Tattoo Age: Mutsuo (Part 2/3)


Uploaded by vice on 17.10.2012

Transcript:

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MITSUO: Stand up, first.

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CHRIS GARVER: I know a lot of people are like, oh, I'd love
to go work at Three Tides.
They're are a world famous shop.
It's got great artists.
It's going to go down in history as one of those
legendary shops.
I tattooed at Three Tides several times.
I went out there for the first time with Juan Puente after
they had that 1999 first tattoo convention in Tokyo.
The first Tokyo convention in 1999, that was a pretty
groundbreaking thing, especially for Japan.
Because in Japan tattooing is not as open.
There wasn't, at that time, too much
communication between artists.
[INAUDIBLE] it was known that there was going to be a really
big International convention there.
That was a really big move.
When so many foreigners came over to Japan, and a lot of
people wanted to stay.
So a lot of the tattooers were invited to work
at different shops.
And I got invited to work at Three Tides.

When I went there the first time, it was Horitomo.
He was Washo then.
Mutsuo was an apprentice.
He hadn't started tattooing yet.
I had tattooed Washo in 1991 in Philadelphia.
He didn't speak any English yet.
He came up to me and he asked me if I would tattoo
a monster on him.
And that was basically the only thing he could say.
He's a mind blowing artist.
He's one of my favorites.
I think he's probably one of the best in the world.
Mossa, he doesn't tattoo.
But he is really good at running a shop.
It's a little bit strange for a tattoo artist to work at a
shop where the owner isn't a tattoo artist.
But I think in Three Tides it really works.
He loves tattooing.
And I think he wanted to elevate the art.

Three Tides was one of the first Western
style shop in Osaka.
It wasn't a street level shop.
It had like a little sign, and it was in an alley.
So was about as out in the open a shop has
ever been in Japan.
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CHRIS GARVER: Yeah, I think there was quite a few foreign
artists that went there.
I know Running Bear went there, Charlie Roberts.
Well they learned firsthand how American tattooers act.
They had so many coming out.
I had a great time.
All those guys at Three Tides are super cool dudes.
And used to make them get drunk.
They get really red.

When I was at Three Tides, I was drinking more alcohol than
I ever have in my life.
And I was probably getting really crazy and belligerent.
Mutsuo always took it so good.
No matter how much I was like, get him in a headlock and give
him nuggies and stuff, he would always be
cool the next day.
He would never be like, Garver, you're an asshole.
I think Mutsuo, he's just like a super nice dude, you know.
He's quiet.
He's driven.
I think that's one of the things I admire about him.
He's just persistent.
When he started off, he wasn't great at drawing.
But whenever somebody wasn't telling him to clean this,
break that down, he would be drawing all day long.
He didn't really ask for anything.
But I think everybody willingly would critique his--
people, everybody critiqued his stuff.
The way he came across, the way he was, it made you want
to help him.
You could tell that he was going to be
a good tattoo artist.
He wasn't going to give up.
By the time I left he started tattooing.
And he picked it up so fast.

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CHRIS GARVER: Chris Trevino, he just
does really epic tattoos.
He would put so much of his energy into every piece.
There would be a million outlines.
The shop didn't open until noon, but he would go in and
open up at--
he would go in there at 9 o'clock.
I think Mutsuo had to go and let him in.
He was a huge influence on Mutsuo.
He definitely put a lot of teaching into him.

I think, as far as how many good artists there are--
I think Mutsuo--
I don't even know if at the time he realized that he was
in the perfect spot at the right time.
A lot of the guys, I was surprised--
I don't think they knew that they had that great
opportunity.
But he's the one that actually stuck it out.

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CHRIS GARVER: The last time I went to Japan, I went down to
Osaka just to see those guys.
And a lot of things are different.
But a lot of things are still the same.
They got artwork from everybody that's worked there.
Got my old paintings.
I'm like, maybe I should send them some new ones.
I asked Mutsuo to tattoo me, and he was super
stoked about it.
He tattooed this frog on my wrist.
It's kind of smoking.
It's got the Three Tides logo on there.
I could see it was like, whoa, the apprentice came back.
And his hand was kind of like [INAUDIBLE].
He tattooed.
It was awesome, though.
I've got tons of pictures of that.