Tattoo Styles

Japanese

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About Traditional Japanese Tattoos

Japanese tattoos, also known as Irezumi, originated in japan as a form of penal punishment to mark criminals. Japanese woodblock prints became increasingly popular with the working class during the edo period of Japan 1600-1800th century.

Japanese tattoo style motifs derived from popular woodblock prints (Ukiyo-e ). Tattoo artists from the time include Utagawa kuniyoshi and Katsushika Hokusai. Meet our own tattoo artists specialising in Japanese style tattoos.

The Japanese working class, such as firemen and fishermen would adorn their bodies with designs found on silk kimonos. The samurai classes originally reserved these designs. Japanese Dragon tattoos were a popular designs for firefighters as a talisman to protect the wearer from fire.

Japanese tattoos designs feature a distinctive style, characterised by bold outlines, bright colours, and intricate designs. Often, these designs would depict mythical creatures such as dragons, koi fish, and phoenixes. Other traditional Japanese motifs used include cherry blossoms, waves, and samurais. Often with a religious or spiritual significance, these tattoos convey a sense of strength, bravery, and perseverance.

In Japan, people historically associated tattoos with the Yakuza, or Japanese mafia. People long saw them as a sign of criminality and social stigma. In recent years though, Japanese tattoos have become more accepted. People appreciate them as an art form in Japan and around the world.