Thinking of getting a Japanese-style tattoo? Want to avoid a permanent mistake? Japanese Tattoos is an insider's look at the world of Japanese irezumi (tattoos).
Japanese Tattoos explains the imagery featured in Japanese tattoos so that readers can avoid getting ink they don't understand or, worse, that they'll regret. This photo-heavy book will also trace the history of Japanese tattooing, putting the iconography and kanji symbols in their proper context so readers will be better informed as to what they mean and have a deeper understanding of irezumi. Tattoos featured will range from traditional tebori (hand-poked) and kanji tattoos to anime-inspired and modern works—as well as everything in between.
For the first time, Japanese tattooing will be put together in a visually attractive, informative, and authoritative way.
Along with the 350+ photos of tattoos, Japanese Tattoos will also feature interviews with Japanese tattoo artists on a variety of topics.
About the Author
Hori Benny was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to Japan in 2002. He began a tattoo apprenticeship in Osaka's America Mura district at Chopstick Tattoo in 2004, making his professional debut in early 2007. He specializes in full custom work of all genres and is also a student of Japanese flower arrangement. Benny currently works at Chopstick Tattoo's 2nd location near Triangle Park in downtown Osaka, but is opening his own shop: Brian Ashcraft is the Senior Contributing Editor for video game site Kotaku.
Ashcraft was previously a Contributing Editor at Wired Magazine, and his work has also appeared in Popular Science, The Guardian, The Japan Times, and design journal Metropolis Magazine and in numerous publications worldwide. Ashcraft is the author of Arcade Mania! and Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential. Originally from Texas, he has called Osaka home for well over a decade.
"Japanese Tattoos not only peers deep into the nuances of Japan's tattooing history but also takes a look at its current fusion with pop culture and shows us where it's heading." -Shinji Watanabe, editor-in-chief, Tattoo Tribal magazine
"This book is chock full of classic themes, characters, and designs, with plenty of notes on the historical significance of tattoo culture. Of course, it's great inspiration for modern tattoos, but also for any other visual art." -Boing Boing
"Ultimately, Japanese Tattoos brims with the authors' respect and love for the craft, occupying a curious space somewhere between field guide and coffee table book." -The Japan Times
"Japanese Tattoos is as much a book about the art form as it is about Japanese culture. As it traces the earliest history of getting inked in the country and moves into modern times, it reveals the cultural and spiritual meaning of popular tattoo motifs, explores the traditional and modern techniques that Japanese tattoo artists have used over the centuries, and reveals the ways in which East and West are influencing one another when it comes to contemporary tattoo culture." -Tokyo Weekender
"As informative as it is beautiful, Japanese Tattoos takes you from the very beginnings of what was until recently an underground and taboo art form, to the modern practitioners who have carried on a long tradition of storytelling and beauty." -Scotti Hill, guitarist, Skid Row
"A rare insight into the world of tattoos in Japan. This book is filled with visuals of this breathtaking form of art-some of which you would only be able to see if you were brave enough to ask the person to strip." -Danny Choo, founder, Culture Japan and Smart Doll
"The bottom-line coolness of Japanese Tattoos is the world it opens up. This is imagery rarely seen by anyone, Japanese or foreigner." -Tofugu
"This book gives you great insight into the beauty, mystery, and tradition of the Japanese tattoo. It's a delight to read and a worthy addition for the collection of any Japanophile." - Jake Adelstein, Tokyo Vice