Saturday, October 24, 2009


There are various ways to express the word "tattoo" in Japanese kanji. In Japanese, "irezumi" is the word for "tattoo", and you can express it in 7 or more different words written in kanji characters. In addition, there are various purposes for tattooing, as a decoration, as a punishment, as a belief, as a symbol of status, as a custom and as identifying oneself to prove one's occupation. There is nothing surprising about the diversity of tattooing in its both purpose and expression. Continuing since about the 3rd century, tattooing in Japan is a tradition that has been developed over a long period of the history. Moreover, there are a variety of the pattern of motifs for tattooing; carps, tigers, mythical animals such as dragons and phoenixes, flowers such as Japanese cherry and chrysanthemum, and the Buddhist motifs like Amitabha Tathagata, bodhisattva and Siddham script (bonji). From the traditional motif to the pop illustrations, anything seems to go in these modern days.


Amazed by the beauty of the Japanese "tattoo", one of publishers in Germany has released the large, thick and heavy book, "TATTOO IN JAPAN", showcasing the traditional and modern tattoo in 4 different areas of Tokyo, Chubu, Kyoto and Osaka, Japan. Creating this book have them driven to promote Japanese custom tattooing on the level of fine art and also to introduce the highly diverse styles of tattooing in Japan today to the world.