The Yokai world

yokai parade

Yokai who?

Despite worldwide travel warnings by the German Foreign Office, we want to dive into the Yokai world today. Yokai are mysterious Japanese folklore creatures that can take shape in a variety of forms and species. They appear when the explanations of how our world functions are no longer sufficient enough to correspond reality.

Yokai are a vague feeling; an intuitive hunch that something is wrong. It’s like finding an affordable apartment within the S-Bahn ring. But Yokai are also real things that you don’t pay attention to. For example this second funny eyelet that somehow is there when you reach the top while lacing up your sneakers. That’s why for many Berliners the BVG ticket machine can also be a Yokai.

And if the noise in your apartment isn’t coming from the techno flat above you, then it could be the work of the Yanari (house cricket). Little Oni-like creatures, who are said to play their latest Ghetto House records like a poltergeist at 3 a.m. without being asked.


Yokai stories are also needed to educate the Japanese youth about dangers or consequences of their own actions. Thus, Kappa personifies everything that sucks about water, i.e. is dangerous. On the other hand, you also run the risk of becoming a Hannya if you are obsessed by negative feelings and thoughts. Good vibes only!

You realize it’s not so easy to name a Yokai. That feeling when you understand that a Yokai is a Yokai… At least I think so. Anyway, there are no definitive images showing Yokai in their “true form”. Yokai live in the narrow zone between fact and fiction, somewhere between faith and doubt. And because, as I said previously, in the Yokai world everything is a bit vague, there is a lot of freedom in designing. Like in Berlin in the 90s.

Japanese Tattoos in Berlin

To be able to create authentic Yokai tattoos, Swen and Matteo have made it their business to research regards Yokai tattooing more and its background more carefully. We want to base all our ideas about Yokai on stories and other backgrounds.

And that’s why we will take a closer look at some of the most famous Yokai in the future and try to dive even deeper into the Yokai world with you. For example, we want to deal with characters like Kappa, Hannya, Oni, Tengu or Kitsune. Creatures that are not only known through the tattoo world, but also from various mangas and anime.

So, if you walk through the Görli without being addressed and you want to process this strange feeling as a tattoo, then call us and make an appointment! Or just come by Good Old Times Tattoo and get created your Yokai design from Swen !