How painful are Japanese traditional tattoos compared to normal tattoos?

I'm an American, but have lived in Japan for 2 years. I've travelled around, tried to learn the language and am actually taking a Japanese class soon. I want to get my 1st tattoo, and being how I'm in Japan, I only thought it would be right to get a traditional Japanese tattoo done. It's done with... show more I'm an American, but have lived in Japan for 2 years. I've travelled around, tried to learn the language and am actually taking a Japanese class soon. I want to get my 1st tattoo, and being how I'm in Japan, I only thought it would be right to get a traditional Japanese tattoo done. It's done with bamboo and what not. I did also hear that a real Japanese tattoo is quite a bit more painful.
The plan for the tattoo is, 2 Kanji symbols, about palm size, starting at the triceps and going down. I want it to look like it was painted on. Ya, Japanese symbols are a little clique, but given my living situation and current lifestyle, I find it suitable. I can see myself at a bar, 10 years from now and someone is dogging on me for having Japanese symbols, but Oh! Mine were done traditionally, in Japan.

So what kind of pain am I talking about? I've never had a tattoo, but I'm avoiding any bone, and trying to stay on the meaty part of the triceps. My arms are pretty big (I'm a big boy, haha).
Any advice would be very helpful.
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