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rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Misc. info
Section - WHERE CAN I GET JAPANESE "IREZUMI" TATTOOS?

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Japanese "irezumi" tattoos are often associated with laborers (primarily
fire fighters and carpenters) and yakuza members, who stereotypically
also lack the tips of one or two digits on their hands (to signify a
failed order and to show loyalty--see the movie, _Black Rain_ with
Michael Douglas for an example). An excellent book to to see examples of
traditional Japanese bodysuits is _The Japanese tattoo_ by Sandi Fellman
(New York :  Abbeville Press,  1986. 112 p.). For those interested in
getting work of this magnitude done however, the general answer is "ya
can't gets one." This is not only because of the time or costs
involved--there is a sense of the spiritual and of propriety with the
artists, who do not advertise their services in the Yellow Pages.

Your best bet as a "gaijin" (foreigner) is to find a Western artist who
specializes in oriental artwork. As trends go, the young Japanese are
now interested in tattoos of Elvis and Chevies, anyway--the grass is
greener on the other side, I guess.

If you can manage to attend the larger tattoo conventions, some of the 
Japanese artists now travel the U.S. convention circuit regularly.


KANJI [CHINESE/JAPANESE] CHARACTERS 

One word of warning about getting Japanese or Chinese characters--make
sure that the artist who does this understands the importance of the
shape and form of the letters. Unlike the roman alphabet, the essence of
the Oriental characters is in the proper execution of form. The artist
will have to know where the "brush strokes" of the calligraphy start
and end (since stroke order also counts), as well as how angular some
corners should be, etc. The worst thing would be to sport a Japanese
kanji character that looks like some zygotes. How to tell if the
characters are formed properly? It would help if you know how to read
kanji or if you have Asian friends--otherwise, go with a reputable
artist who is known for it. Beware: I read Japanese, and most of the 
kanji flash I've seen in shops are embarrassing to look at.

Brendan Mahoney <phxbrendan@aol.com> adds:
Even were I to consider getting a kanji tattoo, mere copying just
doesn't cut it (no pun intended). Chinese, like Japanese, has printing
(e.g in books), hand printing (which can be very artisitic) and various
forms of cursive (extremely artistic), not to mention styles--something
like fonts--within each of the forms or writing. The most important
aspect of fine cursive (aside from form and proportion) is what the
Chinese call "flying white," that is, the white streaks created from
moving the brush so rapidly. Creating a tattoo like that would require 
considerable shading skill in addition to appreciation for the flying
white itself.


User Contributions:

Yusuph
Report this comment as inappropriate
Aug 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am
I real to know much the history of tattoo, from the begin. Please send for me the all details/summary or imformation of tattoo. You can find me also on facebook as Toto mbata chico. Thank u

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Top Document: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Misc. info
Previous Document: INK COLORS
Next Document: WHEN DID TATTOOING START?

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