‘Kate’: Why Fans Are Praising Filmmakers for Crediting a Tattoo Artist in the Movie

Have you wondered what happens when a famous actor flaunts their tattoos in a movie? From tattoos to other non-bodily forms of representations like posters, paintings, and other artwork onscreen — all of these belong to artists who work tirelessly on their craft. But it is a rarity to see them credited for their work, especially when it adds meaning to a film.

A rare example like that recently emerged when Netflix’s Kate credited an actor’s tattoo artist during the movie’s end credits, Kotaku reported.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, with kohl rimmed eyes and a maroon lipstick, at the world premiere of "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn" in 2020.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead | Samir Hussein/WireImage

‘Kate’ actor Miyavi’s tattoos feature in the movie

Kate is an action-thriller movie about an assassin Kate, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Based in Japan, Kate is on one final mission when she realizes she has been poisoned. With 24 hours to live, Kate decides to find the one responsible for poisoning her and exact revenge. 

Jojima, played by Miyavi, is a gangster in the movie. Miyavi has several tattoos on his chest and back that are clearly on display in the movie. Further, their portrayal is also used to emphasize his character as a gangster, according to the Kotaku article.

For his role in the film, Miyavi’s tattoos become a highlight of the character. They are not only visible but also receive plenty of focus from the camera as well. 

The tattoos have great personal significance for Miyavi as well

The two tattoos that stole the spotlight in the movie were the tattoos on his chest and back. The one on Miyavi’s chest is the word “determination” written in the Futaiten script. The tattoo on Miyavi’s back is the Heart Sutra.

The Heart Sutra is a widely known, recited, and studied scripture of Buddhism in East Asia. Though the intricacy of its characters makes it especially difficult to write down, let alone on a human body.

Miyavi’s tattoo has another personal significance. Another character representative of the actor’s father is etched on the center of the sutra. The overall design of the tattoo is complex and that is very visible in the scene.

Even though for a short while, the focus on Miyavi’s tattoos easily makes them an important element in the movie. Even as the tattoos are inked on Miyavi’s body, legally, they are still the property of the artist who drew them.

Netflix’s Kate included actor Miyavi’s tattoo artist in its credits

Miyavi’s tattoo artist Kotaro Sato, along with the image rights for Godzilla and the ZZ Top album cover is credited in the movie. 

Grateful for the actions of the filmmakers, Sato took to Twitter to extend his thanks to Miyavi and the filmmakers.

“I never requested him to appear my credit each his film. But he always showing my name when he showed our art in his movies. I’m glad to his respect. Thank you my bud,” Sato wrote. 

From Sato’s tweet, it’s hinted that Miyavi tries to get him credit in each of his movies. This is a shining example of the way that actors can ensure that other artists get their due as well. With Kate, this is hopefully the beginning of a new practice among filmmakers to credit the artists whose work appears in their films. 

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