The Tattoo

Front Cover
Soho Press, 2007 - Fiction - 248 pages
24 Reviews

“A book about ‘the sins of the fathers.’ . . . A gritty, troubling book.”—The Honolulu Advertiser

“The other Hawai’i, the one tourists never get to see.”—Ian MacMillan

Ken Hideyoshi is the new guy in Halawa Correctional Institute. He’s tough looking, a hard case, observes his cellmate Cal—the mute tattoo artist of the prison, a wife murderer. SYN, a gang symbol, is tattooed on his hand, and he has a Japanese emblem inscribed on his left shoulder. He asks Cal for a tattoo on his back, in kanji script, of Musashi’s Book of the Void.

While he is being worked on, he tells Cal his life story, a tale of hardship and abuse. Motherless, he was raised by a distant father, a Vietnam War veteran, in the impoverished hinterlands. In his teen years he hung out with the native Hawaiian gangs and was drawn into the Hawaiian-Korean underworld of strip bars and massage parlors. His ambition and proud samurai spirit seem, inevitably, to lead to his downfall.

Chris McKinney is of Korean, Japanese, and Scottish descent. He was born in Honolulu and grew up in Kahaluu. He portrays the native Hawaiian experience from the inside, where children of mixed ethnicity grow up far from the clear water and pristine beaches of the rich visitors’ resorts.

  

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Review: The Tattoo

User Review  - Rhal - Goodreads

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I had to read it for a final year University course on the Sociology of Violence. It ended up being my favourite part of the course. I couldn't put the ... Read full review

Review: The Tattoo

User Review  - Mandy Johnson - Goodreads

Good. A heartbreaking story of the generational manifestations of cultural genocide Read full review

Contents

prologue
THE GROUND BOOK
chapter
chapter three
chapter four
epilogue
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

\Chris McKinney is the author of The Tattoo and Bolohead Row. He received both his BA and MA in English from the University of Hawaii and currently teaches at Honolulu Community College. He resides in Honolulu.

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