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Ms. Hye Ju Kim
“It says 수적천석, which means, if you don’t give up your goal, you will achieve it in Korean. I ran my first marathon and I wanted to get something about it.” So it means: water droplets that continue to drop can eventually create a hole in stone.  

Mr. DJ Tano
“In 2005 my cousin passed away from cancer and he was kind of like a crazy uncle to me, because he was much older than me. So I got it kind of in memory of him — to remind me that every day is special and you don’t know when your last day is going to be…to kind of remember him…and to live your life to the fullest. For the koi fish, I’ve always been fascinated by them and the mythology behind them. The legend is that the koi would swim upwards like salmon, and then they would keep trying and trying and trying.  The ones that succeeded would turn into dragons. I’ve always worked hard, and it’s a reminder to keep working and not to be satisfied with where you are. Just keep going and good things will happen.

Ms. Catherine Fuller
“Both of these tattoos I got in 2012 when I was sailing with a group of seven canoes called Te Mana O Te Moana. We sailed from Tahiti across to the Solomon Islands, which is around 3,000 miles.” We were going to the Festival of Pacific Arts, which were in the Solomon islands that year. My original thought was, for every island group I’m going to do one finger. The first island group that we stopped in was the Cooks, and the tattoo artist was someone I knew from voyaging in the 90s. I was going to talk to him about designs, and maybe I would find a design I like and bring it home. But he was super grumpy, and he had done 3 people already. So he started with a pen and started drawing stuff on my finger. Both of us looked at it and were like, “that’s it; that’s perfect.” Ten minutes later, it was done. It is seven stars for the seven canoes that we were sailing. When we got to the Festival of Pacific Arts there was a Tahitian guy there and I was observing him doing a tattoo on our other crew members. I asked him if he could do one matching this, but Tahitian style. So it’s islands, the birds, and the little dots on the top are the stars — and then this is the ocean and these are the navigators on the canoe. I let him design it and just do it. It kind of matched, but it doesn’t.”

Mr. Paul Heimerdinger
“I got into liking tattoos when my wife and I lived in Micronesia back in the 1970s, and they have a lot of native tattoos. I was intrigued, and after my experience there I thought, “Gee, I would like to have one.” It has my family hidden in those arrows and the arrows are going up, which is for my mana to continue to grow throughout my whole life and to be a lifelong learner.” When we got out of the Peace Corps we lived on the mainland for a few years and then we moved to Hawaii. We were at some Hawaiian dance festival — maybe at Moana Gardens — and there were people there with tattoos. I said to my wife, ‘I think I’d like to get a tattoo,’ and she said, ‘That would be fine with me.’ I had looked around in some books and came up with my own design. I did it in two phases-the ring around my leg first, and then later I liked that one so much I got the one up my leg. It has my family hidden in those arrows and the arrows are going up, which is for my mana to continue to grow throughout my whole life and to be a lifelong learner.”

Mr. David Chun
“I have this tattoo on my right forearm of a constellation of stars. It’s got five stars on it, each one a different color and different size. The stars represent my family. There’s a dad and a mom, and three more stars for each of my three kids. There isn’t necessarily a certain pattern in which I go to get my tattoos. Sometimes, I just walk into parlors with friends or family and choose one off the wall for the fun of it. It’s cool to be able to point to one and say “Oh, I got this one on a trip with my friend in California,” or something like that.
I don’t know if I have a favorite. All of them have different meanings, for different times in my life.”

Ms. Nagoshi

“So it’s basically an arm band, it doesn’t go all the way around, though. The center portion is the kanji symbol for love and the rest was designed by my freshman roommate in college. I always kind of wanted a tattoo. I guess I thought it looked cool; it was also kind of a statement of independence, not necessarily saying no one has control over me but, just saying this is me. I got it my freshman year of college right before Christmas Break. When I first started thinking about getting a tattoo I did a lot of research just making sure I was being safe about it, whatever I got I wouldn’t regret, and most people I had talked to had said you want to make your tattoo something that is apart of you and something that you will cherish your entire life. So I was thinking about what I appreciated in my life then and what I always wanted to appreciate the rest of my life and so love was a natural symbol for me and being of Japanese heritage so I went with the Kanji symbol because I wanted love to always be a part of my life. I love my family, my brother, my friends and I wanted to promise myself I was going to do the things that I love so being a teacher that’s something I really love working with kids so it’s a statement this is me and this is what I love and a reminder of who I am.”

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The School Newspaper of 'Iolani School.
Name that Tattoo(owner)! continued from print