Japanese tattoos, also known as Irezumi, originated in japan as a form of penal punishment to mark criminals , During the edo period of Japan 1600-1800th century Japanese woodblock prints became increasingly popular with the working class of the time.
Japanese tattoo motifs derived from Popular Woodblock prints (Ukiyo-e )by artist from the time such as Utagawa kuniyoshi and Katsushika Hokusai. The working class such as firemen and fishermen in Japan would adorn their bodies with designs found on silk kimonos reserved for the samurai classes. Dragons where a popular designs for firefighters as a talisman to protect the wearer from fire.
Japanese tattoos feature a distinctive style that is characterised by bold outlines, bright colours, and intricate designs. They often depict mythical creatures, such as dragons, koi fish, and phoenixes, as well as other traditional Japanese motifs such as cherry blossoms, waves, and samurais. The designs often have a religious or spiritual significance, and are meant to convey a sense of strength, bravery, and perseverance.
In Japan, tattoos have historically been associated with the Yakuza, or Japanese mafia, and as a result, they were long seen as a sign of criminality and social stigma. However, in recent years, Japanese tattoos have become more accepted and appreciated as an art form, both in Japan and around the world.