In Japanese tattooing backgrounds are a big deal. They bring dynamism while dressing the body according to the body’s structures.

I shared something about this in a post on Instagram.

When we commit to a serious study of this style, knowing where to start can be the hardest obstacle. For this reason I often recommend to the students of the mentorship to start from water, and this book comes up in the recommendations.

I personally know Fabio Gargiulo, author and tattooer specialized in Japanese tattooing, and I know of his commitment and expertise on the subject. He has put together this beautiful study on Japanese water, breaking it down to make it more digestible. Definitely recommended if you would like to start dwelling into this topic.

From his website:

“One of the most important elements in Japanese tattooing is the background, because a strong background helps subjects emphasize their prominence and value through the dynamics between perfectly harmonized lines and their backdrops. Among the main elements that makeup a Japanese background are clouds, wind, flames, rocks, water and vortices. In this book you will find my perspectives on Japanese waves and the links between their construction- examples of extension and cuts of the Horimono tattoos. I will delve into the interaction of waves with subjects on various levels. The purpose of this book is not to provide templates, instead this book aims to inspire ideas; a starting point from which to develop your own style”.



In this interesting book, Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga invite readers on a transformative journey rooted in the teachings of Alfred Adler, a pioneer in psychology. Through a dialogue between a philosopher and a young man, they explore the fundamental principles of Adlerian psychology and the path to true freedom and happiness.

The central theme revolves around the concept of “courage,” defined as the ability to live authentically and independently, liberated from the chains of past traumas, societal expectations, and the pursuit of external validation. Through Socratic dialogue, the authors debunk common misconceptions and societal myths, challenging readers to reconsider their perspectives and reclaim agency over their lives.

Key lessons from the book include:

1. The Power of Choice

Adlerian psychology emphasizes the significance of individual choice in shaping one’s reality. By acknowledging the freedom to choose one’s responses to life’s challenges, individuals can break free from victimhood and take ownership of their narratives.

2. Overcoming Inferiority Complex

Kishimi and Koga address the pervasive issue of inferiority complex, asserting that it stems from an exaggerated concern for social recognition. By shifting focus from seeking approval to self-acceptance, individuals can cultivate genuine confidence and resilience.

3. Courageous Relationships

The book delves into the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, emphasizing the importance of equality and mutual respect. By embracing interpersonal freedom and detachment, individuals can foster healthier connections based on authenticity and acceptance.

4. Living in the Here and Now

Central to Adlerian philosophy is the concept of “here and now,” advocating for a present-focused mindset that transcends past grievances and future anxieties. By embracing the present moment, individuals can fully engage with life’s experiences and pursue personal growth.

5. Embracing Imperfection

Kishimi and Koga challenge the pursuit of perfection, advocating for self-compassion and acceptance of one’s inherent imperfections. By embracing one’s flaws and vulnerabilities, individuals can cultivate genuine self-esteem and lead more fulfilling lives.

‘The Courage to Be Disliked’ serves as a roadmap to liberation, empowering readers to break free from the shackles of societal expectations and embrace their true selves. Through insightful dialogue and profound wisdom, Kishimi and Koga offer a timeless guide to living with courage, authenticity, and inner peace.