Tatoo (tattoo)


Fudo Myo-O Gallery


Tatoo with Daruma and Fudo Myo-O

Tattoo, irezumi 刺青

© galien el alien / www.tattooartists.org 2007


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LOOK at more Japanese Tatoos

source : hocuspocustattoo.com
Daruma and Momiji red leaves


source : illsynapse.blogspot.jp

. Okame おかめ【お亀/阿亀】 .


Quote from Tattoo Johnny
- - - Tattoo, Horimono
There is something about the Japanese culture that has both inspired and mystified the Western world at large. The rich history of daimyos, samurai warriors, life under shoguns and the vivid culture of the everyday citizens is so far away from our own that it easily binds us up and takes us into a tiny fraction of their world. A world where your nose is greeted with the enticing scent of brewing tea, and your senses are eagerly awaiting the majestic wonder of the cha ceremony. It is a world that has intoxicated our minds with intense philosophies and art.

The Japanese landscapes, watercolors, and woodcut art forms have been admired for their beauty and tranquility. And they have been imitated by the amazingly beautiful art of traditional Japanese tattoo designs known as horimono.

The History of Horimono
The art of Japanese tattoo has been traced back as far as 5,000 B.C. It is very possible that it existed well before this date, but this is as far back as claims can be backed up with physical proof. Clay figurines that date back to the 5th millennia B.C. have been found with their faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo markings. As far as historians and archeologists can tell, these tattoos are believed to have held a special religious or magical meaning to their bearers.

The first written record of Japanese tattoos appeared much later, in a Chinese dynastic history that dates to the year 297 A.D. In it, the Chinese reflected that the Japanese “men young and old, all tattoo their faces and decorate their bodies with designs.” This was indeed odd to their Chinese neighbors who considered the art to be a sign of barbarity, and was only used by them as a form of punishment.

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But, years passed, and the Chinese cultural influence definitely swayed popular Japanese thought. By the year 700 A.D., the art of tattoo had become increasingly unpopular, and it didn’t take long to become a common form of punishment for criminals and a way to easily identify outcasts. People with these tattoos were faced with permanent ostracism by their families and communities. While sought out as a way to identify and control outcasts and criminals, this practice soon led to problems for the Japanese government. Many of the outcasts with tattoos were known as ronin (or samurais without masters). In order to survive, these highly skilled warriors joined together into organized gangs. These gangs are what formed the roots of the yakuza, the centralized organized crime leader in twentieth century Japan.

It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that traditional Japanese tattoos again had the chance to flourish. It was during the later half of the Edo period, and the feudal system had begun to deteriorate, leaving the people in search of heroes and leading them back to the wonders and hope of their folklore. Soon, the art of tattoo began turning up again and again, usually depicting designs from Japanese folklore and religion. Popular artwork included dragons, giant snakes, Chinese lions, the Buddha, Fudomyo (the Japanese god of fire), Fujin & Raijin (the gods of wind and lightening) and Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Other common subjects for Japanese tattoo designs included the traditional watercolors, wood-cuts and picture books of the era.

Tattoo artists tended to be artists who had before created wood-cut designs, but had instead exchanged their blades and blocks for needles and pressed charcoal ink. As the art gained popularity, Edo began a tradition of what we would call tattoo conventions that have been taking place there now for over 150 years!

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However, while all of this was going on, it was still not “legal” per se. The art of horimono continued to be forbidden (or at least highly frowned upon) by the government up until the mid 20th century. The prohibition was finally lifted in the year 1948. But, even today, Japanese tattoo still has a certain amount of stigma attached to it, and for those natives who do opt for horimono, their beautiful designs and creations are usually inked in a place that it won’t be easily noticed by others, like a sleeve the upper arm area, and, more generally, any area commonly covered by clothing.

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© property of Tattoo Johnny




Shodai Horiai Gallery

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© 2005 Shodai Hori Ai


source : www.higan.net

Tatoo from the Narita-Ko Group of merchants and dealers of the Edo period.
Inspired by a woodblock print by Utagawa Kunisada. 歌川国貞 .


写真提供: 刺青師・龍元 

source : profit tommy


Comment of the author Gitoku:
"I've been trying to come up with a tattoo design that includes both a daruma doll and a koi. Both represent persistence, determination, following one's goals etc."
source : gitoku.deviantart.com


. . . . . H A I K U / S E N R Y U

From the SHIKI ARCHIVES 1997

The Tattoo Parlor
going out of business,
they take down the sign

© Rick Carnes, 1997

much-tattooed lady
parks her hawg next to my car
new parlor in town

© Ferris, 1997

i knocked her hawg down:
she beats a tattoo on my car
with a wrench

© ===zeyda===, 1997


Removing a Tattoo by Moxa Burning
Kitao Shigemasa 北尾重政 (1739–1820)


. Edo shokunin 江戸の職人 Edo craftsmen .

bunshinshi, bunshin shi 文身師 making tatoos

Flashing a bit of Tatoo was quite chic in Edo, but Tatoos have a long history, going back to the 縄文時代 Jomon period.
Since about 1810, making Tatoos became a special craft in Edo. Sometimes one artist painted the rough outline of an image and another specialist added the colors, using bamboo needles.

- reference : 文身師 -

Suikoden 水滸伝 and 歌川国芳 Utagawa Kuniyoshi
- quote -
The Suikoden is the Japanese translation of a classic Chinese novel titled Shui Hu Zhuan. The transliteration in Japanese provides the title ‘Suikoden’ and both are most often rendered into English as ‘The Water Margin’. This novel, its translation into Japanese, and the ukiyo-e illustrations that accompanied the translation, were responsible for launching a tattoo craze and culture that endures to this day.
The Water Margin tells the tale of a band of outlaws that form around the marshes that surround Mount Liang (in Japanese, Ryosanpaku). . . .
- - - Tattoos and The Water Margin
So how do tattoos come into play? How do you go from a classic Chinese novel to traditional Japanese tattoos? Well it turns out that four of the main heroes in The Water Margin are tattooed. In the Shinpen Suikogaden: Shishin has nine dragons, Rochishin is tattooed with cherry blossoms, Choujun with blossoms or pine spray, and Ensei with peonies. Apparently as the story caught on with the general public it was these characters, amongst all the outlaws, that were quite popular.
Around the height of the ‘Suikoden craze’
an ukiyo-e artist was commissioned to produce a series of woodblock prints depicting the heroes from The Water Margin. This artist went by the name Utagawa Kuniyoshi. The first five prints Kuniyoshi produced in 1827 were an immediate sensation. And two of the five characters in those prints were the tattooed heroes Rochishin and Shishin. The rest of the 108 characters quickly followed and the series was completed in 1830. The series was called ‘Tsuuzoku Suikoden gouketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori’, translated as
‘The hundred and eight popular heroes of the Suikoden’.
- - - Kuniyoshi’s Tattooed Heroes
Unlike previous illustrations or versions of The Water Margin, Kuniyoshi chose to illustrate a number of characters with tattoos other than the four mentioned above from the Hokusai edition. The characters and their tattoo motifs in Kuniyoshi’s prints are depicted in the table below: - snip -
- - - Tattoos as Symbols of the Antihero and Socioeconomic Class
Kagaya Kichiemon and Tsuzoku by Kuniyoshi.
Between the illustrated Suikoden novel from Hokusai and the Kuniyoshi prints The Water Margin became the equivalent of a modern day blockbuster trilogy. The outlaws of the novel became the antiheroes to the working class. This may have had something to do with the fact that early 18th century Japan was still under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. During the Edo period (1603-1868) this rigid feudal system was characterized by a hierarchical class system with the shogun, his lords (daimyo), and their samurai as the ruling class. Merchants, peasants, artisans, and craftsmen, formed the lower class. . . .
- - - Tatto Stigma
It could be argued that the association of tattoos with the feudal underclass during the Edo period was a continuation of the tattoo stigma that began with the practice of tattooing prisoners. This negative stereotype and the subsequent ban of tattooing in Japan during the Meiji period that followed the Suikoden-associated rise of Japanese tattoos in the Edo period may have led to the subsequent association of tattooing with the Yakuza that developed in the 20th century.
- source : tattooexperiences.com -

CLICK for more of Kuniyoshi's illustrations !

irezumi no botan no sawagu natsu matsuri

at the summer festival
the peony tatoo
is so excited

水原春郎 Mizuhara Haruo (1922 - )
son of Mizuhara Shuoshi 水原秋桜子

source : www.dclog.jp/en


O-Fudo Sama Gallery

. Tatoo with Dragons 竜王 .

. Tatoo teeshirt .


- More are here at tumblr
- source : tumblr.com/search/tattoo-daruma...-



anonymous said...

irezumi no mune o chôshin hayari-kaze

placing a stethoscope
on the tattooed chest
influenza season

Kanoko Wakata 若田鹿野子
(Tr. Fay Aoyagi)

Gabi Greve - facebook said...

Kokeshi こけし
as tatoo motives !!

Check my Kokeshi Gallery on facebook !