In the past year, I’ve had the good fortune to start working on a series of tattoos on different clients based on Japanese folklore and ghost stories. This futakuchi-onna is the most recent ghost tattoo I’ve gotten to work on, and the biggest. When I work on these tattoos I try to base the imagery as much as possible on ukiyo-e prints instead of contemporary images. I really like working this way because it allows me to delve into researching the subject matter and the execution of the prints this style of tattooing is based on, as well as challenge myself technically to replicate the designs and technical appearance of print making. This yokai, futakuchi-onna is a type of Japanese monster, who’s name translates to “two-mouthed woman”. The origin of a futakuchi-onna’s second mouth is often linked to how little a woman eats. In many stories, the soon-to-be futakuchi-onna is a wife of a miser and rarely eats. To counteract this, a second mouth mysteriously appears on the back of the woman’s head. The second mouth often mumbles spiteful and threatening things to the woman and demands food. If it is not fed, it can screech obscenely and cause the woman tremendous pain. Eventually, the woman’s hair begins to move like a pair of serpents, allowing the mouth to help itself to the woman’s meals. While no food passes through her normal lips, the mouth in the back of her head consumes twice what the other one would. I really enjoyed working on this tattoo for Cori, and would love to continue exploring this kind of imagery with clients! Thanks Cori!