I had these tattoos in my head (to go on the underside of my forearms) for when I passed the Shodan test and last Friday I finally had them done. The kanji under the tiger is fire and the one under the dragon is wind. The other two, earth and water, are on my ankles and they are from "The Book of Five Rings". Someday I'll get the one for the emptiness chapter. I'm not sure where I want it to go. I
Normally I can handle getting tattooed, but these really tested my endurance. Breathing was key, but there was a point where I had to say, "You know, I think we can do the scales some other time on the dragon." I was done, finished, no more pain tolerance. However, that's all a memory and I'm left with these beautiful tattoos that represent my training, my willingness to endure. They are also my guardians.