Kenshi (JPN), Hairdresser, Tokyo

‘It’s quite a hassle to get this moustache in the right shape every day. It’s never perfect, though. Instead of bad-hair-days, I now have bad-moustache days. And don’t even think about ordering a big, juicy hamburger. Opening my mouth wide ruins it every time. I only eat bite-sized food now. Last week I got a new passport, but couldn’t get my moustache right the day of the picture. It looked horrible, and now I’m stuck with that shot for the next 5 years!’

‘I can’t get rid of it, though, it has become part of my look. I remember when I first started working as a hairdresser, I wasn’t even allowed to show my tattoos. Nowadays you can’t even imagine seeing a barber that doesn’t have tattoos. So we find other ways to distinguish ourselves, hence the perfectly trimmed moustache. I love the fact that tattoos have become accepted. I like showing them, because they’re connected to important happenings in my life, like when I got married or became a father. I don’t want to have to hide away those memories.’

‘It’s not all good memories, though. My first tattoo, La Vida Loca, I got when my dad passed away. We hadn’t seen each other for 12 years and two weeks after we reconnected, he passed away. The tattoo was my answer to that. My father was a Christian, so many of my later tattoos refer to his religion. I don’t know if he would’ve liked them. I know my mom begged me to stop getting more tattoos after she saw my neck. I didn’t.’