ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Japanese Oni Tattoo - Part One

I shared this live as it was going on through Facebook, but want to have a more permanent place for the pictures here on my site. This is part one of my Oni Tattoo. Part two occurs on Wednesday, when I get it colored.

What is an Oni?  According to the gods of wiki it is:
Oni (?) are creatures from Japanese folklore, variously translated as demonsdevilsogres or trolls. They are popular characters in Japanese artliterature and theatre.[1]Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads.[2] They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes.[3] Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common.[4][5]

But why an Oni on my arm? I've always liked them. Here's the one I saw that was my inspiration for the tattoo:

In doing research, this is not just an Oni, but a Hannya as well.  According to the great demons of wiki:

The Hannya (般若) mask is a mask used in Japanese Noh theater, representing a jealous female demon or serpent. It possesses two sharp bull-like horns, metallic eyes, and a leering mouth split from ear to ear.[1] 
The name hannya (般若) is a Sino-Japanese word for prajna or wisdom. One tradition states that this name was given to this mask because it was the name of an artist monk Hannya-bô(般若坊) who is said to have perfected its creation.[2][3]Another explanation is that Perfection of Wisdom sutras and their variations were considered to be particularly effective against female demon. An alternate explanation is that the artist would need a great deal of wisdom in order to create this mask.[4] 
The Hannya mask is used in many noh and kyōgen Japanese plays, as well as in Shinto ritual kagura dances.[5] The Hannya mask portrays the souls of women who have become demons due to obsession or jealousy. Plays in which a person may wear the hannya mask include Aoi no Ueand Dōjōji; its use in these two plays, two of the most famous of the Noh repertoire, and its distinctive and frightening appearance make it one of the most recognizable Noh masks.
The Hannya mask is said to be demonic and dangerous but also sorrowful and tormented, displaying the complexity of human emotions. When the actor looks straight ahead, the mask appears frightening and angry; when tilted slightly down, the face of the demon appears to be sorrowful, as though crying. The oldest hannya mask is dated 1558.

So when it was my turn to get a new tattoo, I went to my favorite joint to see Mike, who'd given me the rest of my tattoos.


This is Mike's version of the drawing I brought in. 

This is Mike's space at the tattoo parlor. He's been there 25 years. 
You can't swing a dead chicken in town without hitting someone who wears his ink.

What does a tattoo feel like when it's being applied? Sometimes like a sharp knife through the skin and sometimes like a low level current of pain. In the end, though, you have control, so you can manage the pain however you want.

This is what it looked like during the first break... after the first hour.

This is what it looked like after the second hour, all done. Now all we need to do is color it in.


  1. A whole lot of individuals acquire tattoos for several different reasons. Tattoo for men aren't just restricted to the American flag. American flag tattoos can be exceedingly diverse.