Seto Takafumi (JPN), Barista, Tokyo

‘My tattoo story started with a few random pieces on my legs. After that, I realized I’d like my ink to tell something about me, so I booked a few sessions with an artist over the time of six months and limited the theme to the region I come from: the Kochi prefecture. It’s a tribute to the place I was born and raised in, which I left with mixed feelings when I was 24. But being away from it made my love for it grow. Now, when I go back for my yearly visit, I appreciate it even more.’

‘Another tribute, this time to the person who raised me, is hidden in the centre of my chest-piece. It says Setohanbido, referring to my father’s hanko shop. In Japan, people don’t have a signature, but they use a personalized stamp, or hanko, to sign important documents. In a way, I’m stamped with a remembrance of my dad now.’

‘When I moved to Tokyo I got a job at a traditional Japanese coffeeshop called Poem. Kissaten, as these traditional tea and coffee rooms are called, are cosy little places in a revival among the young Japanese. It was there that I found my calling: being a barista. It’s such a simple joy for me. I love coffee, small-talk and making people happy, so if I can bring my customers joy with a warm cup and a little chat, we both win. What more can you ask for?’