Me and Manekistefy worked with Satoru a few years ago, and it was an amazing experience. Satoru is a very dedicated and humble tattooer, his works are amazingly precise and colorful, a personal take on a classic Japanese style, very dynamic and well executed. We belong to the same generation of tattooers, we share the same myths and ethics, I often miss the days in Okinawa.
When and how did you get started in tattooing?
In 1994 when I tattooed myself.
How long did it take to get the first proper results?
After 10 years I looked back and thought I was finally capable at tattooing… And then another 10 years later I thought the exact same thing.
Do you consider painting a part of your learning process? Talk about your drawing and painting routine…
Do a drawing, and another drawing, painting, then tattooing.
Before you’ve started tattooing were you involved in any subculture (punk, dark, metal, rock and roll, rap)?
If you should have to pick three tattoo artists that inspire your work who would you mention and why?
There are so many it is really hard to choose. If I had to choose a few it would be Amar Goucem. Horisui (Tethuo). Salvio.
From when you started, how has the business evolved?
The changes are endless. I used to travel a lot back in the day, and I learned that everything changes based on the new people that you meet. I feel like it will always feel new to me…
Machines (rotary or coil),Tebori (hand tools) or both? What’s your choice? Why?
I do my line work with a coil machine and shading with a rotary.
Can you list a top five of your favorite visual artists of all eras? What is attractive of their work in your opinion?
Katshushika Hokusai, Kawanabe Kyosai. I think I like Hokusai the best, all of his works exhibit perfectionism. I also like the Japanese art of everyday life, paintings that you see in temples or in towns, painted on dishes and plates, things you interact with in your daily life (scenes of nature etc.)…
How do you feel about the “ban” of tattooing in Japan?
This is a part of ancient Japanese culture that was around way before I was born so it is not my place to comment on it. I am just fortunate enough to be able to engage in the craft everyday so I just do the best I can.
What’s the most challenging subject for you and why.
I try very hard to create small (one-point) tattoos that match the body canvas beautifully. Also trying not to put too much fine detail when doing drawings – balance is key.
One Shot Tattoo
Naha, Okinawa (Japan)