tatuaggio in bianco e nero di samurai con armatura, circondato da fiamme, realizzato su fianco da Jerry Magni

Family tradition

After doing a small tattoo for his father it was the elder brother’s turn, and finally the younger brother arrived.

All three with an almost identical request: a dragon and a Japanese temple.

The father asked for a small tattoo on his forearm and given the small size I suggested including only the head with the temple in the background.

When it was the elder brother’s turn it was a full sleeve dragon.

Finally the younger brother arrived and his request was: a Samurai, a dragon and a temple.

Clearly the Japanese style, dragon and temple have a strong appeal among the men of this family.

Preliminary clarifications

To anyone asking me for an Oriental style tattoo, I always point out that, as much as I appreciate the history of Japanese tattoos, they don’t excite me. As much as I am capable of imitating it, it will never be my style, so what they will end up having will be a personal interpretation.

Each design is obviously a personal interpretation of the artist but Oriental tattoos tend to be flat and be based on pre-packaged images or images that are copied over and over again.

If possible, I prefer to design something new with my style.

Having already seen my work on his family members and being already aware of the above, everything was simpler.

disegno in bianco e nero di samurai in stile pseudo giapponese

Reworking an idea

After the initial phase, all there was left to do was drawing the design. Given the position (the ribs) there were, in my opinion, too many elements to be included, but I took it as a challenge and thought I could “squash” all the elements in that narrow, not small, but narrow space.

Unfortunately, after half a day of drafting, I realized that all those elements couldn’t fit together in a harmonious way. I thought of including the Samurai in profile, with the dragon’s head behind him and the temple in the background.

But considering the credibility of the dragon, the head should have been way bigger than I could have made it.

A small dragon would have been ridiculous and the only way not to “cut” the head excessively was to extend the tattoo to the abdomen, which the client was not willing to do.

Therefore, after an additional meeting, I suggested he focus on the element he deemed most important. The dragon and temple disappeared and we focused only on the Samurai.


The work was relatively fast, like almost all my black and grey work.

During the first session, I tattooed the outline and in the second one applying the shades was a walk in the park, thanks to the excellent pain tolerance that the family seems to have in common.

In addition to the love for Japanese style 😀