (the lotus), on her left shoulder. I asked her why she chose that location.

It wanted it to be easily hidden but still easily visible. I think it shows how impulsive I was. The first one I spent a lot of time getting it exactly centered. This one I just slapped in on my shoulder. Since then I’ve tried to balance out my tattoos. I’m funny about symmetry now.

Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave at Kanagawa from A Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji circa 1830–32 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC)

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