Japanese Tattoos: Meanings, Shapes and Motifs
The intimate relationship of Japanese tattooing with the dark world of the yakuza has helped cover this form of artistic expression with an aura of mystery. But the culture of irezumi is deep and rich in meanings, shapes and motifs that have gone from color woodblock prints to being applied to the skin to beautify and protect their bearers. This richly illustrated book reveals the meaning and the secrets behind the most significant motifs from traditional Japanese tattooing--such as mythological and supernatural creatures, animals, Buddhist deities, flowers and historical characters--and turns this art form into a path toward personal knowledge and individual expression. Readers will discover the origin and meaning of each visual representation of the most frequent themes in this art form. The publication begins with a brief review of the history of Japanese tattoo art and then examines each subject (water, mythological animals, real animals, mythological characters, historical characters, flowers, shunga and yokai) through images and descriptive texts; it also includes a gallery of original designs by the author and a glossary.
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About the Author
Yori Moriarty took up tattooing in 2000 and, in 2005, began producing Japanese tattoos alongside American artist Jason Kundell. He took his first trip to Japan in 2007 and established contact with its tattoo culture through Osakan tattooist Horitoshi Izumi, in whose studio he worked between 2008 and 2011 over repeat visits that he combined with work as a visiting artist at Everlasting Tattoo in San Francisco, MVL in Leeds and Legacy Tattoo in Helsinki. He has participated in numerous conventions throughout Europe and the United States.