this past monday my search began on the ground as it goes. I arrived in Yokohama which is only 1/2 hour from Tokyo by train on sunday night.
my only clue in my search for my personal japanese tattoo master was a name, Horiyoshi III, Yokohama Tattoo Museum, and an address in the back of a japanese tattoo illustrative book i had purchased at a japanese store in sydney.
the Yokohama Tattoo Museum and an address; should be enough?
the reception at the Yokohama Navio Hotel kindly goggled the Museum and gave me a print with directions in japanese for the cabbie.
the cabbies here know little english. they are extremely polite and friendly. as are 99.9 per cent of japanese. their cabs are immaculate with white frilly bits on the tops of the seats. everything in its place. the cabs are immaculately clean inside and out. the cabbies are usually older men and wear suits and white gloves. quite endearing. nice old dudes.
i made my way to the local metro and then up to Yokohama central rail. the rail system in japan is amazing with trains running every few minutes in every direction from the main stations. i came back from kawasaki nearby at midnight last night and the train was jam-packed with commuters (at midnight!) from tokyo. and i mean jammed packed with no room for anyone more. i squeezed in with a couple of others and only got in cos a few folks exited. it was very stuffy and lots of the japanese were sleeping some on their feet. others were chatting. no one paid much attention to me the token foreigner in the sardine can.
back to monday. arriving at Yokohama Station i cabbed it to the Yokohama Tattoo Museum. don’t think swank modern museum. think eclectic charming grunge. it was a rustic 60s building. non-descript and drab. would have fitted in back blocks east germany quite well. moving up, then down, then up the 3 levels, i couldn’t quite figure out which floor the museum was on. after some enquiries; should i say sign language and gesticulating with an old lady on level 3, i thought, i’ve come all this way from australia. i’ve heard that Horiyoshi III has been sick from some blurb i read on the net in australia written by an amercian dude who’d come here like me looking for the master and some tatts. yes i figured it was closed beacuse the great man was sick or oh yeah monday maybe irs closed for monday.
i wandered along the road wondering what to do. i came to a nice little local noodle bar. after a nice bowl of ramen (white noodles) with stray veges and a couple of slabs of pork floating in it, washed down with a handle of bira (beer), i figured that tomorrow was another day and that the new sun would spark in me the next moves.