It’s obvious that Lady Gaga takes her fashion sense to another level, beyond the outrageous clothes and accessories that she wears, to include the unique tats she gets as well. Lady Gaga’s back tattoo, for example, features the actual handwriting of legendary Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, who was actually the inspiration for the ink. Read more to find out about the risqué circumstances surrounding the pop star’s Tokyo Love tat!
The second tattoo Lady Gaga got inked on her left shoulder features the words “Tokyo Love,” written in black capital letters. If you’re wondering why the back tat is so crudely written, it’s because the tattoo was designed after the actual handwriting of Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. Gaga’s Tokyo Love tattoo was inked in – where else – Tokyo, Japan in August 2009, prior to a pretty racy photo shoot, even by Lady Gaga’s standards. The singer let Interview Magazine follow her around Tokyo, where she got not only her Tokyo Love tat, but also her German arm tattoo, all before preparing for the magazine’s S&M-inspired photo shoot with Araki. The tat was inked just above Lady Gaga’s flower tattoo on her shoulder, which makes the text and daisies look like one complete tattoo.
The Meaning Behind Gaga’s Back Tattoo
In reference to her Tokyo Love tattoo, Lady Gaga says, “That was to celebrate the Haus’ collaboration with legendary Japanese photographer, Araki.” She continues, “I was bound by Araki’s personal bondage artist, by several ropes and Japanese knots. Araki photographed me, using a serious of several cameras.” The S&M-inspired performance was more than just a photo shoot for Lady Gaga though. “He did not photograph my image; he photographed my soul,” she says. “I was honored to be the first American woman he’s photographed, and only the second pop artist, in the company of Björk.” So what’s the meaning behind the words in her back tat? “[Araki] painted me and took Polaroids through the night. He signed the Polaroids ‘Tokyo Love,’ and the Haus got tattoos of his marking in celebration.”
Lady Gaga’s Feelings About Her Sudden Fame
“It’s been a life-changing year for me creatively as a musician and a performance artist,” Gaga said about The Fame catapulting her into the spotlight in 2009. “I walk away from the Fame Ball humbled by my little monsters – my fans – and proud of the Haus for all its successes amidst the adversity of the industry.” She says simply, “We killed it.” And 2009 also gave Lady Gaga three new tattoos to add to her collection: her Tokyo Love tattoo, dedicated to Japanese photographer Araki Nobuyoshi; the Rilke tattoo tribute to German philosopher and poet, Rainer Maria Rilke; and the “dad” heart tattoo she got in honor of her beloved father. Lady Gaga sure has dedicated a lot of space on her body to other people! All in all, Gaga’s tattoo tour of Tokyo proved that her life offstage is as “wildly insane as her life onstage.”