“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ― Jean Cocteau

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Monmon Cats - Cat Tattoos

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This tattoo artist combines his love for tattoos and cats and creates amazing pieces of art for the body at his fittingly named shop Monmon Cats.

Born in Japan, Kazuaki 'Horitomo' Kitamura became very interested in tattoos after he saw them in a surfing magazine, tattoos are rare in Japan and so his fascination for them just grew and grew. His two great passions in life are cats and tattoos, Monmon in Japanese means tattoos and so the name Monmon Cats perfectly reflects his two passions.

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Horitomo has been tattooing for over twenty years after he was lucky enough to become a tattoo artists' student in Nagoya, now people from all over the world come to visit his shop in San Jose, so they can get one of his immaculate signature styles. He is well practised in Japanese traditional art, has even completed design work for Sega Game Systems and his art has been exhibited at the Asian Art Museum in San Franciso and the Japanese American National Museum, he has two books called Monmon Cats and Immovable

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His love for cats started when his wife brought home a stray cat in the late nineties, named Ginnan, the cat still lives with them til this day and Horitomo absolutely loves her.

Horitomo has stated that when he draws cats he feels like he is borrowing some of their powers which gives his cat tattoos spiritual meanings. Also, all of his tattoos come from a story either from traditional Japanese legends, Buddhist stories or individual client stories.

Cats are seen as good luck or good fortune in Japan. A legend states that a cat waved its paw at a Japanese landlord who moved towards the cat out of curiosity, seconds later a lightning bolt hit where the man was supposed to be standing and the landlord felt the cat was responsible for his good fortune. Hence why a cat with one hand waved is often in shops to give businesses a good fortune.

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Horitomo also sells cat products like water and food balls and brushes on his website all of which have his distinct style of art on them, so your kitty can also enjoy his beautiful representations of cats. If you're not really one for tattoos then he also sells Phone Cases, t-shirts, caps and pillows just to name a few of his products, all with his insanely gorgeous cats on them.

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Horitomo also hopes his tattoos change the stigma which surrounds tattoos in Japan and hopefully one-day tattooing can be considered a form of art and personal representation. He is optimistic that if more Japanese people see western people with his Japanese style tattoos then more people who live in Japan might become more open for it.

Monmon Cats is a really nice idea for all the cat lovers, having an authentic and distinct tattoo which represents your love for cats or tells a story about you and your pet cat which can be a really unique and loving way to show how much your cat means to you.
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