Posted by on Oct 23, 2010 in Blog | 0 comments

In March of 2009, when I was putting the finishing touches on the SNitLoE script and designing my Theo tattoo-template, I was also frequenting a group of amateur Spanish-speakers in Portland, OR. At the end of one meeting, I found myself being proselytized to (in English, thank goodness) about Japanese Buddhism. The garrulous Buddhist handed me a business card that read “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,” and proceeded to explain each phrase to me, trying to impart the multi-layered meaning of this concise mantra. (He said “Nam” was a cognate of the English “name,” which I am now 99% sure is false.) I think a simple translation is something like “I’m totally devoted to the Lotus Sutra,” but like many mantras, prayers, etc. it’s clearly got a lot of interpretations.

I saved the card and seized upon the Daimoku as a subject for Theo’s left shoulder – already, I had felt that Theo’s tattoos were a little too Abrahamic. The Japanese script is so complicated to write, I have to refer back to this image every time to refresh my memory – but often, a scribble will suffice.

Speaking of scribbles, the only other image on Theo’s left arm I haven’t mentioned yet is a scrawled portrait of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak.