Since the late 1960s, Kendo Nagasaki has been distinguished...
...by the presence of a particularly dramatic visual feature – a large tattoo on the top of his head.
Usually, only glimpses of this tattoo were visible, in the moments when Kendo was not wearing his customary mask, but when he began wrestling unmasked, the tattoo was an unmissable feature of his already imposing image.
As an enigmatic and mysterious character, for many years it seemed to simply be accepted that Kendo’s tattoo was yet another inexplicable aspect of his multi-faceted mystique, but understandably over the years, interest has grown in the meaning of the tattoo.
Finally, with direct enquiries about the tattoo being posted on Kendo’s own website forum, he has directed that the time is right to reveal the meaning behind it.
Firstly, it is important to reiterate that Kendo Nagasaki is a spiritual being who manifests through a man, Yogensha, and Kendo directed that Yogensha have the tattoo done as the symbolic interface where the spiritual and physical meet. Designed by Kendo himself, he has explained the meaning of the tattoo through Yogensha, as follows:
Structurally, the tattoo appears to comprise a hexagonal star with an eye in the centre – mysterious enough in its own right, but it goes without saying that, as with anything to do with Kendo Nagasaki, there is much more to it than that.
Including the eye, there are actually three fundamental components to Kendo’s tattoo, and the other two reside in the six-pointed star: the star is actually composed of two interlocking triangles (or trigrams), each with their own powerful meaning.
Individually, the trigrams can be regarded as “ascending” and “descending” – the ascending trigram symbolises the forces of the earth plane, and the descending trigram relates to spiritual powers. That each trigram has a momentum in a particular direction is important – as the influence of the spiritual powers acts downwards towards the earth plane, they give rise to a compensatory and counterbalancing expression of earthly forces; effectively, spiritual energies of particular qualities bring forth specific earthly energies in response to their proximity. Kendo weaves the mix of spiritual powers which invokes powers on the earth plane.
The combination of the two trigrams form a hexagram, which links all that the trigrams represent to the sensitive points in a mandala, and the zodiac, greatly extending the power of the symbols.
The point at which all the foregoing unites is the eye.
The eye in Kendo’s tattoo is the all-seeing eye, the eye that sees across time and space, the eye that penetrates everything on all planes; not only does it “see” the most basic structural and visual aspects of everything upon which it looks, but it perceives the deepest inner meanings, the hidden forces, the essence of its subject, stripped bare of all artifice. It informs the higher spiritual planes of all this, which affects the other most important aspect of the eye – it is not a “window to a soul” per se, but it is a symbolic channel to power. Positioned at the centre of the disarmingly simple yet sophisticated and powerful hexagram, the eye is that which strips bare its subject, and actively mediates the spiritual/earthly power dynamic. To fall under the gaze of the eye is to be immersed in intense and dispassionate astral power and intelligence, which can re-shape this world and the worlds beyond.
The indomitable Kendo Nagasaki that is seen in the wrestling ring is the being who is the meeting point for all the above influences. Incredibly carefully-tuned spiritual energies draw forth the highly specific earthly strengths which Kendo wields so skilfully, and they are all maintained precisely in balance under feedback from his ever vigilant all-seeing eye. Kendo Nagasaki is therefore an exquisite combination of earthly power invoked specific spiritual energies, all of which acts from the focus of the all-seeing eye. No earthly being could ever have defeated a wrestler who is the outworking of such highly refined multi-dimensional energies.
The same interplay of energies is at work when Kendo heals. The all-seeing eye looks into the foundation of the matter (the cause for the illness), as the spiritual energies exert their forces on the earthly substances of the body. Often, an illness is a karmic issue (the illness is destined as part of a soul’s growth), so loosening its bonds on the soul will require an elevation of consciousness, which is achieved through the meditative state into which Kendo puts those he heals as he does so. Therefore, in the same ways in which Kendo has achieved utter dominance as an athlete, he uses the spiritual dynamics to which he has access, to heal, to mentor, to enlighten, to empower.
This has brought about a development of Kendo’s tattoo into the Hand-Eye-Hexagram symbol: all the power of the eye and the hexagram are seen to flow from the unique short-index-fingered left hand of Kendo Nagasaki. The spiritual foundation of this is that the energies which Kendo gives to those he empowers are a starting point (symbolised by the left hand), a gift to the souls he touches – what they do with that power is up to them!
There are many more important specific details to individual aspects of Kendo’s tattoo – such as its position on the top of his head – but to describe them all in one place would require an entire book; it is hoped that this introduction to the fundamentals of its meaning helps to illuminate the richness of the Kendo persona just a little more.