Tentative design for a full-back tattoo I'm contemplating. Seeing as just about everyone and their mother is sporting oriental dragon tattoos these days, I opted for a subject that isn't usually tackled in Japanese tattoo iconography, namely, creatures of ill omen. (Another alternative I'm considering is an Itsumaden)
The Nue is a mythical beast which supposedly visited nightmares upon Emperor Konoe, descending upon the castle roof at 2 a.m. every night shrouded in a dark cloud. The samurai Minamoto Yorimasa shot an arrow into the cloud and out fell the corpse of a chimera-like monster which, by accounts, possessed the face of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the limbs of a tiger, and a snake for a tail.
still needs tweaking (especially the head and the undulation of the snake-tail) before the final draft and before I pay that visit to the tattoo parlor. ^_^;
And BTW, I'm not giving anyone permission yet to use this design for their tattoo... Unless I scrap it and ultimately go for something else more to my liking.